Articles Posted in Products Liability

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After plaintiffs were injured when oil from an airplane's air cycle machine leaked into the cabin and caused the cockpit to fill with smoke and fumes, they filed suit against several defendants. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Fairchild Controls, holding that plaintiffs' design defect theory failed where the limited expert testimony about the air-foil bearing technology did not prove that a safer design was feasible. The court also held that the failure to warn claim failed because plaintiffs were knowledgeable users, and a warning would have been superfluous. View "Davidson v. Fairchild Controls Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit alleging breach of express warranty under Texas law, after a Medtronic device implanted in his back to relieve pain did not last as long as the company promised. The Fifth Circuit held that the warranty on Medtronic's website goes beyond what the FDA considered and thus the narrow breach of express warranty claim plaintiff asserted was not preempted by the FDA regulation. The court explained that a verdict finding that Medtronic misled consumers like plaintiff in making this representation would not undermine any FDA finding concerning the safety of the device. Rather, it would be enforcing a duty that also exists under federal law: to not make misleading representations about the device. To escape such liability, Medtronic would not need to redesign the device, but only to limit its warranties to those approved by the FDA. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Wildman v. Medtronic, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Products Liability

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Plaintiff filed suit against MSD in Louisiana state court under the Louisiana Products Liability Act for both the Atlantis Plate and an Infuse Bone Graft Device that was surgically implanted in his body. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on claims dealing with the Atlantis Plate, holding that the district court did not create manifest error by considering the malpractice complaint and that plaintiff did not meet his burden under the res ipsa loquitur doctrine. The court also affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that plaintiff and his attorney did not exercise due diligence in pursuing the discovery of documents dealing with the Verte-Stack or Progenix, and that MSD's actions in answering plaintiff's interrogatory and production request were in good faith. View "Lyles v. Medtronic, Inc." on Justia Law

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Petitioners sought a writ of mandamus arising from an MDL proceeding involving more than 9,300 plaintiffs alleging product liability claims for designing, manufacturing, and distributing an allegedly defective hip-implant device. A majority of the Fifth Circuit denied the writ that petitioners sought to prohibit the district court from proceeding to trial on plaintiffs' cases. A different majority held that so-called Lexecon objections were not waived and that the district court abused its discretion in finding waiver; that petitioners have shown the required clear and indisputable right to a writ of mandamus; and that petitioners have established that a writ of mandamus was appropriate under the circumstances. In regard to the ultimate result, a majority of the court concluded that petitioners have not shown that they have no other adequate means to attain the relief they sought. A majority of the court requested the district court vacate its ruling on waiver and to withdraw its order for a trial. View "In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Products Liability

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after he was injured when his rifle suddenly discharged, firing a bullet through his foot. Plaintiff alleged five products liability claims and one claim under Texas law. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of defendants because plaintiff's claim was time-barred. At issue was whether the district court properly applied Texas's choice of law rules, which is dependent upon whether section 71.031(a) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code is a choice of law provision and whether the statute applies in federal court. The court concluded that Hyde v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. is controlling in this case. In light of Hyde, the court concluded that section 71.031 is a choice of law provision that applies in both state and federal courts, and an analysis of section 71.031 demonstrates the result is the same regardless of whether plaintiff is considered a resident of Texas or Georgia. In this case, even assuming the rifle was first purchased in 1998, plaintiff had until 2013 to initiate his products liability suit, but he did not do so until 2015, which was more than fifteen years from the date of the sale of the rifle. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Burdett v. Remington Arms Co., LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, family members of Henry Sims, Sr., filed a products liability action against KMA and KMC after Mr. Sims died in a tragic car accident when he was a passenger in a 2010 Kia Soul. Plaintiffs alleged that the Soul's fuel tank was defectively designed. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. The court concluded that the district court did not err in applying Texas law to all claims in the suit where the accident took place in Texas. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding plaintiffs' experts because they did not rely on sufficiently reliable methods and data. Finally, without admissible expert testimony, the court concluded that the district court correctly determined that plaintiffs cannot raise a genuine issue of material fact concerning key elements of their products liability claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Sims, Jr. v. Kia Motors of America" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a products liability suit against defendants after suffering severe injuries soon after being treated with defendants' product, the ProNeuroLight. At issue is the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion to exclude the medical testimony of a chiropractor. The court concluded that the district court abused its discretion by admitting the testimony without performing the requisite Daubert inquiry regarding the chiropractor's qualifications. Furthermore, the district court's abuse of discretion affected plaintiff's substantial rights where the chiropractor was the sole witness in defendants' case. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Carlson v. Bioremedi Therapeutic Sys." on Justia Law

Posted in: Products Liability

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Plaintiff filed a products liability suit against generic and brand-name manufacturers of the prescription drug metoclopramide, alleging that her long-term use of generic metoclopramide caused her to develop tardive dyskinesia and that manufacturers provided misleading and inadequate warnings. The court affirmed the district court's judgment on the pleadings for the generic manufactures under Rule 12(c) on plaintiff's failure-to-warn, design-defect, and express-warranty claims because the claims were preempted by federal law; affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claims against the brand-name manufacturers under Rule 12(b)(6) because the claims were barred by Louisiana state law where plaintiff never ingested Reglan manufactured by brand-name manufacturers; even if Louisiana law did not apply, plaintiff has not established that name-brand defendants owed her a duty of care; and denied plaintiff leave to amend her complaint. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "Johnson v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Novartis in the Western District of Texas, then the case was transferred by the Judicial Panel on MDL to the Middle District of Tennessee. Plaintiffs' compliant alleged, inter alia, that Novartis failed to notify the public and physicians of the possibility of suffering osteonecrosis of the jaw until 2004 and failing to notify dental professionals until 2005. The MDL court granted partial summary judgment to Novartis and ruled that: (1) Texas law applied to plaintiffs' case, and (2) Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 82.007(a) - which provides manufacturers a rebuttable presumption against liability for failing to warn - foreclosed plaintiffs' failure to warn claims. On remand, the district court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs' remaining claims. The court affirmed the denial of plaintiffs' Rule 56(d) and Rule 60(b) motions; the remand court properly applied the law of the case when it refused to reconsider the MDL court's rulings that section 82.007 applied to plaintiffs' failure to warn claims; and the remand court properly granted summary judgment on plaintiffs' warranty claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "McKay, et al v. Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed various products liability and general tort claims against the Brand Defendants - who initially developed and received FDA approval for metoclopramide - and Generic Defendants - who manufactured and sold the product that plaintiff used. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of his prolonged use of the drug metoclopramide, he developed tardive dyskinesia. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's dismissal of his claims against the Brand Defendants and grant of summary judgment to the Generic Defendants. The court held that plaintiff's products liability claims against the Generic Defendants were preempted under the holdings and reasoning of PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing and Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett, and that plaintiff failed to adequately plead any parallel claims. The court also held that plaintiff's claims against the Brand Defendants failed because plaintiff did not use the Brand Defendants' products and because Texas did not recognize a duty to a consumer who uses a competitor's products. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims against the Generic Defendants and grant of summary judgment to the Brand Defendants. View "Eckhardt, et al. v. Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al." on Justia Law