Product Liability

  • July 30, 2015

    FRA Spawns Rule To Prevent Runaway Oil Trains

    The Federal Railroad Administration issued a final rule Thursday that aims to prevent unattended trains carrying hazardous or flammable materials like crude oil from rolling away, though environmental groups maintained that regulations are still not doing enough.

  • July 30, 2015

    NHTSA Won't Investigate Chrysler Power Module Defect Claims

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declined to launch an investigation into claims that 4.7 million of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC's vehicles carry defects that could cause unintended acceleration, air bag failure or engine stalls, saying an analysis of data and evidence didn't support the allegations.

  • July 30, 2015

    Del Monte Buyers' Class Cert. Canned In Food Label Fight

    A California federal judge denied a third certification attempt in a class action against Del Monte Corp. on Thursday, saying that differences among labeling and presentation of the canned products at issue would fracture the class and stake the suit on shoppers' memories.

  • July 30, 2015

    9/11 Families Win Default Judgment Against Iran

    Families of 9/11 terrorist attack victims scored a symbolic victory in multidistrict litigation over the attacks Wednesday with a default judgment in New York federal court against Iran after the Islamic republic failed to respond to allegations that it sponsored al-Qaida.

  • July 30, 2015

    Ethnicity Can't Be Used To Reduce Damages, NY Judge Says

    An injured person’s ethnicity can’t be used to reduce damages, a New York federal judge ruled on Wednesday, stating that a $2 million lead poisoning verdict awarded to a Hispanic boy and his mother against their landlord can't be reduced because Hispanics are statistically less likely to go to college.

  • July 30, 2015

    Tobacco Cos. Win Over Jury In Ex-Smoker's $15M Trial

    Three tobacco companies on Thursday won a defense jury verdict in a $15 million lawsuit brought by an ex-smoker who lost a lung to cancer, with the Florida jurors finding that nicotine addiction didn't legally cause her disease.

  • July 30, 2015

    Chinese Drywall Cos. Say MDL Injunction Can Be Clarified Now

    A group of Chinese drywall companies that are defendants in multidistrict litigation in Louisiana federal court on Wednesday said there's no reason to grant the plaintiffs' bid to delay a ruling from the controlling judge on the scope of an injunction he ordered — a clarification requested by a related company involved in separate litigation. 

  • July 30, 2015

    Utah High Court Sends Amnesiac Atty’s Fee Dispute To Jury

    An attorney who was forced to bow out of litigation over the diet drug Fen-Phen when he developed amnesia can present to a jury his claim that his former firm underpaid him for his work, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, reversing a trial court’s decision.

  • July 29, 2015

    Final Thalidomide Claim Is Time-Barred, GSK Tells 3rd. Circ.

    GlaxoSmithKline LLC asked the Third Circuit on Wednesday to uphold a Pennsylvania court's finding that Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP's last client standing in litigation over the 1950s morning sickness drug Thalidomide was too late in bringing her suit, after the firm was previously sanctioned over obviously time-barred claims.

  • July 29, 2015

    PSE&G Sued Again Over Deadly NJ Explosion

    Public Service Electric and Gas Co. and a utility maintenance contractor face another lawsuit in a New Jersey court over a deadly explosion last year, this one by a couple claiming the defendants' negligence destroyed their home and caused physical and psychological harm.

  • July 29, 2015

    Injury Suit Over Delta Table Saw Heading To Trial

    Delta International Machinery Corp. has failed to persuade a New York federal judge to fully dismiss a suit by a carpenter who was injured while he worked with a table saw that it manufactured, paving the way for his claims to proceed to trial in October.

  • July 29, 2015

    Corn Groups Fight Ex-FDA Chief's Testimony In False Ad Row

    Corn syrup producers including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. told a California federal judge Tuesday to exclude certain testimony by former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, who had offered opinions in support of sugar growers accusing corn groups of misleadingly equating high fructose corn syrup with sugar. 

  • July 29, 2015

    Toyota Fights To Keep Recall Details From Auto Injury Trial

    Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. on Tuesday urged a Louisiana federal judge to exclude evidence of a 2012 Toyota Avalon recall from trial in an injured passenger's lawsuit over a failed air bag, saying the plaintiff can't prove the precise recall condition was present in the car at issue.

  • July 29, 2015

    US Seeks Criminal Contempt Over Herbal Supplement Store

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday sought a criminal contempt finding against the operator of an online herbal supplement store in Montana federal court, alleging he’s continued to sell products falsely professing to cure serious diseases despite two court orders to shut his business down.

  • July 29, 2015

    Starbucks Poisoned Woman With Cleanser In Coffee, Suit Says

    A Utah woman has sued Starbucks Corp. for more than $2 million in state court for allegedly serving her a cup of coffee tainted with a cleaning solution that eroded her throat and left her suffering from a condition known as “burning mouth syndrome.”

  • July 29, 2015

    Calif. US Atty Who Took On FedEx, PG&E To Step Down

    Melinda Haag, who has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California since she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, is stepping down effective Sept. 1, ending a tenure that has included the prosecutions of FedEx Corp., PG&E Corp. and state Sen. Leland Yee.

  • July 29, 2015

    Jury Told Tobacco Cos. Should Pay $15M For Lost Lung

    A former smoker who lost a lung to cancer urged a Florida jury to award her $15 million plus punitive damages during closing arguments Wednesday in her trial against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group Inc., saying the companies hid the dangers posed by cigarettes that caused her diseases.

  • July 29, 2015

    SCE Raises Nuclear Plant Stakes To $7.6B, Mitsubishi Says

    Southern California Edison Co. has raised its arbitration demand against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. from $4 billion to $7.6 billion over claims the Japanese company provided defective steam generators for the now-shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Mitsubishi said Wednesday.

  • July 29, 2015

    Caterpillar Can't Use CAA To Escape Engine Defect Actions

    A New Jersey federal judge on Wednesday largely rejected Caterpillar Inc.’s preemption defense in a consolidated class action accusing it of hawking defective engines, concluding that the majority of the suit’s claims have nothing to do with excessive emissions and are not preempted by the Clean Air Act.

  • July 29, 2015

    Sens. Urge NHTSA To Investigate Cars' Software Weaknesses

    Following a recall of 1.4 million vehicles by Chrysler’s parent company FCA US LLC on Friday prompted by a media report of hackers controlling a Jeep remotely, lawmakers called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday to investigate cybersecurity weaknesses in other cars.

Expert Analysis

  • UPenn Fracking Study Can't Give Plaintiffs Causation

    Harry Weiss

    Despite the media attention surrounding a recent University of Pennsylvania study linking increased hospital visits for cardiac and neurological complaints with hydraulic fracturing, it is unlikely to significantly help plaintiffs alleging health-related conditions caused by fracking. The study does not link any specific compound, chemical or process to any specific diseases, and absent such evidence it will be difficult for a plai... (continued)

  • FIFA Avoids Concussions — For Now

    Ronald S. Katz

    Amid its well-publicized legal woes, FIFA recently dodged a legal bullet when it was dismissed with prejudice from a concussion class action filed by soccer players and parents. However, it is not likely that this speck of good fortune will last, for at least three reasons, says Ronald Katz, head of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP's sports law practice.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: The Rocket Docket!

    Alan Rothman

    As we celebrate the 46th anniversary of mankind’s first walk on the moon, this month’s column tracking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation appropriately explores the impact of the “rocket docket” on the selection of an MDL venue. We have discussed various venue selection factors, but is the perceived speed with which a district handles cases relevant? asks Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Texas Property Insurers Consider Changes To Hail Policies

    Todd M. Tippett

    Texas is in the midst of a hail lawsuit crisis. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed across the state and abuse and outright fraud are commonplace. Despite a strong push by the insurance industry, the 2015 Texas Legislature failed to pass any significant reform measures. Absent a legislative or policy form solution, the end result is predictable, says Todd Tippett at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Absent Class Members And Constitutional Standing

    Christopher J. Michie

    Will the decision in Neale v. Volvo Cars of North America LLC cause district courts to adopt a more relaxed view of the injury requirement in terms of the predominance analysis in class action certification? It is here that the Third Circuit’s discussion of the Comcast decision presents the potential for misinterpretation, says Christopher Michie of Clark Michie LLP.

  • REBUTTAL: The Problem With 3rd-Party Litigation Financing

    Lisa Rickard

    Manipulating gender disparity in the service of hawking a flawed investment product does nothing but trivialize a serious and important issue. The tortured logic in Burford Capital LLC’s recent plug for third-party litigation financing is nothing more than a marketing ploy to boost revenues, says Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • Highlights Of China's 2015 Food Safety Law


    The last version of China's Food Safety Law was passed in 2009 in response to food safety scandals like the milk scandal in 2008, but it did not effectively solve the problem. Under the new law, which becomes effective Oct. 1, 2015, stakeholders can expect the contradictions of the old law will be methodically eliminated, say attorneys at Haynes & Boone LLP.

  • Trans Fat Ban Makes For Slippery Supply Chain Issues

    Whitney Passmore

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent trans fat ruling will make more work for food manufacturers, suppliers, producers and their attorneys all along the supply chain as the ruling contains no protections against civil litigation during the three-year compliance period, says Whitney Passmore at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP.

  • Ex Ante Vs. Ex Post: Janis Joplin’s Yearbook Revisited

    Paul E. Godek

    Fisher and Romaine’s well-known article, “Janis Joplin’s Yearbook and the Theory of Damages,” argues that commercial damages should be measured as of the time the challenged act occurred, an approach that has generally been favored. However, their argument is somewhat contrived, says Paul Godek, principal at MiCRA and a former economic adviser at the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Shedding Light On Shady Grove: Rule 23 Trumps State Law

    Michael R. Carroll

    The Eleventh circuit ruling in Lisk v. Lumber One Wood Preserving LLC eliminates substantive statutory protections embedded in the very state laws under which plaintiffs are bringing suit. Given the lack of any other appellate precedent on this issue, Lisk carries the potential of an outsized impact and will inevitably encourage forum shopping in the Eleventh Circuit, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr LLP.