Product Liability Update - October 2009

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IN THIS ISSUE:

*First Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Vinyl Chloride Suppliers, Holding Sophisticated User Doctrine Only Required Analysis of Decedent’s Employer’s Knowledge of Product’s Risks, Not Whether Suppliers Reasonably Relied on Employer to Transmit Warnings to Employees

*First Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment for Beryllium Suppliers, Holding Jury Could Find Plaintiff Reasonably Did Not Know Likely Cause of Her Harm Until Limitations Period and Sophisticated User Doctrine Did Not Apply Because Jury Could Find Plaintiff’s Employer Did Not Know Particulars of Beryllium Risk

*Massachusetts Federal District Court Finds Jurisdiction Over Complaint Against Fetal Gender Detector Manufacturer and Distributor, Holding Counsel’s Affidavit Showed Amount in Controversy Exceeded Jurisdictional Minimum Under Class Action Fairness Act and Plaintiffs Alleged Defendant Had Opportunity to Cure Warranty Breach as Required for Magnuson- Moss Act Jurisdiction

*Massachusetts Federal District Court Remands Asbestos Failure to-Warn Claims to State Court, Holding Defendants Demonstrated No Colorable Federal Contractor Defense Where They Did Not Show Government Prescribed Content of Warning Rather Than Simply Remaining Silent

*Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Order Requiring Nursing Home to Disclose Non-Party Patient’s Medical Records Relevant to Litigation Does Not Violate Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Massachusetts Unfair or Deceptive Practices Statute

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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