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

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
0 0

10 Mar 2017 Is Daubert Dead in Florida?

  Since 2013, Florida state courts have applied the Daubert standard for the admissibility of expert testimony following the Florida Legislature’s rejection of the longstanding Frye and “pure opinion” standard.  Through amendments to §§ 90.702 and 90.704, Fla. Stat., the “Daubert Amendment,” Florida joined more than two-thirds of states and the federal courts in applying the Daubert . . . or did it?   Under Florida’s Constitution, the Florida Supreme Court has the ultimate authority in adopting a given evidentiary standard.  Thus, the 2013 legislative…

READ MORE
0 0

28 Feb 2017 What Judge Gorsuch as Associate Supreme Court Justice Could Mean for Product Liability Practitioners

  On Jan. 31, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit since 2006 and was appointed by President George W. Bush. Product liability litigators and commentators have been looking at what Justice Gorsuch could mean for our work, specifically diving into Gorsuch’s opinions on federal preemption and the admissibility of expert testimony. Here’s a sampling.   Express Preemption   On the…

READ MORE
0 0

09 Feb 2017 Alter Ego Personal Jurisdiction Arguments Rejected

  Authored by Joseph G. Eaton and Oni N. Harton   A recent case, Goldthrip v. Johnson & Johnson, provides an excellent roadmap to follow when representing out of state corporate parents who have been dragged into court on an alter ego theory of personal jurisdiction based on the local activities of a subsidiary. On Dec. 8, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sonja Bivins of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, issued a report and recommendation granting Johnson & Johnson’s motion to…

READ MORE
0 0

07 Feb 2017 Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Commitment to §402A of the Restatement (Second) and Consumer Expectation Tests

  In the waning days of 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court delivered a significant setback to product manufacturers hoping for adoption of a more stringent burden of proof in strict product liability actions. In Bifolck v. Philip Morris, Inc., Connecticut’s high court sought to clarify the evidentiary burdens set forth in the Connecticut Product Liability Act (CPLA), and whether to abandon its past adherence to § 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts in favor of § 2(b) of the Restatement (Third).   Adoption of…

READ MORE