Product Liability

  • October 5, 2015

    Colorado Pot Grower Hit With Suit Over Fungicide Use

    A Colorado commercial marijuana grower was hit with a proposed class action Monday in a Denver court alleging the company failed to warn customers that it sprayed its plants with an unapproved fungicide that breaks down into hydrogen cyanide, a well-known poison, when heated with a standard lighter.

  • October 5, 2015

    General Mills Recalls 1.8M Cheerios Boxes For Gluten Risk

    Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc. is recalling boxes of original Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal produced at one of its California facilities, saying wheat flour may have accidentally made its way into the gluten-free labeled products.

  • October 5, 2015

    Oil Rig Salvage Cos. Defend Injury Coverage At 5th Circ.

    Two companies in charge of decommissioning an oil rig when a worker was injured want the Fifth Circuit to uphold a lower court's ruling that the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act did not block insurance coverage for the accident as a result of the wells being inactive.

  • October 5, 2015

    Ex-NFLer Says Retirement Plan Delayed Concussion Benefits

    A former NFL player hit the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan and the Retirement Plan Board with a suit in Maryland federal court claiming the plan wrongfully delayed an award of total and permanent disability benefits for physical an cognitive disabilities suffered as a result of injuries from playing in the NFL. 

  • October 5, 2015

    Tobacco Cos. Should Be Punished, Jurors Told In Death Trial

    The family of a five-pack-a-day smoker who died of lung cancer urged a Florida jury Monday to award punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris in addition to the $1 million compensatory verdict it returned last week, saying the tobacco companies still haven't taken responsibility for wrongdoing.

  • October 5, 2015

    Jury Places Blame On Smoker, Makes RJR Pay Just $5K

    A Florida jury on Monday found a Polish-American immigrant who died of lung cancer 98 percent responsible for her own lung cancer death, returning a paltry $5,000 verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

  • October 5, 2015

    NHL Wants Players To Explain Studies In Concussion MDL

    The NHL on Monday asked the Minnesota federal court overseeing multidistrict litigation over concussions filed by former players to force the players to explain their positions on studies that the players say put the league on notice of the dangers of concussions.

  • October 5, 2015

    11th Circ. Defect Notice Case May Curb Out-Of-Court Deals

    The Eleventh Circuit is grappling with a building contractor's appeal of a Florida federal judge's ruling that a construction defect claim notice isn't a covered suit under a commercial general liability policy, and attorneys say that an affirmance could lead policyholders to abandon presuit proceedings for fear of incurring steep out-of-pocket costs.

  • October 5, 2015

    High Court Won't Review CERCLA Deference Dispute

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Ninth Circuit finding that district courts must more closely analyze states’ Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act settlements.

  • October 5, 2015

    Mold Covered By Texas Co.'s Liability Policy, Ill. Court Says

    An Illinois state appeals court has found that the negligence claims of a group of Texas government employees who sued their building’s constructor over mold exposure are covered under the construction company’s insurance policy, reversing a lower court’s earlier decision that mold was excluded from the policy.

  • October 5, 2015

    Kinder Morgan Companies Strike $20M MTBE Deal With NJ

    Companies under the umbrella of Kinder Morgan Inc. will pay $20 million to New Jersey to exit federal litigation in which dozens of companies have been accused of polluting state waters with methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, a gasoline additive, according to a notice in the state register on Monday.

  • October 5, 2015

    Supreme Court Won't Hear $2.7M Railway Seat Liability Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeal of both a manufacturer and refurbisher of seats on Canadian Pacific Railway trains that were found potentially liable for $2.7 million by the Third Circuit for supplying allegedly defective seats that led to train employee injuries.

  • October 5, 2015

    Austria Railway Case Brings Wall St. Risks, Justices Told

    The attorney for a woman injured on Austria’s national railway told the U.S. Supreme Court during arguments Monday that granting the country immunity from her personal injury suit would cause uncertainty in the financial world by making it harder for companies to sue foreign governments over complex deals.

  • October 5, 2015

    Welch Tells Court Labeling Plaintiffs Torpedoed Own Claims

    Welch Foods told a California federal court two shoppers who allege they were duped by Welch's jam and juice labels have undermined their own proposed class claims under oath and urged the court to rule on the facts at hand.

  • October 5, 2015

    ‘Flushable’ Wipe Class Actions Stayed Pending FTC Inquiry

    A New York federal judge on Monday ordered a stay in six proposed false labeling class action accusing Procter & Gamble, Costco, CVS and others of selling “flushable” wipes that clog pipes, stating that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently evaluating the meaning of the term.

  • October 5, 2015

    Whole Foods Ducks Most Claims In 'Natural' Foods Suit

    A California federal judge recently axed the majority of claims in a proposed class action accusing Whole Foods of misleadingly labeling its 365 Everyday Value products as "natural" and containing evaporated cane juice, saying it’s implausible that a sugar-conscious consumer like the plaintiff would have been misled.

