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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

Class Action Roundup: Winter 2016

Where the (Class) Action Is - This issue of Roundup wraps up 2015 with another slate of interesting cases spanning industries and subject matter. The running theme of ascertainability is now stretching into antitrust...more

Another California Dismissal of Proposed Class Action Regarding Disclosure of Forced Labor in the Supply Chain

We recently blogged about a new wave of class action litigation related to California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act. In December, Nestlé USA won the dismissal of a complaint against it alleging that the company was...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

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - January 2016

Insurance Coverage; Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Exclusion - Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 901, 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 524 - Facts: The insured had a vacant apartment building....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

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

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

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

Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Is the Discovery Problem Solved?

Long anticipated changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were approved by the United States Supreme Court on April 29, 2015. Absent congressional action, which is not expected, these new rules will take effect...more

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Defendant Not Liable for “Speculative” Workplace Asbestos Exposure

The Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District affirmed a jury’s defense verdict in Holloway v. Sprinkmann Sons Corporation of Illinois, 2014 IL App (4th) 131118 (December 16, 2014). The plaintiff testified that from...more

Take-Home Exposure Claims Under Review by California's High Court

On August 20, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted petitions for review in two published decisions that reached different conclusions on whether a defendant owed a duty for take-home exposures. Both matters (Haver v....more

Pennsylvania Does Not Recognize Duty to Warn an Employee’s Spouse

District court predicts that Pennsylvania will not recognize a duty to protect or warn the spouse of an employee in “take home” or “household” asbestos exposure cases. On August 26, Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the U.S....more

Injured Sailors May Seek Punitive Damages in the Asbestos MDL

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who oversees asbestos multidistrict litigation, issued a decision in July permitting injured sailors to seek punitive damage awards. In Re:...more

Update: California Supreme Court to Review Secondary Asbestos Exposure Cases

In Sedgwick’s June 2014 Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update, we reported on two conflicting decisions from different California appellate courts regarding companies’ duty to prevent “take home exposures” to asbestos...more

The 21st Century Water Cooler: Discovery and Text Messages

Text messages, once the exclusive domain of teenagers and college students, are increasingly used in business communications. These communications are, unsurprisingly, also discoverable in a wide variety of litigation...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

California Court of Appeal Overturns Nonsuit Granted in Household Exposure Asbestos Case Where Trial Court’s Decision Was Based on...

On May 15, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal in California found that the trial court had erred in granting a nonsuit in favor of Pneumo Abex, LLC (Abex) in the asbestos personal injury action of Johnny Blaine Kesner,...more

Class Actions: Trial Preparation and Presentation

The complexity and importance of the risk-reward dynamic elevates significantly in the context of class actions. Once a class is certified, the risk assessment of inside and outside counsel focuses on the size of the class...more

Court of Appeal Affirms Dismissal of Cases Brought by Foreign Banana Farm Workers Claiming Exposure to Chemicals Rendered Them...

On March 7, 2014, the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles put an end to years of toxic tort litigation by affirming a trial court’s ruling to grant petitions for writ of error coram vobis, affirming dismissal of a case...more

California Court of Appeal Weakens the Component Parts Doctrine

Division Four of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal recently ruled that product manufacturers could be held liable for injuries to a customer’s employee allegedly caused by their raw materials. ...more

Looking Forward - Canadian Class Actions in 2014

The last few years have been very active years for class actions in Ontario. Bennett Jones continues to have an active and expanding class actions practice....more

Pennsylvania Effectively Eliminates Workers’ Compensation Act as Source of Protection for Employers from Suits Arising Out of...

On January 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied defendants’ Petition for Reargument of the Court’s November 22, 2013, ruling in Tooey v. AK Steel Corp. et al. The ruling held that the Pennsylvania Workers’...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Torts – Negligence – Sophisticated User Defense

Buckner v. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation - Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (December 20, 2013) - In Johnson v American Standard (2008) 43 Cal.4th 56, the California Supreme Court first recognized the...more

California Court of Appeal Holds Intermediary’s Sophistication Not Sufficient, as a Matter of Law, to Avoid Supplier’s Liability...

On October 29, 2013, the California Court of Appeal affirmed as proper a trial court’s refusal to give defendant John Crane, Inc.’s (Crane’s) requested jury instruction on the “sophisticated user” defense. In Anne Pfeifer, et...more

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