Is your company prepared for a potential ransomware attack? Ransomware is a type of malicious software feared most by corporate boards and IT departments as it could completely shut down an entire network of computers and compromise large amounts of critical and sensitive data. In a post on Husch Blackwell’s Byte Back blog, Mindi Giftos provides simple yet important steps companies should take to prepare for and minimize the risk of a cyber attack.

PayslipOn May 12, 2017, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill prohibiting any political subdivision from enforcing or enacting a local minimum wage ordinance.  The bill, unless vetoed, will take effect August 28, 2017, and will pre-empt the current minimum wage ordinances in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Employers in St. Louis and Kansas City should continue to comply with the local minimum wage ordinances, and should stay apprised of the upcoming changes to Missouri’s Minimum Wage Laws.

For more information on this topic, please contact Loren Foy or Terry Potter.

Product Liability Monitor

May 10, 2017
New Developments
Discovery Sanctions Sanctioned
By Alan Hoffman

On April 18, 2017 the United States Supreme Court did something unusual: it decided a discovery issue. In Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger (2017), it reversed a $2.7 million sanctions order for bad faith discovery misconduct. And in Sec. Nat’l Bank of Sioux City v. Day, 800 F.3d 936 (8th Cir., 2015), another recent high profile discovery case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a sanctions order requiring a lawyer to write and produce a training film on deposition conduct as a punishment for “obstructive deposition practices.” Each of these decisions held that the sanctions exceeded the court’s inherent authority. [Continue Reading]

Tesla Autopilot Goes to Court
By Mark Pratzel

Tesla is facing its first U.S. product liability litigation challenging its Autopilot autonomous vehicle (AV) technology in a putative class action filed in Federal Court in San Jose, California. The three named plaintiffs are owners of Tesla Model S cars in Colorado, Florida, and New Jersey, who paid between $81,200 and $113,200 for their vehicles, including a $5,000 premium for Tesla’s “Enhanced Autopilot” 2.0 AV software. Each plaintiff claims that both the Autopilot “Standard Safety Features” and Enhanced Autopilot features were non-functional at delivery and remained so when suit was filed. The plaintiffs claim that Tesla sold 47,000 vehicles with “dangerously defective” software, at least half of which were supposed to have Enhanced Autopilot. They refer to it derisively as “vaporware,” which they define as “computer software that is advertised but still nonexistent.” [Continue Reading]

“Innocent Seller” Statutes: More Warnings, Less Protection
By Dan Jaffe

In Davis v. Dunham’s Athleisure Corp. (E.D. Mo., 2017), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri recently ruled that a firearms retailer was not entitled to the protection of Missouri’s “innocent seller” statute because it gave additional warnings and directions to the buyer beyond the manufacturer’s warnings. In Davis, the plaintiff bought a used rifle from the defendant retailer, Dunham’s Athleisure Corporation. The rifle was sold to Dunham’s by Century International Arms, Inc.  Plaintiff was injured when the rifle exploded. Dunham’s moved for dismissal under the Missouri “innocent seller” statute, §537.762.1, RSMo. [Continue Reading]

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Product Liability Practice

Manufacturers work hard to develop material goods and product designs that are high-quality, safe and durable. We understand your commitment to excellence and commit ourselves to defending you against product liability allegations. Husch Blackwell’s Product Liability team has insight into your industry-specific challenges. [More information]

Product Liability Monitor Archive
April 2017

Informational Maps Released to Accelerate UAS Authorizations

UAS droneAs part of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (“LAANC”) initiative, the FAA has been working to provide more detailed maps of the airspace surrounding the nation’s airports in order to more clearly communicate to operators of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) what airspace can be utilized for UAS operations.

Late last week, the FAA released the first batch of airspace maps (the “Maps”). By and large, the Maps identify airspace surrounding 200 smaller and more rural airports. Users can zoom in to view these airports and see individual 1 square mile grids, with the maximum above ground level (AGL) altitudes where drones may operate. As an example, the grids near Colorado Plains Regional Airport in Akron Colorado show maximum AGL altitudes ranging from 400 feet down to 0 feet.  The FAA intends to publish additional maps as part of the agency’s 56-day chart production cycle. Future distributions will address many of the nation’s largest airports.

Continue Reading Recent Federal Aviation Administration Initiatives Affecting UAS Operations

airplaneOn April 27, 2017, Petitioner The Boeing Company filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of 100-to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by this petition is aircraft that have a standard 100- to 150-seat two-class seating capacity and a minimum 2,900 nautical mile range, as these terms are defined below.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Large Civil Aircraft From Canada

solar panelOn April 26, 2017, Petitioner Suniva, Inc. filed a Petition for Global Safeguard Relief Pursuant to Sections 201-202 of the Trade Act of 1974 on imports of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules (Solar Cells).

SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by this petition is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Section 201 Global Safeguard Investigation On CSPV Cells And Modules (Solar Cells)

globeOn April 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a press release and updated the Specially Designated National (SDN) List by adding 271 new Syrian nationals that are employed by Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).  SSRC is the Syrian government agency responsible for the development and deployment of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program.  As a result of the designation, any assets held by the individuals in the United States will be frozen and U.S. persons are generally blocked from dealing with the listed individuals.

Continue Reading OFAC Adds 271 Syrian Individuals to the SDN List in Response to Sarin Gas Attack

International flagsOn April 19, 2017, Petitioners ArcelorMittal Tubular Products, Michigan Seamless Tube, LLC, PTC Alliance Corp., Webco Industries, Inc., and Zekelman Industries, Inc. filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel from China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing Of Carbon And Alloy Steel From China, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, And Switzerland

airportThe recent US ban on laptops and tablets electronic devices from carry-on luggage from flights from 10 Middle Eastern Airports, and a more limited UK ban, have been widely condemned by the aviation press and the airline industry as arbitrary, ineffective and counterproductive. There is no factual basis for the airports selected, the UK list differs from the US, and the bans can be evaded by taking a connecting flight from elsewhere.[1]

These issues raise a more fundamental question: Does the enormous cost and burden imposed upon the airlines and the traveling public by the all-encompassing TSA airport security regime provide any real benefit?

Continue Reading Air Safety: Do Away with TSA?

flagsOn April 11, 2017, Petitioners Waterloo Industries Inc. filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Certain Tool Chests and Cabinets from the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The scope of this petition covers certain metal tool chests and tool cabinets with drawers (“tool chests and cabinets”) from the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The scope covers all metal tool chests and cabinets, including top chests, intermediate chests, tool cabinets and side cabinets, storage units, mobile work benches, and work stations and that have the following physical characteristics:

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Tool Chests and Cabinets From China And Vietnam