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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

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

FDA Issues Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Food

The Rule is broad in scope and reaches nearly every party involved in the shipment of food through the United States. On April 6, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its final rule governing the sanitary...more

Third Circuit Limits Federal Aviation Act Preemption for Product Liability Claims

In a departure from a string of cases supporting field preemption of state-law aviation product liability claims under certain circumstances by the Federal Aviation Act (FAAct), the Third Circuit recently held that the FAAct...more

New Regulations on the Horizon for Commercial Drones

Currently, the use of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial purposes in general is not permitted in the United States, although there is one exception. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows...more

FDA Publishes Sixth FSMA Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") today officially published the sixth of seven total final rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA"). The final rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and...more

Liability and Autonomous Vehicles

As a trial lawyer who handles a lot of automotive disputes and product liability claims, I get asked more and more, “when an autonomous vehicle has an accident, who will be liable?” People – clients, contacts, business...more

NHTSA Issues Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Private Litigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week issued “Enforcement Guidance Bulletin 2015-01: Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Civil Litigation,” which is...more

China Auto Regulatory Trends 2016: New-Energy, Materials Restrictions, Recalls and Emissions Figure Prominently

China has launched or announced a significant number of regulatory initiatives in the automotive sector over the first months of 2016. I have selected a number of regulatory initiatives representing such trends, below, from...more

Preemption prevails in watercraft case under Federal Boat Safety Act

For vehicle manufacturers that find themselves in state court facing product liability claims over safety mechanisms, federal preemption is frequently examined as an affirmative defense. Watercraft manufacturers, in...more

Driverless Vehicles — A new driving frontier

Just imagine the courtroom scene… The negligent party is in the courtroom being examined by plaintiff’s counsel...more

Business Litigation Report - January 2016

Legal Issues Raised by the Driverless Vehicle Revolution – PART 2 - Part 1 of this article, published in the December 2015 Business Litigation Report, described emerging driverless vehicle technology and related patent...more

Legal Issues Raised by the Driverless Vehicle Revolution – PART 2

Part 1 of this article, published in the December 2015 Business Litigation Report, described emerging driverless vehicle technology and related patent and patent ligation issues. Part 2 continues this discussion with the...more

On the Road: Safer Rental Cars

A mind boggling number of cars are on the recall list for safety problems – including about 34 million American vehicles for defective Takata airbags alone. Additionally, last year was a record for the National Highway...more

Autonomous Trucking and the Death of Driver Negligence?

The effect of AV technology on the commercial trucking sector will be profound. If Chauffeur were an ordinary truck driver, instead of a collection of lines of code, it would soon be eligible for membership in the coveted...more

Washington Court Upholds Preemption Ruling for Aircraft Component Manufacturer

Last week, in the Estate of Virgil Becker v. Forward Technology Industries, Inc., a Washington appellate court upheld a lower court decision affirming the dismissal of claims against an aircraft component manufacturer on...more

Self-Driving Cars: Legal Issues Ahead

Companies including Apple, Google, Tesla, Toyota and Uber are all developing and testing self-driving car technology. Toyota announced in November that it would spend $1 billion over the next five years on research centers...more

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act Could Spell Trouble for Tire Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law a massive (1,300-page) five-year, $281 billion transportation bill that not only covers highway, transit and rail project funding but also includes the following important...more

Opening the Courts to Seat Belt Non-Use Evidence

The Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in Nabors Well Services, Ltd. v. Romero, 456 S.W.3d 553 (Tex. 2015) has re-opened the national debate about whether courts should admit evidence of seat belt non-usage in lawsuits arising from...more

FAA Weighs in on Preemption in Product Liability Litigation

Courts across the county have long struggled with the scope of federal preemption in aviation safety and with how an aircraft type certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) affects aircraft product...more

Limiting tort liability for cannabis: Dram shop-type laws

As more states enact laws legalizing the sale of medical and recreational marijuana, cannabis businesses may start to question whether they could be held liable if customers cause injury or harm to others while using their...more

NHTSA Announces Record Setting Civil Penalty in Consent Order With Chrysler

In 2014, NHTSA collected a record setting amount of civil penalties. For 2015, NHTSA may be on pace to exceed last year’s record. On July 26, 2015, NHTSA announced a $105 million civil penalty against FCA US LLC, the former...more

Jeep Hack Drives Cyber, Crisis, Liability and Supply Chain Coverage Issues

A recall notice to fix critical control software on 1.4 million vehicles should raise concerns for companies, brokers and insurers across several business lines. The vulnerability of vital control systems to a remote hacking...more

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability PART 2: One Step Closer

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability, published in February 2015, identified a number of factors leading to the emergence and phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). It also...more

Driverless Cars Have Come to Virginia: Considerations for Automated Vehicles

How does the law apportion responsibility when someone is injured by an automated machine? In the past, this question has come before courts only rarely, and in the context of accidents involving elevators or airplane...more

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