Products Liability Civil Remedies

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Asbestos Alert: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Legislation

When asbestos litigation became extremely costly to defend, to settle and to pay judgments, companies began filing for protection under the Bankruptcy laws. In the three decades since Johns Manville and UNR Industries filed...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

The Continuing Saga Surrounding Magnet Sets: Proof of the CPSC's Determination to Eradicate Hazards to Children

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made it very clear over the last several years that it takes hazards associated with rare earth magnet sets very seriously, primarily because the hazards affect children. Rare...more

The Auto Industry’s Safety Whistleblower Program: What You Need To Know

The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Program that originally passed through the U.S. Senate last summer but stalled in the House of Representatives has finally been signed into law by President Obama as part of the Fixing...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

Southern District of California Diffuses Hairdryer Class

The Southern District of California decertified a nationwide consumer product class due to material differences between the state laws applicable to the claims. The plaintiff in Czuchaj v. Conair Corp. alleged a defect in...more

Breaking: CPSC Obtains Record $15.45 Million Civil Penalty in Settlement Agreement with Gree

This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has obtained a record-breaking $15.45 million civil penalty in a settlement agreement with Gree Electric Appliances of China, Hong Kong Gree...more

Federal Court Makes No Exceptions for “Commodity Products” and Orders Zen Magnets to Stop Selling Previously Recalled Magnets

There have been many twists and turns over the past four years concerning the CPSC’s regulation of certain high powered, rare-earth magnet sets and its litigation against various entities selling these magnets. In the latest...more

$72 Million Awarded in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case

More than 1,200 pending lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson involving the company’s iconic baby powder and other products received a big boost when a Missouri jury awarded the family of an ovarian cancer victim $72 million in...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Bar on California AG’s Efforts to Enforce Slack Fill Provisions Against Del Real in Meat and Poultry Case

On February 12, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision barring the California Attorney General’s efforts to enforce nonfunctional slack fill provisions against Del Real LLC, a producer of Mexican...more

Reviving a Forgotten Fad: Three Judges Lift Stays of Evaporated Cane Juice Claims

We’ve all heard about food fads: Paleo, artisanal, farm-to-table. But what about food litigation fads? Plaintiffs’ lawyers must scour the same grocery aisles, judging from their past “sweet tooth” obsession with...more

Indiana High Court Rules Statute of Repose Inapplicable in Cases of Protracted Exposure to Substances

On March 2, 2016, the Indiana Supreme Court rendered an opinion in the consolidated appeals in three cases. The Court held that the Indiana Product Liability Act’s statute of repose does not apply to cases involving...more

February Brings A Blizzard Of Punitive Damages Awards

The East Coast saw quite a bit of snow in February, but that is not the only kind of blizzard we have experienced this month. In fairly rapid succession, juries in three states imposed four multi-million dollar punitive...more

Looking Forward: Canadian Class Actions in 2016

Looking Forward - The last few years have been active for class actions in Canada, and the activity did not slow down in 2015. This past year, Bennett Jones was involved with some of the most important class...more

Preemption Defense in the Ninth Circuit Is “Not Dead Yet”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) contained a scene where bodies of plague victims were brought out to the curb for collection via a cart whether or not they properly belonged there. One living fellow insists on not...more

California Court Of Appeal Bends Over Backwards To Uphold Substantial Punitive Award In Asbestos Case

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires procedural fairness in state trials, but that principle seems absent from a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a judgment against Kaiser Gypsum...more

Defective products: anxiety damage recognised and provisionally compensated by interim relief judge

By three court orders issued on 28 January 2016, the Nanterre Civil Court interim relief judge (Juge des référés du Tribunal de grande instance de Nanterre) granted a provision to 13 patients who had taken the Médiator® drug,...more

Injunctive Relief Claims Lead to Defense Opportunities

It’s not all that common, but every now and then our opponents feel their oats and seek injunctive relief – usually against the continued marketing of an FDA-approved product. A state-law plaintiff seeking such injunctive...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

Fourth Circuit Upholds $1.75 Million Punitive Damages Award In Transvaginal Mesh Case

About a month ago, we reported on a Delaware trial court decision reducing a $75 million punitive award to $7.5 million in a transvaginal mesh case. Last week, in what we believe to be the first appellate decision in one of...more

California Jury Awards $9.8 Million In Compensatory Damages And $70 Million In Punitive Damages In Hemorrhoid Stapler Case

In a post a few weeks ago, I reported on a verdict by a federal jury in Atlanta awarding $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against the manufacturer of a hip implant. Not to be outdone, on...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

SHE Matters: The Consumer Rights Act 2015

This year has seen the advent of a key new piece of legislation, which has boosted the statutory rights of consumers in the UK. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Act), the main provisions of which entered into force on 1 October...more

Delaware Superior Court Cuts Punitive Damages In Transvaginal Mesh Case

Last week, we posted about a $10 million award of punitive damages in a product liability action against a manufacturer of hip implants.  We explained our view that the award was excessive, in part because hundreds of similar...more

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