Product Liability Advocate

Product Liability Advocate

Category Archives: Technology and electronic products

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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

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

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

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

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

Objections to Document Demands Under Amended Rule 34

Posted in e-Discovery, Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
The approach of objecting to document demands with boilerplate language containing half a dozen or more objections that have no actual nexus to the demands at issue has been used by litigators for decades. However, this approach is no longer acceptable in federal courts. December 1, 2015, marked the enactment of a substantial package of… Continue Reading

The Rise of Driverless Cars

Posted in Automotive products, Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Automotive industry experts claim that we will be sharing the road with totally autonomous cars within the next five years. The benefits of driverless cars are obvious. People on average spend about two hours per day in a car commuting to and from work. With ever-increasing demands on our time, allowing us to use that… Continue Reading

Some New Red Tape for Drones

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
On December 14, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new federal rules that will require all present and future operators of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to register their drones beginning December 21, 2015. With hundreds of thousands of UAS, or drones, expected to find their way into homes across the United States this… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Product Liability PART 5: Security and the Industrial Internet Consortium

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
The rapid emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) led to the establishment of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in the spring of 2014 by five primary stakeholders: AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel. IIC now claims a membership of 211 in more than 26 countries. Each of the five founding members, like many… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Product Liability PART 4: Government Oversight

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
The exponential growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is far outpacing the ability of stakeholders to address safety standards and security concerns. This is not unusual as rapidly developing technology often challenges regulators and standards organizations to develop a framework for consensus governance. However, because the IoT transcends so many industries, there will be… Continue Reading

Is Our Legal System Ready for the Evolution of 3D Printing Technology?

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products, Uncategorized
When we wrote back in November 2013 about 3D Printing and Product Liability Law, we predicted that the 3D printing revolution “will challenge our long-held notions of product liability law and the common assumptions made regarding the liability of various entities in the chain of distribution.” Our blog challenged the reader to think about who… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability PART 3: Initial Contact

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
This is the third in a series of blogs examining the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its consequential impact on product liability risk. The development of the IoT has been so rapid and the applications so ubiquitous across every imaginable industry and commercial enterprise that there has been a failure by… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability PART 2: One Step Closer

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability, published in February 2015, identified a number of factors leading to the emergence and phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).  It also identified issues relating to potential product liability exposures and the impact that IoT-connected devices could have on risk assessment and… Continue Reading

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Video Recording an Accident Demonstration

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
One of the more frustrating aspects of defending power tool cases occurs during the deposition of the plaintiff – at the point where he attempts to describe in minute detail how his accident happened. Then, at trial, just when you think you have the plaintiff “nailed down” to a specific accident scenario, his testimony seems… Continue Reading

As Drones “Take Off” Legal Consequences Remain Uncertain

Posted in Consumer Goods, Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have received extensive media coverage over the past few years. Whether the discussions about drones are related to the unmanned aircraft used in military operations or the small quadcopters used by individual enthusiasts, it is evident that drone use is on the… Continue Reading

E-Cigarettes: The Safer Alternative?

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
E-cigarettes have gained widespread popularity as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes, with hundreds of millions of these devices expected to be imported into the United States in 2015. The majority of imported e-cigarettes are from China, where most of these devices are manufactured without any regulations or safety standards. E-cigarettes are marketed as a… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things: The Inevitable Collision with Product Liability

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Internet of Things: The Inevitable Collision with Product Liability is the first of a five-part series written by Michael O’Brien. Links to the other blogs in this series can be found at the end of this article.  The IoT – Internet of Things – is undergoing a rapid development that will continue to transform how… Continue Reading

Here Comes the Sun…

Posted in Product Liability, Technology and electronic products
Manufacturers and Installers of Solar Panels Face Unique Risks from Residential House Fires  House fires have always been a major source of product liability litigation in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of house fires occur each year, resulting in billions of dollars in insurance claims. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were… Continue Reading

Optional Safety Features: Let the Sophisticated Purchaser Decide

Posted in Industrial machinery, Mining equipment, Technology and electronic products
Products used in an industrial setting, such as forklift trucks, are typically designed to offer the purchaser the option of choosing certain safety features and excluding others that are available. The particular setting where the product will be used (its operating environment) will dictate which safety features are necessary, which may be undesirable, or in… Continue Reading