Product Liability

  • February 22, 2018

    Drivers Slam Fee Bids By 'Ghost Lawyers' In $10B VW Deal

    Hundreds of “ghost lawyers” who showed up at the $10 billion resolution of multidistrict litigation over Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emissions scandal shouldn’t get a cut of the awarded fees and costs since their work didn’t benefit the whole class, the vehicle owners told the Ninth Circuit on Thursday.

  • February 22, 2018

    Man Will Die From J&J Talc-Caused Mesothelioma, Jury Told

    An occupational medicine expert told a New Jersey jury on Thursday that a man alleging Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contains asbestos faces a painful death from mesothelioma, and that the disease was caused by his daily use of J&J’s products.

  • February 22, 2018

    Coca-Cola Looks To Put Diet Coke False Ad Suit On Ice

    The Coca-Cola Co. asked a California federal judge Thursday to end a false advertising suit brought by a proposed class of consumers who say the artificial sweetener found in Diet Coke causes weight gain, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “diet” has to do with calorie count, not weight management.

  • February 22, 2018

    9th Circ. Won't Alter $1.5M Atty Fees In Ford Defect Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday upheld $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees awarded to a woman who accused Ford Motor Co. of neglecting to disclose acceleration defects in 150,000 vehicles, rejecting challenges from each of the parties.

  • February 22, 2018

    Sills Cummis Nabs 5 Locke Lord Litigators

    Sills Cummis & Gross PC has added to its Newark, New Jersey, office a group of five former Locke Lord LLP litigators led by renowned product liability attorney James E. Tyrrell Jr., known for representing powerhouses like Monsanto Co., ExxonMobil Corp. and others, the firm announced Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2018

    Suzuki Hit With $12.5M Verdict Over Motorcycle Crash

    A Georgia state jury on Wednesday hit Suzuki Motor Corp. with a $12.5 million verdict in a trial over a motorcycle accident that broke a man’s spine and permanently injured him, finding that a defective front brake caused the 2013 crash.

  • February 22, 2018

    Ford, Bridgestone Escape Fatal Crash Suit In Texas

    Ford Motor Company, Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC won their bid to duck a lawsuit brought by a family following a fatal car crash in Mexico, with a Texas appellate court holding on Thursday that Texas courts don't have jurisdiction over the case.

  • February 22, 2018

    6th Circ. Won't Revive Spinal Patients' Bone Growth Suit

    The Sixth Circuit upheld the permanent toss of spinal patients' claims that an unsafe biologic caused excess bone growth and constant, incurable pain, saying Thursday it is too late for the patients to challenge the argument that only the federal government can bring such claims.

  • February 22, 2018

    GSK Has Duty To Warn About Generics, Widow Tells 7th Circ.

    The widow of a Reed Smith LLP partner who committed suicide after taking a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline LLC’s antidepressant Paxil urged the Seventh Circuit to preserve a verdict finding the company liable Wednesday, arguing GSK hasn’t shown it would have been barred from warning about the risks.

  • February 22, 2018

    Calif. Justices Take Up Actavis' Opioid Suit Coverage Bid

    California's highest court has agreed to review Actavis' challenge of a lower court's ruling that it isn't covered under a Travelers policy for lawsuits alleging its misleading marketing of painkillers has fueled the nation's opioid addiction problem and caused a spike in heroin use, according to a Wednesday docket entry.

  • February 22, 2018

    Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob Candies Not 'Natural,' Suit Says

    General Mills Inc. misrepresents that its fruit-flavored snacks that resemble SpongeBob SquarePants and other popular children’s characters are all-natural although they contain artificial flavoring, a consumer contends in a proposed class action removed to California federal court on Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2018

    Japan Knocks Down Korea's Post-Fukushima Trade Barriers

    The World Trade Organization on Thursday struck down South Korea’s ban on Japanese fish in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, ruling that Seoul structured its safeguards in a way that was more trade-restrictive than necessary to protect public health.

  • February 22, 2018

    Truffle Aroma Supplier Asks To Exit Suit Over Trader Joe's Oil

    A Spanish supplier to Trader Joe's Co. urged a federal judge on Wednesday to dismiss it from a false-labeling suit claiming it provided the "truffle aroma" used in the grocer's truffle-flavored olive oil that allegedly contains "no black truffle whatsoever," saying it has no New York presence and can't be included in the suit.

  • February 21, 2018

    Conagra Looks To Bury ‘Natural’ Labeling Suit At 1st Circ.

    Conagra Brands Inc. asked the First Circuit on Tuesday to uphold the dismissal of a proposed class action alleging its Wesson brand cooking oils are misrepresented as "natural," arguing the labeling is in fact consistent with decades-old federal policy about the use of the term.

