Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Product Liability - News and Trends in Product Liability Litigation
0 0

20 Nov 2017 CPSC Issues Final Rule on Chemicals in Plastic Children’s Toys and Products

  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued its final rule concerning children’s toys and child care products containing certain chemicals in plastic. The final rule prohibits eight specific phthalates in children’s toys (defined as a consumer product designed or intended to be played with by a child 12 years’ old or younger) and child care articles (defined as a consumer product designed or intended to facilities sleep or feeding of children three years old or younger or to help children with sucking…

READ MORE
0 0

31 Jul 2017 Eighth Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Expert Who Contradicted His Prior Testimony

 Authored by Jan Carroll, Joseph G. Eaton, Oni Harton   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently declared that experts must, at the least, address obvious alternate causes and avoid contradicting themselves when submitting affidavits long after their depositions have been taken. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the entry of summary judgment for DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., in a product liability case involving a fractured hip stem. The court found that the plaintiff’s expert’s defect and causation testimony was properly excluded by the U.S. District Court for…

READ MORE
0 0

20 Jun 2017 High Court Limits Litigation Forum Shopping

  Product liability legal practitioners have been anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 582 U.S. – (June 19, 2017). Announced on Monday, the 8-1 decision did not disappoint, firmly curtailing the ability of out-of-state residents to forum shop for a favorable jurisdiction in mass tort litigation. In the decision, the Court held that continuous activity in a state, alone, does not create jurisdiction; instead, there must be a link between the forum and an individual lawsuit…

READ MORE
0 0

15 Jun 2017 Missouri Marches Toward Daubert

  Missouri, declared one of the nation’s “Judicial Hellholes®” by the American Tort Reform Foundation, soon will join the federal courts and 39 other states in applying the Daubert standard for the admissibility of expert testimony after enacting H.B. 153. Under Missouri’s current statute, expert opinion testimony is deemed admissible if the expert was duly qualified and the facts or data were of the type “reasonably relied upon by experts in the field.”   It is widely believed that this standard, along with weak venue…

READ MORE
0 0

26 May 2017 Planting the Seed: Three Takeaways from Barnes & Thornburg’s Ag & Food Conference

  On May 23, Barnes & Thornburg held its annual “Planting the Seed” conference, which focused on legal and regulatory concerns facing companies in the agriculture, animal health and food processing industries. This year’s conference featured speakers from Crop Life America, Elanco Animal Health, Dow AgroSciences, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Colorado State University, Purdue University, and the National Agriculture Law Center at the University of Arkansas. More than 100 clients and companies attended the conference hosted in our Indianapolis office.   I participated as a…

READ MORE
0 0

10 May 2017 A Win for Corporate Defendants in the Fight to Limit Personal Jurisdiction

  An opinion out of Missouri offers optimism that courts are beginning to limit personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant. In State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Dolan, Russell Parker, an Indiana resident, filed suit in St. Louis County, Missouri, against his employer, Norfolk Southern, under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. Parker, alleged injuries sustained while working in Indiana for Norfolk Southern, a Virginia-based corporation.   The Missouri Supreme Court held that Missouri lacked specific and general personal jurisdiction over Norfolk Southern. As…

READ MORE
0 0

27 Apr 2017 Beware Your Non-Reporting Expert

  Authored by Joseph G. Eaton and J.T. Larson   A federal district court decision could potentially impact how attorneys interact with their non-reporting expert witnesses.   The case, Luminara Worldwide, LLC v. RAZ Imports, Inc., No. 15-CV-03028, 2016 WL 6774231 (D. Minn. Nov. 15, 2016), involved a patent dispute before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The central issues in a discovery battle were the applicability of the attorney-client privilege and the scope of that privilege with respect to a non-reporting,…

READ MORE
0 0

18 Apr 2017 3 Questions Raised by Decision Expanding Failure to Warn Manufacturer Liability

    In Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the Washington Supreme Court held that a patient-plaintiff may now recover for a medical device manufacturer’s failure to provide adequate warning to a purchasing hospital—despite the manufacturer’s provision of adequate warning to the patient-plaintiff’s treating physician. This post addresses three key questions:   How did the court come to this decision?   Taylor relies on three unobjectionable steps to justify its bold holding. First, under the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA), manufacturers have a statutory duty to…

READ MORE
0 1

03 Apr 2017 Warning: California Takes Aim at Food and Beverage Industry

  In recent weeks, California legislators have introduced two bills that would require new warning labels for sugary drinks and food products with artificial ingredients. Like California’s famed Proposition 65, which requires warnings for any products containing any one of approximately 800 chemicals on the Prop 65 list, enactment of either of these bills would likely push many food and beverage makers to reconsider their use of various ingredients not just in California, but nationwide.   SB 300 — The Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Health Warning Act…

READ MORE
0 0

13 Mar 2017 Beware the Long Tail of Successor Liability: Tips From a Recent Client Victory

  Toxic exposure claims involving asbestos, benzene, silica and many other substances present so-called “long tail” risks. Consider this: A recently diagnosed illness is alleged to have been caused by exposures that occurred years or even decades ago. As a result of corporate transactions during that long period of time, a company may find itself named as a defendant in such a case on the grounds of successor liability for products made or sold by an earlier company that no longer exists. We’ve outlined several…

READ MORE