Mass Torts Plaintiffs and the Federal Courts

With mass torts, plaintiffs and their attorneys have both state and federal options when considering where to pursue their claims.  The conventional wisdom has been that federal courts are “defense friendly”  – with substantive and procedural requirements and rules which may be unfamiliar or appear restrictive to attorneys who practice primarily in state courts. The

JPML Maintains Narrow Focus of Mirena MDL

The orders from the March JPML panel hearing have been posted, and the JPML issued an order denying a motion by a plaintiff to centralize her case in the Mirena IUD device litigation MDL proceeding in the SDNY.  In its order, the JPML indicated that centralization into the pending MDL was denied because the potential

Will Sprint Settlement finally Exorcize Ghosts of the Nextel Merger?

The fallout from one of the messiest mergers in American history appears to have entered its final stage on Monday, March 30th, when Sprint agreed to pay investors $131 million in a settlement dating back to the beleaguered 2005 Nextel acquisition. Lauded at the time as the creation of a telecom dynasty, technological incompatibility led

SCOTUS Denies Cert in Generic Preemption Case

Federal preemption of claims against generic drug manufacturers has prevented (or severely limited) the ability of users of generic drugs from bringing products liability claims premised upon the failure to warn.  Certain state courts have indicated that some state tort law claims may not necessarily be barred by federal preemption, but these “baby steps” potentially

Standard of Liability Under the WPLA for Manufacturers

The WPLA defines five categories of potential liability for product manufacturers: construction defects, breach of warranty, design defects, failure to warn, and post-sale duty to warn. Construction Defects The WPLA uses the term “strict liability” to describe a manufacturer’s responsibility for products that materially deviate from the manufacturers design specifications or performance standards or materially

Hot Cells – A 2015 Version of Hot Coffee?

It sounds familiar. A product one wouldn’t think of as a hazard suddenly becomes one. In 1992, it was Stella Liebeck and a scalding cup of McDonald’s coffee, a case that still gets tempers boiling, regardless of the fact that the original jury award was reduced. This year, we have Erik Johnson, whose iPhone exploded

Xarelto MDL has first status conference

The first conference in the Xarelto MDL (In Re: Xarelto (Rivoroxaban) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2592,  proceeding in the Eastern District of Louisiana, before the Hon. Eldon E. Fallon, took place on January 29, 2015.  Judge Fallon, an experienced MDL presiding judge, has already set up a website for the MDL (, with posts of