Product Liability

  • May 12, 2017

    Kerr Russell Cops To Aiding Eavesdropping On Depositions

    Kerr Russell & Weber PLC on Thursday took responsibility for its client violating a protective order by listening in on his rival’s depositions in a suit in which Abbott Laboratories is accusing several companies of selling “gray market” diabetes test strips, according to a letter in New York federal court.

  • May 11, 2017

    2017 Has Been The Year For Odd Food Recalls

    A dead bat in a salad. Dismembered golf parts in hash browns. A euthanasia drug in dog food. Food and beverage attorneys from both sides of the bar agree: When it comes to food recalls, this year so far has been ... odd.

  • May 11, 2017

    VW 3-Liter Deal Approved As Cheat Tab Hits Record $17.5B

    U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said Thursday he’ll approve a $1.2 billion deal ending claims Volkswagen AG installed emission-cheating software on its pricier 3.0-liter-engine vehicles, the latest in a series of settlements totaling more than $17 billion.

  • May 11, 2017

    Excess Insurer Says Akorn Not Covered For $20M Verdict

    Excess insurer Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. on Thursday asked an Illinois federal court to rule that it doesn't have to cover any part of a $20.5 million jury verdict rendered against Akorn Inc. in a lawsuit alleging the pharmaceutical maker failed to warn of dangerous interactions between one of its products and common medications.

  • May 11, 2017

    Engineer May Face Charges Over Fatal Philly Amtrak Crash

    The engineer for the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia in 2015 causing eight deaths and over 200 injuries may yet face criminal charges, after a Pennsylvania judge Thursday signed off on a private criminal complaint brought by the father of a woman killed in the accident.

  • May 11, 2017

    Ex-AFL Player's Concussion Claims Against League Tossed

    A Louisiana federal judge Wednesday dismissed a former Arena Football League player's concussion claims against his former employer, saying football's brain injury risks are not high enough to bypass the state workers' compensation law.

  • May 11, 2017

    Wash. Tells DOE To Act After Toxic Storage Tunnel Collapse

    Washington state demanded Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Energy quickly act to assess and remedy tunnels at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that store mixed radioactive waste after one partially collapsed Tuesday.

  • May 11, 2017

    GM, Car Buyers Spar Over Tronox Ruling In Bankruptcy Case

    A consolidated group of General Motors’ car buyers seeking to bring claims related to vehicle defects against post-bankruptcy GM told a New York bankruptcy court Wednesday that the Second Circuit's recent Tronox decision does not stop them in their tracks, as the carmaker contends.

  • May 11, 2017

    Pruitt Seizes Authority To OK $50M+ Superfund Remedies

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Wednesday said that any remedial action plan for a Superfund site that costs $50 million or more will have to be approved by him.

  • May 11, 2017

    DOT Can't Duck Oil Spill Plan Review Duties, Enviros Say

    The U.S. Secretary of Transportation is shirking her duty to review oil spill response plans for offshore pipelines and hiding behind a rubber-stamping of spill plans for onshore pipelines approved by the DOT, the National Wildlife Federation told a Michigan federal judge Thursday.

  • May 11, 2017

    Drug Wholesaler Gets 5 Years In Prescription Meds Fraud

    A New York federal judge on Thursday sentenced the owner of a wholesale drug distribution company to five years in prison for selling more than $100 million of black-market prescription drugs, for which he earned more than $13 million in just over two years.

  • May 11, 2017

    Sig Sauer Sued By NJ Over Faulty Trooper Guns

    Firearms manufacturer Sig Sauer Inc. has been slapped with a $2.5 million lawsuit by the New Jersey State Police alleging the company provided defective guns for its state troopers and failed to remedy the issue despite multiple opportunities to do so.

  • May 11, 2017

    Jury Sticks LIRR With $911K Bill For Signal Worker's Injury

    A Manhattan jury hit the Long Island Railroad with a $991,000 damages verdict Thursday, finding that the railroad was negligent when it put signal worker Daniel Curran into a “work hardening” physical therapy program he claimed exacerbated an on-the-job back injury.

  • May 11, 2017

    8th Circ. Won't Revive Landowners’ Exxon Pipeline Spill Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Thursday backed the dismissal of a class action against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. over the 2013 rupture of its Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, saying the lower court correctly decertified the class because landowners' claims were too individualized.

  • May 11, 2017

    Volkswagen US Taps New Compliance Chief From KPMG

    Volkswagen Group of America Inc. announced Thursday that it has hired a new chief compliance officer from KPMG LLP, filling a high-profile position as the embattled automaker continues navigating the fallout from its diesel-emissions scandal.

  • May 10, 2017

    City Urges 9th Circ. To Revive $31M Tainted-Water Case

    A city in Los Angeles County on Wednesday urged the Ninth Circuit to revive its $31 million suit claiming that perchlorate-laden fertilizer produced by SQM North America Corp. contaminated its water, arguing the mining giant was allowed to “confuse the jury with pure unscientific speculation.”

