Product Liability

  • February 17, 2017

    9th Circ. Doubts Timeliness Of Amgen Off-Label Sales Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Friday seemed skeptical that a proposed class action alleging Amgen pushed off-label uses of an anemia drug was filed within the statute of limitations, repeatedly asking whether the clock started running when the plaintiff and others filed a separate suit over the drug’s pricing years earlier.

  • February 17, 2017

    Ill. High Court Lets Railroad Employer Dodge Injury Suit

    Union Pacific Railroad Co. was improperly found liable for an employee's injuries, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday, finding that railroad employers can pass off workplace injury liability to a third party in certain cases.

  • February 17, 2017

    'Phantom' Drone Maker Sued Over Faulty App Software Update

    A market leader in consumer drone technology was hit with a putative class action Thursday in Pennsylvania federal court spurred by an allegedly harmful firmware update in December 2015 that rendered certain commercial drones in its "Phantom 2" line unable to record video and take photos.

  • February 17, 2017

    Enviros Ask 9th Circ. To Revive PG&E Water Pollution Suit

    An environmental group asked the Ninth Circuit Friday to revive its suit alleging Pacific Gas & Electric Co. storage facilities contaminate stormwater that discharges into California waterways, saying a lower court erred in finding the suit’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act claims were barred because the pollution was regulated by the Clean Water Act.

  • February 17, 2017

    4 Cos. Agree To $14.8M Deal To Clean Up Ill. Superfund Site

    Pharmacia LLC, Solutia Inc., ExxonMobil Oil Corp. and Cerro Flow Products will pay $14.8 million to clean up six former waste disposal sites at an Illinois Superfund site, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.

  • February 17, 2017

    Shopper Says Nordstrom Misleadingly Advertises Sales

    After one too many shopping trips at Nordstrom allegedly ended with the clothing retailer not delivering on its promise of certain advertised prices, an Alaska woman took action with a lawsuit on Thursday in federal court accusing the company of fraud.

  • February 17, 2017

    Judge OKs BMW, Car Owners Deal In Roof Defect Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge on Friday preliminarily approved a class action settlement between BMW AG and thousands of people who owned 6 Series convertibles that would allow the owners to repair a roof defect for free or to be reimbursed for past repairs.

  • February 17, 2017

    BMW NA Needn't Get Parent's Takata Docs: Special Master

    The special master in multidistrict litigation against Takata Corp. and various automakers over potentially explosive air bags recommended that BMW of North America LLC not be ordered to produce BMW AG documents, saying Thursday that the plaintiffs failed to show the U.S. distributor has control of the documents.

  • February 17, 2017

    Broker Blamed For Coverage Gap After Canister Explosion

    A food equipment manufacturer has hit its insurance broker with a lawsuit in New Jersey state court, alleging the agency caused a coverage gap by recommending the firm switch policies, which left it holding the bag in a subsequent lawsuit over an exploding whipped cream canister.

  • February 17, 2017

    Smoker's Actions Justify Limited Punitives, Engle Jury Finds

    A Florida jury awarded only $400,000 in punitive damages on Friday against Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds after finding they concealed facts important to the health decisions of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1995.

  • February 17, 2017

    Avis Says Insurer Owes Coverage For $23.5M Crash Verdict

    Avis has slapped its insurer with a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court alleging that the business has improperly refused to provide coverage in two personal injury actions, including one case in which a jury recently returned a $23.5 million verdict against the car rental company.

  • February 17, 2017

    Calif. Drivers Lose Bid To Keep Ford Power Steering Claims

    A California federal judge has handed Ford Motor Co. a quick win on several consumers’ claims that the auto giant hid the fact that its Focus and Fusion cars had power steering defects, saying the consumers couldn’t prove damages since Ford fully replaced their systems.

  • February 17, 2017

    NC Federal Jury Awards $5.2M Over Nursing Home Deaths

    A North Carolina federal jury on Thursday determined that a nursing home committed medical negligence that caused the deaths of three patients, with reckless disregard to their rights, and awarded their families $5.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

  • February 17, 2017

    NHL’s CTE Stubbornness Isn't A Good Look Or Legal Defense

    Faced with a proposed class action alleging it hid the dangers of head injuries in professional hockey and encouraged violence in the game, the NHL has chosen to attack the idea of a link between repeated head trauma and the much-publicized brain disease CTE, bucking a majority of scientists and medical experts, in a move that has many legal experts baffled.

