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Drones: FAA Issues Long-Awaited Final Rule for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

On Tuesday, June 21, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Part 107, the Final Rule for Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The Rule comes sixteen months after the FAA issued its Notice...more

Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturers Do Not Need to be Shielded from Lawsuits

Full disclosure # 1: I, the author of this blog post, am a trial lawyer. Full disclosure # 2: The law firm that allows the publication of this blog post has many, many, many more trial lawyers. Without disputes that could go...more

U.S. DOT Moving Closer to Certification of Driverless Cars

Motor vehicle design continues to make significant technological leaps incorporating a number of automated features, with many manufacturers pioneering the concept of driverless cars. What was once the stuff of science...more

California Appeals Court Rules Industry Custom & Practice May Be Admissible in Strict Products Liability Cases

In most product liability lawsuits, the plaintiff will sue under theories of negligence and strict liability. In such cases, the plaintiff may allege that the product’s manufacturer was negligent or that the product was...more

Takata Exploding Airbag Claims Another Young Life

A Texas teenager, Huma Hanif was killed when the Takata airbag in her Honda Civic exploded as a result of a crash. Since 2011, the Honda Civic has been recalled multiple times. According to the victim’s family, they have...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

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

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