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Product Liability

  • June 18, 2019

    $1B Deal Reached Over Claims PG&E's Gear Caused Wildfires

    A group of 14 California municipal agencies announced Tuesday they have reached a $1 billion settlement of their claims against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for expenses racked up from years of wildfires blamed on the utility's equipment.

  • June 18, 2019

    Fla. Jury Awards $70M Verdict To Couple In Asbestos Suit

    A former laboratory technician at a biopharmaceutical company and his wife were awarded roughly $70 million by a Florida state jury Monday over claims he contracted mesothelioma from his exposure at work to asbestos-containing products sold by an equipment business.

  • June 18, 2019

    Okla. Opioid Deaths Have Familiar Face, J&J Trial Judge Hears

    Oklahoma's chief medical examiner testified Tuesday in the landmark opioid trial against Johnson & Johnson that fentanyl has proven such an effective and familiar killer in the state that he now calls the posture that many victims die in "the fentanyl nod."

  • June 18, 2019

    Acting CPSC Head To Step Down, Withdrawing Nomination

    The acting head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday that she is withdrawing her nomination for chairman and will step down when her term is up in October.

  • June 18, 2019

    Del. Justices Revive Investor's Blue Bell Listeria Suit

    The Delaware Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Blue Bell Creameries USA investor has shown that it's plausible to suggest the company’s officers may have failed to enact measures to protect ice cream products in connection with a deadly listeria outbreak in 2015.

  • June 18, 2019

    Doc's Dropped Defect Defense Sank Med Mal Case, Panel Told

    What the family of a woman who underwent a fatally botched brain aneurysm repair thought was a "can't lose" medical malpractice case was unfairly hobbled when the doctor accused of negligence suddenly dropped his defense blaming a defective medical device, a Superior Court of Pennsylvania panel heard Tuesday.

  • June 18, 2019

    Monsanto Looks To Whack $2B Roundup Verdict

    Monsanto urged a California judge to toss a jury’s verdict that Roundup likely caused a couple’s cancer and its staggering $2.055 billion damages award and enter judgment for the company or order a new trial, arguing the verdict was not based on evidence but on “deep passion and prejudice.”

  • June 18, 2019

    Judge Urged To Ax Lead Pa. Opioid Marketing Deception Case

    Accusations that drug manufacturers goosed opioid prescriptions by downplaying addiction risks run counter to common knowledge about the potency of the drugs, a Pennsylvania judge heard during arguments Tuesday over whether to ax the first in a glut of consolidated cases over costs local governments have borne over the drugs.

  • June 18, 2019

    Football Helmet Maker Says Ex-Player's Suicide Suit Too Late

    Football helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc. told a Texas federal court a former high school football player's family waited too long to file suit alleging that a defect in the design of its helmets led the player to kill himself after suffering brain trauma.

  • June 18, 2019

    J&J Must Face Fast-Tracked Talc Trial On Punitive Damages

    Johnson & Johnson will face a new, expedited trial to set punitive damages after a jury found last week that its talcum powder products likely contributed to a dying woman's cancer but hung on the question of punitive damages.

  • June 18, 2019

    Samarco Escapes Investor Suit Over Deadly Dam Collapse

    A New York federal judge said Tuesday that a bank branch’s proposed class action accusing a Brazilian mining company of misleading investors about the safety of an iron ore dam that collapsed in 2015 falls outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

  • June 18, 2019

    GM Aims To Hit The Brakes On Faulty Drive Shaft Suit

    General Motors LLC has asked a Florida federal judge to dump a proposed class action alleging various Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles had defective drive shafts that caused severe, unsafe vibrations at highway speeds, calling the suit a "classic example of overreach."

  • June 18, 2019

    'Clear Sailing' Atty Fees Doom Defective Headphones Deal

    A California judge has shot down a deal to end a Pasadena man's lawsuit over allegedly defective Plantronics headphones, saying a "clear sailing" attorney fee arrangement and broad liability releases caused the court to doubt the settlement's fairness. 

  • June 17, 2019

    J&J Asks Okla. Judge To Strike 'Partisan' Opioid Expert

    Johnson & Johnson urged an Oklahoma judge Monday to strike a Brandeis University opioid expert's nearly six days of testimony in the state's trailblazing trial seeking to hold the drugmaker liable for the opioid crisis, arguing that the doctor acted as a "partisan advocate" rather than an expert witness.

