Civil Remedies Products Liability

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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

"Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Allowing Punitive Damages in New York City Asbestos Cases"

In a unanimous ruling decided July 9, 2015, New York's Appellate Division, First Department declined to overrule an April 2014 order by Justice Sherry Klein Heitler, the then-coordinating justice of the New York City Asbestos...more

Who’s Watching Dietary Supplement Advertising?  Everybody!

For several years now, dietary supplement advertising has been squarely on the radar of the FTC, state regulators, self-regulators, and last but never least, plaintiff’s lawyers. A recent FTC settlement with the makers of the...more

CPSC Could Be Coming Around On A Litigation Strategy

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to escalate its enforcement efforts. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the CPSC, filed suit against Spectrum Brands Inc. See United States v. Spectrum...more

The Revolution that Wasn’t: New Jersey’s Direct-To-Consumer Exception to the Learned Intermediary Doctrine

The learned intermediary doctrine – in which a manufacturer’s duty to warn runs to the physician, not to the patient – is one of the most potent weapons in the arsenal for a pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturer faced...more

A “Too Old” OTC Product Does Not A Class Action Make

This past weekend, we attended a fundraising 5K race organized by a friend who lives with a form of muscular dystrophy. We volunteered to photograph the event, because the usual photographer was not able to attend. And...more

Skinnygirl Margarita Class Rejected Again: Proof Fell Below Third Circuit’s High Bar for Ascertainability

A New Jersey federal court ruled that plaintiffs once again failed to demonstrate the ascertainability of a class of purchasers seeking to challenge “all natural” claims by the makers of Skinnygirl Margarita. Stewart v. Beam...more

CPSC Files Suit for Second Time in Three Months against a Company for Alleged Failure to Timely Report Defective Product

On Wednesday of last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that a complaint has been filed in federal court against Spectrum Brands, Inc. (Spectrum). Notably, this is...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015 - Class Certification Decisions: ..Decisions Granting Motions to Strike/Dismiss Class Claims ..Decisions Denying Motions to...more

Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Is the Discovery Problem Solved?

Long anticipated changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were approved by the United States Supreme Court on April 29, 2015. Absent congressional action, which is not expected, these new rules will take effect...more

ABA Hijinks – Defeat the Resolution Supporting Unlimited Punitive Damages

Most of us are members of the American Bar Association. Some of us are more active than others. At one extreme, Bexis has been in what the ABA calls “leadership,” as editor of the Mass Torts Newsletter, for some 15 years. ...more

Wyoming Federal Court Dismisses Hip Case for Lack of Defect

"And what is so rare as a day in June?" How about a drug and device law opinion out of Wyoming? We do not often get the chance to discuss Wyoming products law. That is not terribly surprising, given that Wyoming is the...more

SG’s Latest Brief On Implied FDCA Preemption Under Buckman

On May 26, 2015, the Solicitor General’s office responded to the United States Supreme Court’s Oct. 14, 2014 invitation for the government’s views on the certiorari petition filed in Athena Cosmetics, Inc. v. Allergan, Inc.,...more

Catch of the Day: Tuna Fish Brand StarKist Swims into a Sea of Trouble After Agreeing to Settle Claims Against It

StarKist Co. recently agreed in principle to a $12 million settlement with a putative class of plaintiffs concerning alleged under-filling of tuna fish cans. But agreeing on the dollar figure seems to have been the easy part;...more

The Boston Mesh Litigation

Mesh products have been regularly used to repair abdominal hernias since the 1950s. In the 1970s, gynecologists used surgical mesh products designed for abdominal hernia repair to repair prolapsed organs....more

House Passes FACT Act of 2015

On May 14, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 526, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015, by a 19-9 vote. A similar bill (S.357) has been introduced in the U.S....more

Texas Supreme Court Eliminates Premises Liability for Concurrent Acts of Premises Employees

In Magdalena Adrienna Abutahoun, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Company, 2015 WL 2147979, the Supreme Court of Texas affirmed the overturning of a jury verdict against Dow, finding it owed no duty related to the plaintiffs’...more

Permanent Injunction Against Medtronic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the Synchromed II Implantable Infusion Pump System manufactured Medtronic, Inc. in 2004. The pump infuses pain medication, Baclofen, through a catheter into a patient’s...more

Is This The End of RICO?

The short answer is “no.” We are just borrowing a line from one of the original gangster movies, “Little Caesar,” which readers other than McConnell would most likely know from references in “The Sopranos,” if they know it...more

Minding Your (Policy) Language – Indiana Supreme Court Certifies Pro Rata Allocation Ruling From Lower Court

Courts have struggled between two approaches on how to allocate damages when multiple, consecutive CGL policies have been triggered in situations involving continuous injury or property damage. The majority approach, pro rata...more

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

Up in Smoke – District Court Vacates $20,760,000 Punitive Damages Verdict in Florida Tobacco Lawsuit

On April 23, 2015, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida vacated a $20,760,000 punitive damages award that had been levied against international tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris USA, Inc. by a...more

Illusory Economic Loss Theory Held “Absurd” – Class Action Dismissed

As anyone can tell from our class action scorecards (federal and state), plaintiffs have not done very well lately – lately being the last couple of decades – with class actions involving alleged injuries caused by...more

The California Supreme Court - What to Expect in 2015

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT, Sedgwick attorneys Kirk Jenkins (Chicago), Hall Marston (Los Angeles) and Michael Walsh (Los Angeles) presented a webinar titled “The California Supreme Court: What to...more

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