Product Liability Update - October 2010


In This Issue:

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Trademark Licensor That Substantially Participated in Design, Manufacture or Distribution of Product Is Liable as “Apparent Manufacturer;" *First Circuit Affirms Judgment that Amended Complaint in Product Liability Action Filed Over a Year After Expiration of Statute of Limitations Did Not Relate Back to Original Complaint Because Defendant Added by Amended Complaint Was Not on Notice of the Action Within 120 Days of its Filing; *Massachusetts Federal District Court Holds Jury Instruction on Proof of Design Defect Need Not State Explicitly that Defendant May Be Liable If Product Is Unreasonably Dangerous to “Foreseeable Bystanders” as Well as Foreseeable Users; *First Circuit Denies Interlocutory Appeal of Class Certification in Medical Monitoring Action by Smokers Against Cigarette Manufacturer, Holding Interlocutory Review Would Unnecessarily Impede Progress of Case; *Massachusetts Federal District Court Grants Summary Judgment for Pharmaceutical Manufacturer on Failure-to-Warn Claims Because Plaintiff Could Not Prove Drug Was Substantial Contributing Factor to Injuries or that Prescribing Physician Relied on Manufacturer’s Alleged Misrepresentation; *Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Denial of New Trial in Defective Design Case Where Defense Counsel Made Inappropriate Comment During Closing About Harm to Society When Manufacturers Are Sued, But Trial Judge Effectively Cured Any Prejudice With Instruction that Jury Disregard Remark

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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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