  • February 17, 2017

    Kimberly-Clark Wants Investor Suit Over Gowns Tossed

    A short stock drop that occurred after the airing of an episode of "60 Minutes" that delved into a two-year old lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark Corp. over the effectiveness of its gowns during the 2014 Ebola virus breakout can’t serve as the backbone of a securities fraud suit, the company told a New York federal court Thursday.

  • February 17, 2017

    Pharmacist Rebuts Key Testimony In Meningitis Murder Trial

    A defense attorney for a pharmacist accused of murder and health care fraud in the 2012 meningitis outbreak meticulously scrutinized testimony by the pharmacy’s quality control officer during cross-examination on Friday, suggesting inconsistencies about issues she brought to her boss and exaggerations about mold findings.

  • February 17, 2017

    NJ Product Liability Suit Revived Against Smith & Nephew

    A New Jersey state appeals court has revived a product liability lawsuit against Smith & Nephew Inc. over allegedly defective medical wipes, finding Thursday that consumers were allowed under the statute of limitations to pursue claims related to one product recall notice but not an earlier notice.

  • February 17, 2017

    Texas Justices Won't Disturb Exxon's $4M Blast Coverage Win

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined a request from AIG subsidiary Commerce and Industry Insurance Co. asking the high court to review a lower court ruling holding it liable for more than $4 million in personal injury claims paid by Exxon Mobil Corp. in the wake of a Texas chemical plant explosion.

  • February 16, 2017

    Cos. In Labeling Suit Say Buyers Know Cane Juice Is Sugar

    Two health food companies told a California federal judge at a hearing Thursday that putative classes of consumers couldn’t say they were misled by labels saying products contained "evaporated cane juice," arguing if the consumers were as health conscious as they allege in their complaint, they would have known the ingredient was sugar.

  • February 16, 2017

    Punitives Phase Begins In Engle Trial Against PM, RJR

    The family of a smoker who died in 1995 began a trial for punitive damages on Thursday against Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds after being awarded millions of dollars in compensatory damages on Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • How A Guacamole Lawsuit Exposes FDA's 'Natural' Ambiguity

    Elizabeth Boggia

    While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has generally not objected to the use of the term "natural" to describe foods that do not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances, the agency has yet to offer a specific definition of the word. Not surprisingly, this uncertainty has led to litigation, most recently over guacamole, says Elizabeth Boggia of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • CPSC Civil Penalties: A Statistical Analysis

    Jonathan Judge

    In 2015, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye announced that he had directed CPSC staff to seek “double-digit” penalties from companies found to be in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act. Kaye appears to have accomplished his stated goal — a statistical analysis of agency fines shows that companies are being punished more severely than before, says Jonathan Judge of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Individual Defense In The Shadow Of Corporate Guilty Pleas

    Jessica K. Nall

    Corporate guilty pleas can be expected to have serious implications for the individual executives and employees alleged to have been involved in the conduct under scrutiny. But whether their corporate employer pleads guilty or pursues an alternative resolution, there are other factors at play that can make a bigger difference to the eventual outcome for individuals, say Jessica Nall and Janice Reicher of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • My Strangest Day In Court: When My Expert Had A Meltdown

    Esther Holm

    As I was going through one of the plaintiff’s claims — post-traumatic stress disorder — with my expert witness, the good doctor could not even recall the elements of the disorder! Then, suddenly, he pointed his finger at a young juror, remembers Esther Holm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • California Omissions Claims: Safety Required?

    David Stein

    California has the nation’s most powerful consumer protection statutes, but in recent years, the state’s federal courts have imposed a major constraint on omission claims brought under those statutes. The good news for consumers is that recent developments suggest this constrictive view of California consumer protection law is ending, say David Stein and Amanda Karl of Girard Gibbs LLP.

  • Long-Arm Jurisdiction In Missouri And Beyond: Part 2

    Angela Higgins

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear that contact-based specific personal jurisdiction requires that a particular plaintiff’s claim arise out of the defendant’s contacts with the forum state. Still, California, Missouri and some other jurisdictions have let nonresidents use their states to litigate disputes that are wholly unrelated to defendants’ conduct within the state, says Angela Higgins of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC.

  • Adapting Supply Relationships To Embrace Disruptive Tech

    Marjorie H. Loeb

    Building connected and autonomous vehicles requires the automotive industry, both manufacturers and traditional component suppliers, to embrace disruptive technology and work hand-in-hand with information technology providers. Bringing together these two spheres, however, will not be without its challenges, say Marjorie Loeb and Linda Rhodes of Mayer Brown LLP.