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Manipulating User Postings Removes Service Provider from CDA Immunity

As detailed on this blog before, the immunity from "publisher or speaker" liability for interactive computer service providers under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is broad and generally encompasses a wide variety of...more

Courtney Love, Yelp and Internet libel: Nevermind, it’s not a trend

Courtney Love goes to trial, in a suit by her former attorney, based on a social media message that accused the attorney of being “bought off.” A Yelp user and the contractor she criticized go at each other in court over...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Whether Drug Company Has Expanded Duties

On January 21, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in a 4–2 vote in Lance v. Wyeth, 2014 PA. 17 EAP 2011 (PA Supreme Court 2014), that a pharmaceutical company for the first time under Pennsylvania law may face...more

Freedom of Speech on the Internet: The Power of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Experienced First Amendment lawyers know that websites hosting user-created content are extremely difficult to sue for defamation. This is due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, codified at 47 U.S.C. §...more

Lance v. Wyeth: A New Cause of Action in Pennsylvania?

Issuing an opinion over two years after oral argument, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week in Lance v. Wyeth that pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for negligence in the design and marketing of drugs....more

Liability for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Expands for the First Time to Include Design Defect Claims

Product liability law in Pennsylvania has been fundamentally altered as it relates to the manufacturing and selling of prescription drugs. Manufacturers are now subject to design defect claims following a recent state Supreme...more

Plaintiffs May Assert Negligent Design Claims for Prescription Drugs, Pa. Supreme Court Holds

In a stunning decision with broad implications for pharmaceutical companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has held that plaintiffs may assert negligence claims against pharmaceutical...more

Sixth Circuit to Construe Scope of CDA Section 230 Immunity on Appeal of Unusual Jones v. Dirty World Decision

How can a website operator lose the broad immunity for liability associated with user-generated content conferred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA)? Section 230 has been consistently interpreted by...more

Germany: Google not held liable for link to website with allegedly defamatory content

On 5 September 2013 the District Court in Mönchengladbach rejected the claim brought by a history professor (plaintiff) against Google (defendant). The plaintiff’s claim for cease and desist targeted at the deletion of a link...more

The Trademark "Twist"

Judge Alsup out of the Northern District of California recently issued a decision relating to HP's App Catalogue's (its online store) sale of an app called "Chubby Checker," an app that estimates the size of a male's anatomy...more

Federal Preemption Rules and Insufficient Pleading Results in Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Off-Label Claims

In a recent decision issuing from the Central District of California, the court evaluated requirements pertaining to federal preemption and pleading, and granted Medtronic, Inc. and Medtronic Sofamor Danek, USA, Inc.’s...more

A Double Play For Prescription Drug Manufacturers In The Eleventh Circuit

Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011), the Eleventh Circuit recently held that generic prescription drug manufacturers cannot be held liable under state-law failure...more

TheDirty.com Goes to Trial

In 2012, we reported on a pair of district court decisions that, based on similar facts, split on whether defendant TheDirty.com, a gossip website, qualified for immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act...more

How to Create an Opening Statement Using Graphic Immersion

My part in a recent presentation to the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association concerned opening statements, and I wanted to share a highly graphically immersive style of opening that allows an attorney to persuasively...more

Germany: Google’s autocomplete function can infringe personality rights

Overturning two lower court rulings the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided that the words added to a search term by Google’s autocomplete function can invade a person’s personality rights (VI ZR 269/12). Subject to...more

German Court Holds Google Responsible for Its Search Suggestions

On May 15, 2013, in a case filed against Google by an entrepreneur selling dietary supplements and cosmetics (the “Plaintiff”), the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Bundesgerichtshof, the “Federal Court”) ruled...more

Service By Private Message To Message Board Account Permitted

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently granted an order permitting substituted service on anonymous users of several Internet-based forums in a defamation action....more

Norwich Orders: You Can't Be Anonymous on the Internet After All

It’s hard to start a lawsuit when you don’t know who you’re suing. What can potential claimants do when they have been wronged but lack the essential information necessary to start a lawsuit? ...more

Top 5 Ediscovery Case Summaries – May 2013: New Jersey - Sanctions Granted for Social Media Spoliation

Gatto v. United Air Lines, Inc., 2013 WL 1285285 (D.N.J. Mar. 25, 2013). In this personal injury dispute, the defendants sought spoliation sanctions arising out of the plaintiff’s destruction of relevant social media...more

New Product Liability Class Action Highlights Uncertainties in Class Proceedings

On April 15, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a product liability class action in respect of pharmaceutical products manufactured by Bayer Inc. In so doing, the Court’s reasoning highlighted the continued...more

Superior Court Affirms Dismissal of Paxil Birth Defect Case Lacking Proximate Causation

In its March 4, 2013 non-precedential decision in Pettit v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, No. 850 EDA 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court (applying Ohio law) affirmed an order of Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sandra...more

Re-Publishing a Third-Party’s Unbiased Endorsement Can be Perilous

It should come as no surprise that making a false statement about a competitor’s product or service is actionable. Similarly, albeit slightly less obvious, repeating a false statement that someone else makes about a...more

Second Circuit Labels Expert’s Testimony a Sham in Pharmaceutical Products Liability Litigation

As a little kid, I did not have an immediate appreciation that my actions could get me into trouble, and so, without thought, I told the truth. My dad would ask, “Did you write your name on the wall?” I would respond,...more

Two Federal Cases Hold Website "Responsible" for Postings on thedirty.com

Courts in Kentucky and Maryland — in a pair of cases involving the saucy website thedirty.com — have broken new ground by suggesting that website operators can waive immunity under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for...more

Ninth Circuit limits Medical Device Amendment preemption of post-PMA tort claims

Medical Device Companies should be aware of a recent en banc ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that has the potential to increase litigation involving class III medical devices....more

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