International Trade & Supply Chain

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

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

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

White HouseOn March 31, 2017, President Trump signed two Executive Orders (EO) aimed at the enforcement of the collection of antidumping and countervailing duties for unfair trade practices and at the evaluation of significant trade deficits with U.S. trading partners. These EOs are a clear indication that trade, as promised throughout the campaign, will continue to be a top priority of the Trump presidency.

Continue Reading President Trump Issues Two New Executive Orders On Trade

cargo shipOn March 31, 2017, Petitioners North American Steel & Wire, Inc./ISM Enterprises filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties on imports of Carton-Closing Staples from the People’s Republic of China.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The scope of this investigation is carton-closing staples. Carton-closing staples are fastening devices used to secure or close the flaps of corrugated and solid paperboard cartons and boxes. Carton-closing staples are manufactured from steel wire, and commonly have a copper-coating or a zinc (galvanized) coating. Carton-closing staples manufactured from stainless steel wire are also covered.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Carton-Closing Staples From China

Shipping containersOn March 28, 2017, Petitioners Charter Steel, Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., and Nucor Corporation filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the Republic of South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by these investigations are certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e., products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the UAE and the UK

Shipping containersOn March 23, 2017, Petitioners the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition and its individual members filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The product covered by these petitions is biodiesel, which is a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, including waste oils or greases, and other biologically-based oil or fat sources. The petitions cover biodiesel in pure form (“B100”) as well as fuel mixtures containing at least 99 percent biodiesel by volume (“B99”). For fuel mixtures containing less than 99 percent biodiesel by volume, only the biodiesel component of the mixture is covered by the scope of the petitions.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia