Civil Remedies Civil Procedure Products Liability

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Compensating “Disgust”: Psychoanalyzing Emotional Distress Claims Involving Food Products

You’re a sheriff’s deputy and you’re hungry. You stop at the local Burger King drive-thru and order a Whopper with cheese. You often eat five meals a day—frequently at fast food restaurants—because you work night shifts. ...more

Statute of Limitations Taking the Steam out of CPSC-Backed Enforcement Action

It is no secret that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is ramping up its efforts to enforce various aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), especially the provisions about a company’s failure to...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Spring 2016

This is the 11th edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings issued...more

No Tea Time for Class Action Plaintiffs: Class Certification Denied for Bigelow Green and Black Tea Drinkers

Northern District of California Judge William Orrick recently denied class certification in two food misbranding class actions challenging antioxidant claims for Bigelow green and black teas. Khasin v. R.C Bigelow Inc., Case...more

The Continuing Saga Surrounding Magnet Sets: Proof of the CPSC's Determination to Eradicate Hazards to Children

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made it very clear over the last several years that it takes hazards associated with rare earth magnet sets very seriously, primarily because the hazards affect children. Rare...more

Smooth Operators: Seventh Circuit Untangles Objections and Affirms Settlement of Hair Product Class

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a class settlement over objection in a case involving a hair-smoothing product (“the Smoothing Kit”) that allegedly destroyed users’ hair and burned their scalps. Plaintiffs sued...more

Southern District of California Diffuses Hairdryer Class

The Southern District of California decertified a nationwide consumer product class due to material differences between the state laws applicable to the claims. The plaintiff in Czuchaj v. Conair Corp. alleged a defect in...more

Federal Court Makes No Exceptions for “Commodity Products” and Orders Zen Magnets to Stop Selling Previously Recalled Magnets

There have been many twists and turns over the past four years concerning the CPSC’s regulation of certain high powered, rare-earth magnet sets and its litigation against various entities selling these magnets. In the latest...more

Reviving a Forgotten Fad: Three Judges Lift Stays of Evaporated Cane Juice Claims

We’ve all heard about food fads: Paleo, artisanal, farm-to-table. But what about food litigation fads? Plaintiffs’ lawyers must scour the same grocery aisles, judging from their past “sweet tooth” obsession with...more

Indiana High Court Rules Statute of Repose Inapplicable in Cases of Protracted Exposure to Substances

On March 2, 2016, the Indiana Supreme Court rendered an opinion in the consolidated appeals in three cases. The Court held that the Indiana Product Liability Act’s statute of repose does not apply to cases involving...more

February Brings A Blizzard Of Punitive Damages Awards

The East Coast saw quite a bit of snow in February, but that is not the only kind of blizzard we have experienced this month. In fairly rapid succession, juries in three states imposed four multi-million dollar punitive...more

Looking Forward: Canadian Class Actions in 2016

Looking Forward - The last few years have been active for class actions in Canada, and the activity did not slow down in 2015. This past year, Bennett Jones was involved with some of the most important class...more

California Court Of Appeal Bends Over Backwards To Uphold Substantial Punitive Award In Asbestos Case

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires procedural fairness in state trials, but that principle seems absent from a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a judgment against Kaiser Gypsum...more

Defective products: anxiety damage recognised and provisionally compensated by interim relief judge

By three court orders issued on 28 January 2016, the Nanterre Civil Court interim relief judge (Juge des référés du Tribunal de grande instance de Nanterre) granted a provision to 13 patients who had taken the Médiator® drug,...more

Injunctive Relief Claims Lead to Defense Opportunities

It’s not all that common, but every now and then our opponents feel their oats and seek injunctive relief – usually against the continued marketing of an FDA-approved product. A state-law plaintiff seeking such injunctive...more

Product Liability Update: January 2016

Supreme Court Holds Defendant Cannot Moot Putative Class Action by Making Unaccepted Offer of Judgment for Complete Relief to Representative Plaintiff - In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 846 (S....more

Fourth Circuit Upholds $1.75 Million Punitive Damages Award In Transvaginal Mesh Case

About a month ago, we reported on a Delaware trial court decision reducing a $75 million punitive award to $7.5 million in a transvaginal mesh case. Last week, in what we believe to be the first appellate decision in one of...more

California Jury Awards $9.8 Million In Compensatory Damages And $70 Million In Punitive Damages In Hemorrhoid Stapler Case

In a post a few weeks ago, I reported on a verdict by a federal jury in Atlanta awarding $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against the manufacturer of a hip implant. Not to be outdone, on...more

Texas Court’s Writ of Mandamus Relieves Discovery Pressures on Tire Manufacturer

A court in Harris County, Texas provided relief to Michelin North America Inc. in a case involving allegedly defective tires when it threatened to issue a writ of mandamus in favor of the tire manufacturer. The Texas...more

Delaware Superior Court Cuts Punitive Damages In Transvaginal Mesh Case

Last week, we posted about a $10 million award of punitive damages in a product liability action against a manufacturer of hip implants.  We explained our view that the award was excessive, in part because hundreds of similar...more

Federal Jury Awards $1 Million In Compensatory Damages And $10 Million In Punitive Damages In Bellwether Hip Implant Trial

In a post last month, we reported on a district court’s rulings on motions in limine in the first bellwether hip implant trial against Wright Medical Technology Incorporated. The case subsequently went to trial, and last week...more

Whose Choice Is It Anyway? Split Decisions Over Choice of Law and The Impact On Your Defense Strategy

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has been embroiled in a mass tort MDL in Philadelphia for its anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal, for almost a year now. So far in 2015, the juries have split – two in...more

NYCAL Presiding Judge Rules Manufacturer Should Have Reasonably Anticipated Asbestos Litigation 10 Years Before First Lawsuit

On November 5, 2015, Judge Peter H. Moulton, presiding judge over the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL), ruled in Warren v. AmChem Products, et al., 190281/2014, that J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc., was subject to...more

Florida Supreme Court on Evidence of Collateral Source Benefits

Ruling Makes It More Difficult for Defendants to Deal with Claims for Future Medical Expenses at Trial - It is not uncommon for a defendant in a product liability case at trial to be faced with an inflated and...more

Judge Denies C.R. Bard’s Request to Seal Documents in IVC Settlement

In August 2005, a patient was implanted with a Bard Recovery Filter System in order to catch blood clots or “thrombi” traveling from the lower portions of his body toward his heart and lungs. Unfortunately, the device failed...more

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