Product Liability

  • February 05, 2020

    Big Oil, Calif. Municipalities Butt Heads On Climate At 9th Circ.

    Dozens of fossil fuel firms faced off against California municipal governments in a pair of momentous Ninth Circuit hearings Wednesday, as the judges heard appeals in two cases that could decide whether petroleum companies will bear the cost of climate-related infrastructure damage.

  • February 05, 2020

    Zofran Plaintiffs Say GSK Hid FDA Lobbying From Discovery

    Citing what GlaxoSmithKline attorneys have called “some crazy conspiracy theory,” plaintiffs claimed Wednesday that GSK hid from discovery its efforts to lobby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the multidistrict litigation case alleging the company's anti-nausea medication Zofran caused birth defects.

  • February 05, 2020

    JPML Ships Opioid Bellwethers Over Drug Co. Protests

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Wednesday moved opioid-crisis cases involving San Francisco and a major Native American tribe to federal courts in California and Oklahoma, rejecting strident objections from drug companies and teeing up dramatic bellwether trials.

  • February 05, 2020

    J&J Rigged Tests To Hide Asbestos In Talc, Jury Told

    Johnson & Johnson rigged its testing procedures so it could falsely claim its baby powder didn’t contain asbestos, counsel for people with mesothelioma told a New Jersey jury Wednesday in urging the panel to slam the pharmaceutical giant with punitive damages for its purportedly reckless conduct.

  • February 05, 2020

    Mining Co. Seeks To Toss EPA's Gold King Spill Suit

    Mining company Sunnyside Gold Corp. wants a New Mexico federal court to toss multidistrict litigation seeking to hold it liable for a 2015 Gold King Mine breach that contaminated water sources with toxic minerals, arguing that claims in the case are time-barred.

  • February 05, 2020

    Juul Targeted 8 Native American Tribes, House Report Finds

    Juul Labs Inc. targeted at least eight Native American tribes and tried to sell its e-cigarette products through their smoking cessation programs, according to a congressional report released Wednesday.

  • February 05, 2020

    Starbucks Customer Says Venti Sizes Have Grande Caffeine

    A disgruntled latte buyer hit Starbucks with a proposed class action in California federal court Tuesday, alleging that the coffee giant is tricking customers into buying larger espresso-based drinks despite them containing as much caffeine as a smaller size.

  • February 05, 2020

    Jaguar Unit, Parent Co. Dismissed From Thumb Injury Suit

    A Jaguar unit and its parent company have been dismissed from a lawsuit that claims the automatic door of a vehicle partially severed a man’s thumb, according to an opinion that also admonished the man for filing an unwarranted bid for sanctions against the parent company.

  • February 05, 2020

    Algae Supplier Execs Must Face Investors' Trimmed Claims

    A California federal judge pared down claims Tuesday against former executives of a biotechnology company but gave investors a chance to revise their accusations that the company told lies about its edible algae products that caused a drop in its stock price.

  • February 04, 2020

    VW Asks 9th Circ. To Clarify Bondholder Fraud Standard

    Volkswagen has asked the Ninth Circuit to review a district court ruling preserving proposed class claims the automaker duped a pension fund into buying overpriced bonds by not mentioning the “clean diesel” emissions scandal in offering documents, saying it needs more guidance on a reliance standard.

  • February 04, 2020

    FDA Didn't Vet Enviro Impact Of GMO Salmon, Group Claims

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed to properly analyze the impacts that a genetically engineered salmon operation could have on the environment and endangered species before approving it, green groups and a Native American tribe have told a California federal judge.

  • February 04, 2020

    Drivers Slap Porsche With Suit Over Alleged Cooling Defect

    Porsche Cars North America Inc. on Monday was hit with a proposed class action in Georgia federal court claiming that certain vehicles have a dangerous defect in the engine’s cooling system that causes them to suddenly overheat.

  • February 04, 2020

    Opt-Out Drivers' Claims Trimmed Ahead Of VW Bellwether

    Ten consumers gearing up to face Volkswagen in an upcoming bellwether trial over its "clean diesel" emissions scandal cannot assert California-based consumer warranty claims, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, narrowing the potential damages the consumers might collect from the German automaker.

