Louisiana Fourth Circuit Affirms Verdict Against Tractor Manufacturer under the LPLA

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The plaintiff suffered permanently disabling injuries when she lost her footing and became pinned underneath the two rear tires of an over-the-road tractor while running alongside the vehicle in an attempt to shut off its engine. A jury found the manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) 90% at fault, while apportioning 10% of the fault to the owner of the …

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Personal Jurisdiction in Pharmaceutical Case with Respect to Non-Resident Plaintiffs

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A group of plaintiffs, including 86 California residents and 592 residents of other states, sued Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) in California state court, alleging that the pharmaceutical company’s drug Plavix had damaged their health. BMS is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in New York, and it maintains substantial operations in both New York and New Jersey. Although it engages in …

U.S. Third Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment on Preemption in Fosamax Litigation

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Fosamax is a drug manufactured by Merck that belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates.  Both Merck and the FDA have long been aware that antiresorptive drugs like Fosamax could theoretically increase the risk of atypical femoral fractures. The question that both Merck and the FDA faced in the years following the drug’s approval was whether the developing …

Connecticut Supreme Court Modifies Consumer Expectation Test under 402A, Rejects Affirmative Requirement for Alternative Feasible Design under Third Restatement

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In certified question arising from wrongful death action brought in Federal Court by survivors of former smoker, Philip Morris urged the Connecticut Supreme Court to adopt the Third Restatement, which “imposes two requirements that are not mandated under our [Second Restatement] § 402A tests: (1) proof that the harm was foreseeable; and (2) proof that a reasonable alternative design existed …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Reverses Defense Verdict where District Court Had Not Conducted Daubert Hearing re Chiropractor Testimony Elicited by Defendants

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Patient who suffered severe injuries after being treated with infrared therapy device for diabetic condition of peripheral neuropathy brought products liability action against manufacturer and distributor. After denying patient’s pre-trial motion to exclude testimony of chiropractor, the jury found for the defendants.  The U.S. Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded for Daubert consideration: “Initially, we dispose of the defendants’ contention that …

Supreme Court of Delaware Holds that Registration to Do Business in State Does Not Confer Personal Jurisdiction

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The Delaware Supreme Court held that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014), effectively overruled the prior Delaware caselaw permitting Delaware courts to exercise jurisdiction over corporations that had registered to do business in the state. In this particular case, a large Georgia corporation that had properly registered to do business in the …

U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Connecticut Declines to Compel Production from Defendant’s Overseas Manufacturer

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In a suit against General Electric regarding alleged defects in GE branded microwaves, the plaintiffs sought to compel GE to produce discovery from Samsung Electrics Co., Ltd. (Samsung Korea), the manufacturer of the microwaves at issue.  Plaintiffs’ motion to compel was denied. “The relationship between GE and Samsung Korea does not evidence GE’s legal entitlement to the documents: they are completely different entities; GE is …

MDL Judge in Xeralto Denies Motion to Limit Ex Parte Communications with Treating Physicians

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In the Multi-District Litigation pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana regarding the drug, Xeralto, Judge Fallon recently issued an order addressing two separate motions brought by the defendants: (i) a motion to limit ex parte communications between plaintiffs’ counsel and the plaintiff’s prescribing and/or treating physicians, and (ii) a motion to permit the defendants to hire experts who may have …

New York Superior Court Denies Motion to Seal Documents in Product Liability Action in the Interest of Public Policy

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Two parents sued Graco after their child died due to an alleged defect in a Graco stroller. The parties negotiated a settlement that contained a confidentiality agreement, and the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion to seal with the court. While acknowledging the propriety of confidentiality of court proceedings under limited circumstances, the court noted that the inquiry into whether to …

U.S. Ninth Circuit Upholds $2.7 Million in Sanctions Against Goodyear and Its Attorneys for Discovery Abuses Uncovered After Settlement and “History of Engaging in Serious Discovery Misconduct” in G159 Cases

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In June 2003, the plaintiffs were seriously injured when one of the Goodyear G159 tires on the front of their motor home failed, causing their vehicle to swerve off the road and overturn. They filed suit against Goodyear in 2005 in Arizona state court. The case was quickly removed to federal court. Goodyear was represented by Basile J. Musnuff, who …