Product Liability

  • February 21, 2017

    Sunken Cargo Ship Owners Settle 17 Claims In Dispute

    The owners of the S.S. El Faro, a cargo ship that sank near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in 2015, have settled 17 claims brought by a variety of companies and the families of some of the crew members who died, according to documents filed Tuesday in Florida federal court.

  • February 21, 2017

    In Show-Me State, Plaintiffs May Have To Show More

    A number of proposed bills in the Missouri state Legislature could make litigation more costly and time-consuming for plaintiffs bringing product liability suits following the successful campaign of Gov. Eric Greitens, who ran on a pro-business platform and is likely to sign such legislation into law.

  • February 21, 2017

    J&J Plaintiff Didn't Test For Cancer Risk Genes, Jury Hears

    The closely watched talc trial against Johnson & Johnson continued Tuesday with a grueling cross-examination of a Harvard epidemiologist who was asked why, if cancer survivor Nora Daniels was so interested in pinpointing the cause of her ovarian cancer, she has avoided a key genetic test.

  • February 21, 2017

    6th Circ. Upholds Abbott Labs' Depakote Birth Defect Win

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday turned down a request for a new trial by a mother alleging that her child's birth defects were caused by Abbott Laboratories Inc.'s anti-seizure drug Depakote, saying that her arguments about what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have done were too speculative.

  • February 21, 2017

    VW Says 470K Diesel Cars In UK Now Fixed

    A Volkswagen executive in the U.K. told lawmakers there on Monday that the automaker has fixed nearly half a million diesel vehicles out of the 1.2 million cars in the country caught up in the emissions scandal and that British customers weren’t misled about emissions.

  • February 21, 2017

    Ex-NFL Players Can’t Reassert RICO Claim In Painkiller Suit

    A group of former NFL players who claim the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers can’t get more time to amend their proposed class action in order to assert a fresh racketeering claim through the addition of a new player, a California federal judge ruled Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2017

    FDA Warning Wire: Pfizer Lapse Boosts Teva Blockbuster

    A newly disclosed warning letter to Pfizer is setting off a chain reaction that will likely delay a generic version of Teva’s blockbuster Copaxone, one of the world’s best-selling drugs. Here’s a look at the remarkable development and other U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings announced in recent days.

  • February 21, 2017

    Justices Won't Hear BNSF Conductor Death Appeal

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review the New Mexico Supreme Court’s finding that BNSF Railway Co. can be held liable for the death of a conductor who reportedly fell off a train operating within the speed limit.

  • February 21, 2017

    Limited Exposure Dooms Nissan False Ad Class, Judge Says

    A California federal judge has refused to grant class certification to Nissan Infiniti owners who sued the automaker over entertainment systems that allegedly didn’t live up to advertised promises, finding that Nissan’s advertising wasn’t widespread enough to presume all possible class members actually saw and relied on it.

  • February 21, 2017

    Chemical Overload Killed Fresenius Patient, Jury Told

    A North Carolina man died from an excess of chemical ingredients in the Fresenius drug NaturaLyte, an expert witness testified Tuesday in a bellwether trial over the medication.

  • February 21, 2017

    Justices Won't Hear Appeal Of Zenith ERISA Verdict

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a pension fund’s appeal of the dismissal of its claims Zenith American Solutions mismanaged $2.4 million of its funds.

  • February 21, 2017

    Supreme Court Won't Hear Law Firm's Avandia Fund Dispute

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it would not hear arguments following a Third Circuit decision forcing a law firm to set aside a share of proceeds into a common benefit fund after helping settle a batch of product liability suits in Illinois over GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s diabetes drug Avandia.

  • February 21, 2017

    Feds Push Back At Exhibits In Meningitis Murder Trial

    Prosecutors on Monday asked a Massachusetts federal judge to exclude exhibits showing the layout of a compounding pharmacy linked to the deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak, saying that the diagrams — created by the defense team for a pharmacist facing murder charges — are misleading.

  • February 21, 2017

    Keurig Pays $5.8M To End CPSC Probe Over Burning Brewers

    Keurig Green Mountain Inc. has struck a $5.8 million deal with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to end allegations that the company knew a defect in its coffee makers was giving customers second- and third-degree burns but didn't take any action, the agency said Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2017

    Syngenta MDL Class Counsel Want Other Firms To Butt Out

    Class counsel for a nationwide group of corn producers, as well as groups from eight states, in multidistrict litigation over Syngenta’s allegedly false promotion of genetically modified corn accused several law firms of trying to steal their clients, asking a Kansas federal court Friday to direct the firms to stay away.