  • October 5, 2015

    Ford Fights More Discovery In Sudden-Acceleration Suit

    A magistrate judge’s order allowing additional discovery in a proposed sudden-acceleration class action should be set aside, Ford told a West Virginia federal judge Friday, arguing that it’s been working hard to keep up with the flood of discovery demands but that “enough is enough.”

  • October 5, 2015

    High Court Declines Challenge To Rolls-Royce Forum Transfer

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear Petroleum Helicopters Inc.’s appeal of a Fifth Circuit decision to allow Rolls-Royce Corp. to separate the claims against it in a helicopter crash suit and have the case tried in Indiana.

  • October 5, 2015

    J&J Wins 1st Trial Over Prosima Pelvic Mesh

    A Texas state court jury on Monday cleared Johnson & Johnson of liability in the first trial over the company's Prosima pelvic mesh device, rejecting claims the device was defectively designed and that the company didn't adequately warn consumers about the risks involved.

  • October 5, 2015

    High Court Won't Hear Purina Appeal In Tainted Treat Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court won't consider whether an injunction in a proposed federal class action blocked a Missouri state suit over allegedly poisonous dog treats, declining Nestle Purina's petition for review of a Seventh Circuit decision on Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • 7th Circ. Stands Out On Ascertainability Of Class Actions

    Geoffrey M. Wyatt

    The logic behind the Seventh Circuit's explicit break with its sister courts in Mullins v. Direct Digital LLC over the “heightened” ascertainability requirement is predicated largely on its view that the preservation of consumer class actions involving low-cost products is a policy imperative that outweighs manageability and fairness concerns, says Geoffrey Wyatt of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • It Is Time For A Comprehensive Auto Whistleblower Act

    Alexis H. Ronickher

    In light of the Volkswagen AG fraudulent diesel emissions scandal, there is no defensible reason why auto whistleblowers should not have the same protections as those in other critical regulatory areas, particularly given the industry’s history of disregard for public safety and the law, says Alexis Ronickher of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • The Minefield Of E-Cigarette Labeling And Promotion

    Eric N. Heyer

    The ruling in the NJOY Inc. Consumer Class Action Litigation and a recently proposed rule by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicate that e-cigarette advertising claims that suggest or emphasize specific chemical, physical and toxicological effects may be subject to increased scrutiny, say Eric Heyer and Neelam Gill of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • A Case Study On How To Decertify Common Defect Classes

    Emily L. Pincow

    The arguments the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas accepted in Shane Galitsky v. Samsung Telecommunications America LLC when denying certification of a class of California smartphone consumers may also be applicable in other consumer class actions attempting to certify a class on the basis of a common defect, says Emily Pincow of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Using The Unfortunate Event Test For NY Insurance Claims

    Larry P. Schiffer

    When insurance policy language does not evince an intent to aggregate separate incidents or claims into a single accident or occurrence, New York courts turn to the unfortunate events test to determine whether claims should be aggregated, which raises interesting questions about the accident or occurrence language used by insurance companies, says Larry Schiffer at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • OPINION: Paul Harvey, RIP


    After recently hearing a young trial lawyer start his opening statement with the Paul Harvey approach, I feel motivated to set out the reasons why defense lawyers should not use this technique anymore, says Dr. Ross Laguzza of R&D Strategic Solutions.

  • Lessons From Key Players In Guidant MDL

    Ten years after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created the Guidant Corp. Implantable Defibrillators Products Liability MDL and assigned it to Judge Donovan Frank in the District of Minnesota, the litigation’s key players returned to Minnesota to reflect on the lessons learned. See what the judges, lien administrator, and plaintiffs and defense counsel had to say.

  • Disease Outbreaks May Bode Ill For Your GCL Coverage

    Michael H. Sampson

    This summer in New York there was an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, allegedly caused by a hotel's cooling towers, that killed 12 people and made 100 others sick. If a business is hit with third-party lawsuits over a disease outbreak, are they covered by their commercial general liability policy? ask Michael Sampson and Caitlin Garber at Reed Smith LLP.

  • Insurance Chain Reaction From The Tianjin Port Explosion

    Matthew J. Gollinger

    The recent Tianjin port explosion will lead to massive supply chain disruption — which will no doubt impact the 285 Fortune 500 companies with offices there — and trigger countless master policies and global insurance programs written out of the United States due to large-scale contingent business interruption losses, say Matthew Gollinger and Qianwei Fu at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • A Cybersecurity Checklist For In-House Counsel

    Barry J. Coyne

    This summer saw a number of reports of alleged cybersecurity breaches in Internet-connected devices. Given the interconnectedness of products and the fact that manufacturers do not have end-to-end control of device networks, in-house counsel should craft a checklist to defend against security breach claims, regulatory violation allegations, or injury or damage lawsuits, say attorneys at Reed Smith LLP.