Product Liability

  • December 8, 2017

    Travelers Can't Ditch Defense Coverage Suit Over PCB Claims

    Travelers Indemnity Co. can’t shut down a potentially billion-dollar coverage dispute with Magnetek Inc. just because the plaintiff failed to add another company as a defendant, an Illinois federal court ruled Thursday, meaning the insurer will have to win on the merits to avoid being drawn into an underlying suit by Monsanto Co.

  • December 8, 2017

    Hockey Teens Stick Del. Rink Operator With Toxic Fume Suit

    Two 13-year-old hockey players swung a lawsuit on Thursday against a skating club and a Zamboni repair business in New Jersey federal court over claims they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning when a defective vehicle was used to resurface ice during a tournament at the Delaware facility this year.

  • December 8, 2017

    NJ High Court OKs Roche's Bids To Review Accutane Rulings

    Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. has convinced the New Jersey Supreme Court to review two state appellate decisions related to the company's acne medication Accutane, with the justices agreeing to consider rulings over the adequacy of the drug's label and the admissibility of expert testimony.

  • December 8, 2017

    Texas High Court Won't Hear $2.2B Payout Deduction Dispute

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday declined to take up Owens Corning’s challenge to a Texas appellate court ruling that found the manufacturer could not deduct from its businesses taxes a $2.2 billion payment made as part of an asbestos product liability settlement.

  • December 8, 2017

    MLB Fans Strike Out At 9th Circ. In Safety Netting Row

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday refused to revive a suit from two Major League Baseball fans demanding extended safety nets at ballparks, finding their standing argument fell short because they weren’t likely to be injured by foul balls or thrown bats in the future.

  • December 8, 2017

    Judge Won’t Hold Order To Kill Climate Suit Against Peabody

    A Missouri bankruptcy judge won’t hold off on his order forcing two California counties and a city to drop post-bankruptcy Peabody Energy from their case against a group of oil, gas and coal companies alleging they are responsible for billions in climate change-related damages.

  • December 8, 2017

    State-Based Volvo Sunroof Classes Still Need Definition

    Drivers alleging Volvo Car Corp. sold vehicles with defective sunroofs must take another stab at getting their proposed state-based subclasses certified because they’re too poorly defined to meet the ascertainability requirement for the lawsuit to advance, a New Jersey federal judge said Wednesday.

  • December 8, 2017

    Dunkin’ Can't Escape Suit Over Faux Berry Doughnuts

    An Illinois federal judge on Thursday allowed a Dunkin’ Donuts customer to go forward with his claim the chain duped him into buying an artificially flavored blueberry doughnut believing it contained real berries, saying if his claims are true it was a reasonable belief.

  • December 8, 2017

    Insurer Sues For $11.7M After NY Country Club Fire

    The insurer of a New York country club that caught fire in 2014 is seeking $11.7 million from the companies that it claims caused the fire, according to a suit filed Thursday in New York state court.

  • December 7, 2017

    FDA Unveils New Policies On Digital Health Oversight

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday unveiled new oversight policies for digital health products, including increasingly popular software used to assist doctors in making treatment decisions.

  • December 7, 2017

    VW Plea Deal Gives Investors Limited Win In Fraud Case

    A California federal judge hearing cases related to Volkswagen AG’s clean diesel scandal ruled Wednesday that investors cannot cite the automaker's plea deal and admissions to prosecutors as proof that dozens of its statements to investors were false or made with scienter, although he found they did contradict the automaker’s statements printed on its engines.

  • December 7, 2017

    Flour E. Coli Outbreak Tied To General Mills Plant, FDA Says

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said it had identified a General Mills plant in Missouri as the likely culprit behind a multistate outbreak of E. coli in 2016 that sickened more than 60 people.

  • December 7, 2017

    Feds Blast Ex-Pharmacist's Acquittal Bid In Meningitis Row

    The government urged a Massachusetts federal court Wednesday to not acquit a pharmacist convicted of 77 counts including racketeering and mail fraud for manufacturing deadly drugs in the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, saying the arguments presented to support acquittal have been rejected by the court or rely on facts dismissed by the jury.

  • December 7, 2017

    Covington Lures Back FDA Drug Quality Leader

    Covington & Burling LLP has lured back a former associate after an eight-year stint at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, giving the firm insider perspective on the agency’s fast-evolving approach to drug safety.

  • December 7, 2017

    Philip Morris Wants Redo Over Atty's 'Predatory' Comparison

    Philip Morris USA Inc. asked the Eleventh Circuit Wednesday to order a new trial in an Engle progeny case that resulted in more than $20 million in damages, arguing that plaintiff’s counsel made improper closing arguments that compared the tobacco company to a “predatory stranger stalking children.”

