Product Liability

  • August 11, 2020

    REI Pushed Ineffective Hand Sanitizer Amid Virus, Suit Says

    Outdoor gear retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. and a Massachusetts hand sanitizer company sought to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic by falsely marketing an alcohol-free product as a "proven alternative to alcohol sanitizers," according to a putative class action filed in federal court Tuesday.

  • August 11, 2020

    Fluoride Risk Question Headed Back To EPA After Trial

    Following a bench trial over the risks of adding fluoride to drinking water, a California federal judge told the challengers to file a new administrative petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency so it can consider the substance's risks with the benefit of new evidence.

  • August 11, 2020

    Tenn. DAs' Sackler Claims Still Blocked By Purdue Ch. 11

    A New York federal judge won't let a group of Tennessee district attorneys pursue claims against the former president of Purdue Pharma LP, saying Tuesday their argument that a judgment against Richard Sackler wouldn't affect the Chapter 11 case "makes absolutely no sense."  

  • August 11, 2020

    Boeing Rips Southwest Flight Attendants' 737 Max Safety Suit

    Boeing told an Illinois federal judge that Southwest Airlines flight attendants suing to recover lost wages from the 737 Max's global grounding have made far-fetched claims that Boeing overhyped the jets' safety and locked Southwest, one of its most loyal airline customers, into rigid contracts.

  • August 11, 2020

    Ex-Theranos CEO's Criminal Trial Moved To 2021 Due To Virus

    A California federal judge on Tuesday delayed former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes' criminal jury trial from October to March in light of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, but he shortened the parties' proposed pretrial briefing schedule by about two weeks.

  • August 11, 2020

    FDA Pressed To Take E-Cigs Off Market During Pandemic

    Lawmakers on Tuesday called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take e-cigarettes temporarily off the market during the pandemic, saying that there's scientific evidence that e-cigarette users are more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • August 11, 2020

    Supplier Wants Claim Axed From EQT's $18M Faulty Valve Suit

    A drilling industry supplier urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Monday to throw out what it said were duplicative claims over alleged breaches of contract and warranty in an $18 million suit over purportedly faulty gas well valves sold to EQT Corp.

  • August 11, 2020

    Energizer Wants False Ad Suit To Keep Going And Going

    Energizer Brands LLC is pushing a New York federal court to keep alive its suit alleging that Duracell U.S. Operations Inc. falsely claims its premium batteries perform better than all others, saying Duracell's bid for an early win is a straw man argument that misconstrues Energizer's complaint.

  • August 10, 2020

    Arizona Must Face Bulk Of 'All Natural' Gummy Labeling Suit

    Though a New York federal judge on Monday trimmed claims from a proposed class action alleging that Arizona Beverage Co. falsely labels its gummy snacks as "all natural," she found that the company still has to face allegations that it violated numerous state consumer protection laws.

  • August 10, 2020

    Lawyer Says Thalidomide Client's Claims Are Years Late

    A Waters Kraus & Paul LLP attorney called on a Pennsylvania federal court Monday to toss her onetime client's allegations that the lawyer misled her about when a suit over the purported link between the drug thalidomide and birth defects would be resolved, saying the woman filed her claims too late.

  • August 10, 2020

    Allergan Says Breast Implant MDL Claims Are Preempted

    Allergan Inc. is urging a New Jersey federal court to throw out claims in multidistrict litigation alleging that it hid the health risks of its textured breast implants, saying that because the implants' design, manufacture and marketing were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the claims are preempted by federal law.

  • August 10, 2020

    LA Vape Flavor Ban Survives Tobacco Industry Challenge

    A California federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit brought by a group of tobacco companies challenging a ban on flavored tobacco products put in place by Los Angeles County, saying federal law gives states and localities the power to ban the sale of tobacco products.

  • August 10, 2020

    Opioid Cos. Say NY Trial Shouldn't Be Livestreamed

    Opioid companies on Monday told a New York state judge that the trial and upcoming hearings over the state's claims that they fueled the opioid crisis shouldn't be livestreamed, saying since courts transitioned to virtual proceedings because of the coronavirus pandemic, not one court has used livestreaming to ensure public or press access.

