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Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

Ninth Circuit Holds California Can’t Double-Dip By Seeking Restitution for Citizens Bound By Class Settlement

In the wake of a nationwide class action settlement of litigation against a manufacturer of a test claimed to accurately predict the gender of a fetus, the State of California (“State”) brought an enforcement action against...more

Now That That’s Settled: The Status of Class Action Settlements in the Seventh Circuit after Pella, Radioshack and NBTY

Over the last several months, Judge Richard Posner has authored a triumvirate of opinions reversing the district courts’ approval, over objections, of consumer class action settlements—Eubank v. Pella Corp., 753 F.3d 718 (7th...more

The Seemingly Interminable Garlock Saga: Where Are We Now?

As reported in our February 2014 edition, the bankruptcy court estimating Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC’s asbestos liability uncovered significant evidence “that the last 10 years of its participation in the tort system...more

Class Action Settlement: Judge Posner Strikes Again At Excessive Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Fees

Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit continues to be prolific in authoring class action-related opinions. I enjoy blogging about these decisions because they are entertaining to read and usually relatively short and to the...more

“Buying Your Peace” in a Class Action Settlement

For defense attorneys negotiating class action settlements, a major consideration is ensuring that their client has indeed “bought its peace”—and won’t be facing follow-on litigation from plaintiffs who may not be bound by...more

Class Action Defense Counsel adding ‘The Pick Off’ to Their Playbooks

In recent years, we’ve noticed a new maneuver that class-action defense counsel have increasingly added to their playbooks: The Pick Off. This is how the play is run: Offer the named plaintiff(s) full relief through a Rule...more

Faulty Damages Model Leads to Partial Decertification

On November 6, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part defendant Dole’s motion for decertification in Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. In...more

Alert: Ninth Circuit Expands the Limits of Post-Confirmation Injunctions and Non-Debtor Releases Under A Chapter 11 Plan

For years, it has been the rule in the Ninth Circuit that a chapter 11 plan cannot discharge or otherwise affect the obligation of a non-debtor owed to a third party. This view interprets section 524(e) of the Bankruptcy...more

Finding Insurance Coverage for Consumer Products Class Action Complaints

Consumer class action claims are a familiar tool for addressing dissatisfaction with a defective product. Given that one of the goals of a consumer class action claim is to recover damages for the claimants, triggering...more

Lawful Waffle: California Courts Dismiss “Natural” Food False Ad Claims

Two California courts have recently dismissed false advertising claims concerning the marketing of food products as “natural,” marking a departure from the trend in consumer class actions in that state. In Richards et...more

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Right to Construction Defect Remedies Involving Residential Units with Previously Occupied Spaces

In Oxbow Constr., LLC v. Eight Judicial Dist. Ct., 2014 Nev. LEXIS 109, 130 Nev. Adv. Rep. 86 (Nev. Oct. 16, 2014), the Nevada Supreme Court considered issues regarding class-action certification and the availability of...more

Class Action Claims: Gluing Together Systemwide Judicial Relief

The award of class action certification is often the gateway for obtaining lifesaving systemwide judicial relief in broken correctional health care systems. It also can be the beginning of a decades-long, burdensome and...more

October 2014: Product Liability Update

Some Courts Loosening Restrictions on Punitive Damages. The 1990s and 2000s saw many developments 9 restricting the frequency and size of punitive damages awards in tort litigation, including both state tort-reform...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Review Pro-Policyholder Decision; Contrary Arguments Possible

For years, product manufacturers relied on commercial general liability policies to defend and indemnify them for product liability claims. Although these policies may exclude coverage for pure economic loss or for damage to...more

The Incredible Shrinking Red Bull Refund: How Should Courts Verify Class Membership?

A recent class action settlement has brought fresh attention to two age-old questions. The first: does Red Bull actually give you wings? The second: how carefully should courts screen out bogus claimants from proposed classes...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Class Certification and Price Fixing Verdict Against Dow Chemical

The Tenth Circuit recently affirmed both class certification and one of the largest verdicts issued in the U.S. this year, denying Dow Chemical Company’s (“Dow”) appeal in a price fixing case related to polyurethane products....more

Judge Issues Sua Sponte Order Chastising Modern Ediscovery Practices (Iowa)

Sec. Nat’l Bank of Sioux City, Iowa v. Abbot Laboratories, No. C 11-4017-MWB, 2014 WL 3704277 (N.D. Iowa July 28, 2014). In this product liability case, the court filed a sua sponte order on the “serious pattern of...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview (9/14)

On Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court will hear argument in three cases. The arguments will begin at 9:00 am, and you can watch them live. You can also watch the recording later at the same link....more

Plaintiffs Sent Back to the Drawing Board in Mislabeling Suit Over “All Natural” and “Fat Free” Claims on Frito-Lay Rold Gold...

Judge Samuel Conti of the Northern District of California recently issued another blow to class action plaintiffs—this time at the motion to dismiss stage—in Figy v. Frito-Lay N. Am., Inc., Case No. 13-3988-SC (N.D. Cal. Aug....more

CAFA: Recent Developments on the Jurisdictional and Settlement Fronts

Since Congress enacted the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) in 2005, the nation’s class action litigation has increasingly migrated to the federal stage, with plaintiffs bringing more class actions directly to federal court...more

In re Paulsboro Derailment Cases: Putting the Brakes on Defendants’ Momentum Regarding Recent Ascertainability Developments Within...

In a recent unpublished decision, Judge Robert B. Kugler of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey addressed the rapidly developing “ascertainability” requirement in class action litigation within the...more

Injured Sailors May Seek Punitive Damages in the Asbestos MDL

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who oversees asbestos multidistrict litigation, issued a decision in July permitting injured sailors to seek punitive damage awards. In Re:...more

LITIGATION ALERT: Texas Supreme Court Limits the Application of the Economic Loss Rule

In Texas, the economic loss rule has been applied by courts to prevent a plaintiff from recovering purely economic losses in a negligence or strict liability action. In products liability cases, when a loss results from the...more

Class Certified in Homeopathic Products Case

The plaintiffs’ theory of harm drove a recent decision from the Central District of California certifying a nationwide class of purchasers of ten homeopathic products. Allen v. Hyland’s Inc., Case No. 12-01150 (C.D. Cal. Aug....more

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