Product Liability

  • October 24, 2014

    Trinity Stops Shipping Deadly Guardrails After $175M Verdict

    Trinity Highway Products LLC said Friday that it will stop shipping its ET-Plus guardrail system, just days after a Texas federal jury found that the company had defrauded the U.S. government out of $175 million by selling dangerous guardrails to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

  • October 24, 2014

    Philly Building Collapse Defendants Can't Stay Depositions

    A Pennsylvania state judge on Friday refused to temporarily spare a group of Salvation Army officials facing claims in civil litigation following a fatal building collapse in Philadelphia from appearing for depositions while they appeal a decision rejecting their concerns about the risk of offering self-incriminating testimony.

  • October 24, 2014

    DC Circ. Won’t Revisit OSHA Law On Flammable Grain Dust

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said it wouldn’t vacate a federal rule defining combustible dust in grain operations as a “hazardous chemical” and requiring employees be informed about its dangers, saying that the rule was fairly disseminated and not overly vague.

  • October 24, 2014

    Nature's Bounty Duped Elderly Into Buying Gingko Biloba: Suit

    Supplement company Nature’s Bounty Inc. was hit with a proposed class action in California state court Wednesday, accusing the company of exaggerating the memory boosting effects of its ginkgo biloba supplements when there’s zero scientific evidence they improve brain function.

  • October 24, 2014

    Hikma Gets FDA Warning After Portugal Facility Review

    Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC has received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which inspected the Jordan-based drugmaker's manufacturing facility in Portugal earlier this year, the company said Friday. 

  • October 24, 2014

    US, Halliburton Fight BP's Bid To Escape Negligence Finding

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and the federal government on Thursday panned BP PLC’s bid to escape a finding that it was grossly negligent in the events that led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, saying there is plenty of evidence to prove its actions were to blame in the case.

  • October 24, 2014

    Virgin Islands Suits Cut From Asbestos MDL Over Jurisdiction

    A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing multidistrict asbestos litigation brought by merchant mariners ended 32 of their suits in a decision published Thursday, saying the court lacked jurisdiction over the defendant companies because they weren't primarily based in the Virgin Islands, where the suits were brought.

  • October 24, 2014

    Senators Chide 'Glacial' Response To Exploding Air Bags

    Two U.S. senators roundly criticized a Department of Transportation underling's “glacial” response in handling the ever-increasing number of vehicles with defective Takata Corp. air bags, urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a letter Thursday to issue a nationwide recall of all vehicles affected.

  • October 24, 2014

    Bankrupt Olive Oil Co.'s Owners Dodge False Labeling Suit

    A New York federal judge on Friday threw out a class action targeting the owners of bankrupt Kangadis Food Inc. personally for the company’s alleged misleading claims about the purity of its olive oil, citing a lack of evidence linking the Kangadis family to the alleged fraud.

  • October 24, 2014

    Big Tobacco Urges Pa. Court To Cut State's Settlement Share

    A trio of tobacco companies has told a Pennsylvania appeals court that a trial judge exceeded her authority when she upended an arbitration panel’s determination that the state needed to forfeit upwards of $200 million from a multistate settlement over smoking-related health care costs due to lax tax-collection efforts.

  • October 24, 2014

    4 Things To Watch As FDA Flexes New Inspection Powers

    New guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims sweeping authority to block pharmaceutical sales if drugmakers resist agency requests to interview employees or scour internal records during inspections, experts say. Here are four things to know before the FDA comes calling.

  • October 24, 2014

    'Natural' Diet Bars Stuffed With Fake Additives, Class Says

    Fullbar LLC, the maker of popular appetite-curbing snacks, was slapped with a proposed consumer class action in Florida federal court Thursday claiming it tricked consumers into paying more for its “all natural” bars, which actually contain synthetic ingredients such as maltodextrin and soy lecithin.

  • October 23, 2014

    5th Circ. Told Bad Repairs To Chevron Rig Are Covered

    An oil field services company on Tuesday blasted American Home Assurance Co.’s argument that its $2 million indemnification claim stemming from faulty repairs on a Chevron USA Inc. oil rig wouldn’t be covered under its general liability policy, telling the Fifth Circuit that the insurer is rehashing old arguments.

  • October 23, 2014

    Molasses Supplier Stuck In $2M Licorice Recall Suit

    A California federal judge Wednesday refused to let a molasses supplier duck American Licorice Co.'s $2 million suit over a shipment allegedly tainted with lead, saying the candy maker had shown sufficient evidence that the supplier's 45-day notice provision in its sales contract was unreasonable.

