Product Liability

  • November 20, 2014

    Big Tobacco Says Using Engle Findings Violates Federal Law

    R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. on Thursday argued before the Eleventh Circuit that Engle progeny plaintiffs cannot rely on the findings of that landmark suit to establish their strict liability and negligence claims against the tobacco companies because it violates federal law.

  • November 20, 2014

    Product Liability MVP: Sidley Austin's Sherry Knutson

    Drawing on her knack for simplifying complicated science and regulatory jargon, Sherry Knutson of Sidley Austin LLP helped Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. escape liability in the first jury trial among thousands of Illinois lawsuits blaming the company’s diabetes drug Actos for causing bladder cancer, earning her a spot among Law360’s Product Liability MVPs.

  • November 20, 2014

    Siemens Avoids Liability For Texas Gas Plant Explosion

    Siemens Energy Inc. is not liable for a 2011 gas plant explosion that left an electrician severely burned, a Texas state jury found on Thursday, in a verdict that held the plant’s owner and an engineering firm responsible for the accident.

  • November 20, 2014

    Porter Hayden, AIG Insurers Ink $15M Asbestos Coverage Deal

    Defunct Porter Hayden Co. sought approval Thursday for a $15 million settlement of its asbestos injury coverage dispute with two American International Group Inc. insurers, telling a Maryland federal judge the deal will shield the insurers from future litigation over the asbestos claims and immediately benefit claimants.

  • November 20, 2014

    Ex-CEO Of Massey Coal Pleads Not Guilty In Mine Blast

    Ex-Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship reportedly pled not guilty in West Virginia federal court Thursday to criminal charges of spurring on the safety failures found to have killed 29 miners in a 2010 explosion and of lying to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • November 20, 2014

    Allergan Hit With $6.5M Verdict In Off-Label Botox Suit

    A Vermont federal jury decided on Thursday that Allergan Inc. must pay $6.5 million to the parents of a 6-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who suffered seizures after receiving off-label Botox treatment for his mild muscle spasticity.

  • November 20, 2014

    Reinsurer's Liability Capped In Utica Asbestos Claims Suit

    Clearwater Insurance Co.'s liability under two reinsurance contracts with Utica Mutual Insurance Co. can't exceed $7.5 million, a New York federal judge ruled Thursday in Utica's suit seeking a declaration that the reinsurer must contribute toward a settlement with Goulds Pump Inc. over thousands of asbestos injury claims.

  • November 20, 2014

    Fluor Strikes Deal With Contractor In $17M Hot Shower Suit

    Fluor Intercontinental Inc. reached a confidential settlement with a worker who won $17.3 million in a suit that alleged he was severely burned by showers at a compound in Baghdad, leading a Texas appellate court on Wednesday to reverse and render a take-nothing judgment.

  • November 20, 2014

    Pa. Justices Uphold $500K Government Damages Cap

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a state law capping tort liabilities for political subdivisions at $500,000, releasing a school district from a $14 million jury verdict granted to a student injured in a bus accident.

  • November 20, 2014

    La. Fears BP Penalty Trial Will Affect Separate State Case

    The state of Louisiana told a federal judge that it is concerned that BP PLC will submit evidence on the state’s damage in the penalty phase of the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation, saying that the state won’t be able to rebut evidence critical to the state’s damages case.

  • November 20, 2014

    Judge Scolds Kirkland & Ellis Attys In Ranbaxy-FDA Row

    A D.C. federal judge on Thursday rebuked Kirkland & Ellis LLP attorneys for allegedly withholding information from the court and opposing counsel, an unusual turn in a fast-moving fight between Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • November 20, 2014

    Takata Tells Senate Panel It Didn't Cover Up Air Bag Defect

    A Takata Corp. executive speaking before a hostile U.S. Senate panel on Thursday denied reports that the company concealed defects in its air bags before issuing a massive set of recalls beginning in 2008, while automaker executives agreed to expedite the replacement of the Takata parts in their vehicles.

  • November 20, 2014

    Amputation Reports Spur Graco To Recall 4.7M Strollers

    Car-seat maker Graco Children's Products Inc. is recalling some 4.7 million strollers in the U.S. and more than 200,000 in Canada after receiving nearly a dozen reports of finger injuries including fingertip amputation, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

  • November 20, 2014

    Pa. High Court Rejects 3rd Tort Restatement

    In a ruling with significant implications on product liability law in the state, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to redirect the focus in these cases from products themselves to the responsibilities of the manufacturer, while electing to alter the framework for jury instructions.

  • November 20, 2014

    Boston Scientific Slammed With $18.5M Verdict In Mesh Trial

    A West Virginia federal jury on Thursday hit Boston Scientific Corp. with an $18.5 million verdict in the second federal trial over injuries allegedly caused by its pelvic mesh devices, days after the company was slapped with a $26.7 million verdict in Florida over a different pelvic mesh product.

