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: Military's Embrace Of Clean Energy Reduces Combat Casualties

By William A. Ruskin | The Army’s development of clean domestic energy resources strengthens national security and plays an important role in helping it to achieve its primary mission. As the world's largest consumer of energy, the military's recognition of the importance of reducing...

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: FTC Cracks Down On ‘Greenwashing’

By William A. Ruskin Law 360 reported recently that that the FTC is taking decisive action against companies that make deceptive environmental marketing claims. “Greenwashing” involves misleading consumers concerning the environmental benefits of a product or service. In an earlier article...

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: Environmentalists Support Fracking But With Important Reservations

By William A. Ruskin It is necessary that natural gas be substituted for coal and oil as an energy source if the world is to have any chance of avoiding runaway greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, particularly from the developing world. At present, it is unrealistic to expect renewable...

William A. Ruskin: N.Y. High Court Opts Not To Expand Liability For Health Data Confidentiality Breach

By William A. Ruskin The New York Court of Appeals ruling that came down Jan. 9 in Doe v. Guthrie Clinic , 2014 NY Slip Op 00138 (Court of Appeals 1/9/14) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], should prove helpful in evaluating the liability of medical corporations in cases involving...

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: Best Practices For Avoiding Data Breach Liability

By William A. Ruskin Articles concerning cyber-security and data breach typically fall into two general categories: those discussing how to prevent a data breach from occurring and those discussing how to respond when one occurs. As I discussed in my earlier blog post , smart players in the healthcare...

William A. Ruskin: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Exposes Plaintiff Scheme To Suppress Asbestos Exposure Evidence

By William A. Ruskin On January 10, 2014, the Hon. George R. Hodges, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, handed down a decision that promises to be a “game changer” for asbestos manufacturers facing potentially crushing mesothelioma death claims....

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...