  • October 23, 2014

    7th Circ. Shuns Review Of $180M ConAgra Blast Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Thursday refused to rehear en banc a ruling that released ConAgra Foods Inc. from its portion of a $180 million jury verdict stemming from an explosion at an Illinois grain mill that severely burned three workers.

  • October 23, 2014

    Surprise Verdict In Hip Implant Trial Gives J&J The Edge

    Thursday's win for Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics Inc. unit at the first bellwether trial over its Pinnacle line of metal-on-metal hip implants dealt a surprising early blow to plaintiffs' attorneys that lawyers say will have Johnson & Johnson digging in its heels in upcoming trials.

  • October 23, 2014

    2nd Circ. Sinks Iraqis’ Alien Tort Suit Against Chevron, BNP

    The Second Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court's ruling tossing five Iraqi nationals' attempt to sue Chevron Corp. and BNP Paribas SA for allegedly financially supporting Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, saying the plaintiffs failed to connect the companies' actions with Hussein's human rights violations.

  • October 23, 2014

    Insurer Asks 8th Circ. To Fry Oil Fire Coverage Verdict

    Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. asked the Eighth Circuit on Wednesday to overturn a jury verdict finding it has to defend a cooking oil manufacturer for a fire at an Iowa country club allegedly caused by the company's soybean oil, arguing Michigan Millers was prejudiced by a delayed notification of the fire.

  • October 23, 2014

    Alabama Hotel Project A Misuse Of BP Funds, Suit Alleges

    A Louisiana environmental group filed a complaint in D.C. federal court on Thursday alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and three government departments wrongly diverted $58.5 million meant to remedy damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to help build a convention center and hotel on the Alabama coast.

  • October 23, 2014

    FDA Should Nix Drug Risk Proposal, Advocacy Group Says

    Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen argued Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should revoke a proposal that the group said would allow pharmaceutical companies to downplay the risks of medications that are indicated on their FDA-approved labels. 

Expert Analysis

  • Oil Spill Deterrence Sticks In Australian Court

    Jacinta Studdert

    Newcastle Port Corporation v. MS Magdalene Schiffahrtsgesellschaft MBH shows the New South Wales Land and Environment Court's willingness to impose substantial fines for marine pollution offenses and is a useful illustration of the court's approach to sentencing in such matters, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia.

  • An Associate's Perspective On Business Development

    Jason Idilbi

    Let’s face it: Taking friends or acquaintances to Justin Timberlake concerts or golf at the Ocean Course is not how we as law firm associates are going to develop business. Our primary value comes not from out-of-office networking jaunts but from bearing a laboring oar for our partners. Which is why our best approach to business development is more likely from the inside out, says Jason Idilbi of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

  • The Scarlet Letter Of Self-Stigmatized Property

    James M. Sabovich

    To the extent that homeowners or their lawyers attempt to further drive down real estate prices of contaminated property — and drive up recoverable damages — it is a double-edged sword. If successful, they will increase recovery and attendant contingency fees. If they fail, they may leave an owner with self-stigmatized property, say lawyers with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Testing Texas CGL Coverage For 3rd-Party Products

    Kristin C. Cummings

    In U.S. Metals Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., perhaps the most significant issue to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court is whether the incorporation of a defective product into other property constitutes “physical injury” to other component parts of the property, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a civil subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Random Selection Is Best For MDL Bellwether Trials

    Matthew A. Holian

    The inadequacies of party selection are particularly troubling when compared to random selection, which yields representative plaintiffs, is fair to both sides, and also produces valuable information for courts and litigants, say Loren Brown and Matthew Holian at DLA Piper LLP and Dov Rothman at Analysis Group Inc.

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • FDA Warning Isn't Enough Proof For Takings Claim

    Ann P. Havelka

    The Court of Federal Claims' recent decision in DiMare Fresh Inc. v. U.S. should prevent a flood of takings claims in the wake of garden-variety governmental warnings. Any other holding would have stifled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ability to issue timely and potentially life-saving health warnings to the public, say Ann Havelka and Jara Settles of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • The Learned Intermediary Doctrine: A Historical Review

    Keri L. Arnold

    In the last 15 years, a few courts have expressed greater resistance to the protection the learned intermediary doctrine provides pharmaceutical companies given the way medications are prescribed and advertised since the rule was originally developed, say Keri Arnold and Sarah Duncan of Arnold & Porter LLP.