Product Liability Update - January 2011


In This Issue:

Massachusetts Federal District Court Holds Hospital Not Fraudulently Joined in Medical Device Suit, as Warranty Claim Asserting Hospital Was Product Seller Rather than Service Provider Has Reasonable Basis; No Federal Question Presented as Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act Does Not Completely Preempt State Law so Claims Could Only Arise under Federal Law; Massachusetts Federal District Court Holds Retailer Not Liable in Negligence as “Apparent Manufacturer” for Failure to Warn of Product Risks Where Retailer’s Name Was Not on Product and There Was No Evidence Plaintiffs Believed Retailer Was the Manufacturer; First Circuit Reverses Trial Court Decision to Exclude Expert From Testifying Based on Pro-Plaintiff Bias, Holding Focus of Inquiry Should Be On Expert’s Specialized Knowledge and Whether Testimony Will Assist Jury in Understanding Fact in Issue; Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Defense Verdict Despite Plaintiffs’ Claim Judge Erroneously Failed to Instruct Jury that “Substantial Contributing Factor” to Plaintiffs’ Injuries Need Not Be “But For” Cause of Same, as Plaintiffs Failed to Request Instruction; and Massachusetts Federal District Court Holds Plaintiff Could Not Prove Causation in Manufacturing Defect Suit Due to Lack of Proof Alleged Defect Was Caused by Manufacturer Rather than Plaintiff’s Employer.

Please see full update 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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