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The Class Action Chronicle - Spring 2016

This is the 11th edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings issued...more

Sophisticated User Defense Does Not Extend to Salesman

Richard Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 13, 2016) - In 2008, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the “sophisticated user” defense...more

Time Limitations on Lawsuits — The clock is ticking…

Did you know that if you have been hurt or injured due to negligence or a defective product, there is a limited time within which you may bring your claim? All states, including the State of Florida, have rules called...more

Smooth Operators: Seventh Circuit Untangles Objections and Affirms Settlement of Hair Product Class

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a class settlement over objection in a case involving a hair-smoothing product (“the Smoothing Kit”) that allegedly destroyed users’ hair and burned their scalps. Plaintiffs sued...more

Bad Bullets Brings Sixth Circuit in Line with Siblings: The Commercial Activity Exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

On March 7, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals joined its sibling circuits by affirming a ruling from the Southern District of Ohio, which found that the design and manufacture of a product is a commercial activity...more

Federal Preemption Claims: Clear Evidence and an Unclear Standard

Last week, a federal court in Utah granted Aventis Inc.’s motion for summary judgment based on federal preemption of failure-to-warn claims. Cerveny v. Aventis, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34182 (D. Utah Mar. 16, 2016). The...more

Massachusetts Court Holds Insured Contract Does Not Compel a Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, LLC v. Wiegand Sports, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34209 (D. Mass. Mar. 16, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider...more

New York Court of Appeals Rejects Litigation Science under Frye Standard

Put quotes around the phrase “litigation science” and Google it. Go ahead, we’ll wait. . . . . What did you find? Not good, right. You found a lot. Too much. The first Google page alone shows how controversial this...more

Blog: Court Of Appeal Considers Application Of Fairchild Test In Asbestos-Induced Lung Cancer Cases

In Heneghan v Manchester Dry Docks Ltd & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 86, the Court of Appeal considered whether the Fairchild exception should be applied in a case of multiple exposures to asbestos leading to lung cancer. Like...more

Liability for Brand Drug Manufacturers All But Clear

Earlier this month, a federal district court in Illinois denied GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) renewed summary judgment motion based on federal preemption of failure-to-warn claims in an opinion setting tough standards for brand...more

Product Liability Update: January 2016

Supreme Court Holds Defendant Cannot Moot Putative Class Action by Making Unaccepted Offer of Judgment for Complete Relief to Representative Plaintiff - In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 846 (S....more

The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2016 – What It Can Mean For Consumer Product Manufacturers

Last year, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte (R. Va.), proposed the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015-2016 (H.R. 1927). The Act passed the House last week on January 8, 2016, and is...more

The New One-Two Is Back

A couple of years ago the one-two punch was all the rage in prescription drug cases. “One-two punch” has been our moniker for decisions where plaintiffs ingested only generic drugs, but tried to hedge their bets, given the...more

Lawsuit “Immunity” for the Gun Industry and What the PLCAA Really Says

Do gun manufacturers really have blanket immunity from lawsuits? No, not even close. The 2016 campaign season has brought a big dose of gun policy debate, and some candidates have claimed that gun manufacturers have...more

Texas Court’s Writ of Mandamus Relieves Discovery Pressures on Tire Manufacturer

A court in Harris County, Texas provided relief to Michelin North America Inc. in a case involving allegedly defective tires when it threatened to issue a writ of mandamus in favor of the tire manufacturer. The Texas...more

Definition of Insanity – Expecting Certification of a Personal Injury Class Action

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We thought of that definition when we read Shepherd v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC, ___ F. Supp.3d...more

Xarelto — National Drug Litigation

November has proven to be a very busy month for Searcy Denney and its Xarelto clients, with the firm filing several new individual lawsuits on behalf of its clients besides participating in the national discovery efforts. ...more

Opening the Courts to Seat Belt Non-Use Evidence

The Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in Nabors Well Services, Ltd. v. Romero, 456 S.W.3d 553 (Tex. 2015) has re-opened the national debate about whether courts should admit evidence of seat belt non-usage in lawsuits arising from...more

Lost Chance Loses In Product Liability

Occasionally we see plaintiff-side experts attempt to opine, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty (or sometimes probability), that one of our clients’ products was a substantial factor – not in “causing” the purported...more

Manufacturers and Suppliers Win Big in Pennsylvania Economic Loss Doctrine Argument

The economic loss doctrine (ELD) in Pennsylvania "precludes recovery for negligence 'if the plaintiff suffers a loss that is exclusively economic, unaccompanied by an injury to either property or person.'" Elliot-Lewis Corp...more

Summary Judgment Upheld in Boston Scientific Vaginal Mesh Case

On February 9, 2009, a North Carolina resident was implanted with the Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral sling. This patient filed suit against the maker of her vaginal mesh, Boston Scientific (“Boston”), asserting claims of...more

Georgia Supreme Court Interprets the Apportionment Statute in Conjunction with the Workers' Compensation Act

This month, the Georgia Supreme Court further extended the reach of the Georgia law addressing the apportionment of liability in tort cases in the case of Walker, et al. v. Tensor Machinery, et al. The Court had recently...more

Federal Judge Remands Viagra Case to State Court

In February 2015, sixteen plaintiffs sued Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, alleging that their ingestion of Viagra between 1998 and 2013 caused them to develop melanoma. Plaintiffs asserted the following cause of actions: breach...more

Preemption 201 – Recent Cases Raising Specialized Issues

In case you haven’t noticed, we like preemption. We’ve even called ourselves “obsessed” with it. And with good reason. Preemption, where it’s available, is the most powerful defense around – capable of wiping out an entire...more

Whose Choice Is It Anyway? Split Decisions Over Choice of Law and The Impact On Your Defense Strategy

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has been embroiled in a mass tort MDL in Philadelphia for its anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal, for almost a year now. So far in 2015, the juries have split – two in...more

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