General Business Products Liability Civil Procedure

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Products Liability – Raw Material Supplier – Consumer Expectations Test

David Johnson, et al. v. United States Steel Corporation - Court of Appeal, First District (September 1, 2015) - In a products liability case, a plaintiff may seek recovery on theories of both negligence and...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Third Circuit’s “Heightened” Ascertainability Analysis

Critics of the controversial ascertainability requirement for class certification that the Third Circuit has been applying since 2012 are rejoicing after a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that flatly rejects...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

Let Freedom of Contract Ring - NC Supreme Court Upholds Enforceability of Long-Term Express Warranties

In the summer of 2013, a divided North Carolina Court of Appeals caused a stir in the construction community when it held in Christie v. Hartley Construction, Inc., 745 S.E.2d 60 (N.C. App. 2013) (hereinafter “Christie 1”)...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

California’s Highest Court Refuses to Review Denial of Coverage Under Contamination Products Insurance Policy for Ground Beef...

On May 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court denied Windsor Food Quality Company, Ltd.’s (Windsor’s) petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District of California that denied...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

Defense and Indemnity Demands in Today’s Global Marketplace

In defending product liability cases, product manufacturers, sellers and distributors often tender a request for defense and indemnity from claims to one of their business partners. Typically, the tender arises from two...more

Technology Companies: When a Product Complaint Arises, Will Your Insurance Cover the Claims?

- Sometimes, technology products contain flaws. - Purchasers may complain to the manufacturer about the flawed products, and some complaints become multi-million dollar liabilities. - After receiving such a...more

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad: Kansas District Court Certifies Settlement Class and Grants Preliminary Approval but Rejects Notice by...

A boy fell through the vinyl guardrail his father installed on the second story deck of their home. After settling his son’s personal injury claims, the father sued Home Depot and the guardrail manufacturer on behalf of...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

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

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

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