Product Liability

  • June 05, 2020

    PG&E's Share Terms For Fire Survivors Unfair, Judge Told

    Wildfire survivors on Friday urged a California federal judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $59 billion chapter 11 reorganization plan to ensure that they don't have to wait years to liquidate the PG&E stock in their wildfire liability settlement, saying PG&E can't give other shareholders better terms.

  • June 05, 2020

    Feds Say Chinese Co. Sold Defective Masks Amid Pandemic

    A Chinese manufacturing company produced and exported nearly half a million misbranded and defective masks to the United States as the country scrambled to equip its medical workers with personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

  • June 05, 2020

    Calif. Trial To Decide Risk Of Fluoride In Drinking Water

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will square off at trial Monday in California federal court against groups seeking to force the EPA to ban the addition of fluoride to drinking water, in a closely watched case that could affect nearly 200 million Americans who drink fluoridated water.

  • June 05, 2020

    Split 6th Circ. Backs Approval Of Enbridge Pipeline Spill Plan

    A split Sixth Circuit panel ruled on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Transportation properly approved Enbridge Energy's oil spill response plans for a Wisconsin-to-Ontario pipeline, while the dissenting judge said a lower court had been right to disagree.

  • June 05, 2020

    4 Takeaways From The Product Liability Litigation Report

    A recent report from legal analytics firm Lex Machina revealed the firms handling the most product liability cases, as well as data that could help attorneys decide when to file motions or if plaintiffs lawyers should take on individual cases outside multidistrict litigation.

  • June 05, 2020

    2nd Circ. Tosses EPA Mercury Reporting Exemption

    The Second Circuit on Friday vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to exempt importers of products that have mercury-containing components from reporting requirements, saying there's no other way for the agency to obtain the information.

  • June 05, 2020

    Investors Accuse Curaleaf Of Downplaying Stock Drop Claims

    A proposed class of investors in cannabis company Curaleaf has asked a New York federal judge not to dismiss its claims alleging the company caused share prices to fall by improperly marketing CBD products, saying Curaleaf understated the severity of the claims.

  • June 05, 2020

    Ex-Juul Worker Says 'Terrorizing' NDA Blocks Whistleblowing

    A former manager at Juul Labs Inc. has sued the electronic cigarette maker in California federal court, claiming the company uses the "terrorizing effect" of non-disclosure agreements to tamp down whistleblowing just like traditional cigarette companies have done in the past.

  • June 05, 2020

    Texas High Court Will Hear $15M Repairman Injury Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a $15 million jury verdict that held two companies that make and design air conditioning parts liable to a technician who was engulfed in flames when a compressor exploded and ignited.

  • June 05, 2020

    High Court Ruling May KO 2nd Circ. WWE Injury Appeals

    A Second Circuit panel looked ready Friday to apply recent Supreme Court guidance on timeliness of appeals in consolidated cases, after grouped suits claiming World Wrestling Entertainment hid the risks of head injuries were dismissed by a Connecticut federal judge.

  • June 05, 2020

    Dow Chemical, Others Must Face 24 Contaminated Water Suits

    A New York federal judge has ruled that Dow Chemical Co., Ferro Corp. and Vulcan Materials Corp. must face claims from two dozen New York water authorities and municipalities alleging they allowed a toxic chemical to get into their groundwater.

  • June 05, 2020

    Nestle Ducks Suit Over 'Fake' White Chocolate Chips

    A California federal judge has handed Nestle USA Inc. a win in a proposed class action alleging the company misled consumers into buying fake white chocolate chips, ruling that the named plaintiffs' assumptions about the product don't support their claims.

  • June 05, 2020

    Attys Bag Over $1M From $2.5M McCormick Slack-Fill Deal

    A D.C. federal judge on Friday awarded roughly $1.1 million in attorney fees and expenses as part of a $2.5 million settlement to resolve a consumer class action alleging McCormick & Co. Inc. underfilled pepper sold in grinders and tins.

  • June 04, 2020

    3rd Circ. Cuts Strings From Ex-Body Armor GC's Fees Bid

    Settlement objectors in class and derivative actions may receive attorney fees for improving deals in ways beyond the dollars and cents, the Third Circuit said Thursday in a precedential ruling that the former general counsel of a body armor business deserves fees with no strings attached for such an objection.

  • June 04, 2020

    PG&E Bankruptcy Plan Is 'House Of Cards,' Objectors Warn

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s $59 billion Chapter 11 reorganization plan does not adequately mitigate wildfire risks or prioritize wildfire survivors, challengers to the plan told a U.S. bankruptcy judge during a bench trial Thursday, calling the plan a "house of cards" that should not be confirmed.

  • June 04, 2020

    7th Circ. Mulls Consequences Of 'Objector Blackmail'

    A frequent challenger of class actions urged the Seventh Circuit on Thursday to disincentivize "objector blackmail" by forcing three men who made side deals to end their opposition to a class settlement return their allegedly ill-gotten funds.

  • June 04, 2020

    Juul Says Pa. AG Can't Sue Over Alleged Youth Marketing

    Juul Labs Inc. has urged a Pennsylvania state judge to toss a lawsuit from Attorney General Josh Shapiro over alleged improper marketing of its e-cigarette products to children, arguing in a brief that the claims are preempted by federal law.

  • June 04, 2020

    Spencer Fane Snags Environmental Litigator From Polsinelli

    Spencer Fane LLP has hired an environmental attorney from Polsinelli PC who brings decades of experience handling enforcement and litigation matters.

  • June 04, 2020

    2nd Circ. Sends Amazon Customer's Drug Row To Arbitration

    The Second Circuit on Thursday told an Amazon customer that his proposed class dispute with the online retailer over the sale of a dangerous diet pill must go to arbitration, saying his continued use of the site after learning about its arbitration clause amounts to assent to the agreement.