  • August 07, 2020

    Drivers Seek Sanctions Against BMW In Defective Engine Suit

    Five BMW drivers who opted out of a nationwide class action lawsuit told a Massachusetts federal court the automaker should face sanctions for repeatedly refusing to hand over discovery, despite the fact that the court has previously ruled that the type of document requested is relevant.

  • August 07, 2020

    Nationwide Beats Construction Defect Suit At 11th Circ.

    The Eleventh Circuit held that an Alabama district court wrongly applied federal rather than Alabama state laws when determining privity in a suit between a homeowner and contractor, freeing Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. from defending the contractor's allegedly botched work.

  • August 07, 2020

    JPML Consolidates Profemur Hip Implant Suits In Ark.

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation sent nearly four dozen suits alleging Wright Medical Technology Inc. and MicroPort Orthopedics Inc. sold defective hip implants to Arkansas federal court over the objections of the companies.

  • August 07, 2020

    Ex-NFL Players' Painkiller Suit Revived By 9th Circ.

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday revived a suit by former National Football League players alleging the league made them take opioids and other painkillers to get back on the field before they were healthy.

  • August 07, 2020

    NAACP Wants Seat At Table In Purdue Bankruptcy Case

    The NAACP on Friday asked a New York bankruptcy judge for a seat at the table in the Purdue Pharma Chapter 11, saying it needs to ensure a fair share of the proceeds of the case's opioid settlement goes to communities of color.

  • August 07, 2020

    Honeywell Must Face Asbestos Suit, Ohio Appeals Court Says

    An Ohio appeals court on Thursday revived a widow's suit against Honeywell alleging that her late husband was exposed to asbestos in its brake products, finding that a jury could conclude that her husband's mesothelioma was caused by his exposure.

  • August 07, 2020

    Surgical Device Co. Says J&J Shouldn't Have Seized Products

    A company that a Johnson & Johnson unit has accused of selling purportedly counterfeit versions of surgical devices told an Illinois federal court Friday that a seizure order of 1.27 million of its products should not have been granted, saying the subsidiary has shown "little, if any, evidence of the ballyhooed pervasive counterfeiting scheme."

  • August 07, 2020

    Coronavirus Q&A: Hogan Lovells' Medical Devices Director

    In this edition of Coronavirus Q&A, a leader of Hogan Lovells' medical devices team discusses school reopenings, client frustrations with a heavily burdened U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and mounting problems with COVID-19 testing volume and turnaround times.

  • August 07, 2020

    NY Court Affirms Asbestos Verdict, But Nixes $13M Award

    A New York appeals court has vacated $13 million in awards in a suit alleging that products made by Felt Products Manufacturing caused a woman to develop mesothelioma, but affirmed the jury's verdict that the company's products were at fault.

  • August 07, 2020

    Fiat Chrysler Drivers' Jeep Engine Defect Suits Joined In Mich.

    A Michigan federal court has consolidated nine proposed consumer class actions accusing Fiat Chrysler of knowingly selling Jeep vehicles with dangerously defective engines that sucked up excessive amounts of oil, resulting in premature wear and catastrophic engine failure.

  • August 07, 2020

    Mich. Pot Regulator Recalls Joints After Worker Licked One

    Michigan marijuana regulators have issued a product recall for contaminated prerolled joints sold to retailers in a dozen municipalities after an employee at a processing facility allegedly licked a product while making it.

  • August 07, 2020

    Ulta Beats Certification Bid In Shoppers' Used-Makeup Suit

    An Illinois federal judge has refused to certify 15 statewide classes over accusations that Ulta Beauty Inc. unlawfully sold used, repackaged products, saying managers implemented the company's damaged goods reduction policy too differently to create a common question over their claims.

Expert Analysis

  • The Ethics Of Using Chatbots For Legal Services

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    Delegating legal work to robots involves several risks, including running afoul of statutes dictating unauthorized practice of law, but with the right precautions, law firms can lawfully employ artificially intelligent chatbots that can imitate human conversations, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • Online Retailer Liability Could Soon Take New Shape In Calif.

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    Amazon has so far prevailed in court battles over extending product liability to online marketplaces like itself, but a new California bill and a case currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit could change that, say Steven Geise and Annika Mizel at Jones Day.

