Civil Procedure Products Liability

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Product Liability Update - July 2015

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Failure-to-Warn Claim Against Drug Manufacturer Not Preempted Because There Was No “Clear Evidence” FDA Would Not Have Approved Plaintiffs’ Suggested Warning; Also Holds...more

Almost, but Not Quite: No Summary Judgement for Mentor on Two of Plaintiff’s ObTape Claims

We flew to Pittsburgh this week for depositions. From Philadelphia, it takes only about 40 minutes in the air to get to Pittsburgh. But there are only a few nonstops each day. With no other options, we booked a nonstop...more

Cymbalta Class Certification Denied Again

Is there a tougher federal district judge than Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles? By “tougher,” we do not mean in the usual sense when applied to judges: handing out long criminal sentences – though that certainly does apply to...more

Third Circuit Clarifies Article III Standing for Absent Class Members, Impact of Comcast

In a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, the Court of Appeals held that unnamed, putative class members are not required to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the Court held that...more

Spoliation: How to Stop Trouble from Brewing

When a business is faced with the potential for litigation, it is imperative that all evidence be preserved to avoid the dreaded “s” word: spoliation. Starbucks Corporation recently learned this lesson the hard way when a...more

GlaxoSmithKline Files Motion To Consolidate Zofran Litigation In Philadelphia

Zofran was developed to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. However, doctors prescribed it for the treatment of morning sickness in pregnant women. GlaxoSmithKline is the world’s seventh largest...more

Bad News from Europe for Makers of Life-Saving Medical Devices

In over eight years, we’ve never before blogged about a European development in prescription medical product liability. The (relatively) recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Boston...more

11th Circuit: Rule 23 Trumps State Law Limitation on Class Actions

Dealing a blow to defendants facing consumer fraud litigation in the 11th Circuit, the court of appeals for that circuit has reinstated a class action under the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practice Act (ADTPA), despite that the...more

Proposed California Legislation Would Mandate Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Disclosures Statewide

California Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has introduced and sponsored Assembly Bill No. 597, the Asbestos Tort Claim Trust Transparency Act, which if passed would require asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all...more

Inapplicability of the "One Year" Limitations Tolling Period of the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure

In Murphy v. Hinton, No. COA14-1230 (July 7, 2015), the North Carolina Court of Appeals determined that a complaint dismissed voluntarily cannot benefit from the "one-year refiling" period pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the...more

Inadequate Record Keeping May Result in Gross Negligence For Injuries Caused by Exercise Equipment Malfunction

In Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., 2015 No. H040987, the California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, reversed summary judgment in favor of defendant 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (“24 Hour”), holding defendant’s incomplete...more

New IUDs and the Failure to Warn

Are intrauterine devices (IUDs) safe for use? For a number of years, patients have filed lawsuits against Bayer, the maker of Mirena. Mirena is one of three IUDs that is currently on the U.S. market, accompanied by ParaGard...more

Daubert – and a Mechanical Pencil – Doom the Testimony of “Clinical Engineering” Expert

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In the granddaddy of today’s reality TV shows, this buzz-phrase became synonymous with “use your head before you rely on a demonstration.” The plaintiff in Hutson v. Covidien Holdings,...more

The Elephant in the Room in Alabama

Six months ago, we praised two Alabama federal court decisions for refraining from extending the poorly reasoned decisions in Weeks—that is, Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, 2013 WL 135753 (Ala. Jan. 11, 2013) (withdrawn and...more

"Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Allowing Punitive Damages in New York City Asbestos Cases"

In a unanimous ruling decided July 9, 2015, New York's Appellate Division, First Department declined to overrule an April 2014 order by Justice Sherry Klein Heitler, the then-coordinating justice of the New York City Asbestos...more

CPSC Could Be Coming Around On A Litigation Strategy

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to escalate its enforcement efforts. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the CPSC, filed suit against Spectrum Brands Inc. See United States v. Spectrum...more

Feel The Burn: Court of Appeal Strikes Down State Law Claims Regarding Mislabeled Sunscreen Products Under Finding of Federal...

In Eckler v. Neutrogena (certified for publication 7/1/15, Case No. B2536910), the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, upheld the trial court’s determination that plaintiffs’ claims of mislabeling sunscreen...more

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Video Recording an Accident Demonstration

One of the more frustrating aspects of defending power tool cases occurs during the deposition of the plaintiff – at the point where he attempts to describe in minute detail how his accident happened. Then, at trial, just...more

The Revolution that Wasn’t: New Jersey’s Direct-To-Consumer Exception to the Learned Intermediary Doctrine

The learned intermediary doctrine – in which a manufacturer’s duty to warn runs to the physician, not to the patient – is one of the most potent weapons in the arsenal for a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturer faced...more

Can an Insurer Intervene in a Class Action to Protect Against a Collusive Settlement?

Liability insurers are sometimes faced with a difficult scenario: Their insured has been sued in a class action with potentially large stakes. The insurer believes they have no duty to defend and a denial of coverage is...more

No Innovator Liability: National Drug Code Saves the Day

This is a quick-hit post as we head into the Independence Day holiday weekend. The Southern District of West Virginia’s order this week in McNair v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2:14-17463, 2015 WL 3935787 (S.D. W. Va. June 26,...more

Ninth Circuit to False Advertising Class Actions: Drop Dead

On June 23, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Cabral v. Supple LLC, — Fed. Appx. –, 2015 WL 3855142 (9th Cir. June 23, 2015) placed a significant hurdle in the path of false advertising class actions. Specifically, the Court held...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

Consumer Food Fraud Claim Sinks in Arkansas Safe Harbor

On this date in 1896 the Dutch completed the harbor at IJmuiden. (That capital J is not a mistake. The I and J go together as a digraph, and they form a ligature that effectively makes up a single letter in the Dutch...more

“Continuous” Trigger is Alive and Well in Pennsylvania

In recent years, insurers have attempted to avoid their coverage obligations for their policyholders’ asbestos personal injury claims by challenging longstanding trigger of coverage rulings from the 1980s and 1990s. Although...more

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