General Business Products Liability

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Food for Thought: Jail Sentences Send Strong Message to Food Industry

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett in Sioux City, Iowa, sentenced Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son Peter to three months in jail for their role in selling contaminated food across state lines. Their company,...more

Food Labeling, Food Safety & Nutrition

From a national action plan on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food-producing animals and a presidential task force on fishing and seafood fraud, to proposed rules on nutrition and supplement fact labeling, the...more

Even the Great Wall of China Can’t Hide a U.S. Distributor in a Product Defect Lawsuit

The Illinois First District Appellate Court recently held that a U.S. distributor cannot escape liability under the Illinois Distributor Release Statute if the plaintiff was unable to obtain jurisdiction over a Chinese...more

Court Of Appeal Upholds “Safe Harbor” Exemption From Prop 65 Warnings For Lead In Fruit Products

In a much anticipated decision, a California Court of Appeal has upheld a trial court ruling for the defense, finding that trace levels of lead in packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit juice products require no Proposition 65...more

Privileges Can Help Manufacturers in Product Liability Litigation, but Beware

This blog’s earlier post, “Protect Your Safety Investigations and Deliberations From Prying Eyes,” highlighted the three privileges that are useful for Safety Teams – self-critical analysis privilege (or self-evaluation...more

Placement of Checkbox Can Make or Break a Clickwrap Agreement

The enforceability of a wrap agreement (browsewrap, clickwrap and shrinkwrap) can often turn on what to the untrained eye may be mere minutiae. Such minutiae can include the nuances of the design of a website. For example, in...more

Dallas Appeals Court Renders Take-Nothing Judgment for Insurer in Construction Defect Case

In Dallas National Insurance Co. v. Calitex Corp., —S.W.3d—, 2015 WL 968308 (Tex. App.—Dallas Mar. 3, 2015, no pet. h.), the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed a trial court judgment finding coverage for almost $700,000 in...more

California Court Holds Product Contamination Insurance Does Not Cover Ingredients Contaminated by Insured’s Supplier

On February 6th, an intermediate level California appellate court held that a product contamination policy only covered contamination that occurs during or after manufacturing operations by the insured, meaning that there was...more

Insurance Recovery Law - March 2015

New York Federal Court Rejects Insurer’s Request for Recoupment - Why it matters: The federal court, applying New York law, held that an energy drink manufacturer’s advertising coverage claim—arising from underlying...more

Drone Use “Takes Off” as Legal Consequences Remain Uncertain

Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have received extensive media coverage over the past few years. Whether the discussions about drones are related to the unmanned...more

Major Donut Chain Reformulates Powdered Sugar Due to Concerns Over Claimed Nanomaterials

A major donut chain has reformulated the powdered sugar used in its donut products to address investor and consumer activist group concerns over the alleged presence of nanomaterials. The move secured the withdrawal of a...more

California Court Considers Contaminated Food Product Coverage

In Windsor Food Quality Company, LTD. v. The Underwriters of Lloyds of London, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 195 (Cal. App. Feb. 6, 2015), the California Court of Appeals considered whether an ingredient obtained from a supplier and...more

No Consent To General Jurisdiction By Merely Registering To Do Business

Since Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), severely curtailed general personal jurisdiction, litigation tourist plaintiffs – those who file suit outside of their states of domicile (mostly in so-called litigation...more

Is Laminate Flooring The New Drywall For Insurers?

Recent media reports alleging that certain laminate flooring manufactured in China and distributed in the U.S. contains unsafe levels of formaldehyde may have a familiar and frightening ring to them, particularly for insurers...more

Incorporation of Already Contaminated Ingredients Does Not Trigger Lloyd’s Products Contamination Insurance

In Windsor Food Quality v. Underwriters of Lloyds, et al. (No. E058324, filed 2/6/15) a California appeals court held that coverage for recall costs would only attach under a Lloyd’s Products Contamination Insurance policy...more

Release of Liability of Company’s Own Ordinary Negligence Valid

In Grebing v. 24 Hour (filed 1/29/15, Case No. B255866), the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, upheld the validity of 24 Hour's release of liability for its own negligence and further affirmed that 24...more

Proposed Law Aims to Remove Shroud of Secrecy in Court Settlements

A cadre of corporations whose profit margins outweigh product safety have found a loophole in the litigation process: sealed settlement agreements. Such agreements are legal, as there is no law prohibiting them, and often...more

California: Service of Suit Endorsement Trumps Forum Selection Clause in Case Involving Product Recall Due to Contamination.

On February 5th in a case involving the recall of over $500,000 worth of oyster products made from Korean shellfish, the Southern District of California held: (1) that the policy’s service of suit clause, which gave the...more

Manufacturing Matters – Winter 2015

In This Issue: - Pre-action costs protection in environmental claims - Shared Parental Rights – what you need to know - Due diligence on your partner in China – are you talking to the right person? - An Interview...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

California Appellate Court Finds No Malicious Product Tampering Coverage for Westland’s Ground Beef

In 2008, Windsor Food Quality Company, Ltd. (Windsor) purchased Westland/Hallmark Meat Company’s (Westland’s) ground beef as an ingredient to be used in its José Olé® frozen food products. On January 30, 2008, the U.S....more

Expert Testimony in Indemnity Action Not Limited to Opinions Presented in Underlying Matter

In National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pa. v. Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Co. (filed 2/4/2015, B24899 and B247258), the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held that the insurer of Costco...more

"Congressional Investigations Highlight Risks for Companies Across Industries"

An examination of congressional investigations in 2014 reminds us that such investigations can strike an industry or company at any time. Irrespective of the subjects, the investigations typically share one or more of the...more

Suppliers Should Position Themselves to Mitigate Recall and Warranty Claims in 2015 and Beyond

In 2014, the automotive industry waded through numerous recalls, including recalls against component manufacturers. These recalls include multi-billion dollar recalls spanning multiple vehicle manufacturers. In 2015, the...more

Eye on Insurance - A Look Back at 2014 and Forward to 2015

Welcome to our annual “Eye on Insurance”, our round-up of notable developments during 2014, which are relevant to the London insurance and reinsurance markets. This update has been compiled by lawyers in Sedgwick’s London...more

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