  • February 04, 2020

    Watchdog To Probe Use Of 'Forever Chemicals' At DOD Sites

    A government watchdog will probe the U.S. Department of Defense’s handling of long-lasting toxic substances, according to a Monday announcement, while 18 state attorneys general reiterated calls for stricter regulation of those chemicals.

  • February 04, 2020

    Future Of Climate Torts At Stake In 9th Circ. Doubleheader

    The Ninth Circuit will hear back-to-back oral arguments Wednesday in a pair of cases aimed at putting fossil fuel companies on the hook to Golden State cities and counties for climate-related infrastructure damage. Here's a primer on what to expect.

  • February 04, 2020

    Philip Morris Escapes Shareholder Suit Over E-Cig Sales

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday tossed a proposed class action that alleged Philip Morris International lied about sales and regulation efforts for its flagship electronic cigarette, finding that investors hadn’t shown those statements were false and misleading.

  • February 04, 2020

    Walgreens To Pay $7.5M To End Suit Over Fake Pharmacist

    Pharmacy giant Walgreens will pay $7.5 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by Alameda and Santa Clara counties in California alleging that the company failed to properly safeguard against an unlicensed employee who filled more than 745,000 prescriptions, the counties announced.

  • February 04, 2020

    Insys Execs Say Assumptions Don't Equal $300M Restitution

    Lawyers for seven former Insys Therapeutics Inc. executives convicted of bribing doctors to prescribe opioids told a federal judge Tuesday that the government’s $300 million-plus restitution claim is based on assumptions and should be much lower.

  • February 04, 2020

    Wolverine To Pay $69.5M Over Michigan Water Contamination

    Michigan-based shoe giant Wolverine World Wide Inc. will pay $69.5 million to settle claims from the state and two townships that the company contaminated groundwater with variants of the "forever chemicals" known as PFASs.

  • February 04, 2020

    Battery Sellers Say Bad Atty Tanked Exploding Vape Suit

    The owners of a Utah-based online battery store are suing their insurance company and the law firm it hired to defend them in a suit over a vaping device that exploded, saying the firm assigned an inexperienced attorney who rejected a $200,000 settlement before losing a $2 million verdict in court.

  • February 03, 2020

    Calif. Lawmaker Says State Should Take Over Bankrupt PG&E

    A California state senator introduced legislation Monday that would give the state the green light to take over bankrupt Pacific Gas and Electric Co., slamming the country's largest utility as "a failed company" and saying such legislation "is long overdue."

  • February 03, 2020

    Cura Partners Closes Tie-Up With Curaleaf After Oregon Fine

    Massachusetts-based cannabis giant Curaleaf Holdings Inc. closed its deal to buy West Coast purveyor Cura Partners Inc. on Saturday, days after Cura Partners agreed to pay Oregon regulators $110,000 for ingredient-labeling misdeeds.

  • February 03, 2020

    StarKist Looks To Exit 'Dolphin Safe' Labeling Suit

    StarKist on Monday sought to have a suit challenging the “dolphin safe” labeling on its canned tuna thrown out of California federal court, saying that the consumers in the proposed class action who claim the marketing is deceptive have invented an “unreasonable standard.”

  • February 03, 2020

    5th Circ. Pollution Policy Ruling Too Broad, Concrete Co. Says

    A U.S. Concrete Inc. unit told the Fifth Circuit it made an overly broad interpretation of "contaminants" when a panel decided Great American Insurance Co. could cite a pollution exclusion to avoid paying for the company to clean up crushed rocks accidentally dumped in a stream. 

  • February 03, 2020

    Philip Morris Hit With $10.5M Verdict For Fla. Smoker's Cancer

    A Florida jury on Monday found that Philip Morris had misrepresented and obscured the true health impacts and addictive nature of its cigarettes, and awarded $10.5 million to a former Marine who lost his voice box after getting cancer from smoking cigarettes.

Expert Analysis

  • New California Laws Will Make Discovery More Costly

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    Under two California procedural laws that go into effect Jan. 1, practitioners in the state may enjoy a more organized discovery process, but likely at the expense of their time and the client’s money, say attorneys at DLA Piper.

