Products Liability Civil Procedure

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New Duty To Supply Decision

Ever since we first waded into the issue of “duty to supply” back in 2007 in connection with the litigation that produced Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach, 495 F.3d 695 (D.C. Cir....more

New York Reaffirms General Acceptance Standard in Frye for Scientific and Technical Issues

In a recent opinion handed down by New York’s highest state court – the Court of Appeals –Sean R. v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, 2016 N.Y. Slip. Op. 01000 (Feb. 2016) reaffirmed New York’s continued adherence to Frye’s “general...more

First Circuit: Plaintiffs’ Specific Causation Expert Fails to Pass Muster in Benzene Case

Last week, we (along with many of you, we assume) attended the DRI Drug and Medical Device conference in Chicago. We re-connected with friends dating to the beginning of our lengthy career (literally – ran into the head of...more

Compensating “Disgust”: Psychoanalyzing Emotional Distress Claims Involving Food Products

You’re a sheriff’s deputy and you’re hungry. You stop at the local Burger King drive-thru and order a Whopper with cheese. You often eat five meals a day—frequently at fast food restaurants—because you work night shifts. ...more

Talc Litigation: The Big Picture

In 2015 and 2016, juries awarded $13 million in a talc case in California, and $72 million and $55 million in talc cases tried in Missouri. The California plaintiff argued that she used talcum powder which contained...more

Trimming Some Fat From Statin Litigation With Daubert and Preemption

In the mythical days of product liability yore, a big drug litigation was spurred by a notable event—like a study describing a new risk appearing in a major journal, a significant labeling change because of new or greater...more

Advertising Law - May 2016 #3

Fake Subscription Notices, Real FTC Lawsuit - Fake subscription notices are the subject of a new lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission in an Oregon federal court. The defendants, a web of dozens of...more

Amarin Pharma Comes Out on Top in Federal Case Involving Freedom of Speech

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received another blow to its ability to regulate pharmaceutical product marketing that was dealt via a court order stating it is not in the agency’s purview to control promotional...more

Zofran MDL Jurisdictional Analysis Bounces Non-Missouri Plaintiffs

Over the years we have completed many written evaluations of young associates, and the first category on the form has almost always been "Legal Analysis." That primacy makes sense. If a lawyer does not understand the legal...more

Statute of Limitations Taking the Steam out of CPSC-Backed Enforcement Action

It is no secret that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is ramping up its efforts to enforce various aspects of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), especially the provisions about a company’s failure to...more

Court Says Auf Wiedersehen To Plaintiffs Under Forum Non Conveniens

We generally file motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens under one of two circumstances. Most often we are resisting blatant forum shopping—plaintiffs who try to import their claims into a forum that they view as...more

Defendants Secure Rare Summary Judgment in Zoloft MDL

In an unusual turn of events, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe recently granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to over 300 cases in the Zoloft MDL. These cases were consolidated in 2012 and involved allegations...more

Man Claims Marijuana Made Him A Killer: The Increasing Scope of Product Liability in the Cannabis Industry: Kirk v. Nutritional...

Like the rest of the manufacturing world, cannabis Industry participants are beginning to face product liability risk following the legalization of marijuana. Last week, three sons of a woman killed by their father during an...more

Some Case-by-Case Comment K Mixed with Some Insufficient Pleading of Fraud

In Hawaii, from whence today’s case comes, tourists are encouraged to try poi, mashed up taro root, which looks like purple wallpaper paste and tastes like, well, purple wallpaper paste. The term is also used as a friendly...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

Federal Preemption Narrowed For Aviation Suppliers In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp.

On April 19, 2016, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion on the issue of federal preemption in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp. The sixty-one page opinion effectively narrowed the scope of federal...more

Texas Federal Court Says Device Manufacturer is Not a Health Care Provider, but Also Not a Seller

Sometimes it takes us a while to catch on to things. This is more than a little embarrassing for a Jersey guy to admit, but while many of our high school classmates were devout Springsteen fans after his first two albums,...more

Bellwether Trials: What Manufacturers Can Learn from the GM Ignition Claim MDL

As product liability multidistrict litigation becomes more prevalent, it is important for manufacturers to understand how the bellwether trial process works and how to use it to their advantage. The ongoing bellwether trials...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

Preemption: Oregon Has Not Gone Bananas

Can you get sued over a picture of a banana? It seems the answer might depend on where you live and probably not in Oregon. That is one takeaway from a good preemption case that came out of the District of Oregon last week,...more

What’s That Smell?: Eleventh Circuit Vacates Class Certification for Failure to Show Classwide Exposure to Misrepresentations in...

On March 21, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit vacated a district court’s decision to grant class certification to California and Texas consumers claiming that Electrolux washing machines have a design defect that makes them prone...more

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

No Tea Time for Class Action Plaintiffs: Class Certification Denied for Bigelow Green and Black Tea Drinkers

Northern District of California Judge William Orrick recently denied class certification in two food misbranding class actions challenging antioxidant claims for Bigelow green and black teas. Khasin v. R.C Bigelow Inc., Case...more

C.D. Cal. Dismisses Infusion Pump Complaint

The plaintiff in Frere v. Medtronic, Inc., 2016 WL 1533524 (C.D. Cal. April 6, 2014), was an 80 year-old woman who had an infusion pump implanted to treat her chronic low-back pain. According to the plaintiff, the device...more

Handy-Dandy Checklist for Admissibility of Electronic Evidence

For years we’ve advocated about ediscovery for defendants – consisting mostly of material gathered from a plaintiff’s social media postings. OK, so let’s assume some degree of success. Defense-side ediscovery has generated...more

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