Product Liability

  • January 26, 2015

    Insurer Says Oil Well Co. Not Covered For $23M Blowout Suit

    Evanston Insurance Co. sued a well operations consultant in Louisiana federal court Monday, saying policies it issued to the company won't cover a $23 million suit claiming the company’s negligence caused a July 2012 well blowout because the claims were filed too late or otherwise excluded.

  • January 26, 2015

    Chiquita Says Plaintiffs May Have Paid Colombian Witnesses

    Chiquita Brands International Inc. told a Florida federal court on Friday it had unearthed “disturbing evidence” that suggests its adversaries may have paid tens of thousands of dollars to imprisoned Colombian paramilitary members to influence testimony in multidistrict litigation seeking to hold the company responsible for murders allegedly committed by the groups.

  • January 26, 2015

    Consumer Class Wins Cert. In Scotts False Ad Suit

    A New York federal judge on Monday granted class certification to class action accusing The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. Inc. of falsely advertising a line of grass seed, though he declined to certify the class for injunctive relief.

  • January 26, 2015

    BP's Deepwater Response Was 'Extraordinary,' Witnesses Say

    Witnesses for BP Exploration and Production Inc. on Monday called the company’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster “extraordinary,” as the oil giant began its case in the penalty phase over its responsibility for the 2010 well blowout.

  • January 26, 2015

    KBR Seeks 10th Circ. Rehearing in $2M Pipeline Pollution Row

    Kellogg, Brown & Root LLC on Friday said the Tenth Circuit had improperly discounted its arguments that an agreement with a construction company, which indemnified it from $2 million in claims arising from work on a Texas pipeline, satisfied the Lone Star state’s fair-notice requirement, and reiterated its bid for a rehearing.

  • January 26, 2015

    GM Ignition Switch Deaths Climb To 50

    The administrator for the General Motors Co. ignition switch compensation fund has approved 50 claims for death and 75 for injuries, according to a report he issued Monday, days before the fund's Jan. 31 cutoff for claims applications.

  • January 26, 2015

    J&J Didn’t Warn Of Risperdal Breast-Growth Risk, Jury Told

    A treating physician told a Philadelphia jury on Monday that a Johnson & Johnson unit had not informed him about the risks associated with the antipsychotic drug Risperdal before he prescribed medication to a 7-year-old autistic boy who went on to grow female breasts.

  • January 26, 2015

    Wal-Mart Gun Appeal Could Unleash Shareholder Fights

    The Third Circuit could open companies up to a flood of shareholder proposals impacting routine business decisions if it rules against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a dispute over its sale of guns, an outcome attorneys say would disrupt three decades of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guidance.

  • January 26, 2015

    FDA Taps Duke Research Expert To Head Drug, Tobacco Unit

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has enlisted the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute to head its Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, the agency said Monday, amid its proposal last year to expand tobacco oversight to include novel products including e-cigarettes.  

  • January 26, 2015

    Expert In Zoloft MDL Was Properly Excluded, Judge Says

    A Pennsylvania federal judge Friday declined to reconsider her decision barring a plaintiffs' causation expert from multidistrict litigation against Pfizer Inc. over Zoloft’s alleged link to birth defects, saying she had properly considered the expert's methodology without overemphasizing its lack of statistically significant findings.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Denies River Shipper's Oil Pollution Act Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition brought by river shipping company American Commercial Lines LLC on whether the Oil Pollution Act trumps general maritime law in a suit seeking to recover payments the U.S. made to two oil cleanup companies after a 2008 accident.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Urged To Limit 'Risk-Contribution' Liability

    DuPont Co., The Sherwin-Williams Co. Inc. and other former manufacturers of a lead-based paint pigment urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Seventh Circuit decision holding them responsible for causing a child's injuries under a “risk-contribution” theory, saying the appeals court unconstitutionally imposed liability without a meaningful causation requirement.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Rejects Ex-BP Exec's Appeal In Obstruction Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday summarily refused to hear an appeal by a former BP PLC executive accused of lying about how much oil was spilling after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, letting stand a Fifth Circuit ruling that revived a criminal obstruction of Congress charge against him.

  • January 26, 2015

    Calif. Appeals Court Limits Negligence Claims

    A California Court of Appeal held in a case of first impression that defendants who gave medical treatment can’t reduce their liability for harm caused by their negligence by ascribing fault to the plaintiff for causing the injury in the first place.

  • January 26, 2015

    Workers Say ConAgra Wrongly Avoided $160M Injury Verdict

    Grain workers and a salvage contractor have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a decision releasing ConAgra Foods Inc. from a $160 million jury verdict stemming from an Illinois grain mill’s explosion, saying the appeals court created a new defense doctrine that replaces existing Illinois law.

  • January 26, 2015

    Justices Keep $24M Capeco Insurance Distribution Intact

    A Caribbean Petroleum Corp. co-defendant in litigation over the terminal explosion that pushed the oil company into Chapter 11 failed Monday to obtain U.S. Supreme Court review of a bankruptcy decision denying tort claimants priority access to $24 million in related insurance proceeds.