  • May 10, 2017

    Cherokees' Opioid Suit A Test For Tribal Courts' Reach

    The Cherokee Nation’s recent suit against Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other major pharmacies and drug distributors is an aggressive bid to use tribal law to make non-Indian companies pay for the opioid crisis plaguing the tribe's citizens, but attorneys say the Cherokees will likely face a tough fight to keep their claims in tribal court.

  • May 10, 2017

    5 Top Priorities As Gottlieb Takes Reins At FDA

    Scott Gottlieb will start his tenure atop the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with oodles of hot-button policy questions demanding his attention, including deeply contentious issues involving drug safety and nutritional disclosures. Here are key debates that attorneys expect Gottlieb to prioritize.

  • May 10, 2017

    Split Calif. Appeals Panel Revives Yamaha Vehicle Defect Suit

    A split California appeals court Tuesday revived a design defect claim against Yamaha Motor Corp. brought by a passenger who lost a leg after crashing a Yamaha Rhino off-road vehicle, finding that the trial court erred when it declined to instruct the jury to decide if average customers expect the vehicles to tip over while turning at low speeds.

  • May 10, 2017

    FERC Limits Construction Of $4.2B ETP Pipeline Amid Spill

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff on Wednesday blocked Energy Transfer Partners LP from conducting certain drilling activities as part of its construction of its $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline in Ohio, until the company addresses recent spills of drilling fluids.

Expert Analysis

  • What Vanderbilt V. Hartford Means For Policyholders

    Jan A. Larson

    The Connecticut Appellate Court's decision in Vanderbilt v. Hartford last month endorsed the unavailability exception and rejected the application of the pollution exclusion to talc-related asbestos exposure. Vanderbilt provides strong support for policyholders faced with certain coverage defenses common to asbestos-related long-tail liability claims, say Jan Larson and Alexander Bandza of Jenner and Block LLP.

  • The SAVe Act: A Roadblock To Automated Vehicle Innovation


    Autonomous vehicle technology, now being developed and tested by companies outside and inside the traditional auto manufacturing sector, promises to bring advances in safety and convenience to U.S. roadways. But legislation recently introduced in several states will impair automated vehicle development, and is designed mainly to protect traditional auto manufacturers and dealers from competition, say attorneys from WilmerHale.

  • Another Step Toward Reasonable Preemption Case Law


    In its recent ruling in Rheinfrank v. Abbott Laboratories, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a complete defense verdict, based in part on branded drug preemption. This defense decision is another step toward limiting liability for manufacturers that could not prevent these types of claims even if they endeavored to, say Erin Bosman, Julie Park and Austin Marsh, Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • A Law Firm’s Guide To Social Media

    Julie Bagdikian

    Bear in mind that the internet seldom forgets and never forgives, and you are just one screen grab from a meme. A law firm's core messages and unique selling points must be clearly determined before embarking on a social media strategy, says Julie Bagdikian of The Pollack PR Marketing Group.

  • Series

    Advocate For An Agency: Ex-CPSC GC Cheryl Falvey

    Cheryl Falvey

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is tasked with regulating a wide range of products, while operating with only narrow rulemaking authority and a tight budget. Cheryl Falvey, general counsel of the CPSC from 2008 to 2012, describes how she and agency staff responded creatively to the Chinese drywall crisis and other urgent problems that required coordination across multiple agencies and governments.

  • Think Your Insurance Will Cover Your Recall? Think Again

    Suzan F. Charlton

    If you are a supplier to a food company and you inadvertently provide the wrong ingredient to your customer, you might expect your insurance to provide coverage for that liability. However, you might be wrong, as cases involving “wrong ingredients” can trigger recalls but often are not covered by either products liability or product contamination policies, say Suzan Charlton and Marialuisa Gallozzi of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The Future Of Off-Label Promotion And Product Liability

    James Beck

    It has recently been suggested that legalization of off-label promotion could lead to more drug company liability, but this looks like simply the plaintiffs bar's wishful thinking. If truthful off-label promotion becomes legal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may order more warnings about off-label uses to appear on drug/device labeling. That would actually be good for preemption, says James Beck of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Series

    Advocate For An Agency: Ex-FERC GC Cynthia Marlette

    Cynthia Marlette.jpg

    Cynthia Marlette, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2009, reflects on how she addressed the job's many responsibilities, including advising the commission on laws and enforcement actions, developing policy, seeking consensus among commissioners, and overseeing defense of agency actions in court, as well as dealing with historic events like the California energy crisis.

  • EU Endocrine Disruptor Fights Could Lead To US Litigation

    David Schwartz.jpg

    A battle is raging in the European Union over the regulatory status of endocrine disrupting substances. This debate could have dramatic implications for U.S. litigation over personal care products, food, household cleaners, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical products and other substances. Relevant product manufacturers must be ready for the coming onslaught, says David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions LLC.

  • Drone Operators Should Prepare For Inevitable Tort Claims

    James B. Insco II

    Against the backdrop of data that some litigants will use to argue that unmanned aircraft are inherently unsafe, entities involved in unmanned aviation must approach their business decisions with anticipation of demonstrating their reasonableness, says James Insco II of K&L Gates LLP.