Personal Injury Products Liability Civil Procedure

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Walking the Regulatory Compliance Path Defeats Punitive Damages

The Pope came to Philadelphia this past weekend. That’s not the first time this has happened (JPII stopped by in 1979), but the level of paranoia this time around led to four days of street shutdowns, parking prohibitions,...more

California Court of Appeal Bars Plaintiffs’ Wrongful Death Action Involving an Employee Who Used his Employer’s...

The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a pipe manufacturer based upon the worker’s compensation exclusivity rule. Melendrez et al. v....more

Breaking News - Arizona Supreme Court to Review Watts Learned Intermediary decision

We've posted previously about the awful learned intermediary decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals in Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., 342 P.3d 847 (Ariz App. 2015). Well, that's not the last word anymore. Today...more

SDNY Sacks Treanda Failure to Warn Claim

Failure to warn cases remind us of sports talk radio and paleontology. Especially on Monday mornings in the Fall, Philly sports talk radio is a festival of woe and recrimination. The Iggles are terrible, their deficiencies...more

Another No Show For Personal Jurisdiction In The Show Me State

We have previously expressed our surprise that personal jurisdiction has so quickly become such an effective bulwark against the forum abuse that we call litigation tourism. Our surprise is modest, mind you, since the recent...more

Solid "No Designer Liability" Decision in a Non-Pharma Case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

On September 13th, we, as Drug and Device Law Jews, celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Normally, we host dinner for 20 or so members of our extended family. This year, the entire day before the holiday was...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

Reports of the Death of SB800 are Greatly Exaggerated – The Court of Appeal Revives Mandatory SB800 Procedures

In a 20 page opinion, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District repudiated the holding of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove, LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (“Liberty Mutual”), and held that plaintiffs in...more

SDNY Dismisses Manufacturing and Fraud Claims in Fertility Drug Case, But Conflates and Confuses the Rest

By all rights, it should be Sullivan writing about the Sullivan case. But John is taking a well-deserved vacation. We do not know if Sullivan’s travels more closely approximate a Bexis expedition, which involves long hikes...more

Preemption (and Other Things) Defanging Depakote Claims

It wasn’t a complete win, but the summary judgment outcome in Rheinfrank v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., ___ F. Supp.3d ___, 2015 WL 4743056 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 10, 2015), has to put a spring in the step of the defendants as they...more

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages. On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et...more

Illinois appellate court strengthens sole proximate cause defense in asbestos cases

The question of whether a product manufacturer or employer in an asbestos lawsuit can introduce evidence of the plaintiff’s exposures to asbestos from other sources has become a highly contested issue. There is a lengthy...more

Claims of Negligent Design and Breach of Implied Warranty to Proceed Against Boston Scientific Mesh

On February 9, 2009, a North Carolina resident was implanted with the Obtryx Transobturator Mid- Urethral Sling System (Boston Scientific Mesh). She sued Boston Scientific Corp., the maker of the sling, asserting claims of...more

Expert Testimony Admissible Under Sargon Despite Fact Expert Could Not Definitively Rule Out All Other Possible Causes of Injury

In Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., (filed 7/16/2015, published 8/13/2015, No. B250163) the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held a physician’s expert testimony attributing the defendant’s...more

“Force of Nature” or Human Error? Litigating the Act of God Defense

The cause of the plaintiff’s damages is typically the first and most critical question posed to a jury in a product liability trial. If a jury determines that a substantial factor in the cause of the plaintiff’s damages was a...more

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

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

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