  • February 21, 2018

    DC Circuit Urged To Knock Down FDA E-Cig Rule

    The D.C. Circuit received pressure Tuesday to overturn parts of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation that brought electronic cigarettes under the reign of the Tobacco Control Act, with a series of amici claiming there are serious First Amendment and public safety risks at play.

  • February 21, 2018

    Xarelto User Says Pa. Judge Wrongly Axed $28M Award

    A woman who won a $28 million verdict in a bellwether case over injuries allegedly linked to the blood thinner Xarelto has argued the Pennsylvania judge who threw out her damages award ignored evidence that additional warnings would not have changed her doctor's decision to prescribe the medication.

  • February 21, 2018

    Purdue Pharma Triggered Opioid Epidemic, NJ County Says

    A New Jersey county hit OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and several other opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers with a suit in state court Wednesday accusing the former of sparking the opioid epidemic with deceptive marketing practices that the others eventually adopted.

  • February 21, 2018

    Finance Cos. Told To Stop Contacting Ex-NFL Players

    The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the uncapped concussion settlement on Tuesday ordered a group of related financial firms to stop contacting former National Football League players following allegations from class counsel that the firms are pressuring players to hand over their retirement accounts.

  • February 21, 2018

    Apple Says Batteries Piling Up In IPhone Slowdown Suits

    Apple Inc. urged a California federal judge Wednesday to find it doesn’t need to hold onto every battery it replaces from iPhones in a slew of proposed class actions alleging it misled consumers by slowing phones with diminished battery capacities, arguing that preserving every battery poses health and environmental hazards.

  • February 21, 2018

    Pa. Justices Urged To Deny Appeal Over Risperdal Time-Bar

    A Johnson & Johnson unit on Tuesday urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to leave standing a recent decision jeopardizing thousands of pending lawsuits by rolling back the clock on when claims of abnormal breast growth allegedly linked to the antipsychotic drug Risperdal began to expire.

Expert Analysis

  • Overcoming The Mistrust Of Science In An Alt-Fact Age

    Kirstin Abel

    You cannot fight alternative facts with facts alone. But with a combination of inoculation, changing the narrative, and building common ground between the jury and your experts, you should be able to significantly lessen their impact, says Kirstin Abel, managing partner at Bodyfelt Mount LLP and vice chair of the Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee of the International Association of Defense Counsel.

  • Insurance Tips For Defendants In Opioid Litigation

    Anna Engh

    Several types of insurance policies can potentially cover costs of defense and ultimate liability for pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesale distributors and retailers defending against opioid-related lawsuits, but policyholders must be wary of the potential issues that may arise, say Anna Engh and Cléa Liquard of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The Continuing Evolution Of Personal Jurisdiction

    Kevin Penhallegon

    It was anticipated that last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb would have immediate and significant impacts nationwide. Those impacts have been seen at the state level in recent months, as evidenced by several trial courts dismissing out-of-state plaintiffs’ claims where specific personal jurisdiction could not be established, says Kevin Penhallegon of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • California's Evolving Standard On Expert Opinion Evidence

    Peter Choate

    A California appeals court's recent decision in Apple v. Superior Court explicitly holds that the Sargon standard applies when a party seeks to admit expert opinion evidence. Practitioners should seek to preserve this issue for appeal and urge the California Supreme Court to resolve it, say Peter Choate and William Dance of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Massachusetts Focuses On The Elements Of Spoliation

    Alexander Zodikoff

    The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that a finding of spoliation requires both the negligent and intentional loss or destruction of evidence, and awareness at the time that the evidence could help resolve a dispute. This strict interpretation of the doctrine of spoliation follows a trend in Massachusetts litigation, says Alexander Zodikoff of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP. 

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle LLP.

  • Car Seat Heaters Still Producing Burns — And Litigation

    Sean Kane

    Despite decades of research on safe temperature thresholds for car seat heaters, some automakers are still designing heaters to work in higher temperature ranges, still manufacturing heaters that get much hotter than their design specifications and still forgoing simple countermeasures that their peers have been implementing since the 1980s, say Sean Kane and Ellen Liberman of Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • How Natural Experiments Can Help In Estimating Damages

    Niall MacMenamin

    Establishing a causal link between allegedly wrongful conduct and the quantity of damages asserted can be challenging. Fortunately, increasing volumes of real-world data are available to the damages expert, and natural experiments based on such data can be effective in showing causality and estimating damages, says Niall MacMenamin of Analysis Group Inc.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.