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

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?