Design Defects

News & Analysis as of

Heedless Heeding Presumptions – How New York Law Became a Morass

Ever since this blog started, we’ve made plain that we have no use for the so-called “heeding presumption.” This presumption posits that, because under Restatement §402A, comment j, a defendant providing an adequate warning...more

Another Decision Applying Bartlett Preemption to All Drugs

Just last month we collected all the favorable precedent applying impossibility preemption under Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, 133 S. Ct. 2466 (2013), to innovator drugs – although the precise subject of that post...more

Judge Consolidates Design Defect Claims for Trial in Ethicon Mesh

Judge Goodwin, who oversees the Ethicon mesh pelvic repair system multidistrict litigation in West Virginia, has consolidated 26 actions for trial on the issues of design defect, negligent design, and strict liability. The...more

Kentucky Supreme Court Sets Forth Helpful Principles On Liability For Punitive Damages

Cases in which an appellate court holds that a state’s standard for punitive liability was not satisfied even though there was sufficient evidence to support liability for the underlying causes of action are regrettably rare....more

Making Sense of the Daubert and Summary Judgment Orders in A Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Bellwether Case

We have not posted for a while—that day job can really get in the way sometimes—so we agreed to tackle the ridiculously long decision in Christiansen v. Wright Med. Tech. Inc., MDL No. 2329, 1:13-cv-297-WSD, 2015 U.S. Dist....more

Class Certification Victory in Building Products Case

In a case that should be of interest to manufacturers and distributors, and especially to suppliers of building products, lawyers from our class action defense team recently defeated class certification in a building products...more

Florida to Decide What Test Applies When Concurrent Multiple Perils Cause a Loss

For years, Florida courts have been seesawing between two different doctrines to determine whether there is coverage under a property policy when two perils – one excluded and one included — combine to cause a loss. Two...more

A Dangerous Product Does Not Necessarily Have A Design Defect

When the Town of Lexington detected PCBs in building caulk and then in indoor air in an elementary school built in 1960-61, it sued Pharmacia, alleging that Pharmacia sold a product – PCBs – with a design defect. In alleging...more

FAA Weighs in on Preemption in Product Liability Litigation

Courts across the county have long struggled with the scope of federal preemption in aviation safety and with how an aircraft type certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) affects aircraft product...more

In Case of Good Judge, Break Glass – Implied Impossibility Preemption in Cases Involving §510(k) Cleared Medical Devices

We have alluded on a couple of occasions to the likelihood that the recent generic drug implied impossibility preemption decisions in PLIVA v. Mensing, 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011), and Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, 133 S....more

Defective Design and Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

With hundreds of thousands of women alleging injuries from transvaginal mesh, the potential risks of this dangerous product are becoming better known. In numerous cases, affected victims have alleged that the makers of...more

The World in US Courts - Orrick's Quarterly Review of Decisions Applying US Law to Global Business and Cross-Border Activities:...

We are pleased to announce the Summer 2015 issue of The World in US Courts: Orrick's Quarterly Review of Decisions Applying US Law To Global Business and Cross-Border Activities. This issue discusses 13 new decisions that...more

SDNY Dismisses Manufacturing and Fraud Claims in Fertility Drug Case, But Conflates and Confuses the Rest

By all rights, it should be Sullivan writing about the Sullivan case. But John is taking a well-deserved vacation. We do not know if Sullivan’s travels more closely approximate a Bexis expedition, which involves long hikes...more

Preemption (and Other Things) Defanging Depakote Claims

It wasn’t a complete win, but the summary judgment outcome in Rheinfrank v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., ___ F. Supp.3d ___, 2015 WL 4743056 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 10, 2015), has to put a spring in the step of the defendants as they...more

California Dreaming: The Bite of Bauman, the Perfume of Preemption, the Stink of Stengel

This week the Drug and Device Law Son turns 20. It is apparently an age of discontent, of gripes and snipes. When we asked the DDLS what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted to move "back" to California. Something...more

Guest Post - Impossibility Preemption for Innovator Drug Manufacturers: Where Are We Now?

Today we have a guest post (her second - she's a glutton for punishment) from fellow Reed Smith associate Danielle Devens. This one brings together recent precedent recognizing post-Levine preemption in cases involving...more

How Does a Bad Idea Get Implanted?

Not so long ago we discussed how Pennsylvania law clearly precludes prescription medical product strict liability, but plaintiffs keep asserting that cause of action anyway. The plaintiff bar is nothing if not persistent. ...more

Medical Device Decision Plays PA’s Greatest Hits

When we read the opinion in Kline v. Zimmer Holdings, 2015 WL 4077495 (W.D. Pa. July 6, 2015), it felt like driving back from the mountains (or the Jersey Shore) after a holiday weekend, listening to classic rock radio...more

Product Liability Update - July 2015

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Failure-to-Warn Claim Against Drug Manufacturer Not Preempted Because There Was No “Clear Evidence” FDA Would Not Have Approved Plaintiffs’ Suggested Warning; Also Holds...more

Third Circuit Clarifies Article III Standing for Absent Class Members, Impact of Comcast

In a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, the Court of Appeals held that unnamed, putative class members are not required to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the Court held that...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

MDL Court Agrees – Tincher Doesn’t Change Pennsylvania Drug/Device Law

Several months ago we responded with some disdain to recent plaintiff-side arguments we had seen claiming that the strict liability decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. 2014), somehow altered...more

And That's The Ballgame: Summary Judgment for Forest Labs In Lexapro Suicide Case

Those of us who live in Philadelphia are endlessly fond of rocking on our porches and reminiscing about the halcyon baseball season of 2008, when our beloved Phillies won the World Series. These days, we are resigned to a...more

The Bard Mesh Litigation

All filed federal product liability lawsuits claiming injuries with transvaginal mesh or bladder slings used for repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are centralized. In February...more

Florida Supreme Court Reaffirms Need to Object to Inconsistent Verdict Before Jury Is Discharged

On May 14, 2015 the Supreme Court of Florida rejected the “fundamental nature” exception with regard to objecting to an inconsistent verdict in products liability cases and announced that “a timely objection is required to an...more

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