Product Liability

  • December 19, 2014

    Centex Wins Again In Travelers' Choice-Of-Counsel Suit

    A California federal judge on Friday again dismissed claims brought by Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America and others against Centex Homes over the choice of counsel for Centex in a construction defect suit, ruling that the insurers failed to show the home-building company had breached its duty to cooperate.

  • December 19, 2014

    5th Circ. Rejects Insurer's Call To Review Home Defect Ruling

    The Fifth Circuit declined on Thursday to revisit its earlier decision that Mid-Continent Casualty Co. had incorrectly applied a contractual liability exclusion in a construction defect case and also denied its request to certify questions to the Texas Supreme Court.

  • December 19, 2014

    SG Says High Court Shouldn't Hear Teva Drug Label Case

    The solicitor general told the U.S. Supreme Court that it shouldn’t hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc. in a California state case over the generic-drug maker’s alleged liability for injuries stemming from out of date warning labels, saying that court lacks jurisdiction.

  • December 19, 2014

    Teva, Pliva Ask High Court To Weigh Pa. Reglan Preemption

    Generic-drug makers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court in three petitions to review a Pennsylvania appellate court ruling that the product liability claims of thousands of generic Reglan users weren't necessarily preempted by federal law.

  • December 19, 2014

    Gerber Fends Off Baby Food Labeling Suit

    A California federal judge on Thursday threw out a proposed class action accusing Gerber Products Co. of misbranding baby food, citing a lack of evidence that sugar and nutrition claims on the products’ labels actually deceived consumers.

  • December 19, 2014

    Judge Keeps Alive Part Of OC Water District's MTBE Suit

    A New York federal judge on Thursday kept alive part of the Orange County Water District’s suit claiming that a gasoline additive leaked by Tesoro Corp., Shell Oil Co. and others endangered the water supply, saying it was too early to determine whether an expert report established causation.

  • December 19, 2014

    NJ Court Tosses 2nd Plaintiff In Nissan Transmission Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge kicked another lead plaintiff to the curb in a putative class action against Nissan North America Inc. on Thursday, finding the plaintiff’s claims alleging injury from defective transmissions were untimely and unsupported by evidence.

  • December 19, 2014

    Navistar’s Faulty-Engine MDL Centralized In Illinois

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has granted engine maker Navistar Inc.’s request to consolidate 13 lawsuits in Illinois alleging the trucking company’s Maxxforce diesel engines are defective and lead to engine failure.

  • December 19, 2014

    High Court Pressed To Send Asbestos Suit To Fed. Court

    A shipyards products manufacturer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Fourth Circuit decision keeping an asbestos suit in state court, arguing that the company has been improperly denied its right to a federal forum to pursue its government contractor defense.

  • December 19, 2014

    ACLU Urges Lift Of Gag Order In Coal Exec's Criminal Case

    The American Civil Liberties Union urged a West Virginia federal judge Thursday to lift a sweeping gag order in the criminal case of former Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship in connection with 29 miner deaths, saying in a sealed document that the order flies in the face of the Supreme Court's absolute prohibition of prior restraint under the First Amendment.

  • December 19, 2014

    EPA Will Treat Coal Ash As Solid Waste In Win For Industry

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will regulate coal ash as solid waste rather than the more strictly controlled hazardous waste, a victory for the power industry that frequently recycles the byproduct for building and agricultural uses.

  • December 19, 2014

    'Fragmented' Food Safety Regime Needs Work, GAO Says

    Federal agencies responsible for ensuring the safety of the U.S. food supply should do more to coordinate their efforts and increase transparency for the public, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office that called the current oversight "fragmented."

  • December 18, 2014

    Verdict Narrowed Against J-M In FCA Suit Over Shoddy Pipes

    A California federal judge Thursday limited the scope of a first-phase jury verdict finding pipe maker J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. liable for damages in a whistleblower False Claims Act suit over substandard plastic pipe used in water and sewer systems, saying the verdict applies only to five exemplar plaintiffs.

  • December 18, 2014

    Hellmann's Maker Drops False Ad Claims Over 'Just Mayo'

    Unilever, the maker of Best Foods and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, dropped its false advertising suit on Thursday against startup Hampton Creek Inc. over its vegan spread “Just Mayo,” the same day the plant-based mayo substitute maker announced it raised $90 million in venture funding.

