Product Liability Advocate

Product Liability Advocate

Category Archives: Product Liability

Subscribe to Product Liability RSS Feed

A Challenge to Hague Service by Mail Is Now Before the SCOTUS…Finally

Posted in Product Liability
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… Continue Reading

California Imposes Broad Liability in “Take-Home” Toxic Exposure Cases

Posted in Chemical and toxic products, Product Liability
The Supreme Court of California has overturned prior case law and imposed broad new liability on “employers and premises owners” in “take-home” toxic exposure cases. In a lengthy opinion issued in the consolidated Kesner v. Superior Court  and Haver v. BNSF Railway Co. matters, the Court stated:     We hold that the duty of… Continue Reading

The Cannabis Industry: Burning Batteries, Tasty Treats and Budding Product Liability Litigation

Posted in Product Liability
Pot smokers are not the only ones lining up outside the local dispensaries; plaintiff personal injury attorneys are as well. Watching, lurking, waiting with dollar signs in their eyes for the chance to seek punitive damages, as many states allow damages beyond compensatory for intoxication-related injuries to others. Using cannabis is not just a matter… Continue Reading

New York Appellate Courts Now Unified on Hague’s “Send versus Serve” Issue

Posted in General Litigation, Product Liability
New York’s appellate departments are now unified with respect to their interpretation of Article 10(a) of the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention). The issue of whether Article 10(a) of the Hague Convention permits service of process by mail to a foreign… Continue Reading

CSST Found to Be Ordinary Building Material under Virginia’s Statute of Repose – For a Second Time

Posted in Product Liability
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… Continue Reading

Lithium-Ion Batteries: Small Products, Big Exposures

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
They are everywhere: in your pocket, in your car, in your hands, in your lap and even “in your face.” Lithium-ion batteries are in nearly every product that has become a staple of modern life, such as smartphones, tablets/notebook computers, digital cameras and headphones. They are in our transportation systems – trains, planes and automobiles.… Continue Reading

Using the Affordable Care Act in Defense of Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases

Posted in Product Liability
Courts across the country are beginning to consider the argument that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) serves as a vehicle to limit a plaintiff’s claim for future medical damages. Plaintiffs often use exaggerated life care plans with significant damage calculations to support their future medical damages in catastrophic injury cases. In general, life care plans… Continue Reading

U.S. CPSC Oversees Recall of Hoverboards Citing Risks Associated with Lithium-ion Battery Packs

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Not surprisingly, following on the heels of various accounts and reports of fires caused by hoverboards, ten manufacturers, distributors and retailers have issued an official recall of 501,000 hoverboards in the United States coordinated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The recall impacts nearly all of the major brands of hoverboards currently sold… Continue Reading

Pokémon GO: An Indicator of Product Liability in the App Economy

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
As a big law firm involved in the defense of Product Liability cases, of course we are interested in how Product Liability law will evolve to address the App Economy. Mobile apps (apps) are software applications designed to work on smart phones or tablets. The consumer’s first introduction to apps were the “native apps” that… Continue Reading

How Far Is Too Far? New York Clarifies Potential Warnings Liability for Third-Party Products

Posted in Product Liability
It’s probably common knowledge to even a novice product liability practitioner that a manufacturer can be held liable for a defect in a component part supplied by another company that is integrated into the manufacturer’s end product.  After all, under most commonly held notions of product liability law, the product manufacturer is subject to liability… Continue Reading

Mobile Apps − Has the Marketplace Downloaded Potential Product Liability Risk?

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
For many consumers, it is hard to remember performing a daily routine without using a mobile application. App usage starts almost immediately − with a morning alarm that wakes you up slowly or with a coffee waiting for you at your favorite coffee shop. Consumers are making purchases, reading the news, transferring money, diagnosing a… Continue Reading

New Drone Operational Rules Finalized by the FAA

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
On June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones. The new rules will take effect in late August and affect drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are being used for purposes other than hobbyist operations.… Continue Reading

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems: When the Bubble Bursts

Posted in Automotive products, Product Liability
Since 2008, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs) have been mandatory in passenger cars, which include SUVs. As early as 2006, however, 30 percent of new passenger cars were already equipped with TPMSs. A TPMS alerts the driver if a tire is underinflated. A “telltale” or “lantern” activates on the vehicle’s dashboard display indicating that one… Continue Reading

Expert’s Failure to Test Theory No “Silver Bullet” for Defense

Posted in Product Liability
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently held that an expert offering opinions on a proposed safer alternative design in a product liability matter does not need to perform any testing of the alternative design to ensure his testimony is sufficiently reliable. In Berardo A. Quilez-Velar v. Ox Bodies, Inc., the… Continue Reading

Defending against Product Liability Down Under

Posted in General Litigation, Product Liability
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… Continue Reading

UL Issues First Safety Certification for Hoverboards

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
On May 10, 2016, Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL), the global safety science organization, announced that it issued the first safety certification to the UL 2272 safety requirements for electrical systems of self-balancing scooters (aka hoverboards), which was launched in February 2016. After completing a construction evaluation, safety testing and complying with UL 2272’s marking, labeling and… Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Rules Industry Custom & Practice May Be Admissible in Strict Products Liability Cases

Posted in Product Liability
In most product liability lawsuits, the plaintiff will sue under theories of negligence and strict liability. In such cases, the plaintiff may allege that the product’s manufacturer was negligent or that the product was “defective” for failure to include available safety devices that would have prevented the accident. Because negligence claims focus on whether the… Continue Reading

Using a Special Needs Trust in the Settlement of a Product Liability Lawsuit

Posted in Product Liability
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… Continue Reading

New Regulations on the Horizon for Commercial Drones

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Currently, the use of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial purposes in general is not permitted in the United States, although there is one exception. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows preauthorized companies to use drones to collect aerial data. The conditions for this type of use are limited; however, that is about… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things: The Cyber Vulnerability Landscape Emerges

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
The phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), widely hailed in 2015, has been greater than originally forecast. Gartner, Inc. estimates a 30 percent increase in IoT devices connected to the Internet in 2016, which equates to 6.4 billion devices, and forecasts that more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet… Continue Reading