  • January 26, 2015

    Exxon Gets Oil Pipeline Spill Penalty Trimmed To $1M

    Federal pipeline safety regulators on Friday fined an ExxonMobil Corp. unit $1 million in connection with a 2011 pipeline failure that dumped more than 60,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River, a $700,000 reduction from the $1.7 million fine originally proposed in 2013.

  • January 23, 2015

    Product Liability Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown

    Mayer Brown LLP was behind some of the year's biggest pharmaceutical decisions, including the Sixth Circuit's rejection of multidistrict litigation over generic versions of the painkillers Darvocet and Darvon and an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shielding branded-drug makers from injuries caused by generics, landing the firm among Law360's Product Liability Groups of the Year.

  • January 23, 2015

    Visteon's Bid For $8M Pollution Coverage Axed By 7th Circ.

    The Seventh Circuit refused on Friday to order National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh to cover auto parts supplier Visteon Corp. for $8 million in cleanup and litigation costs over pollution from an Indiana plant, saying a key carveout from the pollution exclusion does not apply.

  • January 23, 2015

    Garlock Claims Of Dirty Tactics To Renew Transparency Push

    Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's adversary suits unsealed this month target prominent asbestos plaintiffs attorneys with detailed allegations about their misconduct — including that they persuaded mesothelioma victims to lie about their asbestos exposure — a development attorneys say will fuel the defense bar's push for transparency that has lagged since last year's landmark ruling in the gasket maker's bankruptcy case.

Expert Analysis

  • Generic Drug Cos. Face Failure-To-Warn Claims In Calif.

    Erin M. Bosman

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent denial to hear an appeal involving failure-to-warn claims against generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in Teva Pharms. USA Inc. v. Super. Ct. provides California plaintiffs claiming injury from generic drugs with a trifecta of liability theories, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Wis. High Court Case Will Impact Farm Insurance Policies

    Cameron F. Field

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling in Wilson Mutual Insurance Co. v. Falk, which holds that manure contaminating a well is a “pollutant” and is not covered under a farm's general liability insurance policy, should prompt policyholders to understand how a policy defines pollutant. The case may be informative in states that have yet to hear a similar case, say attorneys at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

  • Whirlpool Case Is Instructive Of Rule 23(a) Requirements

    Ruben F. Reyna

    Day v. Whirlpool Corp. underscores the importance of Rule 23(a) criteria for class certification and the rigorous analysis district courts will undertake when certification is sought for settlement. Since movants made short shrift of numerosity and adequate representation, they failed to satisfy Rule 23(a) requirements, says Ruben Reyna of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Fukushima Case May Impact Global Nuclear Liability Law

    Lynn K. McKay

    Although laws addressing nuclear risk in both Japan and the U.S. provide for liability channeling and consolidation of claims in the court where a nuclear incident occurs, the ruling in Cooper v. Tokyo Electric Power Company leaves open the possibility that the lawsuit could be tried outside the country under state common law instead of nuclear liability law, say Lynn McKay and Scott Greer of King & Spalding LLP.

  • A Shift In Discoverability Of Litigation Hold Notices?

    Mathieu J. Shapiro

    There is no one-size-fits-all litigation hold notice and no magic language that will ensure the notice is covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. But in light of the D.C. District Court’s new, relaxed approach to the discoverability of such notices, be sure your next one does not include confidential company information that you would regret sharing, say attorneys with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP.

  • 5 Important Drug And Medical Device Developments In 2014

    Christine R. M. Kain

    Reflecting on some of the most important legal developments in the drug and medical device industries in 2014, litigation over free speech, differential diagnosis requirements, adverse event reporting, preemption and innovator liability will continue to be hotbeds of activity, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Calif. Poised To Take Another Look At Secondary Exposure

    Brian M. Davies

    Since Campbell v. Ford Motor Co., parties have parsed the ruling's language to ferret out the true limits of secondary exposure liability, which the California Supreme Court has earnestly taken up with its pending review of Kesner v. Superior Court and Haver v. BNSF Railway Co., says Brian Davies of Sedgwick LLP.

  • FDA Sets A High Bar When Considering Food Additive Bans

    Julie K. Tibbets

    Given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent rejection of requests to ban both aspartame and bisphenol A, it follows that future requests to ban or limit the amount of additives in a particular product will be met with a high level of scrutiny and contemplation from the agency, say Aliyya Haque and Julie Tibbets of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • MDL Strategies: Choosing A Transferee Court

    Kyle G.A. Wallace

    While the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation may transfer MDL proceedings to a district judge in any of the 94 federal judicial districts, in most cases there are a handful of districts that stand out as the most appropriate forums. Parties facing consolidated litigation should carefully consider both the administrative and substantive impact of each possible district and district court judge, say Kyle Wallace and Kristen B... (continued)