Product Liability

  • April 09, 2020

    Humane Society Says USDA Poultry Regs Risk Pandemics

    Amid reports that the novel coronavirus likely jumped from animals to humans, the Humane Society sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday in California federal court, saying it is not doing enough to regulate poultry farms that risk spreading zoonotic diseases to humans.

  • April 09, 2020

    Wegmans Hit With Cake Mix Label Class Action

    Supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets Inc. was hit on Thursday with a proposed class action alleging that its brand vanilla cake mixes are misleadingly labeled and have less vanilla than the labels claim.

  • April 09, 2020

    Calif. Small Businesses Sue China For $8T Over COVID-19

    Two California real estate companies and some small business groups have filed a proposed federal class action against China on behalf of all American small businesses, seeking at least $8 trillion for what they say is the Chinese government's culpability in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • April 09, 2020

    VW Drivers Say Defective Sunroofs Damage Cars' Electronics

    A proposed class of Volkswagen drivers is suing the carmaker in New Jersey federal court, alleging that it knowingly sold several models of cars with defective sunroofs that leak in the rain, damaging the cars' interiors and electronics.

  • April 09, 2020

    FDA Warns InfoWars Over COVID-19 Claims

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday told Alex Jones and his online InfoWars store to stop selling products falsely touted as cures or treatments for the novel coronavirus, following a similar directive from the New York attorney general.

  • April 09, 2020

    PG&E Touts Erin Brockovich's Support Of Reorganization Plan

    Pacific Gas & Electric is drumming up support for its reorganization plan, trumpeting Thursday an endorsement from consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who led a legal battle against the utility over contaminated California drinking water in the mid-1990s and said wildfire victims’ “best way forward” is confirming the plan.

  • April 09, 2020

    Drivers Claim Honda Acura Computer Defect Stops Cars

    A proposed class of Acura drivers is suing American Honda Motor Co. Inc., alleging that a computer defect in cars made in the last few years causes the vehicles to slow or even come to a complete stop while driving, putting drivers at risk of accidents.

  • April 08, 2020

    Pfizer Beats Viagra MDL After Plaintiffs' Experts Booted

    Pfizer on Wednesday won an unopposed motion for summary judgment in multidistrict litigation alleging its product Viagra is linked to melanoma, setting the stage for an appeal of a California federal judge's January order excluding key expert testimony, which consumers have vowed to take to the Ninth Circuit.

  • April 08, 2020

    5th Circ. Says Emerson Not Liable For $8M Turbine Damage

    An Emerson Electric Co. unit was required to fix faulty software but doesn't have to pay $8 million to cover the damage that software caused to a Texas utility's turbine, the Fifth Circuit said Wednesday in a published opinion.

  • April 08, 2020

    Fla. Woman Claims Fast-Food Chains' Containers Made Her Ill

    A South Florida woman became ill recently after eating food from Burger King, Dunkin’ and several other fast-food chains because of a chemical found in polystyrene food containers used by their restaurants, according to a series of lawsuits filed in state court in Miami.

  • April 08, 2020

    Turning To Zoom, Texas Justices Hear $1.7M Negligence Spat

    Texas Supreme Court justices heard their first oral arguments in court history via Zoom on Wednesday while attempting to delineate whether a jury or judge has the power to decide an injured offshore drilling platform worker’s “borrowed employee” status in a $1.7 million negligence suit against W&T Offshore Inc.

  • April 08, 2020

    PG&E Tort Claimants Object To How Utility Plans To Pay Fine

    The tort claimants committee in the PG&E Chapter 11 case is asking a California bankruptcy judge to reject the utility's proposal to route $4 million in fines through their settlement trust, saying the move would create a bad precedent.

  • April 08, 2020

    Allstate Sues QVC Over House Fire Caused By Insect Trap

    Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. hit retail channel QVC and the makers of an insect trap with a suit in Pennsylvania federal court Wednesday, alleging the product was defective and started a fire that caused more than $427,000 in damage to a policyholder's home.