  • December 7, 2017

    9th Circ. Vacates Drug Liability MDL Ruling Favoring Merck

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday vacated a win for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and other drugmakers in a suit claiming that they failed to warn consumers about pancreas problems from Type 2 diabetes drugs, sending the class action back to the district court that the panel said erroneously interpreted a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

  • December 7, 2017

    Most Claims Proceed In NH Teflon Chemical Leak Suit

    A New Hampshire federal judge on Wednesday trimmed an unjust enrichment claim from a putative class action against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics over alleged water contamination from a toxic chemical used to make Teflon, but let the remaining claims stand.

  • December 7, 2017

    SM Energy Seeks Reopening Of Boomerang Tube Ch.11 Case

    Oil and gas company SM Energy Co. on Wednesday asked a Delaware bankruptcy court to reopen the Chapter 11 case of pipeline manufacturer Boomerang Tube LLC, in order to modify the plan’s discharge injunction so SM Energy can sue Boomerang over busted piping that cost it $9 million.

  • December 7, 2017

    Attys Get $4.5M Of $22M Aegerion Drug Marketing Settlement

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Wednesday awarded $4.45 million in fees to attorneys who secured a $22.25 million settlement to end an investor class action accusing Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. of hiding from shareholders the off-label marketing of the cholesterol drug Juxtapid.

  • December 7, 2017

    Bumble Bee Salmon Not Wild Or Smoked, Consumer Claims

    Bumble Bee Foods LLC was hit Wednesday with a class action accusing the company of tricking consumers into believing its "medium red smoked salmon" product was fresh caught and smoked, when in fact it was farm-raised, colored pink and artificially flavored.

Expert Analysis

  • The Most Noteworthy Class Action Developments Of 2017

    Neal Marder

    2017 has seen significant developments in the field of class action litigation. The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision continued to work its way through the courts, the courts of appeals have made strides on issues like ascertainability and standing to pursue injunctive relief, and Congress is currently considering legislation that would alter the class action landscape, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • Is Your Company Ready For Artificial Intelligence?

    Erin Bosman

    Evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence will change countless aspects of how companies do business. Consumer product companies ceding control to technology should weigh efficiencies against the risks posed by such novel movements, say attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Leveling The Playing Field With The Jury Inference

    Peter Hargitai

    What happens when a litigant has no access to an opponent’s evidence because it has been destroyed or lost? Recently, the Supreme Court of Florida created a revised standard jury instruction, allowing juries to infer that missing evidence may be unfavorable to the party who lost or destroyed it. Practitioners should know how to use this tool, says Peter Hargitai of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Consumer Demand Letter Response Is Key Under Mass. Law

    David Thomas

    The Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act prohibits a business from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The law provides a consumer’s counsel significant leverage when litigating and attempting to settle claims — particularly in a class action setting — but also affords a business an opportunity to gain that leverage back and limit exposure to damages, says David Thomas of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • Lead Paint As A Public Nuisance In California

    Jules Zeman

    Last month, the California Sixth District Court of Appeal upheld portions of a public nuisance action against paint companies for selling lead-pigment paint in the decades prior to 1950 while knowing of its toxicity. The ruling's extraordinarily expansive use of public nuisance law circumvents the traditional burdens, limitations and protections of product liability jurisprudence, says Jules Zeman of Dentons.

  • Basic Human Rights: Whose Job Is Enforcement?

    Dan Weissman

    The cases of Jesner v. Arab Bank and Doe v. Cisco Systems pose different legal tests under the Alien Tort Statute. But these decisions could hold major consequences for environmentalists, human rights activists and even individuals who have turned to ATS to go after transnational corporations, says Dan Weissman of LexisNexis.

  • Beware Marketing Cannabidiol Products: FDA Is Watching

    Brian Malkin

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued warning letters concerning violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to four companies that market products containing cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid found in cannabis. These letters should serve as a reminder that the FDA is watching closely, say attorneys with Arent Fox LLP.

  • Plavix Ruling Raises Learned Intermediary Questions

    Stefanie Colella-Walsh

    A federal judge in New Jersey recently granted summary judgment to drug manufacturers in a lawsuit alleging that Plavix caused gastrointestinal bleeding. The multidistrict litigation court, sitting in New Jersey, applied California's learned intermediary doctrine, but may not have reached the same conclusion had it applied New Jersey law, say Stefanie Colella-Walsh and Martin Schrama of Stark & Stark.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Green Amendment

    Maya van Rossum

    Instead of pleading with lawmakers to do the right thing, constitutional amendments would elevate environmental rights to the status of our most cherished liberties, says Maya van Rossum, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Temple’s Beasley School of Law.

  • MDL Hearing Signals A New Phase For Opioid Suits

    Adam Fleischer

    On Nov. 30, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard argument in over 100 government lawsuits seeking damages from pharmaceutical companies for the opioid epidemic. Whether these cases get consolidated and, if so, in which court, may have far-reaching implications, say Adam Fleischer and Kevin Harris of BatesCarey LLP.