Product Liability

  • August 16, 2017

    Ill. Judge Tosses Quaker Oats 'Natural' Ad Row

    An Illinois federal judge axed a proposed class action alleging that Quaker Oats Co.’s use of “100% Natural” claims on its oatmeal is misleading since it doesn’t disclose the presence of an herbicide, finding that the consumers couldn’t challenge the labeling under state law.

  • August 16, 2017

    Occidental Fights Landowners' Cert. Bid In Sinkhole Suit

    Occidental Chemical Corp. asked a Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday to block a bid for class certification by landowners suing over a massive sinkhole that opened near the underground operations of Texas Brine Co., saying proposed class members are not bound by a common issue.

  • August 16, 2017

    $400M Petrobras Row Must Be Arbitrated: Marine Chain Co.

    A Spanish marine chain manufacturer urged a Texas federal court on Tuesday to pause for arbitration a $400 million lawsuit initiated by Petrobras America Inc. and its insurers over an allegedly defective component in Petrobras’ offshore oil and gas operations, saying things have changed since the court refused a similar bid.

  • August 16, 2017

    Hyundai Slams Class Cert. Bid In Faulty Sunroofs Suit

    Hyundai Motor Co. asked a California federal court Tuesday not to certify a class of drivers who allege the automaker failed to warn of a defect that caused panoramic sunroofs to shatter, saying the cause of the purported breakage varies by individual.

  • August 16, 2017

    Settlement Administrator Impeding Process, Ex-NFLers Say

    Sixteen former National Football League players on Tuesday accused the claims administrator overseeing the distribution of benefits from the multidistrict litigation over football-related brain injuries of missteps in its implementation of the 2015 settlement agreement, saying it was adding requirements that were not part of the initial deal.

  • August 16, 2017

    Dallas Trial Firm Asks 7th Circ. To Toss Asbestos RICO Suit

    A Texas law firm on Tuesday urged the Seventh Circuit to throw out an engineered products company's claims that the law firm withheld evidence about its clients’ asbestos exposure in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and caused the company various state-court losses.

  • August 16, 2017

    Takata Ch. 11 Judge Halts All Non-MDL Airbag Lawsuits

    The Delaware bankruptcy judge presiding over the Takata Chapter 11 case on Wednesday ordered a 90-day freeze of hundreds of lawsuits and government enforcement actions over defective airbag inflators linked to at least a dozen deaths, so the company can focus on its global restructuring.

  • August 15, 2017

    Charlottesville Victims Hit Protesters With $3M Terrorism Suit

    Two women injured in the deadly car crash during a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, accused the driver who hit them, event organizers and websites including AltRight.com and The Daily Stormer of inciting violence and aiding terrorism in a $3 million suit in state court on Tuesday.

  • August 15, 2017

    FDA Warning Wire: Another Co. Blasted For Belladonna

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration laid into another homeopathic company over children’s teething products containing belladonna, upbraided a Chinese drugmaker for slack quality control, and scolded a bakery’s management for not knowing basic sanitation practices.

  • August 15, 2017

    Talc-Cancer Link Is Weak, J&J Expert Says At Trial's End

    Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday called an epidemiologist to testify that the statistical association between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer is “by definition” a weak one, as the California trial on a woman’s claims that J&J’s products caused her terminal ovarian cancer draws to a close.

  • August 15, 2017

    FDA Fires Back Against Suit Over Delayed Menu Labeling

    A lawsuit challenging the delay of mandatory menu labeling at chain restaurants and grocers should be chewed up and spit out because challengers haven’t been concretely harmed by the delay, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told a D.C. federal judge on Monday.

  • August 15, 2017

    Pa. Woman Says Rodent Was Baked Into Chick-Fil-A Sandwich

    A Pennsylvania woman ordered a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with no butter, no pickles and, impliedly, no vermin, but instead received a sandwich with a small rodent baked into the bun, according to a complaint filed in state court.

  • August 15, 2017

    Mercedes-Benz Wants Suit Over Moldy HVAC System Axed

    Mercedes-Benz USA LLC told a California federal judge Monday that a proposed class action alleging it knowingly sold vehicles with defective HVAC systems that accumulated mold and mildew and emitted noxious odors has improperly added new warranty claims and is trying to expand the scope of affected Mercedes models.

  • August 15, 2017

    Judge Denies Consumers Cert. In Celexa, Lexapro MDL

    A Massachusetts federal judge declined to certify a class of consumers in multidistrict litigation accusing Forest Laboratories of fraudulently promoting Celexa and Lexapro as treatments for pediatric depression, citing individual analyses that would be required to determine issues around the drugs’ use and promotion.

  • August 15, 2017

    Takata Objects To Atty Group's Claims Rep Candidate

    Takata and its unsecured creditors both sounded off Monday over a move by a product liability lawyers group to install one of its own as the representative for future personal injury claimants in Delaware bankruptcy court, with the air bag maker citing conflicts of interest and creditors citing conflicts over cash.

