General Business Products Liability

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California Supreme Court Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Defense

In Webb v. Special Elec. Co., the California Supreme Court formally adopted the "sophisticated intermediary doctrine," which provides an additional defense that manufacturers and suppliers can assert against product liability...more

Flame Retardants: A Guide to Current State Regulations

The Massachusetts Senate became the latest state legislative body to pass a bill that would ban at least eleven flame retardants from children's products sold in the state. An Act to protect children and families from harmful...more

Stabenow’s GMO Labeling Bill Could Serve as a Potential Congressional Compromise

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) plans to propose a GMO labeling bill after briefing groups from each side of the debate. Stabenow has shown her proposal to the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) whose...more

Food Product Recalls – Are You Covered?

Food and beverage recalls, regardless of the reason, continue to proliferate in the news cycle. At the end of May General Mills issued a recall of 10 million pounds of flour due to a potential link to an outbreak of E. coli...more

EPA Chemical Data Reporting Rule Brings Challenges and Opportunities

Every four years, companies that manufacture or import chemical substances in the U.S. in quantities greater than 25,000 lbs./year by site must submit detailed manufacturing, processing and use information on each of these...more

A Proposition 65 Violation May Be Lurking in Your Cash Register Receipt

Many consumer-facing businesses have learned to identify high-risk Prop 65 targets: soft, flexible plastics; faux and colored leathers; and any kind of brass or metal that may contain lead or other heavy metals. But...more

New York, New York: The Status of Regulation of Children's Products in the Empire State

Recently, Albany County, New York enacted the “Toxic Free Toys Act” (the Act) prohibiting the sale of any children’s products in the county that contain certain heavy metals and chemicals. The Safe to Play Coalition (the...more

Legal Update: Regulation of E - Cigarettes

On May 5, 2016, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new regulations governing the sale of e-cigarettes, hookahs, dissolvable tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars and other tobacco products (ENDS). The new rule...more

New York’s Highest Court Issues a Noteworthy Decision, Rejecting “Pro Rata” Allocation in the Asbestos Bodily-Injury Context

On May 3, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously held that an “all-sums” method of allocation should be used to apportion liability among excess insurers based on the policy language at issue in the case. Contrary to...more

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: Product Regulations and Importing into the United States - What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You...

What do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have in common? Each is, of...more

Product Recalls and Insurance: Considerations to Maximize Covered Expenses

Berries. Walnuts. Wholesome. Healthy. But not when they may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. On May 10, 2016, grocery store chain Publix announced a voluntary recall of its cranberry nut and seed mix. Publix learned of...more

California's Proposition 65: History and Proposed Amendments in 2016

In 1986, California voters passed the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, otherwise known by its original name, Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard...more

Changes in Requirements of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: Option to Provide Warranty Terms Online Pursuant to E-Warranty Act of 2015

Manufacturers of consumer products sold in the United States should be aware that recent changes in the federal statute governing consumer product warranties allow for more flexibility in how manufacturers can satisfy their...more

Sandy Hook Lawsuit Aims to Weaken PLCAA, While Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss

In January, we analyzed the immunities provided to firearms industry members under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Despite statements by some political candidates, the PLCAA provides protection only in...more

East Coast to the West Coast: Consumers Continue to File Deceptive Pricing Class Actions

Earlier this year, consumers filed class action lawsuits against retailers Zulily and Burberry in federal court in New York alleging unfair and deceptive sales practices in connection with their respective marketing of...more

The financial advisor who sells a trustee an insurance contract that is inappropriate in light of the trust's purposes risks...

It is an understatement that the Minnesota Court of Appeals in In re: Amendment and Restatement of Revocable Living Trust of Alfred J. Berget dated February 15, 2005 [A13-2295, Dec. 8, 2014] afforded the trustee who had...more

FDA Issues Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Food

The Rule is broad in scope and reaches nearly every party involved in the shipment of food through the United States. On April 6, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its final rule governing the sanitary...more

California Appeals Court Rejects Insurer’s Reliance on Contractual Escape Clause

According to a closely watched decision, an “other insurance” clause in a comprehensive general liability policy will not, as a matter of public policy, permit the insurer to avoid having to pay a share of the insured’s...more

The Auto Industry’s Safety Whistleblower Program: What You Need To Know

The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Program that originally passed through the U.S. Senate last summer but stalled in the House of Representatives has finally been signed into law by President Obama as part of the Fixing...more

TPPs Fail to Put Their Money Where Their (Litigation) Mouth Is and Lose

In third party payor litigation over prescription medical products, we have often marveled at the causation arguments that plaintiffs have offered and the willingness of some courts to accept collective proof over what really...more

CPSC Recall Snapshot: April 2016

Welcome to the April edition of the Alston & Bird CPSC Recall Snapshot. Last month, Administrative Law Judge Dean C. Metry issued a ruling against the CPSC in litigation with Zen Magnets over its small-diameter magnetic...more

CPSC Recall Snapshot: March 2016

Welcome to the March edition of the Alston & Bird CPSC Recall Snapshot. The CPSC has been very aggressive over the past month. This past Friday, the Commission announced a record $15.45 million civil penalty against a...more

When Is Natural Unnatural? When It’s Not: The Federal Trade Commission Takes Exception to “All Natural” Claims

In the 1975 song, “Natural Mystic,” legend Bob Marley sang “There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air – I won’t tell no lie.” Channeling Marley, the Federal Trade Commission recently took enforcement action against...more

Second Circuit Stresses Control, Not Attribution, In Applying Janus’s “Ultimate Authority” Test, And Also Allows Expert Testimony...

In Janus Capital, the Supreme Court established the “ultimate authority” test to determine who may be liable under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) as a “maker” of a materially misleading...more

Grace Period Ends Soon for California Companies with Products Containing BPA

On May 11, 2016 products that contain Bisphenol A (BPA) manufactured, sold or distributed in California, without a proper warning, will be fair game for a Notice of Intent to Sue issued under the state’s Safe Drinking Water...more

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