Product Liability

  • April 10, 2024

    Emissions Rules' Foes May Be Forced To Yield To Automakers

    Potential challengers of vehicle emissions rules were shown they're not necessarily in the drivers' seat on the issue when the D.C. Circuit upheld California's authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and run a zero-emission vehicles program while citing the auto industry's peace with the regulations.

  • April 10, 2024

    Talc Death Liability Should Have Been Even Split, Panel Finds

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday partially reversed a $400,000 verdict in a mesothelioma suit against American International Industries, with a panel finding the trial court should have split the verdict in even thirds, rather than putting 50% of it on AII.

  • April 10, 2024

    Paper Companies Still Liable In Superfund Row, Judge Says

    A Michigan federal judge held that International Paper Co. and Weyerhaeuser Co. can still be sued for future cleanup costs of a Michigan superfund site after the Sixth Circuit cut them loose from their portion of a $49 million bill for cleanup costs to date.

  • April 10, 2024

    Botched Herbicide Job Spoiled 'God's Creation,' Ga. Jury Told

    Counsel for a rural Georgia quail hunting operation told an Atlanta federal jury Wednesday that when their client hired a company to thin out the woods on its property with herbicide, it instead brought "death and destruction" to the bucolic retreat.

  • April 10, 2024

    GM Hit With Class Action Over 'Shift-To-Park' Defect

    General Motors vehicles have a defect that prevents vehicles from detecting when they are in park, stopping drivers from shutting off or locking the vehicle and causing batteries to drain, a proposed class of drivers alleged in a new suit Tuesday.

  • April 10, 2024

    Children Fight Feds' Bid To Dodge Constitutional Climate Suit

    A group of children has fired back at the federal government's attempt to dismiss its California federal court lawsuit alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency knowingly allows unsafe levels of climate pollution despite the Constitution guaranteeing "a life-sustaining climate system." 

  • April 10, 2024

    BCLP Adds Former Prosecutor As Trial Partner In Seattle

    One week after combining with a 12-member Seattle litigation group, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has added a litigation and investigations partner in the Emerald City, the firm said Wednesday.

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

  • April 09, 2024

    After Uproar, New MDL Rule Advances With Attys Assuaged

    Following years of debate and months of outcry, a judicial panel Tuesday approved the first formal rule aimed at improving efficiency and fairness in the nation's burgeoning realm of multidistrict litigation, earning plaudits from placated lawyers in the defense and plaintiffs bars.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    Philips, Feds Enter Consent Decree Over Sleep Apnea Devices

    Philips Respironics can't make sleep apnea breathing machines until it hires an independent monitor, undergoes inspections and meets its obligations under a plan to remediate patients affected by a 2021 recall of such devices, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    What's In The Norfolk Southern $600M Derailment Deal

    Last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, reached a litigation milestone Tuesday with the disaster's first major settlement, a proposed $600 million deal with nearby residents and businesses, but the rail giant must still contend with a federal investigation and other lawsuits.

  • April 09, 2024

    Venable Snags Trio Of Product Liability Partners From Steptoe

    Three Steptoe LLP product liability and mass torts partners have departed the firm and joined Venable LLP in Chicago and Los Angeles, according to an announcement Tuesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    Dole Escapes Fruit Snack False Ad Suit, For Now

    A California federal judge has tossed a proposed class action accusing Dole Packaged Foods LLC of falsely labeling its fruit snacks as nutritious and healthy when the products are filled with sugar, saying the challenged statements are "puffery."

  • April 09, 2024

    Navajo, Mine Operator Look To Settle Last Waste Spill Claims

    A New Mexico federal judge has stayed litigation in the Navajo Nation's remaining claims against a Gold King Mine operator stemming from a hazardous waste spill that spurred nearly a decade of litigation after the parties said they reached a settlement in principle.

  • April 09, 2024

    Judge Says He'd Be Spooked By Mercedes Recall Notice

    A Washington federal judge hinted on Monday that a Mercedes-Benz driver likely had standing in a proposed class action after getting a recall notice about a potentially dangerous brake issue, with the judge remarking that such a warning would make him afraid to take his car on the road until an inspector cleared it.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jones Day's FOIA Suit Turning Into Judicial Quagmire

    A Michigan state judge said what he initially thought was a straightforward open-records dispute had turned into a complicated mess, as law firm Jones Day argued Tuesday that a Michigan agency must turn over documents related to its crackdown on the family of toxic chemicals known as PFAS.

  • April 09, 2024

    Wash. High Court Leaves Gun Magazine Ban In Place

    The Washington state Supreme Court has paused a judge's ruling that the state's law banning the sale of large-capacity magazines for firearms is unconstitutional.

  • April 09, 2024

    Gun Shield Law Constitutional, Arms Co. Tells Pa. High Court

    Springfield Armory Inc. has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to undo a ruling that it was not immune from product defect claims filed by the family of a boy who was shot by a friend thinking one of the company's guns was unloaded, arguing that Congress intended to prevent such lawsuits with the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

  • April 09, 2024

    EPA Reaches $1.4M Deal With Chemical Co. Over Plant Fire

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said that it had recently reached a settlement with Houston-based Sasol Chemicals LLC over a 2022 chemical plant explosion in Westlake, Louisiana, over which the company agreed to pay more than $1.4 million in civil penalties and fix violations.