  • June 04, 2020

    Ill. High Court Boots Out-Of-Staters From Bayer Device Suit

    Illinois' top court on Thursday said the claims of more than 150 nonresidents of the Prairie State must be dismissed from a pair of lawsuits accusing Bayer Corp. of defectively manufacturing and marketing a permanent birth control device.

  • June 03, 2020

    PG&E Warns Of 'Draconian' Results If Bankruptcy Plan Denied

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. urged a U.S. bankruptcy judge to confirm its $58 billion reorganization plan during a bench trial Wednesday, slamming an objector's allegations of a potential conflict of interest as "absolutely preposterous" and warning of "draconian" results for wildfire victims if the plan is not confirmed.

  • June 03, 2020

    9th Circ. Nixes EPA Approval Of Dicamba Herbicides

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday vacated a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision allowing the herbicide dicamba to be used on cotton and soybean crops, saying the regulator "substantially understated" the risks associated with the weedkiller produced by several major agrochemical companies.

  • June 03, 2020

    Trial Recess: Alex Walsh On The Pleasant Surprises Of Zoom

    Trial attorney Alexandra Walsh doesn't just have her own practice to worry about during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wilkinson Walsh founding partner spoke to Law360 about juggling responsibilities during the crisis and how moving meetings onto Zoom may have had a hidden benefit of keeping ever-distracted lawyers on task.

  • June 03, 2020

    Opioid MDL Judge Orders More Briefing On $3B Atty Fees

    An Ohio federal judge overseeing sprawling opioid multidistrict litigation adopted the recommendation of a Harvard Law School professor that more information is needed before he can approve a request for a common benefit fund setting aside $3.3 billion in attorney fees.

  • June 03, 2020

    Fla. Panel Affirms $2.4M Verdict For Smoker's Widow

    A Florida state appeals court on Wednesday upheld a widow's $2.4 million verdict against Philip Morris for her husband's cancer death, finding she didn't need to point to a specific misleading statement by the tobacco giant to prove her case.

Expert Analysis

  • Law Firms Must Beware Risks In Nontraditional Financing

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    Law firms in today's financial crisis may be looking at nontraditional arrangements such as portfolio funding or factoring to provide liquidity and cash support, but firms must first consider lawsuits brought against Pierce Bainbridge and other recent developments, says Katherine Toomey at Lewis Baach.

  • 'The Government Said I Could' As A Defense During COVID-19

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    Pursuant to long-recognized due process principles, litigants should be entitled to reasonably rely on governmental directives related to COVID-19, and, in appropriate cases, assert it as complete defense to civil liability, say attorneys at Butler Snow.

  • Caremark Precedent Should Inform Boards' COVID-19 Duties

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    Directors of Delaware corporation boards should consider the responsibilities established in Caremark as a framework for getting sufficiently involved in COVID-19 decision-making, both to help their corporations navigate this difficult period and to defend against potential duty to monitor claims, say attorneys at Boies Schiller.

  • The EPA's Action Plan On PFAS, One Year Later

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    While little progress has been made in the year since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its action plan on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, stakeholders should anticipate how their interests and liabilities will shift when PFAS are designated as hazardous substances, say attorneys at Kelley Drye.

  • 2 Tested Alternatives To Unavoidable Court Delays

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    Those seeking resolution in commercial disputes that are stuck in an unavoidable but lengthy court backlog due to the pandemic must consider the advantages of arbitration and mediation over court proceedings, says former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin now at Stroock.

  • Opinion

    Minn. Ruling Represents Sensible Stance On Legal Finance

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    The Minnesota Supreme Court's Maslowski v. Prospect Funding Partners decision this week reaffirms that the doctrine of champerty is archaic, impedes important litigation finance activity, and should be abolished in the handful of states where it remains alive, says Andrew Cohen at Burford Capital.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Pandemic MDLs

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    While it is too soon to know whether the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will receive any petitions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are lessons to be learned from looking back at the panel's experience with MDLs in the aftermath of past outbreaks, says Alan Rothman at Sidley.

  • Best Practices For A Paperless Law Practice

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    A significant challenge in practicing law remotely is the use and handling of documents without paper, because common digital tools such as email or even secure file transfer applications are problematic, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

  • In GE, Supreme Court Extends Reach Of Int'l Arbitration In US

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in GE Energy v. Outokumpu Stainless broadens the reach of international arbitration as a viable dispute resolution mechanism under U.S. law, but leaves unanswered a number of important questions regarding the application of the nonsignatory doctrine, say attorneys at Paul Hastings.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Must Address Racial Injustice With Radical Candor

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    The legal industry is uniquely positioned, and indeed obligated, to respond to the racial disparities made clear by the recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but lawyers must be willing to be uncomfortable, says Tiffani Lee at Holland & Knight.

  • Studying The Post-Pandemic Juror By Generation

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    A close look at the life experiences unique to baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and others can offer valuable insight into how the pandemic could shape jurors' opinions in very different ways depending on their birth cohort, say trial consultants at JuryScope.

  • How NJ Talc Case May Shift NY Courts On Expert Testimony

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    A New Jersey federal court's recent decision in litigation over Johnson & Johnson talc products may help push state courts in neighboring New York further toward using the Daubert evidentiary standard — giving courts a more active gatekeeping role over expert testimony, say attorneys at Darger Errante.

  • A New Cost-Effective Approach To Class Action Discovery

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    Courts have traditionally bifurcated discovery into class and merits stages, but businesses facing class actions should consider arguing for a single discovery period covering all issues, say Cole Geddy and Brian Jackson at McGuireWoods.

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

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