Civil Remedies Consumer Protection Products Liability

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CPSC Bumps Up Litigation Strategies Another Notch

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) continues its increased willingness to use litigation as a tool when targeted companies disagree with the CPSC’s position, recently initiating two lawsuits seeking civil...more

“Age Defying” Make-up Case Only Partially Defies Preemption

Coco Chanel said that nature gives you your face at 20, but you earn your face at 50. Perhaps that is not so different from Mark Twain’s theory that one’s wrinkles should merely be monuments to smiles. Those platitudes do...more

Onward to Trial: Federal Court Rejects Vermont’s Motion to Dismiss GMA Lawsuit

Despite a stiff litigation challenge from the food industry, Vermont’s GMO-labeling campaign marches on. This week saw major developments in the suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association and other food industry...more

Alabama Legislature Abolishes Weeks Innovator Liability Theory

That didn’t take long. Yesterday the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, which abolishes the innovator liability theory created in the execrable decision in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813...more

CPSC & DOJ Sue Michaels Stores for Failing to Report Product Safety Hazard and Filing Misleading Information

For the first time in recent memory, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jointly announced the filing of a lawsuit in federal court for the imposition of a civil penalty and...more

Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation - Court of Appeals Rejects “Learned Intermediary” Product Liability Doctrine in...

Plaintiff’s doctor prescribed Solodyn, manufactured and distributed by Medicis, for her chronic acne. Plaintiff used the medicine for twenty weeks, and then was prescribed and took another twenty weeks’ worth. Plaintiff...more

Tenth Circuit Stays April 1 Effective Date of CPSC’s Magnets Safety Rule

Over the past year, we have blogged about the CPSC’s rulemaking process to regulate high-powered magnet sets via a safety standard as well as the administrative complaints brought by the agency to force multiple companies...more

Class Action Lawsuit Claims Wines Contain Unsafe Levels of Arsenic

Four California residents brought a lawsuit earlier this month against 28 wineries for producing, manufacturing or distributing wine in California that allegedly contains inorganic arsenic in amounts far in excess of what is...more

Ascertainability Saps Plaintiffs’ Energy in Dietary Supplement Class Action

In the recent decision Mirabella v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 12-62086-CIV-ZLOCH (S.D. Fl. Feb. 27, 2015) the plaintiffs attempted, but failed, to certify a nationwide class of all purchasers of an energy drink...more

"Glazer: A Big Defense Victory, but Everyone Lost"

The most watched class action of the past year was the Glazer case — a rare occurrence of a consumer class action trial — which resulted in a defense victory. See In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Prods. Liab. Litig....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

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

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

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

Do Not Pass Go: Federal Judge Orders Execs Jailed for Contempt of Recall Order

A recent federal decision has made clear that court-ordered recalls can have real teeth, not just for manufacturers but also their officers—especially when the court has reason to suspect a company’s execs are deliberately...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

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

California Northern District Judges Split on Sufficiency of Damages Evidence at Class Certification – Will Ninth Circuit Weigh In?...

Judges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California are split on the sufficiency of damages evidence at the class certification stage. Jones v. ConAgra Foods, Inc, No. C 12-01633 CRB, 2014 WL 2702726...more

CPSC Magnets Trial in December? Zen Magnets Throws Down the Gauntlet; Vows to “Fight Until the End”

Two years ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) took the uncommon step of filing administrative complaints against multiple rare-earth magnet companies who refused to voluntarily recall magnetic adult desk...more

Two Consumer Class Actions Settle for (Mostly) Nominal Amounts Per Plaintiff

Two recent false advertising class action settlements illustrate some of the myriad ways to structure settlements, and also reflect the real risks of these lawsuits when early-stage efforts to dismiss them are...more

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