  • COVID-19 Liability Considerations For Nonmedical Businesses

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    While some businesses, especially in the health care sector, have been afforded protection from COVID-19 liability, others have not — so companies should carefully review the state of immunity legislation in their jurisdictions, and consider legal issues around causation, foreseeability, notice and nuisance claims, say Kathleen Carrington and Mitchell Morris at Butler Snow.

  • Opinion

    ABA Must Seize Opportunity To Respond To Bar Exam Chaos

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    The challenges of administering bar exams this year have put the future of the profession in jeopardy, but the American Bar Association at its ongoing annual meeting can adopt a resolution that would urge jurisdictions to take emergency actions with respect to licensure of new attorneys, says Nicholas Allard, former president of Brooklyn Law School.

  • How Pandemic Is Affecting The Pace Of Judicial Opinions

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way judges work, but how has it impacted the volume of work product they generate? Ben Strawn and Omeed Azmoudeh at Davis Graham investigate using data from the PACER federal courts registry.

  • COVID-19 And Design Defect Jurors' Risk Evaluations: Part 3

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    With jurors in the COVID-19 era being constantly reminded of pandemic-related dangers, defense counsel in product liability design defect trials must effectively use voir dire and careful observation to gauge how juries are evaluating risk, say a jury consultant at Litigation Insights and attorneys at Faegre Drinker.

  • COVID-19 And Design Defect Jurors' Risk Evaluations: Part 2

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    Recent jury research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is correlated with shifts in potential jurors' views on corporations and government regulators — and the virus itself may affect jury composition, as more risk-averse individuals seek to avoid jury duty, say a jury consultant at Litigation Insights and attorneys at Faegre Drinker.

  • 6 Steps For Law Firms Looking To Improve Their Culture

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    The COVID-19 crisis represents an inflection point for law firm culture, and smart firm leaders will take advantage of this moment to build innovation-welcoming environments that support partners, associates, business services teams and clients alike, say Jennifer Johnson at Calibrate Legal and Kathleen Pearson at Pillsbury.

  • COVID-19 And Design Defect Jurors' Risk Evaluations: Part 1

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    Risk assessment plays a key role in complex product liability design defect trials, but the COVID-19 pandemic may have altered how potential jurors assess risks, making this an important consideration in jury research, say a jury consultant at Litigation Insights and attorneys at Faegre Drinker.

  • Virtual Courts Amplify Lawyers' Corporate Spokesperson Role

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    Greater access to virtual court proceedings during the pandemic means an increased likelihood that legal arguments will jump from the courtroom to the court of public opinion, so counsel must tailor statements with the client's reputation in mind, says Mike Dolan at Finsbury.

  • Numerosity Analysis Fix Can Improve Class Cert. Decisions

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    Courts can remedy the recent trend of disregarding joinder in numerosity inquiries by addressing four key errors and retethering their analysis to the text of federal requirements for class certification, says Bennett Rawicki at Gibson Dunn.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: MDL Distancing

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    In light of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation's conducting socially distanced sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is instructive to consider other types of "distancing," including the panel's selection of trial venues, and its stance on personal jurisdiction in MDL proceedings, says Alan Rothman at Sidley.

  • Law Firms Must Note Pandemic's Outsize Impact On Women

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    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, gender roles in many families have reverted to scenes from the 1960s, and law firms have a huge opportunity — indeed a business imperative — to avoid the mistakes of the past, say Roberta Liebenberg at Fine Kaplan and Stephanie Scharf at Scharf Banks.

  • The 'Rocket Docket' Show Goes On Despite Setbacks

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    After 11 years as the fastest civil trial court in the land, the Eastern District of Virginia rocket docket is now tied for second place among the nation's 94 district courts, but the court has moved swiftly to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and continues to dispense justice safely and efficiently, says Robert Tata at Hunton.

  • 2nd Circ. Slack-Fill Ruling Makes Injunctive Relief Harder

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    With its recent decision in Berni v. Barilla, the Second Circuit threw up new obstacles for consumer class actions seeking prospective injunctive relief, and created a split with the Ninth Circuit that will have repercussions for some time to come, say attorneys at Hunton.

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