Product Liability

  • May 17, 2018

    Apple Slims Exercise Headphone Class Action Claims

    A California federal judge on Wednesday trimmed a proposed class action claiming Apple Inc.'s Powerbeats headphones fail to hold a charge when a user is sweating, nixing a negligence claim altogether while keeping alive other claims that the company lied about the products’ durability.

  • May 17, 2018

    SQM Again Beats Calif. City's $30M Tainted Water Suit At Trial

    A California federal jury on Thursday rejected the city of Pomona's claim that mining company SQM's North American unit owes it $30 million to remedy groundwater contaminated by perchlorate allegedly originating from SQM fertilizer, handing SQM a second victory after the Ninth Circuit vacated a prior trial win.

  • May 17, 2018

    VW Gets Claims Trimmed In Defective Sunroof Class Action

    A California federal judge on Thursday tossed most of the claims in a Volkswagen driver's proposed class action accusing the carmaker of selling vehicles with sunroofs that might "spontaneously shatter," saying an amendment would be necessary to revive state consumer protection and fraud claims.

  • May 17, 2018

    BMW Soft-Close Doors Are A 'Guillotine,' NY Couple Says

    A New York couple accused BMW in federal court of selling vehicles with soft-closing automatic doors that are “modern day guillotines” without a basic sensor to keep them from closing on body parts, saying the automaker knows of the dangers associated with the technology but continues to market it.

  • May 17, 2018

    FDA Asks More E-Cig Makers About Kids' Use

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday asked four e-cigarette companies for information on the youth appeal of their products, following a similar request made to Juul last month, saying that too many kids are experimenting with e-cigarettes.

  • May 17, 2018

    Diet Pepsi Consumers Know What Label Means, Court Says

    A New York federal judge Thursday dismissed a proposed class action accusing Pepsi-Cola Co. of misrepresenting that its “diet” drinks help with weight loss, finding that a reasonable consumer would recognize that the label simply means the drinks are low-calorie.

  • May 17, 2018

    A Chat With Perkins Practice Management Chief Toby Brown

    In this monthly series, legal recruiters at Major Lindsey & Africa interview management from top law firms about navigating an increasingly competitive business environment. Here we feature Toby Brown, chief practice management officer at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • May 17, 2018

    GSK, Zofran Users To Pick 16 Potential MDL Bellwether Cases

    GlaxoSmithKline and the families who claim its anti-nausea medication Zofran caused various birth defects will each select eight cases to probe and possibly bring to trial in the multidistrict litigation’s final discovery phase, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Thursday.

  • May 17, 2018

    Easton Baseball Bats Heavier Than Advertised, Suit Says

    Sporting goods manufacturer Easton Baseball/Softball Inc. misrepresents its high-end youth baseball bats as lighter than their actual weight, putting players at risk of injuries and decreased performance, according to a proposed class action filed Wednesday in California federal court.

  • May 17, 2018

    Texas Energy Co. Negligent In Home Explosion, Suit Says

    A Houston woman has filed suit in state court accusing a Texas energy company of negligently causing a gas explosion that destroyed her home in 2016 and severely burned its occupants, claiming the company failed "to properly design, maintain, inspect or repair the natural gas lines."

  • May 17, 2018

    Titan Of The Plaintiffs Bar: The Lanier Law Firm's Mark Lanier

    Winning a $247 million jury verdict in a bellwether trial against Johnson & Johnson over allegedly faulty hip implants was just one of the major victories Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm tallied last year, earning him a spot on Law360's 2018 Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar.

  • May 16, 2018

    General Mills Says Trans Fat Class Action Is Half-Baked

    General Mills Inc. asked a California federal judge at a hearing Wednesday to toss a proposed class action alleging its baking mixes are unsafe because they use partially hydrogenated oils containing trans fat, saying the suit's California law claims are preempted by federal statute.

  • May 16, 2018

    SQM Owes $30M For Tainted Groundwater, Calif. City Says

    Chilean mining company SQM sold thousands of tons of perchlorate-bearing fertilizer to California farmers in the 1930s and '40s and its U.S. unit can’t now shirk responsibility for perchlorate contamination in California city Pomona’s groundwater, counsel for the city argued in asking a federal jury to award it $30 million during closing arguments Wednesday .

  • May 16, 2018

    Insurers Can't Evade New Claims In Dairy's Manure Suit

    A Washington federal judge dismissed a claim Wednesday in a dairy operation’s suit against four insurers regarding underlying manure-contamination claims, saying the insurers were not required to inform the dairy operation about the possibility of mediation, but rejected two other theories.

  • May 16, 2018

    LG Chem Can't Shake NJ Suit Over Exploding Battery

    LG Chem Ltd. has lost its bid to toss a New Jersey federal court lawsuit from a California man who was allegedly injured by an exploding battery after boarding a flight in Denver, with a judge ordering discovery to gauge whether the case may be heard in the Garden State.

  • May 16, 2018

    Church & Dwight To Face Trimmed Supplement Labeling Row

    An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday trimmed a proposed class action alleging consumer goods company Church & Dwight Co. Inc. misrepresented that one of its supplements contains the recommended amount of folate rather than potentially dangerous amounts of it.