  • February 21, 2017

    Navistar Says Bus Co.'s RICO Suit Is A Nonstarter

    An Illinois school bus company’s latest complaint claiming Navistar International Corp. ran a racketeering enterprise involving the sale of buses with defective brakes and engines is just as flawed as the one a federal judge dismissed in December, Navistar has told the court.

  • February 21, 2017

    High Court Won't Hear $400M Petrobras Suit Appeal

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review the question of whether the Fifth Circuit applied the wrong laws when it revived a $400 million suit against Vicinay Cadenas over the failure of an allegedly faulty marine chain at an offshore oil and gas facility.

  • February 21, 2017

    High Court Rejects Plane Parts FCA Revival

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to take on a would-be whistleblower’s False Claims Act suit, repeatedly rejected by the Fifth Circuit, accusing government contractors such as Northrop Grumman Corp. and Bombardier Inc. of reusing aircraft parts from a crashed plane.

  • February 21, 2017

    Samsung Says 4 Exploding Phone Suits Too Few For MDL

    Samsung Electronics America Inc. and a party suing it have both formally opposed consolidating four proposed class actions in New York and California into multidistrict litigation alleging that Samsung has ignored overheating dangers in models other than the Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled after dozens burst into flames.

  • February 17, 2017

    9th Circ. Doubts Timeliness Of Amgen Off-Label Sales Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Friday seemed skeptical that a proposed class action alleging Amgen pushed off-label uses of an anemia drug was filed within the statute of limitations, repeatedly asking whether the clock started running when the plaintiff and others filed a separate suit over the drug’s pricing years earlier.

Expert Analysis

  • Jurors In Toxic Tort Litigation Take Genetics Seriously

    David Schwartz

    Can jurors grasp the role of genetics in personal injury claims alleged to arise from exposure to specific chemicals? A recent asbestos trial featured a discussion of the plaintiff's genetic mutations as a factor in her mesothelioma. Trial lawyers should be thinking about how juries understand cancer, genetics and disease causation, say David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions and Kirk Hartley of LSP Group LLC.

  • How A Guacamole Lawsuit Exposes FDA's 'Natural' Ambiguity

    Elizabeth Boggia

    While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has generally not objected to the use of the term "natural" to describe foods that do not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances, the agency has yet to offer a specific definition of the word. Not surprisingly, this uncertainty has led to litigation, most recently over guacamole, says Elizabeth Boggia of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • CPSC Civil Penalties: A Statistical Analysis

    Jonathan Judge

    In 2015, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye announced that he had directed CPSC staff to seek “double-digit” penalties from companies found to be in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act. Kaye appears to have accomplished his stated goal — a statistical analysis of agency fines shows that companies are being punished more severely than before, says Jonathan Judge of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Individual Defense In The Shadow Of Corporate Guilty Pleas

    Jessica K. Nall

    Corporate guilty pleas can be expected to have serious implications for the individual executives and employees alleged to have been involved in the conduct under scrutiny. But whether their corporate employer pleads guilty or pursues an alternative resolution, there are other factors at play that can make a bigger difference to the eventual outcome for individuals, say Jessica Nall and Janice Reicher of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • My Strangest Day In Court: When My Expert Had A Meltdown

    Esther Holm

    As I was going through one of the plaintiff’s claims — post-traumatic stress disorder — with my expert witness, the good doctor could not even recall the elements of the disorder! Then, suddenly, he pointed his finger at a young juror, remembers Esther Holm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • California Omissions Claims: Safety Required?

    David Stein

    California has the nation’s most powerful consumer protection statutes, but in recent years, the state’s federal courts have imposed a major constraint on omission claims brought under those statutes. The good news for consumers is that recent developments suggest this constrictive view of California consumer protection law is ending, say David Stein and Amanda Karl of Girard Gibbs LLP.

  • Long-Arm Jurisdiction In Missouri And Beyond: Part 2

    Angela Higgins

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear that contact-based specific personal jurisdiction requires that a particular plaintiff’s claim arise out of the defendant’s contacts with the forum state. Still, California, Missouri and some other jurisdictions have let nonresidents use their states to litigate disputes that are wholly unrelated to defendants’ conduct within the state, says Angela Higgins of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC.