Product Liability

  • February 8, 2018

    J&J Hit With Stock-Drop Suit Over Claims Of Asbestos In Talc

    Johnson & Johnson and its top executives were hit with a putative class action in New Jersey federal court on Thursday alleging the company harmed its stockholders by purportedly concealing the truth underlying lawsuits and articles that contend J&J’s talcum powder products contain asbestos.

  • February 8, 2018

    MD's Knowledge Of Risks Bars Hernia Patch Defect Claims

    The Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit alleging a hernia patch made by Davol and C.R. Bard was defective, saying the attending physician's knowledge of risks associated with the product thwarted the injured patient's “failure-to-warn” claim.

  • February 8, 2018

    Sens. Unveil Bill Aimed At Curbing Opioid Crisis

    A bipartisan group of U.S. senators announced Thursday that they are introducing legislation aimed at stemming the opioid crisis, during a hearing focusing on the epidemic’s devastating impact on children and families.

  • February 8, 2018

    Claims Handler Must Face Suit Over $7.2M Asbestos Verdict

    In a judgment made public Tuesday, a New York state judge denied a motion by a claims management company indirectly owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to escape a suit claiming it blocked some of the payout on a $7.2 mesothelioma verdict claim, saying the plaintiff had made a sufficient case to go forward.

  • February 8, 2018

    Ford, Driver Fight Over $1.5M Attys’ Fees At 9th Circ.

    Ford Motor Co. on Thursday urged the Ninth Circuit to reverse a decision awarding $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees to a woman who accused the automaker of failing to disclose acceleration defects in 150,000 vehicles, arguing that a program to fix the vehicles was prompted by a federal investigation and not the woman’s lawsuit.

  • February 8, 2018

    11th Circ. Revives Defibrillator Failure Claims Against Zoll

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday revived the bulk of a suit alleging a faulty external defibrillator made by Zoll Services LLC failed to shock a woman’s heart after detecting a problem, saying that a lower court erred in finding her husband's claims were preempted by federal law.

  • February 8, 2018

    Fiat Chrysler Takes Early Swing At Stalling Pacificas Suit

    Fiat Chrysler told a California federal court Wednesday that a class action over Chrysler Pacificas that can allegedly stall at high speeds missed certain presuit requirements, and asked for dismissal of a claim it says is contingent on those requirements.

  • February 8, 2018

    Disney Says It’s Not Liable For Blinding By Toy It Didn't Make

    Disney's merchandising unit asked a Pennsylvania federal judge Wednesday to be removed from a lawsuit brought by a man who said he was partially blinded by the broken wing of a flying Tinkerbell doll because the company had nothing to do with making the toy.

  • February 8, 2018

    Fla. Court OKs Toss Of Engle Cases Filed For Dead Plaintiffs

    A Florida appeals court on Thursday said a lower court was right to toss several dozen Engle progeny suits filed by two law firms on behalf of smokers that “had been dead for many years,” just months after a panel of federal judges fined the same firms $9.1 million for filing nearly identical zombie suits.

  • February 8, 2018

    GM Gets Engine Defect Class Action Trimmed

    A California federal judge on Wednesday trimmed a proposed class action accusing General Motors LLC of manufacturing a vehicle engine that consumes excessive oil, potentially causing unexpected engine shutdowns or fires.

  • February 8, 2018

    EU Also Seeks Compliance Ruling In Russia WTO Pork Brawl

    The European Union asked the World Trade Organization on Wednesday to determine whether Russia has adequately scaled back its pork import restrictions, following Moscow’s lead and restoring a measure of order to a dispute that had become tangled in procedural fights.

  • February 7, 2018

    Judge Questions Attys' Fees In 2 Takata Air Bag Deals

    A Florida federal judge expressed concern Wednesday about the attorneys' fees requested in settlements worth more than $702 million between Honda, Nissan and a class of vehicle owners who sued the car manufacturers over the cost of replacing their defective Takata air bags.

  • February 7, 2018

    Tractor Death Suit Belongs In Miss., Texas Justices Hear

    Counsel for tractor manufacturing company Mahindra USA Inc. told the Texas Supreme Court in oral arguments Wednesday that a lawsuit brought in Houston by the sons of a man who died while using a tractor at his home in Mississippi must be tossed because it doesn't belong in Texas courts.

  • February 7, 2018

    Atty Negotiating Teams Set In Opioid MDL

    An Ohio federal judge on Wednesday created negotiating teams for attorneys in sprawling multidistrict litigation over allegedly reckless opioid sales, the latest move to steer the massive case toward settlement.

  • February 7, 2018

    FDA's Off-Label Delay Not Enough For Big Drugmakers

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s delay of controversial new policies on off-label promotion doesn’t go far enough and should be followed by quick action to erase uncertainty about acceptable marketing practices, major drugmakers said in letters released late Tuesday.

