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Product Liability

  • June 14, 2018

    Chrysler Wards Off Class Cert. In Clutch Defect Duel

    A driver who accused Fiat Chrysler of offering a meager response to alleged clutch defects glossed over issues of due process and sought to include ineligible members in his proposed class action, a California federal judge said Wednesday in denying class certification.

  • June 14, 2018

    Plaintiffs Want AbbVie Fined $500K In Testosterone Row

    Counsel for AndroGel users suing AbbVie Inc. in a multidistrict litigation over injuries allegedly caused by testosterone replacement therapy drugs asked an Illinois federal judge to slap the company with nearly $500,000 in sanctions Wednesday, claiming AbbVie misused a records-collecting process to challenge nearly 1,000 suits.

  • June 14, 2018

    General Mills Trans Fat Ruling Deferred For 9th Circ. Decision

    A California federal judge deferred a ruling on General Mills' bid to dismiss a proposed class action, which alleges its baking mixes are unsafe because they use partially hydrogenated oils containing trans fat, pending a Ninth Circuit decision in a similar case involving Kroger.

  • June 14, 2018

    Audi & VW Force Mass. Parts Dealers To Stop Knockoff Sales

    Audi and Volkswagen scored a quick and seemingly unopposed win Thursday after catching a handful of Massachusetts auto parts sellers hawking knockoff grilles and other accessories bearing logos similar to the marks used by the car giants.

  • June 14, 2018

    Chipotle Beats Customer’s Bacterial Infection Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday tossed a customer's suit alleging he was infected with bacteria because he ate food from Chipotle, ruling that he failed to provide enough facts to prove his claim.

  • June 14, 2018

    4th Circ. Asks SC Justices If Suicide A Wrongful Death

    The Fourth Circuit asked the Supreme Court of South Carolina on Thursday to address whether the state considers suicide a wrongful death and whether comparative negligence applies to breach-of-warranty and strict-liability claims in cases where a defect allegedly exacerbated car crash injuries.

  • June 14, 2018

    Pa. Regulator Gives Sunoco Go-Ahead To Restart A Pipeline

    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has given Sunoco Pipeline LP a partial win by allowing it to restart operations at a natural gas pipeline in the state, but also dealt the company a blow by continuing a halt on the construction of two others.

  • June 14, 2018

    Texas Creates MDL For Counties' Opioid Suits

    The Texas Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has agreed to consolidate 16 cases brought by Texas counties alleging opioid makers and distributors including Purdue Pharma LP and McKesson Corp. made false and misleading statements about the drugs.

  • June 14, 2018

    Babst Calland Nabs Ex-DOT Official, Self-Driving Cars Pro

    Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir PC has snagged the U.S. Department of Transportation's former chief of trends and analysis and senior adviser on vehicle safety enforcement to join its Washington, D.C., office, where he will specialize in advising clients on emerging technology, including autonomous or self-driving vehicles.

  • June 14, 2018

    5th Circ. Urged To Revive Wrongful Death Insurance Row

    Indian Harbor Insurance Co. on Wednesday asked the Fifth Circuit to overturn a lower court’s ruling releasing Gray Insurance Co. from its duty to defend in a wrongful death suit after it reached an agreement with the survivors, saying the agreement didn’t end the suit.

  • June 14, 2018

    J&J Talc Customer Paid For Risky Product, 3rd Circ. Told

    A Johnson & Johnson customer urged the Third Circuit on Thursday to revive her putative class action over the alleged health hazard associated with the company’s talc-based baby powder, arguing she wouldn’t have purchased the product had she known it could raise her chances of getting ovarian cancer.

  • June 14, 2018

    McKesson Tries To Keep Tribal Opioid Suit In Federal Court

    McKesson Corp. has urged a California federal court not to send the Round Valley Indian Tribes’ suit accusing the company and others of helping create the nation’s opioid crisis back to California state court, making arguments similar to those in various other cases brought by tribes.

  • June 14, 2018

    AbbVie Wins 5th Bellwether In Testosterone MDL

    An Illinois federal jury found for AbbVie Inc. on Thursday in a trial over claims its drug AndroGel caused a man’s deep vein thrombosis, handing the company a win in the fifth bellwether trial in the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation.

  • June 13, 2018

    NCAA Kept Brain Injury Risk Quiet For Decades, Jury Told

    The NCAA has known since the 1930s that football could lead to brain damage, counsel for the widow of a former University of Texas defensive lineman who had chronic traumatic encephalopathy told a Dallas jury during Wednesday opening statements in the first-ever trial concerning the NCAA’s alleged responsibility for a football player’s CTE.

  • June 13, 2018

    Dr Pepper Fights Class Cert. Bid In Ginger Ale False Ad Row

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. urged a California federal judge Wednesday to deny certification to a putative class of Canada Dry ginger ale purchasers, arguing there’s no common claim that its “Made from Real Ginger” label is misleading because consumers don’t agree on what that statement should mean.

