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On Alternative Design, Take Two - Negligence

Back in 2013, inspired by a win of our own that we were actually allowed to blog about, we put up a post entitled “On Alternative Design.” Taking the alternative design requirement for strict liability as a given, we...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Branded Drug Preemption and Trial Win

In the aftermath of Levine, with its generous interpretation of the CBE regulation and its novel “clear evidence” standard, we wondered how long it would be until we saw a court holding that a failure to warn claim with a...more

Spoiler Alert: Florida Appellate Court Upholds PMA Preemption and Rejects Parallel Claim

Over the years, comedian Adam Carolla has played the “Germany or Florida” game on his various radio and tv programs and podcasts. The game is based on the observation that many of the most bizarre stories of human ineptitude...more

Non-Physician Learned Intermediaries

One of us was asked a question the other day that we couldn’t answer immediately. “Does the learned intermediary rule apply to a physician’s assistant?” We didn’t remember any cases actually deciding that issue. So we did...more

What Is “Product Liability”?

We’re serious – we’re not planning to give a flip answer like “an extortion racket.” No, it’s more like law school, where a first-year contracts professor began with the question “What is Chicken?” (Hint – that’s discussed...more

Nebraska Daubert Order Finds Expert a Mile Wide at the Mouth, But Only Six Inches Deep

A case from Douglas County, Nebraska, caught our eye this week for a couple of reasons. It’s a great Daubert order in an Accutane case in Nebraska state court. In addition to that, this blogger’s mother grew up on a farm in...more

Unreliable Expert Causation Evidence Ends Birth Defect Case

We have posted several times in the last few years (like here, here, here, and here) about cases alleging birth defects from maternal SSRI use during pregnancy. Perhaps because of the inherent sympathy for the plaintiff...more

Product Liability Update: January 2017

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Birth Control Patch Manufacturer Had Duty to Warn Patient Directly But Packet Insert Adequately Warned of Greater Risk of Blood Clots As Compared to Birth Control Pill; Design Defect Claim...more

Plaintiffs’ Fraudulent Joinder Tactic Results in Dismissal

Defendants successfully argued “fraudulent joinder” in Bahalim v. Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc., winning dismissal of the case in its entirety. The case was decided on Plaintiffs’ motion to remand and Defendants’ motions to...more

Gorsuch Looks Pretty Good On Preemption

When we heard about Judge Neil Gorsuch being nominated for the United States Supreme Court, our first move was to enter his name in Westlaw along with the term “preemption.” That’s the constitutional doctrine most important...more

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Package Insert Does not Establish Standard of Medical Care

Like most Americans, we like our doctor. We like doctors in general. We are not looking to start another song battle with our friends over at the Abnormal Use blog, like when we competed to name as many law songs as...more

Update: US Supreme Court Grants Certiorari on California Personal Jurisdiction Case

Nation’s highest court agrees to hear appeal of a California Supreme Court case with far-reaching implications for personal jurisdiction. In the recently published opinion in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Turns Back The Clock on Statute of Limitations

We thought we understood statutes of limitations and choice-of-law rules in New Jersey. Until yesterday. That was when we read the New Jersey Supreme Court’s opinion in McCarrell v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., No. 076524, 2017...more

Going After A Hospital For Off-Label Use Of A Device

It seems that we have posted hundreds of times about attempts to impose liability on the manufacturer of a PMA device that a doctor chose to use off-label. Recently, a bunch of those have involved Infuse. Cales v. Baptist...more

Breaking News – Supreme Court Takes BMS Personal Jurisdiction Case

The United States Supreme Court today granted certiorari in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court. Here is a link to the order. The California Supreme Court decision in this case was our worst case for all of 2016. ...more

Guest Post – MDL Court: Preemption Leaves No “Glimmer of Hope” for Labeling Claims Against a Pharmacy

What follows is a post authored by Jaclyn Setili, a Reed Smith associate. She is discussing what we believe is the first extension of Mensing/Bartlett preemption to claims involving pharmacies – something we’ve previously...more

“Regulatory Causation” Roundup

Last week’s Westlaw search (that’s one way we find the cases we discuss in the Blog) brought a blast from the past – a case almost three years old showed up discussing – and rejecting – expert testimony about so-called...more

Lipitor MDL Court Grants Pfizer’s Omnibus Summary Judgment Motion: No Evidence of Causation

For those of us who spend large chunks of our professional lives in mass tort MDLs, expressions like “settlement inventory” are ubiquitous. It is too easy to lose sight of the fact that these expressions put the rabbit in the...more

Lessons Emerging from Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trials

In a staggering verdict, a Texas jury recently awarded over $1 billion against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. (“DePuy”) (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) to six California...more

SDNY Applies Preemption in Favor of Branded Drug

On January 3, 2017, we commenced the dreary process of taking down the Christmas decorations. The German nutcrackers slid back into their cartons. Stockings marched from the mantle into plastic storage containers. We picked...more

Guest Post – Failure to Warn Claim Dead on Arrival Without Testimony from Prescribing Physician

This is a guest post from Michael Salimbene, an associate at Reed Smith. It’s about learned intermediary causation, and the need for prescriber testimony. Not infrequently, in mass torts with lots of solicited plaintiffs,...more

The Pits – The Worst Prescription Drug/Medical Device Decisions Of 2016

The “pits of hell,” “black as a pit,” a “bad feeling in the pit of my stomach” – that’s how we feel about 2016’s bottom ten decisions of the year arising from prescription medical product liability litigation. This year’s...more

A Wise Decision: Recent Lessons on Evidence in Class Actions

Wise v Abbott Laboratories, Limited, 2016 ONSC 7275 was a recent pre-certification summary judgment decision, which was released after the Divisional Court's decision this past summer in Dine v Biomet Inc, 2016 ONSC 4029....more

Law Review Article Argues that Contraception Mass Torts Injured Consumers

It is bad enough that the mass tort system in our country approximates a system of jackpot justice that, if it ever does justice among the parties, does so accidentally. But its wild inefficiencies and inconsistencies also...more

This Is How A False Claims Act Case Works—And Fails

It took us a long time to understand how off-label promotion of prescription drugs had anything to do with the False Claims Act, and we’re still not so sure that the two are a fit. The FCA penalizes anyone who presents, or...more

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