  • August 15, 2017

    DC Circ. Clears DEA To Block Supplier From Selling Opioids

    The D.C. Circuit on Monday lifted a stay that allowed Masters Pharmaceutical Inc. to continue selling controlled substances, including opioids, while the Drug Enforcement Administration challenged the supplier’s compliance with standards meant to block drug diversion.

  • August 15, 2017

    Trucker Sleep Apnea Test Latest To Fall Under Reg Rollbacks

    The Trump administration’s recent decision to yank a proposal to screen all truck, train and bus operators for sleep apnea fulfills the president’s promise to roll back business-hampering regulations, experts say, unraveling an Obama-era plan that may have duplicated existing health assessments and drew skepticism over costs.

  • August 15, 2017

    Arconic Investor Drops Suit Over Grenfell Tower Fire

    The Arconic Inc. investor who filed the first of three lawsuits against the company over alleged false statements related to the flammable exterior cladding materials it supplied for the construction of London’s Grenfell Tower — which caught fire — has dropped his case, according to a short filing in New York federal court on Monday.

  • August 15, 2017

    Las Vegas Racetrack Creditors Look To Force Ch. 11

    Creditors for a Las Vegas racetrack where a fatal crash took place in February are looking to begin Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware, telling a federal bankruptcy judge that the company continually failed to pay its debts.

  • August 15, 2017

    Sharp Sues To Lift Gag Order On Hisense Arbitration

    Sharp Corp. filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal court Tuesday to lift a gag order barring the electronics maker from discussing ongoing arbitration against Chinese state-owned Hisense Co. Ltd., attacking what it called a blatant First Amendment violation by a Singapore arbitrator.

Expert Analysis

  • The Unintended User In Product Liability Law

    Bennet Susser

    When a product is intended solely for use by adults, should a manufacturer anticipate that warnings to keep the product away from children will not be heeded by responsible parents? Counsel to manufacturers should be mindful that even the clearest warnings and the best safety features may still be insufficient to avoid a trial, says Bennet Susser of Jardim Meisner Susser PC.

  • Opinion

    Fossil Fuel Industry’s 'Tobacco Moment' Has Arrived

    Douglas Kysar

    Climate change lawsuits have been filed before, but the recent lawsuits filed against several of the largest oil, gas and coal producers by two California counties and one city are different than earlier efforts for three important reasons, says Douglas Kysar, a professor of law at Yale University.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Clients Are Not Really 'Emotional'

    Gray Matters

    When you look at your client through the "survival circuit" lens, what first appeared as an emotional mess is now valuable information about what is important to them, what needs have to be met to settle the case, or what further clarity your client requires before moving forward, say dispute resolution experts Selina Shultz and Robert Creo.

  • Avoiding The Rotten Compromise In Mass Litigation

    Ted Mayer

    Product liability litigation is often resolved through compromise. But not all compromises are equal. If a settlement achieves peace at unknown cost, does not resolve the most serious claims, or permits new claims to be filed for decades into the future, it is a rotten compromise and should be avoided, say Ted Mayer and Robb Patryk of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

  • Having A Chief Privacy Officer Reassures Your Firm's Clients

    Rita Heimes

    When a law firm appoints a chief privacy officer, not only does the firm benefit from the crucial operational impact of a well-managed privacy program, but clients see how seriously you take your duties of confidentiality and competence, says Rita Heimes, research director at the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

  • The 9th Circ.'s Expansive Reading Of Escobar In Gilead

    Sean Hartigan

    Although each of the Ninth Circuit's determinations in U.S. v. Gilead may be appropriate given the specific facts, together they seem to establish a low bar to meet Escobar’s implied certification test, say attorneys with Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC.

  • When Safety Features Are Optional, Manufacturers Beware

    Richard Rubenstein

    New York courts have recognized that optional safety features are appropriate under some circumstances — for example, when equipment is operated by trained employees. But the recent ruling in Fasolas v. Bobcat of New York, where the end user was a customer of an equipment rental yard, should concern manufacturers, says Richard Rubenstein of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Discussions Before Deliberations

    Richard Lorren Jolly

    To be sure, allowing jurors to discuss evidence before final deliberations proved to be among the least popular of our recommended innovations. But empirical evidence belies these fears, say Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman of the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Who Wants To Be An MDL?

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    As the lineup for this month’s Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation demonstrates, requests to create an MDL do not fit a single mold. They can involve headline news, contemporary politics or exotic vacations. They can even trigger forensic research from the National Archives on the status of cases filed decades ago, says Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Shift In CPSC Leadership Means More Changes To Come

    Erin Bosman

    At the midpoint of 2017, a look back at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s activity under the Trump administration shows changes in recalls and penalties relative to previous years, new focal points for safety initiatives and enforcement, and a key development from the White House that could affect the CPSC’s regulatory approach in the future, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.