Product Liability

  • October 21, 2014

    BP Asks 5th Circ. To Hurry $9.2B Settlement Appeal

    BP PLC asked the Fifth Circuit on Monday to expedite its bid to claw back payouts it made under a since-overturned claims calculation in its $9.2 billion settlement in the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation, saying that there won’t be any money left to recover if the appeal goes too long.

  • October 21, 2014

    Abraham Watkins Defeats BP Workers' Malpractice Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's judgment for Abraham Watkins Nichols Sorrels Agosto & Friend LLP, in a malpractice suit alleging the firm forced its clients to settle a $10 million suit stemming from a BP PLC refinery explosion for pennies on the dollar.

  • October 21, 2014

    Toyota Hit With $12.5M Verdict In Defective Seat Belt Case

    A California jury has walloped Toyota Motor Corp. with a $12.5 million verdict, finding a defectively designed lap seat belt caused a passenger riding in a sport utility vehicle that crashed into a tree in a drunk driving accident to become a paraplegic.

  • October 21, 2014

    DePuy Hip Implant Bellwether Trial Heads To Jurors In Texas

    Bringing an eight-week bellwether trial to a close in Dallas federal court, a hip implant patient on Tuesday accused Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit of putting marketing and sales before safety in its allegedly defective Pinnacle line of metal-on-metal implants.

  • October 21, 2014

    Pfizer Fights 'Do-Over' Of Plaintiff Experts In Zoloft MDL

    Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday fought what it called the plaintiffs' bid for a "do-over" on a Pennsylvania federal court's Daubert rulings in multidistrict litigation over its antidepressant Zoloft's alleged risk of birth defects, arguing that the plaintiffs should not be allowed to name a new expert after the deadline has passed.

  • October 21, 2014

    Enbridge Settles Suit Over 2010 Michigan Oil Spill

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday signed off on a settlement between Enbridge Energy Partners LP and a developer that sought damages for a 2010 oil spill that dumped more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River, putting the brakes on an upcoming jury trial.

  • October 21, 2014

    NHL Hit With Players' Consolidated Concussion Suit

    The National Hockey League was hit with a multidistrict action Monday in Minnesota federal court over concussion-related injuries, with former players accusing the league of failing to inform them about the increasing research linking concussions to serious cognitive ailments.

  • October 21, 2014

    5th Circ. Says Texas Law Trumps Toyota Faulty Air Bag Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday tossed a widower’s suit against Toyota Motor Corp. alleging that defective air bags in his wife's 2010 Highlander led to her death, saying that Texas law requires claims for manufacturing defects to cite more than just deviation from the automaker's performance standards.

  • October 21, 2014

    Mercedes Says Its Reputation Isn't Cause For Leaky AC Suit

    Mercedes-Benz USA LLC told a California federal judge on Monday that consumers’ supposed reliance on its “reputation” can't be used to pursue claims that it allegedly failed to fix leaks present in Sprinter model van air-conditioning units, asking that the class action be tossed.

  • October 21, 2014

    Stay Sought On Depositions In Philly Building Collapse Suit

    A group of defendants facing civil claims over a fatal building collapse in Center City Philadelphia urged a state judge on Monday to protect their right against self-incrimination and issue a stay while they appeal an order forcing them to give depositions as part of the litigation.

  • October 21, 2014

    Avandia User's Warranty Violation Suit Flops In 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a putative class action accusing GlaxoSmithKline PLC of violating the warranty on its diabetes drug Avandia, ruling a label declaring the drug “safe and effective” was not enough to create a warranty under New Jersey law.

  • October 21, 2014

    10th Circ. Lets Insurers Bow Out Of Pollution Exclusion Row

    The Tenth Circuit on Monday affirmed a lower court's decision that Ace American Insurance Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co. did not wrongfully deny Headwaters Resources Inc. coverage in product liability and pollution suits, saying that the policies clearly contained pollution exclusions.

  • October 21, 2014

    Toyota Inks 145 Deals In Unintended Acceleration Injury MDL

    Attorneys on both sides of multidistrict litigation over deaths and injuries caused by alleged unintended acceleration defects in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles told a California federal judge on Tuesday that the settlement process has been efficient and effective, saying more than half of nearly 250 individual lawsuits have been resolved.

  • October 21, 2014

    Exxon Blasts Feds’ Claim It’s 'Rewriting' CWA In Oil Spill Row

    Exxon Mobil Corp. on Tuesday pushed back against arguments that it seeks to “rewrite” the Clean Water Act by saying oil spill liability should be limited to oil that reaches navigable waters, arguing in Arkansas federal court that the act makes no mention of air or ground pollution.

  • October 21, 2014

    FDA Finalizes Stance On Obstructed Pharma Inspections

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday finalized new policies on oversight of drug manufacturing plants, adopting an aggressive stance on its photography powers while also describing situations in which it’s acceptable to inhibit inspections.

  • October 21, 2014

    Special Master To Helm Walgreen Fee Fight In Pfizer MDL

    A New Jersey federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over whether Pfizer Inc. conspired to bar competition for its epilepsy treatment Neurontin and promoted off-label uses on Monday appointed a special master to handle a dispute over attorneys' fees between opt-out plaintiff Walgreen Co. and class counsel.

  • October 21, 2014

    Canada, Mexico Ready To Retaliate In WTO Meat Label Row

    The Canadian and Mexican governments said on Monday that they are prepared to pursue hefty economic retaliation if the U.S. will not budge from its controversial meat labeling regulations, which have now been struck down by World Trade Organization panels on three different occasions.

  • October 21, 2014

    BP’s Deepwater Pretrial Motions Under Fire From States, Feds

    The state of Alabama has asked the Louisiana federal judge overseeing multidistrict Deepwater Horizon litigation to throw out counterclaims that would subtract BP PLC expenditures from a possible judgment the state could receive in a pending trial, one of a flurry of pretrial filings from BP, federal and state governments.

  • October 20, 2014

    Bank Of England To Probe Payment Systems Crash

    The Bank of England on Monday suspended the part of its system that handles high-value daily payments between U.K. banks after the system encountered a “disruption,” prompting the bank to launch a formal investigation into what caused the crash, which held up bank transfers and home purchases.

  • October 20, 2014

    PR Team Says Texas Attys Owe $8M For Soliciting Spill Claims

    A team of public-relations specialists have filed a suit accusing a pair of Houston-based law firms and their principal attorneys of cheating them out of $7.9 million in fees for bringing the firms some 10,000 clients filing claims for damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Work Plan Signals Expanded Calif. Green Chemistry Program

    Joshua A. Bloom

    California's Safer Consumer Products Regulation will be closely watched given the potential for its broad application — indeed, following its enactment, Congress attempted to develop nationwide green chemistry initiatives, say Joshua Bloom and Christopher Jensen of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Assessing FDA Powers After A Failed 510(k) Rescinding

    Lynn C. Tyler

    It may well be a good thing that the D.C. Circuit's Ivy Sports Medicine LLC v. Burwell decision does not apply to medical devices currently under review — if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration knew it could only rescind a 510(k) clearance through the cumbersome rulemaking process it might become even more conservative about granting clearances, says Lynn Tyler of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • When Fraud, Spoliation Are Added To Asbestos Claims

    Jesse L. Morris

    The Third Circuit's recent ruling in Williams v. BASF Catalysts could prove an instructive example of how litigation may unfold when fraud and spoliation claims are brought against industrial manufacturers and their successors linked to asbestos-related illnesses and deaths, says Jesse Morris of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.