  • May 16, 2018

    Ill. Jury Finds For AbbVie In AndroGel Bellwether Trial

    An Illinois federal jury on Tuesday sided with AbbVie Inc. in the fifth bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation over its testosterone replacement therapy drug AndroGel, finding that the drug didn't cause an Arizona man to develop blood clots in his lungs.

  • May 16, 2018

    Maker Of Anti-Clot Device Must Face Suit Over Pierced Vein

    The maker of a medical instrument designed to prevent blood clots will have to face most of a man's lawsuit saying its product perforated a major vein, after an Illinois federal judge ruled the man's suit meets the minimal pleading requirements to bring all but two of his claims.

  • May 16, 2018

    DOT Needs To Stop Stalling On Seat Belt Rule, DC Circ. Told

    Auto safety groups blasted the U.S. Department of Transportation for doing little or nothing to implement a congressional mandate requiring automobile warnings when backseat passengers don't buckle up, with arguments in D.C. Circuit on Wednesday that focused heavily on its jurisdiction and what exactly was required of the DOT.

  • May 16, 2018

    3M, Tyco Say Mass. County's Fire Foam Suit Is Still Too Vague

    A group of chemical companies, including 3M Co., Chemguard Inc. and Tyco Fire Products LP, asked a Massachusetts federal judge late Tuesday to toss a $10 million suit filed by a Cape Cod county over their firefighting foam products, saying the county’s second stab at its contamination allegations are still not specific enough.

Expert Analysis

  • What ABA’s Position On Harassment Means For Employers

    Minjae Song

    In the #MeToo era, the American Bar Association’s recently passed Resolution 302 is a reminder of harassment policy best practices to all employers, and it should be of particular interest to employers in the legal industry, say attorneys with Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Inside The New GMO Labeling Disclosure Proposal

    Robert Hibbert

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its highly anticipated rule for labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or “GMOs.” The proposal suggests a sweeping national disclosure requirement and, given the variety of consumer perceptions of bioengineered foods, could generate debate over certain label ideas, say Robert Hibbert and Ryan Fournier of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • New Era Of Falling Space Debris, Old Treaties On Liability

    Tod Northman

    With the steady increase in space activity by both the public and private sectors comes an increased chance that a failed launch or obsolete space objects will fall back to Earth and cause damage to people and property. It may be time to re-examine where the responsibility lies for such damage, say Tod Northman and Christine Snyder of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • Practical Considerations For Litigating Proportionality

    Elizabeth McGinn

    By incorporating an explicit requirement that discovery must be “proportional to the needs of the case,” the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure garnered much speculation as to their impact on courts’ decision-making processes. Now that the rules have been implemented for over two years, several themes have emerged, say attorneys with Buckley Sandler LLP.

  • When Must Manufacturers Anticipate Product Misuse?

    Stephen Copenhaver

    Not all injuries arising from the abuse or misuse of a product may lead to manufacturer liability. If the misuse was not reasonably foreseeable, the law does not hold manufacturers responsible in tort. But it can be difficult to determine which misuses are reasonably foreseeable and which are not, say Stephen Copenhaver and Sarah Schiferl of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • CPSC Reaction To Consumer Misuse May Cost Companies

    Cheryl Falvey

    Product liability suits and regulatory product defect enforcement actions associated with foreseeable and unforeseeable consumer misuse have become the norm. But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's recent attempt to address human factors in the design process may present extraordinary costs and undue burdens on product designers and manufacturers, say Cheryl Falvey and Stephanie Crawford of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Supporting Nontraditional Data Types In E-Discovery

    Jason Paroff

    The advancement in connected technologies and software has created an explosion of nontraditional data sources that present challenges to e-discovery practitioners. Many tools and techniques used to process traditional data may not be practical for these new data types, say Jason Paroff and Sagi Sam of Epiq.

  • A Key Rhode Island Ruling On Take-Home Asbestos Exposure

    Thaddeus Lenkiewicz

    Last month a Rhode Island court addressed for the first time whether an entity has a duty of care to protect nonemployees from exposure to the asbestos-tainted work clothes of the entity’s employee. The decision reveals a willingness of the court to extend an employer’s duty to household members of employees, says Thaddeus Lenkiewicz of Manning Gross & Massenburg LLP.

  • After Trump’s Policy Purges, Who Speaks For The Victims?

    Daniel Karon

    Under President Donald Trump, federal agencies have killed or delayed key regulations and imposed drastically fewer penalties against corporate wrongdoers — thus enabling cheaters, victimizing consumers and compromising well-behaving companies. It falls to state attorneys general, as well as the private bar — plaintiffs and defense attorneys together — to pick up the slack, says Daniel Karon of Karon LLC.

  • Don’t Sleep On The Dormant Commerce Clause

    Stephen McConnell

    The Fourth Circuit recently held that a Maryland statute, which prohibited drugmakers and distributors from charging an "unconscionable" price even on sales that occurred outside the state, was a violation of the dormant commerce clause. We cannot read this case without daydreaming about how its logic might apply to other cases, says Stephen McConnell of Reed Smith LLP.