Product Liability Monitor

December 13, 2016
New Developments
Auto Manufacturers Partner with Nauto to Improve Driverless Car Technology
By Shannon Peters

One of the main obstacles to the autonomous vehicle industry is “infrastructure,” but not in the sense typically associated with the term. Since autonomous vehicles come in all shapes, sizes, and powertrain types (gasoline, electric, and hybrid),

Toxic Tort Monitor

May 2, 2016
New Developments
Northern District of Illinois Decision on Take-Home Exposure Liability has Limited Application
By Lindsay McClure-Hartman

The Northern District of Illinois in Neumann v. Borg-Warner Morse Tec LLC, No. 15-C-10507, 2016 WL 930662 (N.D. Ill. March 10, 2016), recently granted a motion to dismiss on the basis that a product

LegalPillars_106563959Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., 768 F.3d 871 (9th Cir., 2014), cert. granted, 2015 WL 246885 (2015).

This week’s grant of certiorari in Gomez presents the possibility for major changes in the defense of class actions involving relatively small individual damages.

Gomez filed a class action after receiving an unsolicited text message from Campbell, a marketer for the US Navy. Gomez claims the text violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Before the District Court could rule on class certification, Campbell offered Gomez full statutory damages ($1,503) plus reasonable costs in an effort to moot the class action. Gomez refused the offer. Both the District Court and the Ninth Circuit held that an unaccepted settlement offer for the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages did not moot either his claim or the class claim.

Continue Reading Is the End in Sight for Consumer Class Actions?

A recent case out of the Northern District of California, Lanovz v. Twinings North America, Inc., highlights the evolving landscape that litigants are facing in class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23, including courts subjecting plaintiffs’ damages models to a more rigorous analysis.
Continue Reading Twinings: Steeping Class Action Plaintiffs’ Damages Models in Comcast’s Wake

On July 29, 2006 a De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter departed the Sullivan, Missouri Regional Airport on a local skydiving flight.  Shortly after liftoff the right engine failed, the aircraft lost altitude, and crashed about ½ mile beyond the end of the runway. All on board died.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the right engine turbine blades failed but could not determine the cause of the failure.
Continue Reading Let the Lawyer Beware — Punitive Damages and Strict Liability in Missouri

Talc, the mineral from which talcum powder is made, is rather innocuous by itself. However, because its chemical makeup and geologic formation is similar to tremolite, a form of asbestos, deposits of the two substances often are located near each other.  This proximity creates the possibility for contamination of the talc, and plaintiff’s attorneys are taking advantage of that possibility.
Continue Reading Talc Cases May Signal Next Wave of Asbestos Claims