Product Liability Update -- April 2012


In This Issue:

*United States Supreme Court Holds Federal Locomotive Inspection Act Preempts Entire Field of Regulating Locomotive Equipment, Including State Law Claims Alleging Defective Design or Failure to Warn Based on Asbestos Content

*Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Supreme Court’s Wal-Mart v. Dukes Rulings That (i) Non-Incidental Monetary Relief Prevents Certifying Injunctive Class, and (ii) Class-Wide Common Question Exists Only Where it Drives Resolution of Entire Action, Do Not Justify Decertifying Class Action Seeking Monetary Award for Medical Monitoring Program

*First Circuit Holds Expert Testimony, Based on Odds Ratios from Published Studies, that Drug Treatment Increases Chances of Recovery by More than 50% Inadmissible to Prove Patient More Likely than Not Would Have Recovered with Treatment

*Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Admissible Experts’ Causation Testimony Based on Epidemiologic Study Finding Statistically Significant Increase in Breast Cancer Among Relevant Subgroup of Women Exposed to Drug Even Though No Such Increase Found in Women Overall

*Massachusetts Federal Court Holds FDA Pre-Market Approval of Medical Device Consisting of Multiple Components Preempts State Law Claims Alleging Defective Design of Individual Component

*Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Named Plaintiffs’ Claims Not Typical of Putative Class, and Plaintiffs Could Not Adequately Represent Class, Where Defendant Sought Indemnity from Previously Settling Parties Because Settlement Required Some Class Members, But Not Plaintiffs, to Indemnify Settling Parties for Any Judgment

*Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Contractual Privity Required for Breach of Warranty Claims by Commercial Entities Against Product Manufacturers and Sellers

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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