Senate joins House’s fight to rein in “Patent-Trolls”

The day may come soon in which patent trolls will join their namesakes in the realm of lore and legend, at least if both houses of congress are able to reconcile dual measures into a single piece of legislation. Although the House of Representatives had already passed “The Innovation Act” in 2013 by an overwhelming


Whistleblower Incentives: the Privatization of Oversight

5/4/2015 Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill that incentivizes whistleblower complaints within the automotive industry. The bill, modeled off of similar measures for the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allows the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to award up to 30 percent of revenue collected in excess of


TPP’s ISDS: Moving from State-to-State to Company-to-World Dispute Resolution

5/1/2015 Among the controversies surrounding the anticipated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the U.S. and 11 other Asian-Pacific countries, the most hotly debated component is the inclusion of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. Under ISDS procedures, in case of a disagreement, a multinational corporation and a nation in which that corporation does business can


Department of Justice seeks to Hammer Lumber Liquidators

5/1/2015 The old adage still remains true even if the names have changed. As a business owner, when 60-Minutes comes to your door, it is probably not going to be a good day. Lumber Liquidators is the largest hardwood flooring retailer in the world, with annual revenues of over a billion dollars. Yet, that may


Medtronic’s Preemption Win in the 10th Circuit – With An Interesting Twist

The Tenth Circuit issued an opinion on Tuesday, finding that state law claims asserted against Medtronic, manufacturer of the InFuse bone growth stimulator were preempted by FDA approval of the medical device under the Medical Device Act (“MDA”). Plaintiff in the case alleged that Medtronic representatives promoted an off-label, posterior surgical approach for the device,


GM Bankruptcy Shield Saves the company Billions, Screws Everybody Else

General Motors won a massive legal victory to the dismay of many former customers when U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge, Robert Gerber ruled Wednesday, April 15th that the company can retain its bankruptcy shield protection of $10 billion for claims against it involving the massive ignition-switch recall. The ruling helps General Motors avoid potentially billions of


BAP1 As a Possible Genetic Defense in Asbestos Exposure Litigation

BAP1 is a genetic mutation that may possibly increase the chances of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. A few defense attorneys around the country are hoping they can use BAP1 as a possible genetic defense in asbestos exposure litigation. HeplerBroom attorney Rebecca Nickelson is heading the defense team for Georgia Pacific in an ongoing asbestos


NHTSA Chief may Re-open Fiat-Chrysler Gas Tank Investigation

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator, Mark Rosekind, has indicated that the nation’s top automotive regulator may take a more aggressive stance toward Fiat-Chrysler following a massive $150 million judgment against the company over the burning death of 4 year-old Remi Walden due to an exploding gas tank on his Aunt’s 1999 Jeep Grand