  • April 09, 2024

    Smith & Wesson Can't Keep Mass Shooting Case In Fed. Court

    The Seventh Circuit ruled Monday that Smith & Wesson must litigate in state court lawsuits brought by survivors and the families of victims who were killed or wounded in the July 4, 2022, Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting, rejecting the gunmaker's argument that its compliance with federal regulators mandated federal jurisdiction.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jury Must Hear Terrorism Payments Were Extortion, Chiquita Says

    Banana company Chiquita argued Tuesday it should not be blocked from presenting evidence about threats made to its employees by a Colombian paramilitary group and about other businesses making payments to the group at a coming bellwether trial in a long-running multidistrict litigation accusing Chiquita of funding the paramilitary group that allegedly killed the plaintiffs' relatives.

  • April 09, 2024

    Feds Want To Push Back Complex Camp Lejeune Cases

    The federal government has asked the North Carolina court overseeing litigation concerning contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to first try cases brought by former residents of the Marine base who allege they have developed only one disease from the water and try more complicated cases later.

  • April 09, 2024

    EPA Outlines New Ways To Destroy, Dispose Of PFAS

    Waste managers, government regulators and the public should use methods such as underground injection to destroy or dispose of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and PFAS materials, guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

  • April 09, 2024

    Maryland Legislature Sends Kratom Bill To Governor

    Maryland will become the 13th state to pass a Kratom consumer protection act into law, if Gov. Wes Moore signs the bill that the state Legislature sent to his desk.

Expert Analysis

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • Calif. High Court Ruling Has Lessons For Waiving Jury Trials

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    The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in TriCoast Builders v. Fonnegra, denying relief to a contractor that had waived its right to a jury trial, shows that litigants should always post jury fees as soon as possible, and seek writ review if the court denies relief from a waiver, say Steven Fleischman and Nicolas Sonnenburg at Horvitz & Levy.

  • Take AG James' Suit Over Enviro Claims As A Warning

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    New York Attorney General Letitia James' recent suit against JBS USA Food Co. over allegedly misleading claims about its goal to reach net zero by 2040 indicates that challenges to green claims are likely to continue, and that companies should think twice about ignoring National Advertising Division recommendations, say attorneys at Kelley Drye.

  • SC Ruling Reinforces All Sums Coverage Trend

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    A South Carolina state court's recent ruling in Covil v. Pennsylvania National is the latest in a series of decisions, dating back to the 2016 New York Court of Appeals ruling in Viking Pump, that reject insurers' pro rata allocation argument, further supporting that all sums coverage is required whenever a loss could be covered under a policy in any other year, say Raymond Mascia and Thomas Dupont at Anderson Kill.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Benefits Of MDL Transfers

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    A recent order from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation highlights a critical part of the panel's work — moving cases into an existing MDL — and serves as a reminder that common arguments against such transfers don't outweigh the benefits of coordinating discovery and utilizing lead counsel, says Alan Rothman at Sidley Austin.

  • What New Waste Management Laws Signal For The Future

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    Several states have enacted extended producer responsibility and recycling labeling laws that will take effect in the next few years and force manufacturers to take responsibility for the end of life of their products, so companies should closely follow compliance timelines and push to innovate in the area, say attorneys at Perkins Coie.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • 2nd Circ. Baby Food Ruling Disregards FDA's Expertise

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in White v. Beech-Nut Nutrition, refusing to defer litigation over heavy metals in baby food until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration weighs in on the issue, provides no indication that courts will resolve the issue with greater efficiency than the FDA, say attorneys at Phillips Lytle.

  • Securing A Common Understanding Of Language Used At Trial

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    Witness examinations in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump illustrate the importance of building a common understanding of words and phrases and examples as a fact-finding tool at trial, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Opinion

    Proposed MDL Management Rule Needs Refining

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    Proponents of the recently proposed Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16.1 believe it may enhance efficiency in multidistrict litigation proceedings if adopted, but there are serious concerns that it could actually hinder plaintiffs' access to justice through the courts — and there are fundamental flaws that deserve our attention, says Ashleigh Raso at Nigh Goldenberg.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Rebuttal

    High Court Should Maintain Insurer Neutrality In Bankruptcy

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    While a recent Law360 guest article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should endorse insurer standing in Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, doing so would create a playground for mischief and delay, and the high court should instead uphold insurance neutrality, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • 3 Litigation Strategies To Combat 'Safetyism'

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    Amid the rise of safetyism — the idea that every person should be free from the risk of harm or discomfort — among jurors and even judges, defense counsel can mount several tactics from the very start of litigation to counteract these views and blunt the potential for jackpot damages, says Ann Marie Duffy at Hollingsworth.

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