  • June 17, 2019

    Hyundai Drivers Denied Cert. In Sonata Brake Defect Suit

    A proposed class action against Hyundai over allegedly faulty brakes in its Sonata sedans has hit a brick wall after a New York federal court refused to certify a putative class of more than 60,000 drivers because of fundamental problems with how “plaintiffs have chosen to prosecute their case.”

  • June 17, 2019

    Fitbit Looks To Gut $7M Fees Request In Sleep-Tracker Deal

    Fitbit has asked a California federal court to slash a $7.3 million fees request from Fitbit customers' class counsel in a suit over a sleep-tracking function on fitness devices that allegedly didn't work as advertised, calling the amount "excessive, unsupported and disproportionate" to the class' recovery.

  • June 17, 2019

    Allergan Hid Breast Implants' Cancer Risks, Suit Says

    A Colorado woman who says her Allergan silicone breast implants caused her lymphoma has sued the pharmaceutical company in federal court, claiming it knew of a link between a type of cancer and the implants but did nothing to warn patients.

  • June 17, 2019

    Second Look Frees Insurer From Covering Faulty Work Claims

    A Texas federal judge has ruled Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. does not have to defend a contractor joint venture from a lawsuit over allegedly faulty work on a San Antonio-area sports complex, reversing the court’s previous decision after taking another look at the case.

  • June 17, 2019

    Calif. Man Says Monsanto Can't Ditch $80M Roundup Award

    A California man asked a Golden State federal court not to grant Monsanto's request to throw out a unanimous jury verdict that linked the company's Roundup weed killer with his cancer and awarded $80 million in damages in a bellwether trial, arguing the result was fair and should be left alone.

  • June 17, 2019

    Yamaha Sinks Suit Over WaveRunner Warnings At 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit on Monday upheld a finding that a New Jersey woman who was severely injured in a WaveRunner accident offered no evidence at trial that Yamaha Motor Corp. had placed warning labels on the personal watercraft where riders couldn't see them.

  • June 17, 2019

    Insys Hit With Nationwide Opioid Class Claim In Ch. 11

    Bankrupt Insys Therapeutics was hit Monday with a motion seeking recognition of a proposed nationwide class of privately insured consumers, who say the "scourge of opioid abuse" unleashed by the opioid maker jacked up their premiums.

  • June 17, 2019

    Fla. Justices Split Attys With New Expert Witness Standard

    Injury defense attorneys in Florida were pleasantly surprised by the state high court's recent adoption of the federal Daubert standard for expert witness testimony, saying it provides parties with a mechanism to challenge conclusory expert opinions, but the plaintiffs bar warned that the out-of-the-blue shift could drive up costs and lead to frivolous litigation.

  • June 17, 2019

    VW Franchisees Seek Class Cert. In Bosch RICO Action

    A group of Volkswagen franchised dealers asked a California federal judge Friday to certify their proposed class action accusing auto parts maker Bosch of developing the emissions-cheating devices in Volkswagen's "clean diesel" vehicles, which were left unsellable after the 2015 scandal broke.

  • June 17, 2019

    PSEG Must Face Damages Trial Over Fire Displacement

    New Jersey homeowners may pursue damages against Public Service Electric & Gas Co. for the loss of use of their residences after a downed power line ignited fires that displaced them for months, even though they've already received compensation from their insurers, a state appeals court said Monday in a published opinion.

  • June 17, 2019

    Apple Loses Atty DQ Bid In IPhone Performance Case

    A California federal judge on Friday rejected Apple's bid to disqualify co-lead counsel in a class action suit over iPhone performance for making references to confidential materials in open court, but strongly cautioned the lawyers not to repeat the mistake.

Expert Analysis

  • A New Way To Target Food Co. Supply Chain Practices?

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    Recognizing California district courts' rejection of “pure omission” theories in cases targeting food companies for failure to disclose child labor in the supply chain, a group of plaintiffs have taken a different approach in the search for a liability hook to make nondisclosure of child labor actionable, says Christian Foote at Carr McClellan.

