Missouri State Law Legal System ConceptMissouri House Speaker Todd Richardson and Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr worked together to lead discussion in the Missouri House surrounding the House Bill on tort reform (HB460). The unusual move brought the caucus in line, leading the House to adopt an amended version of the bill. Passed by a margin of 100-54, the bill now moves to the Missouri Senate where the process will begin again with senate committee hearings and floor debate.

For more information on Missouri legal updates, contact Jay Atkins or Lowell Pearson.

MissouriThe Supreme Court of Missouri recently issued an important decision in Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Dolan, holding that Missouri did not have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state corporation registered to do business in Missouri that was conducting “substantial and continuous” business in Missouri, where an alleged injury to a resident of another state arose due to conduct outside of Missouri.

Continue Reading Missouri Supreme Court Limits Personal Jurisdiction

 

Product Liability Monitor

March 9, 2017
New Developments
Missouri Products Law: Are The Times A-Changin’?
By Joe Guffey

Missouri, the home of Mark Twain and Harry S Truman, has in recent years become one of the most deeply red states politically. Yet it has also acquired a reputation as of one of the most plaintiff friendly forums nationally, thanks to its substantive law and to juries in the City of St. Louis (dubbed the Number 1 “Judicial Hellhole” by the defense-oriented American Tort Reform Association for 2017).

Some of that may be about to change following the 2016 election of Republican former Navy Seal Eric Greitens as Governor and heavy Republican majorities in the Missouri House and Senate. Several bills are now pending in the Legislature which could bring about significant changes in Missouri product liability law and practice. [Continue Reading]

Immunity for Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturers?
By Mark Pratzel

As autonomous automobile vehicle (AV) technology develops new legal issues and challenges continue to appear. An issue that has led to much debate is the potential impact of lawsuits, which some contend could hamper the growth of AV technology. [Continue Reading]

What is an Adequate Warning? Criteria and Application
By Dan Jaffe

Many courts have stated criteria for determining the adequacy of product safety warnings. The Tennessee Supreme Court established a particularly useful 5-part test in Pittman v Upjohn Co., 890 S.W.2d 425, 429 (Tenn. 1994).  As recently re-stated by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [Continue Reading]

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Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
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
February 2017

Recently the Supreme Court of Missouri held that The Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act (“PLCAA”) preempts a negligence claim but allows a correctly pled negligent entrustment action against a firearm seller. Gun controlThus, the PLCAA is not only a hot political topic being discussed by the Presidential Candidates, but also one that is being litigated within the legal system.

In Delana v. Ced Sales, Inc., d/b/a Odessa Gun & Pawn, et al., (2016 WL 1357209 (MO en banc April 6, 2016, not released for publication) defendant Odessa Gun & Pawn (“Odessa) sold a firearm, to a mentally ill child of the plaintiff, Janet Delana, which the child used to kill her own father.  Plaintiff telephoned Odessa and asked the store manager, Derrick Dady, to refrain from selling a gun to her daughter, who was severely mentally ill and should not have a gun.  Plaintiff also told Mr. Dady that her daughter had purchased a gun at Odessa the previous month and attempted to commit suicide, and said, “I’m begging you, I’m begging you as a mother, if she comes in, please don’t sell her a gun. Two days later, Mr. Dady sold her a gun and ammunition which she used within an hour to kill her father.

Continue Reading PLCAA Challenged in Politics and in the Courtroom

AirplaneThe United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is considering whether, and if so, to what extent the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. §§ 40101 et seq., preempts tort claims for alleged defective aircraft design or manufacture. It has asked the Federal Aviation Agency to weigh in on these questions.  The answers are important for the aviation industry.

Continue Reading Air Safety: Does The Federal Aviation Act Preempt Aircraft Design Defect Claims?

3D printerWith a busy holiday season ahead, many shoppers are looking forward to finding that unique gift.  Parents of children who enjoy crafts or building will be especially attracted to the creative possibilities of a home 3D printer.  Kids can make their own jewelry, model cars, and even wearable fashion.  With an industry still in its infancy in the consumer market, I sat down with Brandan Mueller to better understand the legal pitfalls inherent in the expected Christmas season sales bump.  Brandan is Husch Blackwell’s expert on the intersection of traditional consumer protection / products liability law and 3D printing technology.

Continue Reading 3D Printing: Warranty and Products Liability Issues

courthouseiStock_000005854576_LargeMuch has been written in recent years about changes to the litigation landscape in Texas.  Clearly, the significant tort reform passed in this state, particularly the sweeping reforms in 2003, have greatly impacted the way litigation is pursued, and how cases are tried, in Texas.  Overall, filings in mass tort, toxic tort, product liability and catastrophic injury claims are well down from the mid-1990’s when torts, as much as oil, ruled the Lone Star State.

Continue Reading Houston Jury Returns Latest in String of Huge Texas Verdicts

Husch Blackwell welcomes two partners to its Dallas office who are experts in product liability, toxic tort, mass tort and catastrophic injury litigation: Michael John Ramirez and James A. Lowery. Ramirez and Lowery both recently joined the firm’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation industry team.

Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Adds Two National Trial Attorneys in Dallas

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” ran a lengthy piece reported by Anderson Cooper regarding accusations that Lumber Liquidators imported laminated flooring products that did not meet the standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for levels of formaldehyde. The focus of the story was on Lumber Liquidators, but the issue is likely to affect almost every importer of flooring and other wood products from China.

During the segment, Cooper referenced various lawsuits that are pending against Lumber Liquidators alleging that the company failed to meet CARB standards in California for formaldehyde. Cooper interviewed the CEO of Lumber Liquidators, Robert Lynch. Lynch said the company has a good system in place and checks carefully to make sure that CARB standards are met.

After making this statement, Lynch was shown a video interview of the plant manager of a Chinese plant that manufactures products for Lumber Liquidators. In the video, the plant manager plainly states that the flooring did not meet CARB standards. The journalist narrating the video adds that visits made to two other plants that manufacture flooring for the company revealed that the company’s flooring failed to meet the standards.

Continue Reading Formaldehyde Issues Regarding Wood Products Put Companies at Risk

In December 2002, Gary Prokup, a 200-hour, non-instrument rated private pilot, purchased a new SR22 aircraft from Cirrus, the manufacturer.  Included with the price of the aircraft, Cirrus offered a new owner transition training program, an obligation which Cirrus subcontracted to the University of North Dakota Flight Foundation (UNDAF).  Prokup registered for and took the training. Continue Reading Are Aircraft Sellers Liable in Tort for Failure to Train?