  • November 20, 2014

    Ariz. Launches $3B Suit Against GM Over Safety Defects

    The state of Arizona hit General Motors Co. with a $3 billion suit on Wednesday claiming that the car manufacturer had violated the state’s consumer protection laws by allegedly concealing serious safety defects and deliberately endangering the public by valuing cost-cutting over safety.

  • November 19, 2014

    Honda Repair Deal OK'd In Faulty Side Air Bag Class Action

    Honda North America Inc. on Wednesday won final approval in California federal court for its settlement of a class action alleging some Honda Accord side air bags deploy inadvertently, with the automaker agreeing to make repairs worth more than $6 million on thousands of affected vehicles.

  • November 19, 2014

    Obama Taps New NHTSA Chief Amid Takata Recall Push

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he plans to nominate a member of the government’s transportation safety board to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration amid the agency’s push for a nationwide recall of Takata Corp. air bags for a defect that causes them to explode.

  • November 19, 2014

    NHL Says Former Players' Concussion Claims Are Too Late

    The National Hockey League on Tuesday sought to dismiss claims in the consolidated concussion litigation in Minnesota federal court, arguing that the claims by retired hockey players do not meet the statute of limitations for personal injury negligence and fraud claims in the respective states where they originally sued.

  • November 19, 2014

    NIH Seeks Clinical Trial Data For Unapproved Products

    The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday proposed requiring drug and device makers to start disclosing clinical trial results for unapproved products, a highly significant expansion of reporting obligations.

Expert Analysis

  • Paper Chase: Winning The Removal Race

    Alan E. Rothman

    The First Circuit's ruling in October in a wage-and-hour dispute — Romulus v. CVS Pharmacy Inc. — broadens the type of docementation that will permit removal of a class action to federal court and provides defendants with yet another valuable tool in winning the removal race, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Solace For Wis. Suppliers Over Defective Components

    Jeffrey O. Davis

    Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. LLC v. Nebraska Cultures of California Inc. is important for all manufacturers since the decision correctly found that defective components that ruin an end product are covered under a standard general liability policy, but with an important caveat — the fully integrated product must be ruined by the defective component, say attorneys at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • Where Lawyers Impact The Triple Bottom Line

    John Page

    Legal departments are not bystanders in corporate social responsibility efforts. They ensure compliance, infuse ethics into the decision-making process, weigh legal risks and protect the company’s reputation. With increasing business actions to address social issues, it is time for the legal community to get more involved, says John Page, chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Corporate Counsel and chief legal of... (continued)

  • Dewey Partner Clawback Ruling May Hurt New York Law Firms

    Evan C. Hollander

    Unless the recent ruling in the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP bankruptcy case is overturned on appeal or the New York Legislature amends the state’s fraudulent transfer and partnership laws, partners of New York firms will bear greater risk if their firms fail than will members of many non-New York partnerships. This risk factor might even affect decisions by prospective lateral partners about which firms to join, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Pushback Prompts FDA To Propose New Food Safety Rules

    Sonali P. Gunawardhana

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent response to objections from the food industry on proposed rules to the Food Safety Modernization Act has led to significant revisions, which include a hybrid approach toward the safety of imported food products and a tiered approach for water-quality standards, say James Czaban and Sonali Gunawardhana of Wiley Rein LLP.

  • Fighting 'Fugitive Dust' Claims With Rule 403

    Sean Patterson

    Jim Aana v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. should be used as a guideline for challenging the use of experts in "fugitive dust" claims under Rule 403 when expert testimony and other evidence of health and environmental effects have minimal relevance to a plaintiff's claims and risk confusing the jury while unnecessarily increasing the complexity and length of the trial, says Sean Patterson of Sedgwick LLP.

  • What's In A Name? When 'Just Mayo' Isn't 'Mayonnaise'

    Christopher G. Van Gundy

    Unilever's false advertising lawsuit against Hampton Creek Inc.’s “Just Mayo” trademarked brand of egg-free mayo pits an established food manufacturer with beloved brands in recognized product categories against a new company seeking to redefine or create a new category and implicates important aspects of food and advertising law, including the standards of identity in food labeling, says Christopher Van Gundy of Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • Texas Cites Other States In Fighting A Fracking Ban

    Barclay Nicholson

    Motions filed by the Texas General Land Office and Texas Oil and Gas Association against Denton's hydraulic fracturing ban demonstrate that both parties have structured their filings in a manner to align with the reasoning of courts that have invalidated local fracking bans, say Barclay Nicholson and Johnjerica Hodge of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Looking At RCRA Liability Post-Closure Care Period

    Megan R. Galey

    After years of treating concerns about the post-closure care period under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as a low priority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to address long-term post-closure concerns, which may ultimately include requirements on industry after the 30-year post-closure period, say Charles Merrill and Megan Galey of Husch Blackwell LLP.