Product Liability

  • May 16, 2024

    EPA Doctor Not A Whistleblower For Slamming Lead Plan

    A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pediatrician and epidemiologist who publicly criticized the EPA's plan to reduce lead in drinking water as inadequate is not protected by federal whistleblower law, the Federal Circuit said Thursday.

  • May 16, 2024

    AI Study Tool Student Creator Sues Emory Over Suspension

    A student who received a $10,000 prize last year from Emory University for helping to create an artificially intelligent study tool is now suing the university for suspending him on the basis that using the tool could be a violation of the academic honor code.

  • May 16, 2024

    GM, LG Ink $150M Deal To End Chevy Bolt Battery Defect Suit

    A proposed class of Chevrolet Bolt owners asked a Michigan federal court on Thursday to give the go-ahead for a $150 million deal to end claims against General Motors LLC and LG units over alleged battery defects they say make the cars prone to overheating and fires.

  • May 16, 2024

    Nelson Mullins Adds 6 London Fischer Attys, Plans LA Office

    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP announced Thursday it has brought on six litigators from London Fischer LLP on both coasts, with four of them set to join a new downtown Los Angeles office and the other two coming aboard in New York.

  • May 16, 2024

    Biden Admin Proposes To Loosen Restrictions On Marijuana

    President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that his administration has formally recommended relaxing restrictions on marijuana, marking the most significant federal policy shift on cannabis since the drug was criminalized more than 50 years ago.

  • May 16, 2024

    Weighted Baby Swaddle 'Inherently Dangerous,' Suit Alleges

    A Massachusetts company has been hit with a proposed class action over its allegedly "inherently dangerous" weighted baby blankets and swaddling wraps, a product category suspected in multiple infant deaths and under investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • May 15, 2024

    'Excellent' Altria MDL Deal Earns Attys Fees Above Benchmark

    A California federal judge on Wednesday awarded $13.65 million in plaintiffs' attorney fees as part of tobacco giant Altria's $45.5 million deal resolving consumer claims in multidistrict litigation alleging the company helped fuel a youth vaping crisis created by e-cigarette maker Juul, saying the "excellent result" merited fees above the normal 25% benchmark.

  • May 15, 2024

    UnitedHealth Concealed DOJ Merger Investigation, Suit Says

    UnitedHealth Group has been hit with a proposed shareholder class action alleging that it failed to disclose that the U.S. Department of Justice had reopened an antitrust investigation into the health insurance giant following its acquisition of a healthcare data company, and that top executives had sold more than $120 million of shares knowing about the investigation before a news report revealed it to the public.

  • May 15, 2024

    Monsanto Trials Over Wash. School PCBs Could Merge

    In the wake of a Washington Court of Appeals ruling resolving key questions in a series of toxic torts against Monsanto, a state Superior Court judge is considering merging plaintiff cohorts into larger groups ahead of trial, looking to curtail years of costly litigation over alleged PCB contamination at a public school site.

  • May 15, 2024

    Exec Wants No Jail In Landmark Product Safety Conviction

    A former Gree USA executive convicted of failing to immediately report defective dehumidifiers known to catch fire, has asked a California federal judge to sentence him to probation and not incarceration, citing several companies that delayed reporting longer than he did and caused greater harm to customers but weren't criminally charged.

  • May 15, 2024

    Tesla Must Face Trimmed 'Full Self-Driving' False Ad Suit

    Tesla can escape warranty claims in an amended proposed class action alleging the electric automotive giant deceived drivers into falsely believing that its cars can fully pilot themselves, a California federal judge ruled Wednesday, but it must face fraud- and negligence-based claims related to representations made about the vehicles' hardware.

  • May 15, 2024

    House Panel Weighs Baltimore Bridge Rebuilding Costs

    Rebuilding Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge may cost up to $1.9 billion and take at least four years, as accident investigators continue to examine how a cargo ship slammed into the bridge in March and knocked it down, officials told a House panel Wednesday.

  • May 15, 2024

    Media Coverage Not Enough To Move Flint Water Case

    A water engineering company accused by the Michigan attorney general of prolonging Flint residents' lead exposure cannot move its eventual trial out of the region, a Michigan state judge ruled Wednesday, saying the company could not assume the entire jury pool was biased. 