  • April 08, 2020

    Ghirardelli Tastes Victory In Chocolate-Less White Chips Suit

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. on Wednesday escaped a lawsuit claiming the sweets maker tricked consumers into thinking its cocoa-free white baking chips actually contained chocolate, with a California federal judge saying reasonable consumers wouldn't have been bamboozled by the product's packaging.

  • April 08, 2020

    Ill. City Is Immune From Some Claims In Train Crash Suit

    An Illinois appellate court has held that the city of Vandalia is mostly immune from claims of negligence made in a lawsuit sparked by a grisly train accident, and has reversed a lower court that had denied the city's dismissal bid after finding it can lean on liability protections stemming from its status as a municipality.

  • April 08, 2020

    NY AG Seeks Additional Sackler Family Financial Info

    The New York attorney general on Tuesday asked a bankruptcy court to resume discovery into the finances of the Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma LP, saying that her office has already unearthed important information about money transfers the family has made.

  • April 08, 2020

    FDA Warns More CBD Sellers About Bogus COVID-19 Claims

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has told two more CBD companies to stop making allegedly fraudulent claims that their products prevent or treat COVID-19, part of a broader effort by regulators to crack down on bogus health claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • April 08, 2020

    J&J Unit Beats Suit Over Defective Breast Implants

    A New York federal judge has dismissed with prejudice a woman's suit alleging that breast implants made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary were defective, saying she failed to link the defect with any violations of federal law.

  • April 07, 2020

    Altria, Juul Face Consumer Antitrust Action Over $12.8B Deal

    A $12.8 billion deal between Juul and Altria "eliminated a potential competitor" for Juul and allowed it to gouge direct purchasers with artificially inflated prices, a Juul customer said in a proposed antitrust class action complaint filed against the companies in California federal court Tuesday.

  • April 07, 2020

    Can Cannabis Survive the Virus? Hemp Has A Leg Up

    Before the coronavirus struck, the hemp industry was already wary about 2020 as oversupply problems and bankruptcies hit businesses in the new sector early in the year.

  • April 07, 2020

    Cahill Gordon Suspends 2020 Summer Associate Program

    Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP has decided to suspend its summer associate program for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm announced Tuesday though it says it will pay the associates who had been selected and will offer them full-time positions after graduation.

  • April 07, 2020

    Pentax Reaches $43M DOJ Deal Resolving Scopes Charges

    Pentax Medical Co. will pay $43 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting it shipped endoscopes without U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared cleaning instructions and failed to file timely reports on two infections associated with the endoscopes, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

  • April 07, 2020

    PG&E Judge Won't OK COVID-19 Letter Co. Atty Called 'Silly'

    A California judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s bankruptcy declined Tuesday to approve a letter informing Northern California wildfire survivors that COVID-19 has hammered PG&E shares and reduced a $13.5 billion victims settlement fund, after a PG&E attorney slammed opposing counsel's "silly letter" as an effort to kill the deal.

  • April 07, 2020

    Pfizer Dodges Suit Claiming Lipitor Causes Diabetes

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday dismissed with prejudice claims by 24 plaintiffs alleging Pfizer Inc.'s cholesterol drug Lipitor caused their type 2 diabetes, saying all their claims are either barred by the state's statute of limitations, preempted by federal law, or both.

  • April 07, 2020

    ND Judge Tosses Tribe Members' Pipeline Trespass Suits

    A North Dakota federal judge has tossed two proposed class actions by Three Affiliated Tribes members claiming an oil pipeline illegally runs through their land on the Fort Berthold Reservation, ruling the U.S. Department of the Interior's review of the member claims must play out.

Expert Analysis

  • Don't Forget Firm Culture When Adapting To Remote Work

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    While law firms suddenly pivoting to remote work due to coronavirus restrictions are busy dealing with logistical challenges, an equally pressing and perhaps more difficult task may be adjusting a long-standing brick-and-mortar culture to working remotely for the first time, say Heather Clauson Haughian and Grant Walsh at Culhane Meadows.

  • COVID-19 Countermeasure Protections Are Not Absolute

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    The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act should protect manufacturers from lawsuits over products deployed in the battle against COVID-19, but plaintiffs who suffer injury will not be entirely without recourse, say attorneys at Crowell.

