William A. Ruskin: Court Holds Spicy Meatball, Not Pesticide, Caused Plaintiff's Illness

By William A. Ruskin In an Opinion and Order, dated May 31, 2013, the Hon. Sandra J. Feuerstein granted summary judgment to a defendant pesticide manufacturer after determining that plaintiff''s expert failed to meet the reliability requirements of Rule 702 and Daubert, in Mallozzi v. EcoSMART...

Conn. Federal Judge Awards $1.7 Million In Punitive Damages In Prempro Breast Cancer Case

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — (Mealey’s) Applying Connecticut law governing punitive damages in product liability actions, a Connecticut federal judge on Aug. 5 awarded $1,769,932 to a woman and her husband, who in April 2012 were awarded $4 million in compensatory damages by a jury ( Margaret B. Fraser...

Liggett Announces $110 Million Settlement Of Florida Tobacco Litigation

MIAMI — (Mealey’s) The nation’s third largest tobacco manufacturer announced Oct. 23 that it will pay $110 million to settle thousands of Engle progeny tobacco litigation cases asserting death and injury in Florida state and federal courts. Vector Group Ltd. and subsidiary Liggett...

Pennsylvania State Court Jury Awards $10 Million In 2nd Topamax Birth Defect Trial

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) A Pennsylvania state court jury on Nov. 18 awarded more than $10 million to a family whose son was born with a cleft palate allegedly caused by his mother’s use of the antiepileptic drug Topamax during pregnancy, according to one of the law firms representing...

Pa. High Court Reconsiders, Won’t Disturb $8.6M Prempro Punitive Damages Award

PHILADELPHIA — (Mealey’s) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Dec. 16 let stand an $8.6 million punitive damages verdict in a Prempro hormone replacement therapy case after dismissing the appeal as improvidently granted ( Mary Daniel, et al. v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. , Nos. 63...

U.S. High Court Hears Oral Arguments In Dispute Over Taxing Severance Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Severance payments fall within the Federal Insurance Contributions Act’s (FICA) definition of wages and are taxable, Assistant to the Solicitor General Eric J. Feigin told the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 14 in arguments presented on behalf of the United States...

La. Supreme Court Reverses $330M Verdict For Risperdal Medicaid Law Violations

NEW ORLEANS — (Mealey’s) In a 4-3 vote, the Louisiana Supreme Court on Jan. 28 reversed a verdict of more than $330.6 million against Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson, finding that the state attorney general failed to prove that misrepresenting the safety...

February Jury Verdict Round-Up: Top 5 Personal Injury Verdicts

During February, the attorney editors on the LexisNexis Jury Verdict team covered several notable personal injury verdicts from across the country. We’ve come up with an informal list of the top five cases that really captured our attention this past month. If you are interested in submitting one...

Arkansas High Court Reverses $1.2B Risperdal Verdict For State Law Violations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — (Mealey’s) In a 4-3 decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court on March 20 reversed a $1.2 billion verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals for violating state law in its marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal ( Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. v. State...

March Jury Verdict Round-Up: Top 5 Personal Injury Verdicts

During March, the attorney editors on the LexisNexis Jury Verdict team covered several notable personal injury verdicts from across the country. This informal list of top five cases captured our attention this past month, so we thought you might like to hear about them. If you are interested in submitting...

DLA Piper: California Federal Court Finds 1st Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants From Asserting Right-of-Publicity Claims Against Broadcasters

By Matt Ganas | On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s Judge Claudia Wilken held that “the First Amendment...

United States Supreme Court Remands Patent Case For Review As To Whether Terms In The Patent Are Sufficiently Define Under The Patent Act

The United States Supreme Court, on June 2, 2014, handed down the opinion in the case of Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc, 13-369 . Biosig Instruments, Inc. (Biosig) held a patent for a heart rate monitor and filed a patent infringement action against Nautilus, Inc. (Nautilus) that claimed that...

6th Circuit Panel Affirms Most Darvon/Darvocet/Propoxyphene Claims Are Preempted

CINCINNATI — (Mealey’s) The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 27 affirmed dismissal of 67 of 68 Darvon/Darvocet/ propoxyphene multidistrict litigation cases, finding that the plaintiffs either failed to properly plead their claims or that the claims are preempted by federal law...

Ballard Spahr LLP: 3rd Circuit Holds That Courts, Not Arbitrators, Should Rule On Classwide Arbitration

By Steven W. Suflas, Alan S. Kaplinsky, Mark J. Levin, Burt M. Rublin, and Michelle M. McGeogh In Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc. [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that where an arbitration clause is...

Foley & Lardner LLP: Cherry-Picking: 7th Cir. Criticizes Lawyers' Summary-Judgment Practice

By Thomas L. Shriner Jr. Two weeks ago, in an order given wide publicity nationally, federal District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa issued sanctions in Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories , addressing what Judge Bennett perceived as abusive discovery conduct in a case...

Alabama High Court Again Says Brand-Name Drug Makers Liable In Generic Injury Case

MONTGOMERY, Ala. —(Mealey’s) A brand-name drug manufacturer may be liable under Alabama law for fraud or misrepresentation in a drug label used by generic drug makers, the Alabama Supreme Court held Aug. 15 after reconsidering its 2013 decision in a Reglan/metoclopramide case ( Wyeth, Inc...

Foley & Lardner LLP: 7th Circuit Rejects Public-Disclosure Bar in Qui Tam Case

By Eric G. Pearson A cardinal rule of a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act is that the relator must be the information’s original source. In United States ex rel. Heath v. Wisconsin Bell, Inc. , No. 12-3383 (7th Cir. July 28, 2014) , the Seventh Circuit grappled with this bar...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Website Hyperlink Alone Does Not Establish User’s Assent to Arbitration Agreement, 9th Circuit Holds

By the Consumer Financial Services Group In a case intersecting the 89-year-old Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the digital era, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a consumer who did not read the company’s terms of use when ordering a product on its website was not bound by the terms’...

MDL Jury Awards $3.27 Million In 2nd Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — (Mealey’s) A West Virginia federal jury on Sept. 5 returned a $3.27 million verdict in the second Ethicon Inc. multidistrict litigation pelvic mesh bellwether trial (Jo Huskey, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 2:12-5201, S.D. W.Va.). After deliberating for less...

Ballard Spahr LLP: 3rd Circuit Rejects Class Certification in Yet Another Consumer Case

By Burt M. Rublin and Joel E. Tasca Consistent with its recent emphasis on the stringency of class certification requirements in consumer cases, the Third Circuit recently affirmed the denial of class certification in a consumer case involving alleged overbilling practices, which implicated differing...

Defense Verdict Returned In 1st DePuy Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Case

DALLAS — (Mealey’s) Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 23 returned a defense verdict for DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson in the first Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether case ( In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics...