Product Liability

  • October 17, 2017

    J&J Asbestos Trial A New Front In Talc Litigation

    A Johnson & Johnson user's attempt to prove the company's talcum powder is contaminated with asbestos will hinge on her ability to trace the talc she used from mine to mesothelioma, as a retrial starting this week will divert from the link between the powder and ovarian cancer to questions of whether J&J's talc came from quarries containing asbestos.

  • October 17, 2017

    Coke, Pepsi Diet Drinks Can Add Weight, False Ad Suits Say

    The Coca-Cola Co., Pepsi-Cola Co. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. mislead customers with “diet” drinks containing aspartame because the artificial sweetener can lead to weight gain, according to putative class actions filed in New York federal court Monday.

  • October 17, 2017

    Brazil Scores Partial Win Against Indonesian Chicken Rules

    A World Trade Organization dispute panel on Tuesday handed Brazil a partial victory in its challenge of various Indonesian food safety and licensing rules on chicken imports, teeing up appeals from both parties in the long-running case.

  • October 17, 2017

    Sen. Wants Repeal Of Opioid Law That Sunk Drug Czar Pick

    Sen. Claire McCaskill on Monday pushed to repeal a law that made it harder for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on misbehaving opioid distributors, saying the law championed by President Donald Trump’s since-withdrawn pick for drug czar was misleading and harmful.

  • October 17, 2017

    Ford Says Firms Lied To Get Drivers To Opt Out Of Deal

    Ford took aim Monday at two law firms representing about 12,500 Fiesta and Focus drivers, claiming they misled their clients in an effort to get them to opt out of a proposed settlement over allegedly defective transmissions.

  • October 17, 2017

    Rep. Who Cut DEA Powers Out As Trump's Drug Czar Pick

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his pick to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy has backed out of the position, two days after media reports revealed the congressman had pushed legislation gutting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to target misbehaving opioid distributors.

  • October 16, 2017

    Expert Links 'Filth' In Costco-Bound Berries To Hep A Death

    A food safety expert told a California jury Monday that Costco should have never sold a frozen berry blend behind a hepatitis A outbreak that allegedly killed an 89-year-old woman because “filth” found in pomegranate seeds headed for the blend was a clear warning for disease.

  • October 16, 2017

    Neutrogena Buyers Seek Class Cert. In Sunscreen Label Row

    Neutrogena customers urged a California federal judge Monday to certify a class of consumers who allege they were misled by a “naturally sourced” label on Pure & Free sunscreen products, while the company countered that a survey supporting the customers' motion “violates every rule in the book.”

  • October 16, 2017

    Celanese's $2.4M Coverage Award Nixed By Mass. Court

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Monday vacated a decision ordering OneBeacon to repay Celanese Corp. for about $2.4 million the chemical company had paid to defend asbestos and other personal injury claims, finding that Celanese lost its right to reimbursement when it refused to let the insurer take control of its defense.

  • October 16, 2017

    Nestle Suit Over Glass In Spinach Teeters On Venue Row

    A California federal judge said Monday he’s considering dismissing Nestle’s contract suit against a frozen food provider over glass shards in spinach shipments that prompted a $9 million recall, after Inn Foods Inc. argued the parties don’t have sufficient ties to the locale.

  • October 16, 2017

    Daimler Recalls More Than 1 Million Vehicles For Air Bags

    Daimler AG on Monday reportedly said that it was recalling more than a million Mercedes-Benz vehicles around the world due to a potential issue with air bags deploying accidentally, including nearly 500,000 vehicles in the U.S.

  • October 16, 2017

    Prevagen Memory Product Maker Fights Cert. In Ad Suit

    The maker of dietary supplement Prevagen asked a California federal judge Monday to deny certification to a proposed multistate class of consumers who say the company falsely advertised the cognitive benefits of a jellyfish protein in a drug it markets as a memory booster.

  • October 16, 2017

    Gov't Scientists Tell Of Rare Outbreak As Trial Nears End

    Government scientists testifying in the final days of a murder trial for a former pharmacist at the center of a deadly meningitis outbreak on Monday described surprise at the extent of the fungal contamination and patients’ infections.

  • October 16, 2017

    Verdict Slashed By $2M In Fla. Ladder-Fall Trial

    A Florida judge on Monday slashed a $4.7 million verdict for a fall from an allegedly defective ladder, saying subsequent unrelated medical problems served as a cutoff point for damages calculations.

  • October 16, 2017

    Calif. County Sheds Strip Search, Retaliatory Raid Claims

    A California federal judge has agreed to toss a lawsuit from two ex-California wastewater treatment facility executives against Ventura County over allegedly illegal strip searches and retaliatory raids relating to a 2014 explosion.

  • October 16, 2017

    Mo. High Court Pauses J&J Talc Cancer Trial Over Venue Row

    Johnson & Johnson has won a round in its bid to move a product liability case involving its now-infamous talcum powder products out of St. Louis city court and into county court, as the Missouri Supreme Court preliminarily granted the company’s request to overturn a lower court’s order that blocked the move, pausing the proceedings in the meantime.