  • Does COVID-19 Fall Under Insurers' Pollution Exclusions?

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    Despite inconsistent rulings from state and federal courts, an analysis of bacterial and viral contamination cases provides insight on whether COVID-19 is the type of environmental harm expected to fall within insurance policies' pollution provisions, says Elise Allen at BatesCarey.

  • Opinion

    Calif. Auto Defect Law Incentivizes Overlitigation

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    California’s lemon law was meant to help consumers obtain quick resolution for serious vehicle defects, but plaintiffs attorneys appear to be taking advantage of the fee-shifting provisions of the law to generate large windfalls for themselves, says Kyla Christoffersen Powell, president of the Civil Justice Association of California.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Amplifies Bristol-Myers Class Action Debate

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Cruson v. Jackson National Life Insurance guides defendants on raising the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 Bristol-Myers ruling as a jurisdictional objection to a nationwide class, even though it deepens a circuit split, says Michael Ruttinger at Tucker Ellis.

  • Conducting Court Hearings Remotely: 12 Considerations

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    As more courts begin to explore remote hearings during the COVID-19 crisis, attorneys and courts should be aware of some of the common concerns accompanying video- and teleconferencing technology and make allowances to avoid these issues, say Attison Barnes III and Krystal Swendsboe at Wiley Rein.

  • The Era Of Video Mediation Is Here — Or Is It?

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    Mediator Jeff Kichaven has heard from several first-chair trial lawyers and senior claims executives that they are reluctant to adopt online video mediation even during the COVID-19 crisis, and says this reluctance is grounded in reality.

  • COVID-19 Highlights BigLaw Need For Emotional Intelligence

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    The formula for making decisions at BigLaw firms has historically been rooted in IQ-based factors, but with the ongoing pandemic, lawyers and firm leaders are increasingly dealing with issues that require emotional intelligence — from establishing effective virtual offices to retaining firm morale and client confidence, say Jolie Balido and Tina van der Ven at NewStar Media.

  • Key Issues As Automakers Shift To Medical Device Production

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    As automakers respond creatively to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must anticipate and address important performance and quality requirements as they work to quickly transform automotive and others factories for medical device production, say advisers and attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Shaming Of Attys Is Troubling Even During Pandemic

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    Judges have recently rebuked attorneys for wasting judicial resources to resolve minor issues during the COVID-19 crisis, including in a trademark lawsuit over unicorn drawings. But it is unfair to publicly flog lawyers for doing what they are trained to do, says Ronald Minkoff, chairman of Frankfurt Kurnit's professional responsibility group.

  • Don't Be Social Media Distancing: LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers

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    While we need to be physically apart at this time, lawyers and firms should be leaning into social media to reinforce and build relationships, and help guide clients through the coronavirus crisis, says marketing consultant Stefanie Marrone.

  • Festival Case May Be Preview Of COVID-19 Consumer Suits

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    A class action recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging a music festival's refund policy after a COVID-19-prompted cancellation may indicate the direction that the plaintiffs bar will pursue in pandemic-related consumer litigation, say attorneys at Bryan Cave.

  • Defending Against A Wave Of Hand Sanitizer Class Actions

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's rebuke of Purell manufacturer Gojo Industries' labeling claims has incited an influx of false advertising class actions against hand sanitizer companies, but there are several viable ways for defendants to respond, says Alex Smith at Jenner & Block.

  • Justices' Citgo Ruling Offers Shippers Contractual Clarity

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent opinion in Citgo v. Frescati provides shippers, brokers and counsel with assurance that maritime shipping contracts' safe berth clauses are an express warranty of safety, allowing future agreements to be drafted with greater certainty, say Christopher Nolan and Robert Denig at Holland & Knight.

  • Emergency Laws Protect Cos. Enlisted In COVID-19 Fight

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    The Defense Production Act and the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, recently invoked by the Trump administration to aid in fighting COVID-19, can provide special legal defenses to businesses producing essential supplies — which could protect companies against future tort liability, says Kelly Belnick at Tanenbaum Keale.

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