Product Liability Monitor

June 7, 2016
New Developments
Driverless Cars and the Law
By Mark Pratzel

As driverless car technology evolves, questions continue to arise regarding its legal repercussions. Google, one of the leading forces behind autonomous cars, predicts that they will be available to the public by 2020.  Nissan and Tesla are also developing self-driven car technology.  

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.


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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced  nine (9) recalls during the week of February 15, 2016. The announcements include two different recalls on the basis of the potential for exposure to mold.  The following is a list of those recalls with links to the respective announcements from CPSC.

  1. Paper boxes recalled due to

BlogtankThe United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced six (6) recalls during the week of February 8, 2016. The announcements include a recall of propane gas which lacked sufficient odorant to warn consumers of a leak.  The following is a list of those recalls with links to the respective announcements from CPSC.

  1. Snowmobile recalled due

House-Energy-and-Commerce-Committee-500x72

As previously discussed here, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Industry Perspectives on the Consumer Product Safety Commission” on Wednesday, March 10, 2016.  It is clear from a Background Memo published yesterday that the Committee intends to delve into some of the highest profile issues in the CPSC regulated community from recent years.  The Committee also announced the witnesses testifying at the hearing as well as the topics that may be explored.


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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced ten recalls during the week of February 1, 2016. The recalls include a diverse set of products ranging from a computer used for SCUBA diving to decorative baby rattles.  The following is a list of those recalls with links to the respective announcements from CPSC.

    1. Dive computers

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Industry Perspectives on the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”  The hearing will take place on Wednesday, March 10, 2016, at 10:15 a.m. (ET).  The Energy & Commerce Committee has oversight over the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the hearing will focus on “evaluating

3D Printing: Evaluating Product Safety and Liability Risks, Avoiding and Defending Claims

This CLE webinar will examine product liability concerns surrounding 3D printing and best practices in avoiding and defending claims over defects. Topics discussed will include many industries including the automotive industry, consumer products, and medical devices. After the presentations, there will be a live question and answer session.


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