  • May 15, 2024

    Monsanto's $23M False Ad Deal Challenged At 9th Circ.

    Counsel representing a certified class of Missouri consumers urged the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to reverse Monsanto's nationwide $23 million settlement resolving consumer false ad claims over risks associated with its Roundup weedkiller, arguing that Monsanto hid the settlement from the Missouri plaintiffs and that the class is effectively "getting absolutely nothing."

  • May 15, 2024

    House-Passed FAA Reauthorization Bill Now Heads To Biden

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved multiyear legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration's safety and airport improvement programs, sending to President Joe Biden a package that would hire more air traffic controllers and enhance passenger protections amid high-profile aviation industry mishaps.

  • May 15, 2024

    Senators Release 'Road Map' For Crafting Federal AI Policy

    A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday laid out a "road map" for artificial intelligence policy that calls for increased AI innovation funding, testing of potential harms posed by AI and consideration of the technology's workforce implications.

  • May 14, 2024

    Bedsheet Buyer Attys Clinch $3.5M Fee For Macy's Deal

    Lawyers representing a class of consumers that accused Macy's of lying about the thread count of its sheets will get $3.5 million as part of a $10.5 million settlement with the retailer, an Ohio federal judge ruled, but gave the lead plaintiffs a pittance, saying they did not work hard enough to get more.

  • May 14, 2024

    DOJ Says Boeing Violated 737 Max Deferred Prosecution Deal

    Boeing breached its deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from the deadly 737 Max 8 crashes, but the government hasn't yet decided whether it will criminally prosecute the American aerospace giant for defrauding regulators, the DOJ said in a Texas federal court filing Tuesday.

  • May 14, 2024

    Fighters Likely Killed Victims In Chiquita Case, Academic Says

    A Colorado professor took the stand Tuesday in Chiquita's trial over accusations that it financed a right-wing Colombian paramilitary group that committed war crimes against civilians, testifying in Florida federal court that it was "extremely likely" the militants killed several men whose deaths family members blame on the banana company.

  • May 14, 2024

    NC State Fights Cancer Patient's Presuit Building Access

    North Carolina State University is pressing the state appeals court to find it is insulated from an "unusual" order allowing a former graduate student worker diagnosed with cancer to inspect a campus building that tested high for levels of carcinogens.

  • May 14, 2024

    Ship Had Blackouts Day Before Baltimore Bridge Crash, NTSB Says

    A container carrier that slammed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge and caused its collapse in March experienced two electrical outages during maintenance the day before it even left port, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report Tuesday.

  • May 14, 2024

    Calif. City Sues Dow, Shell Over TCP-Tainted Water

    Dow Chemical and Shell USA are facing a negligence suit in California federal court by the city of Pomona, alleging the companies are responsible for manufacturing commercial products containing the toxic 1,2,3-trichloropropane that has migrated into the city's water supply and seeking to recoup costs over response efforts.

  • May 14, 2024

    Insurer Wants Tainted Wine Coverage Suit Axed For Good

    A Nationwide unit asked a California federal court to permanently toss a wine bottling company's suit seeking reimbursement for costs incurred in defending and settling an underlying suit claiming the bottler damaged nearly $1.2 million of wine, saying the company failed to allege facts that would trigger coverage.

  • May 14, 2024

    Tesla Sued By Enviro Group Over Air Pollution At Calif. Plant

    An environmental justice organization filed a citizen action against Tesla on Monday in California federal court alleging that the electric-car maker's plant in Northern California has spewed dangerous pollutants into the air for years and has failed to take sufficient precautions to prevent the emissions.

  • May 14, 2024

    Mich. AG Says Eli Lilly 'Cherry-Picking' Enforcement Data

    Michigan's attorney general has hit back against Eli Lilly's arguments that recent consumer protection law recoveries show her office is not being hampered in its investigations, as she seeks subpoenas in a probe of the pharmaceutical giant's pricing for an insulin drug.

Expert Analysis

  • How Cos. Can Comply With New PFAS Superfund Rule

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rule designating two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances as "hazardous substances" under the Superfund law will likely trigger additional enforcement and litigation at sites across the country — so companies should evaluate any associated reporting obligations and liability risks, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Ill. Justices' Ruling Answers Corporate Defamation Questions

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    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent unanimous decision in Project44 v. FourKites provides needed certainty and direction for lower courts considering defamation cases involving communications to corporate officers from third parties outside the corporation, which could result in fewer unwarranted motions to dismiss in trial courts and nonmeritorious appeals, says Phillip Zisook at Schoenberg Finkel.

