Civil Procedure Products Liability

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SDNY Dismisses Manufacturing and Fraud Claims in Fertility Drug Case, But Conflates and Confuses the Rest

By all rights, it should be Sullivan writing about the Sullivan case. But John is taking a well-deserved vacation. We do not know if Sullivan’s travels more closely approximate a Bexis expedition, which involves long hikes...more

Preemption (and Other Things) Defanging Depakote Claims

It wasn’t a complete win, but the summary judgment outcome in Rheinfrank v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., ___ F. Supp.3d ___, 2015 WL 4743056 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 10, 2015), has to put a spring in the step of the defendants as they...more

PMA Medical Device Preemption Decision – Better Late Than Never

We recently learned of Thomas v. Alcon Laboratories, ___ F. Supp.3d ___, 2013 WL 10888983 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 29, 2013), dismissing a contact lens product liability complaint as preempted under Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 552 U.S....more

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages. On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et...more

Illinois appellate court strengthens sole proximate cause defense in asbestos cases

The question of whether a product manufacturer or employer in an asbestos lawsuit can introduce evidence of the plaintiff’s exposures to asbestos from other sources has become a highly contested issue. There is a lengthy...more

California Dreaming: The Bite of Bauman, the Perfume of Preemption, the Stink of Stengel

This week the Drug and Device Law Son turns 20. It is apparently an age of discontent, of gripes and snipes. When we asked the DDLS what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted to move "back" to California. Something...more

Claims of Negligent Design and Breach of Implied Warranty to Proceed Against Boston Scientific Mesh

On February 9, 2009, a North Carolina resident was implanted with the Obtryx Transobturator Mid- Urethral Sling System (Boston Scientific Mesh). She sued Boston Scientific Corp., the maker of the sling, asserting claims of...more

Expert Testimony Admissible Under Sargon Despite Fact Expert Could Not Definitively Rule Out All Other Possible Causes of Injury

In Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., (filed 7/16/2015, published 8/13/2015, No. B250163) the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held a physician’s expert testimony attributing the defendant’s...more

“Force of Nature” or Human Error? Litigating the Act of God Defense

The cause of the plaintiff’s damages is typically the first and most critical question posed to a jury in a product liability trial. If a jury determines that a substantial factor in the cause of the plaintiff’s damages was a...more

More CAFA “Mass Action” Gamesmanship In The Ninth Circuit

Permitted gamesmanship versus prohibited conduct. That is the dichotomy that one district judge adopted to describe the transparent forum manipulation that some plaintiffs undertake under CAFA. To be honest, neither...more

Guest Post - Impossibility Preemption for Innovator Drug Manufacturers: Where Are We Now?

Today we have a guest post (her second - she's a glutton for punishment) from fellow Reed Smith associate Danielle Devens. This one brings together recent precedent recognizing post-Levine preemption in cases involving...more

Putting A Lotion Claim In The Primary Jurisdiction Basket

When Jame Gumb urged his captive to put lotion on her skin, he was not concerned with improving its firmness. While Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs" may not be who most would think about when reading Franz v....more

In re General Motors Company Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 9627-VCG (Del. Ch. June 26, 2015) (Glasscock, VC)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed a derivative complaint under Rule 23.1, finding that plaintiffs failed to show that the board of directors (the “Board”) of General Motors Company (“GM”) acted in...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Third Circuit’s “Heightened” Ascertainability Analysis

Critics of the controversial ascertainability requirement for class certification that the Third Circuit has been applying since 2012 are rejoicing after a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that flatly rejects...more

Using Severance Under Rule 21 To Preserve Removal Jurisdiction

A recent pelvic mesh case in the District of Maryland, Sullivan v. Calvert Memorial Hospital, No. PJM 14-118, Memorandum Opinion (D. Md. July 30, 2015), offers an interesting and useful take on federal jurisdiction when...more

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

Medical Device Decision Plays PA’s Greatest Hits

When we read the opinion in Kline v. Zimmer Holdings, 2015 WL 4077495 (W.D. Pa. July 6, 2015), it felt like driving back from the mountains (or the Jersey Shore) after a holiday weekend, listening to classic rock radio...more

Considering Consolidating Cases for Trial

We have managed to pretty much avoid asbestos litigation. Sure, we encounter decisions from asbestos cases that sometimes impact our own cases. They even sometimes appear in our posts, but rarely as a focus. We have been...more

7th Circuit Rejects “Heightened” Ascertainability Requirement for Class Actions

Creating a clear circuit split on a class action issue of increasing importance, the Seventh Circuit has rejected the notion that in order to certify a class, a trial court must be able to identify class members in a reliable...more

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

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