  • When Conjoint Analysis Is Not Enough For A Damage Model

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    While some plaintiffs seeking to demonstrate classwide damages in consumer fraud actions can support damage models with conjoint surveys, they are sometimes not enough to provide the fair market value of a good or service and should be supplemented by additional steps or alternative models, says Douglas McNamara at Cohen Milstein.

  • Strategies To Maintain Privilege In Crisis Response Scenarios

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    In several recent cases, courts have overridden claims that attorney-client privilege applies to communications with public relations firms in connection with litigation and to documents generated in internal investigations, but businesses can use several best practices to avoid the potential risk of waiving privilege, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • How To Ward Off Nonclient Suits Over Lawyers' Speech

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    Because lawyers are often sued by nonclients based on public statements they have made, lawyers should be trained to avoid potentially actionable statements when speaking and writing, and they should also understand the overarching defenses against such lawsuits, says Matthew O’Hara at Freeborn & Peters.

  • California Continues To Set State Environmental Law Trends

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    California is home to some of the most robust environmental laws in the country, and many of them, like the state's ban on plastic bags, have led to similar laws in other states. Manufacturers and retailers should monitor green legislation in California as a harbinger of what may follow elsewhere, say attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • Product Liability Claims Can Be A Global Threat To Cos.

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    When allegations of product risks related to health, safety or the environment spread from one jurisdiction to countries around the world, they can lead to both policy responses and mass litigation that can jeopardize companies' business models, says Sylvie Gallage-Alwis of Signature Litigation.

  • Justices Weigh Property Rights Against Superfund Plans

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    At U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in Atlantic Richfield v. Christian, the justices seemed wary of the idea that the federal Superfund law could allow property owners to unilaterally supplement a government-selected cleanup plan, say Joshua Frank and Martha Thomsen of Baker Botts.

  • The Outlook For Autonomous Vehicles In The UK And US

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    As both the U.K. and U.S. governments continue to develop regulatory frameworks for autonomous vehicles, manufacturers can take certain steps to avoid litigation and manage risk, say attorneys at FaegreBD.

  • What Is A 'Reasonably Useful Form' For Production Of ESI?

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    While federal rules require production of electronically stored information in its native format or a "reasonably useful form," recent court rulings offer guidance on avoiding production of ESI in its native format when it would be unduly burdensome, say Matthew Hamilton and Donna Fisher at Pepper Hamilton.

  • Big Data, Social Media Trigger More Life Science Mass Torts

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    In this era of big data and social media, plaintiffs no longer wait for U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory action before filing pharmaceutical product liability claims, so the risk of mass tort litigation is higher than ever, say Saher Valiani and Matthew Holian at DLA Piper.

  • Congress, DOT Paving The Way For Autonomous Vehicles

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    Congressional committees' emerging consensus on a bill regulating autonomous vehicles, and U.S. Department of Transportation action to facilitate broader AV testing and deployment, suggest growing momentum for federal AV legislation that will provide certainty for the industry, say attorneys at Akin Gump.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: It's Nothing Personal

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    A recent ruling on personal jurisdiction from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation makes clear that parties should not be able to utilize the MDL process as an end-run around well-established due process considerations, says Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter.

  • Patent Decision Highlights Cross-Appeal Considerations

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    The Federal Circuit's recent decision in IPR Licensing overruled precedent to hold that the cross-appeal rule is not jurisdictional, demonstrating the complexity of this seemingly simple rule and its various applications within the circuit courts, says Michael Soyfer at Quinn Emanuel.

  • What NY And Mass. Exxon Climate Suits Mean For Other Cos.

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    New York state's securities fraud case against Exxon Mobil over its public stance on climate change has some weaknesses, but Massachusetts' climate-related suit against the company on consumer protection grounds should lead other companies to consider their exposure to such claims, says Alana Rusin of Goulston & Storrs.

  • Kisor May Be A New Dawn For Challenges To FDA Actions

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    Recent lower court rulings citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Auer deference in Kisor v. Wilkie show that U.S. Food and Drug Administration actions that fail to consistently justify the agency’s administrative process have never been more vulnerable to legal challenge, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

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