In Water Splash v. Menon, case number 16-254 before the U.S. Supreme Court, a long-standing and deep split of authority on a basic question involving international service of process has finally reached the high court. This case was granted certiorari by the Court in early December 2016. It has been briefed by both sides and is now set for argument to proceed on March 22, 2017. The question presented is whether the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention) allows service of process by mail.
Thomas M. DeMicco defends domestic and foreign manufacturers in product liability lawsuits on a national basis, with a focus on claims arising from fires and explosions. Tom’s extensive fire investigation experience is particularly valuable to the firm’s clients, many of which manufacture and distribute household kitchen appliances and consumer electronics.
In a recent decision, the Circuit Court for Spotsylvania County, Virginia, found that OmegaFlex, a manufacturer of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), which is used in residential gas supply systems, was entitled to the protection of Virginia’s statute of repose in a product liability lawsuit. The decision is significant because it is the second decision secured on behalf of OmegaFlex in Virginia proving that CSST gas piping is not within the meaning of the “equipment and machinery” exception to Virginia’s statute of repose. OmegaFlex secured its first dismissal on this issue in 2013 when the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond dismissed a product liability action filed against OmegaFlex − more than five years after its product was installed. In both actions, the courts have held that CSST gas piping is afforded the protection of Virginia’s statute of repose, thereby limiting the product liability exposure of manufacturers of CSST gas piping within the state of Virginia. Continue Reading CSST Found to Be Ordinary Building Material under Virginia’s Statute of Repose – For a Second Time
In this second collaborative blog post with the Australia-based law firm DibbsBarker, we take a look at the litigation process for product liability claims in Australia and how in some ways it differs from the process in the United States.
As detailed in the previous blog post, “Dealing with Product Liability Down Under,” there are a number of product liability causes of actions that arise in Australian product liability lawsuits. Those are negligence, breach of contract and failure to comply with the Australian Consumer Law legislation.
Civil litigation in Australia for personal injury cases can be conducted as pre-litigation (e.g., pre-court proceedings), which can result in litigation if the claim is not resolved during the pre-court process. In other jurisdictions, cases only originate by way a of litigated claim. Continue Reading Defending against Product Liability Down Under
Product liability cases frequently involve severe and even catastrophic injuries. As a result, product liability defense counsel and insurance adjusters must be familiar with the prospects for use of a special needs trust as a potential tool in the settlement of severe injury cases. Special needs trusts are frequently proposed as a component of the settlement of severe injury cases.
The purposes of the special needs trust are to allow a severely injured plaintiff to continue to receive social security benefits and to be protected from lien holders. A special needs trust is a trust that is presented to a court for approval. It is funded with settlement proceeds after costs and attorney fees. If the special needs trust is approved by a court, then the plaintiff who is the beneficiary of the trust may be allowed to continue to receive social security benefits and the principal of the trust will be protected from creditors − most importantly, lien holders. Continue Reading Using a Special Needs Trust in the Settlement of a Product Liability Lawsuit
Up to now, we have written about many different topics on this site that focus on how product liability issues are litigated in the United States. Through a collaborative effort with our friends at the Australia-based law firm DibbsBarker, we offer the first in a series of blog posts and articles about product liability and the management of litigation in Australia and how it differs from the way things are done in the United States.
A person who suffers injury or property damage from a product has the right to sue the manufacturer, designer or seller of that product, similar to the right of an injured party in the United States. While the Australian legal system shares many similarities with the U.S. legal system, the way in which product liability claims are resolved in Australia, in some respects, is very different from how product liability cases are handled in the U.S. courts. Continue Reading Dealing with Product Liability Down Under