  • Tylenol MDL Highlights Expert Admissibility Headaches

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    A New York federal court's decision to exclude all plaintiff experts in a multidistrict litigation concerning prenatal exposure to Tylenol highlights a number of expert testimony pitfalls that parties should avoid in product liability and mass tort matters, say Rand Brothers and Courtney Block at Winston & Strawn.

  • Don't Use The Same Template For Every Client Alert

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    As the old marketing adage goes, consistency is key, but law firm style guides need consistency that contemplates variety when it comes to client alert formats, allowing attorneys to tailor alerts to best fit the audience and subject matter, says Jessica Kaplan at Legally Penned.

  • Series

    Walking With My Dog Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Thanks to my dog Birdie, I've learned that carving out an activity different from the practice of law — like daily outdoor walks that allow you to interact with new people — can contribute to professional success by boosting creativity and mental acuity, as well as expanding your social network, says Sarah Petrie at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

  • Could 'General Average' Apply To The Key Bridge Crash?

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    While the owner and operator of the vessel that struck Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge have sought legal protection under the Limitation of Liability Act, they could choose to invoke the long-standing principle of general average, if supported by the facts of the crash and the terms of their contracts with cargo owners, says Julie Maurer at Husch Blackwell.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Follow The Iron Rule Of Trial Logic

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    Many diligent and eager attorneys include every good fact, point and rule in their trial narratives — spurred by the gnawing fear they’ll be second-guessed for leaving something out — but this approach ignores a fundamental principle of successful trial lawyering, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Breaking Down EPA's Rule On PFAS In Drinking Water

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    Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first enforceable federal drinking water regulation for PFAS, which, along with reporting and compliance requirements for regulated entities, will have a number of indirect effects, including increased cleanup costs and the possible expansion of existing Superfund sites, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • The Art Of Asking: Leveraging Your Contacts For Referrals

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    Though attorneys may hesitate to ask for referral recommendations to generate new business, research shows that people want to help others they know, like and trust, so consider who in your network you should approach and how to make the ask, says Rebecca Hnatowski at Edwards Advisory.

  • Wave Of Final Rules Reflects Race Against CRA Deadline

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    The flurry of final rules now leaping off the Federal Register press — some of which will affect entire industries and millions of Americans — shows President Joe Biden's determination to protect his regulatory legacy from reversal by the next Congress, given the impending statutory look-back period under the Congressional Review Act, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • 'Beauty From Within' Trend Poses Regulatory Risks For Cos.

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    Companies capitalizing on the current trend in oral supplements touting cosmetic benefits must note that a product claim that would be acceptable for an externally applied cosmetic may draw much stronger scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when applied to a supplement, say Natalie Rainer and Katherine Staba at K&L Gates.

  • 9th Circ. Arbitration Ruling Could Have Int'l Implications

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    In Patrick v. Running Warehouse, the Ninth Circuit's recent matter-of-fact invocation of an unusual California rule in a domestic arbitration context raises choice of law questions, and could make California law a strategic option for some international arbitration parties, says Jerry Roth at FedArb.

  • Series

    Being An Equestrian Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Beyond getting experience thinking on my feet and tackling stressful situations, the skills I've gained from horseback riding have considerable overlap with the skills used to practice law, particularly in terms of team building, continuing education, and making an effort to reset and recharge, says Kerry Irwin at Moore & Van Allen.

  • Teach Your Party Representative The Art Of Nonverbal Cues

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    As illustrated by recent reports about President Donald Trump’s nonverbal communication in court, jurors notice what’s happening at counsel table, which may color their perceptions of the case as a whole, so trial attorneys should teach party representatives to self-monitor their nonverbal behaviors, says Clint Townson at Townson Consulting.

  • Considering CGL Defense For Social Media Addiction Claims

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    A recent lawsuit filed in California state court against Meta seeks damages from technology companies for the costs of treating children allegedly suffering from social media addiction, but the prospects of defense coverage under commercial general liability insurance policies for a potential new wave of claims look promising, say Craig Hirsch and Tae Andrews at Pasich.

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