  • June 13, 2018

    J&J Gets $70M Punitives Slashed In Surgical Stapler Case

    A California appeals court on Wednesday slashed a $70 million punitive damages award to $19.6 million in a suit alleging a Johnson & Johnson unit’s defective surgical stapler and a doctor’s negligence caused a woman’s anus to be stapled shut during hemorrhoid surgery, saying the award was excessive.

  • June 13, 2018

    DEA, Media Poised For Battle Over Opioid MDL Data Access

    The Ohio federal judge supervising multidistrict litigation over the opioid crisis set the stage Wednesday for an epic showdown over media access to secret data on painkiller sales — access that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says could have perilous repercussions.

  • June 13, 2018

    9th Circ. Upholds First Solar Win In Derivative Suit

    In a published opinion Wednesday, a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the dismissal of a derivative shareholder suit against First Solar Inc. over allegations that some of its corporate officers approved documents concealing the existence of defects in company-made solar panels, finding the investors did not show demand futility.

  • June 13, 2018

    Volkswagen Fined €1B In Germany Over Emissions Scandal

    Volkswagen AG said Wednesday that German authorities have fined it €1 billion, or $1.18 billion, marking the latest repercussion for its emissions-cheating scandal first disclosed in late 2015.

  • June 13, 2018

    New GM Questions Scope Of Ch. 11 Defect Deal

    General Motors LLC is questioning whether a proposed bankruptcy court settlement over legacy ignition switch lawsuits could possibly cover a proposed class of 11.4 million people and cost the carmaker $1 billion in new stock even though only a few hundred individuals have filed Chapter 11 claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Impediments To Legal Industry's 'Inevitable' Future: Part 2

    Craig Levinson

    I agree with the legal pundits speculating that NewLaw’s present and future disruptors will radically change the legal services industry, but that change may not come quite as rapidly as predicted. Regardless, now is the time for both the incumbents and the challengers to best position themselves for the eventual shakeup, says Craig Levinson, founder of Levity Partners.

  • Legal Risks For Consumer Products Cos. In 2018: Part 2

    Erin Bosman

    A recent survey of companies in the consumer products space reveals caseloads and issues of concern, the growing influence of the Federal Trade Commission, and trends in corporate legal departments’ budgeting, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Will Your Business Be Ready For The New Calif. Prop 65?

    Jodi Smith

    The revised California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as Proposition 65, will require companies to use new product warnings by September. The new warning scheme is considerably more complicated, but provides more clarity as to what will be considered a clear and reasonable warning, says Jodi Smith of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP.

  • Legal Risks For Consumer Products Cos. In 2018: Part 1

    Erin Bosman

    Running a successful consumer products company has never been easy. Rapidly evolving technologies, an uncertain economy and changing government regulations appear primed to complicate the already challenging task of navigating legal issues, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Impediments To Legal Industry's 'Inevitable' Future: Part 1

    Craig Levinson

    Legal pundits continue to make predictions that newer entrants into the industry — NewLaw firms, the Big Four and alternative legal service providers — will progressively seize greater amounts of market share from traditional law firms. But the BigLaw response has been underwhelming at best, and a glimpse at the market forces puts its lack of urgency into perspective, says Craig Levinson, founder of Levity Partners.

  • 7 Common Mistakes In Company Witness Prep

    Matthew Keenan

    Too often as attorneys, we focus on the facts of the case and assume the witnesses will be ready for the scrutiny of our adversaries. Based on my 30 years defending companies in national product liability cases, here are seven mistakes often made in witness preparation, says Matthew Keenan of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • Aviation Watch: Keeping Turbines Spinning, Passengers Safe

    Alan Hoffman

    Engine failures are rare in modern commercial aviation. But recent problems with two types of aircraft engines — including one which led to an in-flight fatality in April — point to the serious technical and legal challenges faced by manufacturers, air carriers and regulators trying to keep planes in the air, says Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney and private pilot.

  • Digital Toy Data Breach Highlights Cybersecurity Concerns

    Erin Bosman

    In April, an Illinois federal judge powered down a proposed class action against VTech Electronics following a 2015 data breach of its internet-connected digital learning toys. But the breach also triggered a Federal Trade Commission enforcement action, resulting in a $650,000 settlement. Both developments illustrate the increasing exposure that the internet of things brings for consumer product manufacturers, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • A Better Method For Achieving Broader Class Action Reform

    Kahn Scolnick

    In recent months, the U.S. Department of Justice and many state attorneys general have addressed class action reform by objecting to proposed class action settlements. While we are sympathetic to concerns about class litigation abuse, what's needed is careful oversight at the earliest stages of litigation, say Kahn Scolnick and Bradley Hamburger of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • The Brave New World Of Autonomous Vehicle Litigation

    Jonathan Feczko

    Autonomous vehicles promise to change the way we commute, work and even plan cities. But equally dramatic may be the way they change how we prepare and try litigation following motor vehicle accidents. Exploring how autonomous vehicle litigation might look will help practitioners better prepare for the wave to come, say Jonathan Feczko and Zachary Adams of Tucker Ellis LLP.