Personal Injury Civil Procedure Products Liability

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Spoliation: How to Stop Trouble from Brewing

When a business is faced with the potential for litigation, it is imperative that all evidence be preserved to avoid the dreaded “s” word: spoliation. Starbucks Corporation recently learned this lesson the hard way when a...more

11th Circuit: Rule 23 Trumps State Law Limitation on Class Actions

Dealing a blow to defendants facing consumer fraud litigation in the 11th Circuit, the court of appeals for that circuit has reinstated a class action under the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practice Act (ADTPA), despite that the...more

Proposed California Legislation Would Mandate Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Disclosures Statewide

California Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has introduced and sponsored Assembly Bill No. 597, the Asbestos Tort Claim Trust Transparency Act, which if passed would require asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all...more

Inapplicability of the "One Year" Limitations Tolling Period of the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure

In Murphy v. Hinton, No. COA14-1230 (July 7, 2015), the North Carolina Court of Appeals determined that a complaint dismissed voluntarily cannot benefit from the "one-year refiling" period pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the...more

Inadequate Record Keeping May Result in Gross Negligence For Injuries Caused by Exercise Equipment Malfunction

In Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., 2015 No. H040987, the California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, reversed summary judgment in favor of defendant 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (“24 Hour”), holding defendant’s incomplete...more

Daubert – and a Mechanical Pencil – Doom the Testimony of “Clinical Engineering” Expert

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In the granddaddy of today’s reality TV shows, this buzz-phrase became synonymous with “use your head before you rely on a demonstration.” The plaintiff in Hutson v. Covidien Holdings,...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

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

“Continuous” Trigger is Alive and Well in Pennsylvania

In recent years, insurers have attempted to avoid their coverage obligations for their policyholders’ asbestos personal injury claims by challenging longstanding trigger of coverage rulings from the 1980s and 1990s. Although...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Certification In Joint Supplement Case Because Not All Class Members Saw Misrepresentation

The Ninth Circuit has held that a district court abused its discretion in certifying a class based on allegedly false health claims because not all class members saw the advertising. The Ninth Circuit said that the trial...more

Wis. Supreme Court Applies the Discovery Rule to Accrual of Wrongful Death Claims

On June 24th, Wisconsin’s supreme court decided that the discovery rule—that is, the rule that a tort claim for which the legislature has provided no other rule “accrues” for statute-of-limitations purposes when the plaintiff...more

Louisiana Appellate Court Overturns Improper Application of “Law of the Case” Doctrine

Today is the day when we will learn whether the Governor of Louisiana will enter the 2016 presidential race. That reminds us of Louisiana’s rather colorful collection of politicians, including Huey Long and Edwin Edwards....more

Expert Declaration in Conjunction with Circumstantial Evidence Sufficient to Defeat Summary Judgment in Vehicle Defect Case

In Pavoni v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2015 No. 13-55761 (“Pavoni”), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs’ expert declaration in conjunction with circumstantial evidence of the incident were sufficient to raise...more

MDL Court Agrees – Tincher Doesn’t Change Pennsylvania Drug/Device Law

Several months ago we responded with some disdain to recent plaintiff-side arguments we had seen claiming that the strict liability decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. 2014), somehow altered...more

Texas Legislature Passes Two Bills Impacting Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Litigation

Companies at risk of personal injury or wrongful death litigation in Texas should take note of two bills recently passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, HB 1692 and SB 735. HB 1692 HB 1692 is intended to curb the practice...more

Guest Post - Game of Unknowns: A Daubert Ruling From the Middle District of Florida

Here at the DDL Blog, there are few things we enjoy more than a defense-friendly Daubert ruling – one of those things being, of course, our regular Sunday night HBO date with Game of Thrones. The “Hardhome” episode two...more

Florida Supreme Court Reaffirms Need to Object to Inconsistent Verdict Before Jury Is Discharged

On May 14, 2015 the Supreme Court of Florida rejected the “fundamental nature” exception with regard to objecting to an inconsistent verdict in products liability cases and announced that “a timely objection is required to an...more

California District Court Grants Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Evidence Supporting Claims for Asbestos Exposure

A California district court recently granted summary judgment in favor of four defendants on the grounds that plaintiffs had no evidence that a decedent was exposed to asbestos from defendants’ products. (Livingston v. ABB,...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

What Does Pharmacogenomics Have To Do With Product Liability? – Potentially Everything

Recently, Bexis attended the DRI drug and device committee spring conference. Among other things he heard a bang-up presentation on genomics and personalized (also known as “precision”) medicine from Paige Sensenbrenner. On...more

The Double-Edged Sword: Genomic Profiling in Drug and Chemical Litigation

Since completion of the Human Genome Project, genomic profiling and the related advent of personalized medicine have become a hot topic. Many predicted this new genomic information would lead to targeted drug treatments that...more

California Federal Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims for Lack of Plausible Cancer Risk

In a significant victory for defendants facing toxic tort exposure claims, a California federal court dismissed a medical monitoring putative class action brought by drinkers of certain Pepsi products because Plaintiffs...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

Texas Considers Asbestos Transparency Legislation

Texas is the latest state to consider legislation aimed at increasing transparency between the civil tort and asbestos bankruptcy trust systems. Four states, most recently West Virginia, have enacted such legislation. Texas...more

Alabama Legislature Abolishes Weeks Innovator Liability Theory

That didn’t take long. Yesterday the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, which abolishes the innovator liability theory created in the execrable decision in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813...more

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