  • February 7, 2018

    1st Circ. Won't Rethink Decision On Beetle Infestation

    The First Circuit on Tuesday said it would not rethink its conclusion that the government did not have to get a property owner’s permission before removing 25 trees on his land as part of an effort to stop an infestation of beetles.

  • February 7, 2018

    Werther’s Caramels Maker Underfills Bags, Suit Says

    The maker of Werther’s Original sugar-free chew caramels purposefully packages the candy in opaque bags that are less than 40 percent full, causing consumers to overpay for the product, says a proposed class action filed Wednesday in New York federal court.

  • February 7, 2018

    Nestlé Can't Duck Claims It Underfilled Raisinets Boxes

    A Missouri federal judge has denied Nestlé USA Inc.'s motion to dismiss a class action over Raisinets boxes that allegedly contain almost as much air as candy, saying Wednesday that at this early stage of the litigation the allegations are well-constructed enough to move forward.

  • February 7, 2018

    Senators Urge FDA To Reject Philip Morris Tobacco Device

    A group of 10 Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reject Philip Morris’ application to market a smokeless tobacco device as less risky than traditional cigarettes, after an FDA panel advised rejecting the application.

  • February 7, 2018

    Hospital To Face Some Claims In Last Meningitis MDL Case

    In the final case in multidistrict litigation over a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak, a Maryland surgery center must face negligence claims from the estate of a deceased woman, but can’t be held liable for punitive damages, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Ruling On Short Sandwiches May Cast A Long Shadow

    J. Philip Calabrese

    One of 2017's most significant product liability rulings may have been the Seventh Circuit's reversal of a settlement over Subway sandwiches that provided "no meaningful relief" to class members. The decision suggests that defendants will have to do more to settle product claims than simply write a check, says J. Philip Calabrese of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • Removal In 2017: How Defendants Got To Federal Court

    Brett Clements

    Product liability defendants often seek to remove cases to federal court, because federal jurisdiction means federal pleading standards, robust expert discovery, efficiency through uniform procedural and evidentiary rules and, often, more diverse jury pools. Last year, several cases highlighted the evolving removal landscape and addressed four important questions, say Brett Clements and Amy Rubenstein of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • 2017 Health Care Enforcement Review: FCA Case Law

    Brian Dunphy

    Last year, courts issued numerous health care-related decisions interpreting the legal standards under the False Claims Act and assessing the viability of a multitude of FCA liability theories. These decisions will affect the prosecution and defense of FCA cases for years to come, says Brian Dunphy of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Getting A 'Fair Share' Of Asbestos Liability In Pa.

    Albert Piccerilli

    In Roverano v. John Crane Inc., the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled that the state's Fair Share Act, which provides for apportionment of liability among tortfeasors, applies to strictly liable defendants in asbestos actions. The challenge will be in formulating arguments over what share of liability each tortfeasor deserves, says Albert Piccerilli of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP.

  • Applying BMS To Federal Class Actions: Due Process Matters

    J. Gordon Cooney

    One of the most significant questions raised by last year's landmark Bristol-Myers Squibb decision is whether and how it applies to the claims of absent class members in the context of federal class action litigation, particularly with respect to claims that do not arise under a statute authorizing nationwide service of process, say attorneys with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • 6 E-Discovery Predictions For 2018

    Erich Potter

    Erich Potter, discovery counsel with Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP, discusses six ways e-discovery will continue to excite and confound in 2018.

  • Series

    What I Learned In My 1st Year: Read The Whole Thing

    James Beck

    As a beginning associate at a large Philadelphia law firm, I was tasked to fill in case citations on a brief. I found something that looked like exactly what I wanted for a particular legal proposition, but I did not bother to read the entire case. That was a big mistake — and led to an important lesson, says James Beck of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Settlement Aspirations Enter The Opioid MDL

    Adam Fleischer

    Two freight trains driving the opioid multidistrict litigation appear to be on a collision course. Journalistic investigations have revealed much about what the pharmaceutical industry knew about the opioid crisis, but just this week, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio made clear his plans to push the matter toward a global resolution in 2018, say Adam Fleischer and Kevin Harris of BatesCarey LLP.

  • 3-D Printed Implants Pose Challenge For Product Regulators

    Richard Rubenstein.jpg

    When it comes to 3-D printed medical implants, both the courts and federal regulators lag behind the technology. A system designed to regulate mass-produced medical products may not be equipped to protect consumers against the risks presented by 3-D printed, individualized devices, say Richard Rubenstein and Jianlin Song of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • 6 Roles To Embrace In An Evolving Legal Industry

    Rob MacAdam

    Smart law firms are increasingly positioning professionals to proactively guide them as the legal landscape reshapes itself, harnessing six emerging roles within their organizational charts to embrace new approaches, tools and systems, says Rob MacAdam of HighQ.