  • December 18, 2014

    20 States Climb Aboard Syngenta GMO Corn Class Actions

    Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and 17 other states have joined class actions in Kansas and Missouri filed by corn farmers, grain exporters and others who accuse Syngenta Corp. of “tainting” the U.S. corn supply with genetically modified seed before China gave import approval.

  • December 18, 2014

    NFL Dodges Players' Painkiller Class Action

    A California federal judge on Wednesday tossed ex-National Football League players' class action claiming that the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers, ruling that a collective bargaining agreement preempted the claims.

  • December 18, 2014

    Texas Court Won't Nix Jurisdiction In Pepsi Asbestos Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday affirmed a lower court's jurisdiction in a lawsuit brought by a PepsiCo Inc. subsidiary over an allegedly secret $308 million asbestos settlement with Cooper Industries LLC, finding the facts of the case were sufficiently connected to Texas despite the companies' nonresident status.

  • December 18, 2014

    Rohm & Haas Settles Ill. Cancer Cluster Toxic Tort In Pa.

    Dow Chemical Co. unit Rohm & Haas Co. has settled 33 cases in a Pennsylvania state court toxic tort in which plaintiffs claimed the company’s improper disposal of chemicals near an Illinois plant caused brain cancer.

  • December 18, 2014

    6th Circ. Affirms Toss Of $326M Grand Ole Opry Flood Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday ruled that the government isn’t responsible for $326 million in damages following a 2010 flood in Tennessee that wrecked the Grand Ole Opry, washing away claims by hotelier Gaylord Entertainment Co., several insurance companies and Nissan North America Inc.

  • December 18, 2014

    Ford Broadens Takata Air Bag Recall To Entire US

    Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that it is expanding its recall of certain car models with allegedly faulty driver-side air bags made by Takata Corp. to cover all of the United States, after a request was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Expert Analysis

  • NJ Insureds Benefit From Broad Reading Of Physical Loss

    Robert Morrow

    Gregory Packaging Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America represents a victory for New Jersey policyholders in pushing back against insurer efforts to narrow the scope of property insurance coverage — the decision interprets the scope of commercial property coverage in a manner consistent with policyholders’ reasonable expectations of coverage, say attorneys at Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • 8th Circ. Clarifies Coverage Trigger For Food Recall

    Jennifer Senior

    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision on the level of public health risk required to trigger coverage for a voluntary food product recall under an accidental product contamination policy in Hot Stuff Foods LLC v. Houston Casualty Co. may encourage settlement in coverage disputes and is reason to re-evaluate and clarify policy language, says Jennifer Senior of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Product Liability In The Age Of Global Pandemics

    Hildy Sastre

    Shahinian v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. illustrates some of the many challenges facing product liability litigation based on the fear of pandemics and shows that even the most insulated business can face claims related to injuries caused by diseases over which it had no control, say Hildy Sastre and Iain Kennedy of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • 7th Circ. Explains Role Of Objectors In Class Settlement

    Rhonda Wasserman

    The Seventh Circuit's recent rejection of a class action settlement in Pearson v. NBTY Inc. highlights the important role objectors play in policing the adequacy of class action settlements and provides guidance to lawyers crafting such settlements as well as to district courts charged with reviewing them, says Rhonda Wasserman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

  • Dart Cherokee Rejects CAFA Anti-Removal Presumption

    John Beisner

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company v. Owens resolved a lopsided split in the lower federal courts over the proper removal procedure under the Class Action Fairness Act — however, the high court’s closing remark that there is no anti-removal presumption in CAFA cases will likely be of even greater significance going forward, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Tracing Ohio's Evolution On The Component Parts Doctrine

    Elizabeth Moyo

    The evolution of the component parts doctrine in Ohio shows that it is a strong defense that can be applied as a matter of law even when the component part manufacturer collaborates with the manufacturer of the final product, says Elizabeth Moyo of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Where Is The Pro Rata V. All Sums Debate Today?

    Hugh Scott

    Three decades after Forty-Eight Insulations and Keene, the pro rata approach used in long-tail claims, such as environmental clean-up claims and asbestos bodily injury claims, appears to be winning — for indemnity costs, pro rata allocation has been adopted by the supreme courts of at least 12 states, say Hugh Scott and Lauren Riley of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.