  • October 16, 2017

    Insurers Sue Saudi Arabia For $1.5B In Losses After 9/11

    A group of 17 insurance companies from the U.S., Europe and Canada sued Saudi Arabia, two Saudi financial institutions and the construction company founded by Osama bin Laden’s father on Friday in New York federal court over their alleged roles in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, seeking compensation exceeding $1.5 billion.

  • October 16, 2017

    Privacy Groups Want Recall On 'Spying' Google Speaker

    The Electronic Privacy Information Center and consumer groups on Friday pushed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall the Google Home Mini, a smart speaker device that was recording private conversations, saying the problem stems from a “classic” manufacturing defect.

  • October 16, 2017

    FDA Finding Doesn't Absolve Forest Labs, Parents Say

    Parents who bought antidepressants for their children urged a Massachusetts federal court on Friday to keep alive multidistrict litigation alleging Forest Laboratories LLC fraudulently promoted Celexa and Lexapro to treat pediatric depression, saying the FDA's finding that one treatment study was promising doesn't rule out other, contradictory evidence.

  • October 16, 2017

    Jeep Drivers Fight For Class Cert. In Hacking Suit

    Consumers claiming some Jeep vehicles are susceptible to hacking asked an Illinois federal court Friday to certify a class of 1.4 million car owners, even as Fiat Chrysler made a bid for a quick win in the case on the grounds that potential vulnerabilities are no basis for legal liability.

Expert Analysis

  • Technology Assisted Review Can Work For Small Cases

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    For as long as e-discovery lawyers have been using technology assisted review, a belief has persisted that it cannot be used economically or effectively in small cases. But TAR can be highly effective in small cases, typically reducing the time and cost of a review project by 60 to 80 percent, say John Tredennick, Thomas Gricks III and Andrew Bye of Catalyst Repository Systems LLC.

  • Nowhere To Run For Treadmill Co. On Class Certification

    Allison Semaya.jpg

    After a federal judge in Illinois granted class certification to purchasers of treadmills featuring allegedly defective heart rate monitors earlier this year, the manufacturer asked the judge to reconsider. Recently, the judge declined to do so. This case is a reminder of the Rule 23 factors courts consider in deciding whether to certify a class, says Allison Semaya of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Self-Driving Trucks Get Closer To Hitting The Road

    Lawrence Hamilton

    The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed bipartisan legislation in support of autonomous vehicles, but specifically excluded commercial motor vehicles. Labor unions and other stakeholders fear that deployment of autonomous trucks could lead to widespread job losses. However, safety considerations may ultimately bring self-driving commercial vehicles into service, say attorneys with Holland & Knight LLP.

  • New Sedona Principles Stress Information Governance

    Saffa Sleet

    The Sedona Conference Working Group's updated Sedona Principles provides a timely reminder that the legal industry needs to be thinking more seriously about the interconnectedness between e-discovery and information governance, says Saffa Sleet of FTI Consulting Inc.

  • Between Counsel And Class Members, Silence Is Golden

    Thomas Dickerson

    Prohibiting all unapproved communications from both plaintiffs and defense counsel to members of a class of plaintiffs ensures that the court can safeguard the interests of the class members. A recent decision in a California federal court reveals the wisdom of this principle, says retired New York State Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas Dickerson.

  • Opinion

    For More Value And Diversity In Outside Counsel, Go Small

    Sara Kropf

    Albert Einstein famously said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” That maxim applies to large companies that seek more value and diversity from their outside counsel by expecting big firms to change. There’s a simple solution to this problem, according to attorneys Margaret Cassidy, Sara Kropf and Ellen D. Marcus.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Billing For An MDL

    Alan Rothman

    At its next hearing, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will consider an MDL motion arising from class actions against a telecommunications provider regarding pricing practices. Some plaintiffs oppose centralization because of legal differences among the various actions. But MDL centralization only requires the presence of one or more common questions of fact, says Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Mandatory Arbitration: Better Strategies For Retailers

    Ari Weisbrot

    For retailers facing frivolous lawsuits, there are clear benefits to requiring customers to resolve disputes in arbitration. But first, customers must voluntarily and knowingly waive the right to trial. A recent decision from the Western District of New York demonstrates how this can be effectively implemented, says Ari Weisbrot of Bryan Cave LLP.

  • Regulatory Changes May Boost Cosmetics Liability Claims

    Steven Napolitano

    Federal regulators have traditionally given cosmetics less scrutiny than other products. But legislation has been proposed this year in both the House and Senate that could significantly alter the regulation of cosmetics, and if passed, it would almost certainly lead to increased product liability claims, says Steven Napolitano of Skarzynski Black LLC.

  • Opinion

    Manufacturers Must Focus On Securing The Internet Of Things

    Aristedes Mahairas

    We know internet-of-things devices are unsecure. Some say they are likely to remain unsecure. But given the increasing risk and seriousness of IoT-based attacks, manufacturers should take proactive measures to bring to market IoT devices that contain standard security protocols, says Aristedes Mahairas, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Special Operations/Cyber Division.