William A. Ruskin: Congressional Clarification Of Removal Rules: A Primer

By William A. Ruskin Federal court practitioners are well-advised to be aware of the key provisions of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 (the “JVCA”), which went into effect on January 6, 2012. The JVCA amended 28 U.S.C. § 1446 in several significant...

William A. Ruskin: Tip To Jurors: Leave Heroin Stash At Home While Sitting On Case

By William A. Ruskin As reported by the New York Law Journal on September 19, 2013, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel J. Mendez determined in Matter of Esteban v. Department of Education of the City School District of the City of New York , 651904/13, that a high school teacher in a New York...

William A. Ruskin: Plaintiffs' Bar Embraces Reptile Strategy And Defense Bar Responds

By William A. Ruskin | Reptile strategy has taken the plaintiffs' bar by storm. The Reptile theory asserts that you can prevail at trial by speaking to, and scaring, the primitive part of jurors' brains, the part of the brain they share with reptiles. The Reptile strategy purports to provide...

William A. Ruskin: Physician's Failure To Read Trumps Drug Company's Failure To Warn

By William A. Ruskin When the prescribing physician in a pharmaceutical product liability case admits that at her deposition that she never reviewed the manufacturer’s label before treating her patient and that the label played no role in her decision to prescribe the drug, plaintiff’s...

William A. Ruskin: Hand Over The Cash Or The Hard Drive Gets It!

By William A. Ruskin | In January 2013, GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) filed a complaint in New York state court alleging that its e-discovery vendor, Discovery Works Legal Inc., was “holding hostage over 20 terabytes of GSK’s most sensitive and confidential data, and threatened to...

William A. Ruskin: Genetic Transformation Injury As A Basis For Emotional Distress Damages

By William A. Ruskin The traditional rule in tort law is that the threat of future harm, not yet realized, is not sufficient to state a claim. However, over the past twenty-five years, plaintiffs in toxic tort litigation have sought to assert new non-injury damage claims, such as medical monitoring...

William A. Ruskin: Does Preemption Prevent Redress For Homeowners Impacted By Polluters' Air Emissions?

By William A. Ruskin On April 23, 2012, residents of rural Muscatine, Iowa filed a class action lawsuit titled, Laurie Freeman et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation (case no. LACV 021232), in the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County. The defendant, Grain Processing Corporation, is an Iowa manufacturer...

William A. Ruskin: Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Spurs FDA Oversight Of Drug Compounders

By William A. Ruskin In 2012, a major outbreak of fungal meningitis was traced to drugs compounded by New England Compounding Centers . The outbreak included approximately 750 confirmed cases and has resulted in 64 deaths to date. Tragedies of this scale have often been the impetus for major changes...

William A. Ruskin: No Unanimity As To What New ASTM E1527-13 Standard Requires

By William A. Ruskin Some environmental practitioners contend that Phase I site assessments, commonly used in real estate transactions, will now be more costly and time consuming due to the new standard. Seyfarth Shaw counsels in its Client Alert that the new standard requires that, “if the...

William A. Ruskin: After Comcast v. Behrend: What's Next?

By William A. Ruskin How have courts interpreted, utilized and/or limited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last term in Comcast v. Behrend? In a webinar presented by the International Association of Defense Counsel on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 1:00 EST, the panel will examine Comcast and...

William A. Ruskin: New York State Court Of Appeals: Injury Required For Medical Monitoring

By William A. Ruskin | In a landmark decision, the NYS Court of Appeals rejected medical monitoring claims in the absence of a physical injury in Caronia v. Philip Morris , No. 227, slip op. (N.Y. Dec. 17, 2013) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. By way of background, on May...

William A. Ruskin: Comcast May Be A Class Action Game-Changer, But Not In Boston

By William A. Ruskin | In Comcast Corp. v Behrend , 133 S.Ct. 1426 (March 27, 2013) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Supreme Court held that the lower court erred in failing to consider flaws in plaintiffs' damages model merely because the damages model would be pertinent...

William A. Ruskin: CPSC Regulatory Issues Often Impact Product Liability

By W illiam A. Ruskin Regulatory enforcement by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (“CPSC”) is on the upswing. As product liability litigation and regulatory activities often become entwined, it is all the more important to appreciate the interconnection between litigation and regulatory...

William A. Ruskin: How You Draft A Liability Disclaimer Really Matters

By William A. Ruskin Contract negotiations involving limitations on liability and disclaimers of damages for breach of contract and tort claims can have significant ramifications for the contracting parties if the business relationship falls apart and litigation results. Under New York law, how the...

William A. Ruskin: How Environmental Lawyers Can Avoid Getting Sued For Legal Malpractice

By Wi lliam A. Ruskin No matter how conscientious, environmental lawyers, like other attorneys, are regularly sued for legal malpractice. It is not difficult to imagine some of the dicey situations where the environmental practitioner may fall prey to such claims: (1) a municipality sues...

William A. Ruskin: A Deal Is A Deal: Ecogen Wind Prevails In Windfarming Dispute

By William A. Ruskin | The New York Law Journal reported on January 2, 2014 that the Town of Prattsburgh, which, during the relevant time, had virtually no laws, codes or requirements on the books governing the installation of wind turbine facilities, was not permitted by the court to retroactively...

William A. Ruskin: The Success Of The SDNY Mediation Program

By William A. Ruskin The Mediation Program of the SDNY provides litigants in commercial litigation with an opportunity, generally early in their litigation, to resolve their disputes without going through the expense of full-blown discovery and the uncertainty of trial. As reflected in the Mediation...

William A. Ruskin: Preserving The Attorney-Client Privilege For In-House Counsel

By William A. Ruskin Courts impose on corporate entities the burden of demonstrating that communications and documents shared with in-house counsel are protected by the attorney-client privilege. When companies cannot satisfy this burden, courts have ordered production of emails involving legal counsel...

William A. Ruskin: Effective Use Of Rhetorical Questions In Jury Summation

By William A. Ruskin The art of persuasion comes in many forms. Recently, we wrote an article about the plaintiff bar’s embrace of Reptile theory . The Reptile theory asserts that you can prevail at trial by speaking to, and scaring, the primitive part of jurors’ brains. However, good...

William A. Ruskin: Pharmaceutical Failure to Warn.... On Facebook?

By William A. Ruskin The Facebook page of Switzerland-based drug maker, IBSA Institut Biochimique S.A . (“IBSA”), appeared innocent enough: If you have just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or are having difficulty controlling your levothyroxine blood levels, talk to your doctor about...

William A. Ruskin: New Draft FDA Guidance On Off-label Uses Raises Concerns

By William A. Ruskin | On March 3, 2014, FDA made available for comment a revised draft of its " Guidance for Industry: Distributing Scientific and Medical Publications on Unapproved New Uses--Recommended Practices ". The revised guidance seeks to clarify and expand upon FDA's 2009 draft...

William A. Ruskin: The New York City Asbestos Litigation Just Became More Complicated

By William A. Ruskin | Pursuant to the Decision and Order of the Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler, dated April 8, 2014, asbestos plaintiffs for the first time since 1996 may seek permission from the New York City trial judges to charge the jury on the issue of punitive damages. Until Judge Heitler’s...

William A. Ruskin: Comcast Corp. v. Behrend's Impact In Toxic Tort Litigation

By William A. Ruskin I have written about how the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Comcast v. Behrend has had the practical result of raising the bar for class certification and leveling the playing field for corporate defendants [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. Until recently...

William A. Ruskin: Environmental Diminution Of Property Value And The Creative Plaintiff Valuation Expert

By William A. Ruskin When a homeowner brings a multi-count toxic tort case alleging that a corporate defendant’s discharge of toxic substances from its facility contaminated his property, the diminution of property value claim is often the only element of damages subject to objective determination...

William A. Ruskin Joins Gordon & Rees as Partner in Environmental/Toxic Tort Practice

William A. Ruskin has joined Gordon & Rees as a partner in the Environmental/Toxic Tort and Agricultural Chemicals & Pesticides Practice Groups. He is affiliated with the firm's New York office. 90 Broad Street, 23rd Floor New York, NY 10004 212.269.5500 Direct: 212.453.0755 wruskin...