Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Plaintiffs Seek Recovery For Economic Losses In MDL Court

NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs' counsel in the General Motors LLC (GM) ignition-switch multidistrict litigation filed two consolidated complaints on Oct. 14, one related to recalled vehicles purchased before July 11, 2009, and the other related to vehicles purchased thereafter, in the U.S. District Court...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Most Of Expert Witnesses' Testimony Permitted In Excessive Force Lawsuit

ALBANY, Ga. - Expert witnesses proffered by both the plaintiff and defendant in a civil rights, excessive force case will be permitted to testify, a Georgia federal judge ruled Oct. 14, denying in part the parties' respective motions to strike and exclude (Jonathan Collins v. Demetrius Sheppard,...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Judge Dismisses Smoker's Suit For Lack Of Specificity In Complaint

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A smoker's failure to specify the years during which he smoked each manufacturer's cigarettes renders his complaint insufficient under the federal pleading standards, a federal judge in Florida ruled Oct. 15 (Daniel S. Echols, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Montana Court Denies Summary Judgment In Suit Against Freddie Mac

MISSOULA, Mont. - The issue of whether the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) owed a duty of care to a woman who was injured when she fell in a home it owned is a question of fact within the province of a jury, a federal judge ruled Oct. 15 (Sherri Young v. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Parking Lot's Condition Open And Obvious, Michigan Court Rules

LANSING, Mich. - A defect in the parking lot of a party store was open and obvious, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 14, reversing a trial court's denial of summary judgment for the store in a suit brought by a customer who was injured when she fell while getting out of her car (Elaine Villanueva...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Assumption Of Risk Not A Complete Bar To Recovery, Virgin Islands Court Rules

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands - The doctrine of assumption of the risk is not a complete bar to recovery under a negligence theory in a premises liability case but can be used in apportioning damages between the premises owner and an injured party, the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands ruled Oct....

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas High Court Vacates Verdict Against Electricity Distribution Company

HOUSTON - A trial judge erred in submitting a charge of general negligence, rather than a charge of premises liability, against an electricity carrier to a jury, the Texas First District Court of Appeal ruled Oct. 16 (Oncor Electric Delivery Co. v. Marco Murillo, No. 01-10-01123-CV, Tex. App., 1st Dist...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Failure To Offer Expert Testimony Fatal To Claim, Utah Appeals Court Rules

SALT LAKE CITY - Expert testimony was required to prove an injured skier's negligence claim against a ski resort where he was hit by a tram or something hanging from it, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 17 (Bradley R. Callister v. Snowbird Corp., No. 20130269-CA, Utah App.; 2014 Utah App. LEXIS...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Tells MDL Judge California District Attorney's Suit Belongs In MDL

NEW YORK - A suit brought By Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on behalf of California owners of vehicles manufactured by General Motors LLC (New GM) belongs in the GM ignition-switch multidistrict litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - NFL Objectors Ask MDL Judge To Order Pre-Fairness Hearing Scheduling Conference

PHILADELPHIA - Two groups of objectors to the proposed settlement of the National Football League concussion multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed separate motions with the court Oct. 16, seeking a scheduling conference in advance of an upcoming...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Suit

BRADENTON, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Oct. 17 returned a unanimous defense verdict for a pediatrician in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 15-year-old girl (Virginia Chapman, et al. v. Snehal V. Parikh, M.D., et al., No. 12CA03280, Fla. Cir., 12th Jud., Manatee Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Liability Expert May Testify In Tire Explosion Negligence Case

MILWAUKEE - A metallurgist retained as a liability expert by a man injured by an exploding tire is qualified to testify at trial, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Oct. 15, also holding that the expert's "extensive list of testing" related to the incident constitutes reliable methodology...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Nevada Supreme Court Denies Contractor's, Association's Writ Petitions

CARSON CITY, Nev. - An en banc Nevada Supreme Court on Oct. 16 denied writ petitions submitted by a homeowners association and the contractor who constructed the buildings regarding a trial court judge's rulings concerning whether the association could pursue construction defects remedies under Nevada...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 6th Circuit Affirms $5M Verdict In 1st Gadolinium MDL Trial

CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court panel on Oct. 20 affirmed a $5 million verdict in the first gadolinium multidistrict litigation trial against GE Healthcare Inc. (Paul Decker, et al. v. GE Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 13-4002, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20049).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 2nd Circuit Panel Vacates Fosamax Plaintiff Attorney's Sanction For Better Record

NEW YORK - A federal appeals panel on Oct. 20 vacated a sanction against the conduct of a plaintiff's lawyer during a Fosamax trial and remanded the issue to the trial court to develop a record to support the lower court's decision (Gary J. Douglas v. Merck & Co., Inc., No. 12-4348, 2nd Cir...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 3rd Circuit: Relator Wasn't Original Source In Drug Whistle-Blower Case

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 20 affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of a relator's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., agreeing with a trial court that the whistle-blower failed to show that he was...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Vocational Expert May Testify As To Decedent's Future Earnings, Judge Rules

OMAHA, Neb. - A vocational counselor is qualified to testify as to the value of a decedent's services in a wrongful death suit, a Nebraska federal judge rule Oct .16, denying a defendant's motion to preclude his testimony under the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Excludes Testimony Of 1 Expert Witness In Distracted Driving Suit

MACON, Ga. - In two Oct. 17 rulings, a Georgia federal judge permitted the testimony of one expert witness while excluding a second as unqualified in a lawsuit seeking punitive damages from a trucking firm related to an accident blamed on distracted driving due to cell phone use (Jarrett Little, et al...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Insufficient Evidence Fatal To Manufacturing, Design Claims, 5th Circuit Rules

NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge properly entered judgment as a matter of law for Toyota Motor Manufacturing & Engineering North America Inc. because the widower of a woman killed in an accident involving a Toyota vehicle did not present sufficient evidence of manufacturing and design defect claims...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Orders New Trial Limited To Damages In Florida Lung Cancer Suit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida jury's failure to award noneconomic damages in a suit alleging smoking-related illness that resulted in a $330,000 award for lost wages and medical costs is "against the great weight of the evidence," a federal judge ruled Oct. 20 (In re: Engle Progeny Cases...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs File Master Complaint In Federal NHL Concussion Litigation

MINNEAPOLIS - Plaintiffs in the National Hockey League concussion multidistrict litigation filed their master administrative long-form and class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Oct. 20 (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jurors Deliberating In 1st DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Bellwether Case

DALLAS - Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 21 began deliberating in the first DePuy Pinnacle hip bellwether case after 28 days of testimony (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 3:11-md...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Federal Jury Awards $41 Million To Smoker With COPD

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Oct. 22 awarded a smoker $25.3 million in punitive damages after finding that cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. caused his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Alabama Jury Orders Mazda To Pay $9.9 Million In Suit Over Fatal Post-Crash Fire

BESSEMER, Ala. - A state court jury on Oct. 20 awarded a total of $9.9 million in damages in a suit alleging that the defective design of a Mazda 3 sedan resulted in a post-crash fire that killed a passenger and seriously injured the driver (Jon Hurst, et al. v. Mazda Motor Corp, et al., No. CV-2012...