  • How Purdue Opioid Win Could Bolster J&J In Okla. Trial

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    North Dakota's consumer fraud and public nuisance claims against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma were recently dismissed by a state court. The decision provides a framework for opioid defendants to challenge similar allegations in other jurisdictions, and may prove timely for Johnson & Johnson in its current Oklahoma trial, says Cameron Turner of Segal McCambridge.

  • 5 Ways Law Firms Can Improve Their Job Interviews

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    When evaluating potential new hires, law firms should utilize structured interviews in order to create a consistent rating system that accurately and effectively assesses candidates' skills and competencies, says Jennifer Henderson of Major Lindsey.

  • How To Streamline Virtual Law Team Mass Tort Defense

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    A primary benefit of the virtual law team in mass tort litigation is creative collaboration. A "company case" approach is essential to breaking down the silos between team members, say attorneys at FaegreBD and Reed Smith.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: A Fateful Phone Call

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    When I was growing up, my mother was always the more mild-mannered parent. But during a trans-Atlantic phone call in 1991, when I told her I wanted to go to culinary school instead of law school, she started yelling — at a volume I had never heard from her, says Jason Brookner of Gray Reed.

  • Law Firms Can Do Better With Their Mentoring Programs

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    There are a few practical, proactive steps law firms can take to create a mentoring program that pays dividends — instead of creating a mediocre program that both parties see as an obligation, says Kate Sheikh of Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • The Latest Developments In Criminal Cases Against Execs

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    This spring, there was some noteworthy news in white collar government investigations impacting executives, including the first successful prosecution in the opioid bribery scheme and the first criminal charges for failure to report under the Consumer Product Safety Act, say attorneys at Miller & Chevalier.

  • 'Rocket Docket' Justifies Its Name For 11th Straight Year

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    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia “rocket docket” is still the fastest federal civil trial court in the country despite some recent trends causing its median time to trial to grow to 13.2 months, says Robert Tata of Hunton.

  • The 'Newly Acquired Information' Shift In Pharma Litigation

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    Before 2015, most failure-to-warn cases against pharmaceutical companies generally hinged on the adequacy of warnings given to prescribing physicians. But a survey of recent cases reveals that many now turn on whether there is “newly acquired information” permitting the manufacturer to change its labeling, says Richard Dean of Tucker Ellis.

  • Class Action Takeaways From 9th Circ.'s New Hyundai Ruling

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    The Ninth Circuit's latest opinion in the Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation addresses how class action settlements should be evaluated. But the importance of the decision goes beyond what it means for class settlements — it reaffirms core principles of litigated motions for class certification, says William Stern of Covington.

  • Why Bellwethers Matter In The Opioid MDL

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    The prescription opioid multidistrict litigation pending before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Ohio demonstrates both how hard selecting bellwethers is, and why they must be selected so carefully, say Sarah Angelino and Stephen Copenhaver of Schiff Hardin.

  • Perspectives

    Does Multidistrict Litigation Deny Plaintiffs Due Process?

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    Judges in multidistrict litigation consistently appoint lead plaintiffs lawyers based on their experience, war chests and ability to get along with everyone. But evidence suggests that these repeat players often make deals riddled with self-interest and provisions that goad plaintiffs into settling, says Elizabeth Chamblee Burch of the University of Georgia School of Law.

  • Measuring The Value Of A Law Firm's Social Media Efforts

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    Most legal marketers struggle to show the return on investment of their social media efforts, but establishing and answering several key questions can help demonstrate exactly how social media programs contribute to a law firm's bottom line, say Guy Alvarez of Good2bSocial and communications consultant Tom Orewyler.

  • What We Learned From FDA's Public Hearing On Cannabis

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not provide a strategy for regulation at last week's public hearing on cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds. But panelists' questions revealed the agency’s concerns over the use of CBD in food and the lack of agreement on common terms, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Despite Amarin, ITC May Be Right Prescription For Pharma

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    While the Federal Circuit recently concluded that Amarin Pharma’s Lanham Act claims at the U.S. International Trade Commission were precluded by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, this is a narrow exception to the ITC's broad jurisdiction, say Kecia Reynolds and Alton Hare of Pillsbury.