James Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say."More
The unique perils of products liability laws and regulations are well known to companies involved with the manufacture or sale of commercial goods. Unlike other torts, when it comes to products liability, the evidentiary burden for plaintiffs is relatively low and the exposure for defendants can be extraordinarily high. Even the most vigilant, safety-conscious companies must be prepared to respond to serious products liability claims. In this era of globalized trade and extensive cooperation and communication among plaintiffs’ firms, companies should expect the frequency of products liability filings, particularly multi-jurisdictional class claims, to increase.
Cozen O’Connor has been a leader in products liability defense for more than three decades. Our attorneys represent foreign and domestic designers, manufacturers, and distributors of a diverse array of products, from food and drugs to industrial equipment and building materials. We help clients respond to major personal injury and property damage claims in the form of single-product cases, class actions, mass torts, and multidistrict litigation, as well as all types of congressional, regulatory, or criminal investigations. We routinely appear before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Members of the products liability team serve as ongoing national counsel to major products manufacturers. In this role, we build long-term client relationships and work closely with corporate counsel to minimize a company’s overall liability, establish efficient protocols for fielding claims, and limit the need for in-house litigation support. We advise clients about labeling, marketing, manuals and instructions, supply and distribution contracts, and insurance and indemnification issues. We analyze clients’ possible exposure to particular losses and mount an immediate and aggressive response to threatened or filed claims.
Our attorneys not only have deep knowledge of the relevant law, but also a keen understanding of the importance of adept case management and superior preparation. Cozen O’Connor’s Products Liability Group has designed a proprietary database that can be tailored to track specific industries and clients when issues arise. Additionally, we have formed a network of more than ten thousand accredited scientific experts, from metallurgists to pharmacologists, who work with our attorneys to interrogate every aspect of a case.
The firm has a successful track record of trying complex cases. More attorneys at Cozen O’Connor have first-chaired products liability trials than at any other comparably sized firm. This benefits our clients in numerous ways. Having regularly been through the crucible of trial, our attorneys’ strategic advice is based on an accurate understanding of how facts and arguments are likely to be perceived. Moreover, our reputation as trial lawyers gives us leverage in negotiations because adversaries know we settle only to serve our clients’ best interests – not to avoid court.
While our clients demand the highest-quality legal services, cost containment and budget predictability are also important concerns for well-managed companies. Particularly in products liability litigation, where the full scope of a problem may not be immediately clear, Cozen O’Connor works closely with clients to develop litigation strategies that limit exposure and prevent escalation. We staff tight teams led by senior attorneys who communicate directly with clients about strategy and ongoing claims management.
Serve as national trial counsel and national coordinating counsel for product manufacturers
Represent manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers
Defend against allegations of products liability, including negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and consumer protection violations
Manage single-product cases, class actions, mass torts, and multidistrict litigation
Advise clients regarding underlying potential liabilities and exposure to particular loss claims, and review contracts, warning labels, and sale or distribution protocols
Negotiate cross-jurisdictional global sourcing agreements between foreign makers of component parts and stateside assemblers or manufacturers
Food Contamination & Recall. Our attorneys routinely handle high-stakes food products liability claims and provide food-industry crisis management services. We help clients respond decisively at the first sign of trouble and defend clients in major food recall cases.
Safety Products. Cozen O’Connor is a leading advocate for the smoke alarm industry, serving as the national coordinating counsel and national trial firm for an international alarm products manufacturer. Our attorneys have successfully tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts throughout the United States, often achieving wins for the defense on all counts.
Aviation. Our firm is known for its successful representation of aviation clients in a range of matters, including products liability, wrongful death and survival actions, personal injury, warranty claims and product recalls, and property damage. Because aviation litigation frequently involves multiple filings in multiple jurisdictions, Cozen O’Connor has a strong network of aviation attorneys in offices across the country and around the world.
Medical and Life Sciences. Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys combine sophisticated products liability experience with deep knowledge of the health care sector and cutting-edge medical technology. We are positioned to defend developers, designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and users of medical and life sciences products, particularly against claims of personal injury or wrongful death.
Additional Focus Industries. Cozen O’Connor also has extensive experience serving clients with exposures in the areas of sports equipment, automotive and off-road vehicles, construction equipment and building products, toxic torts and chemicals, firearms, and manufacturing equipment.
Cozen O’Connor’s team includes more than eighty lawyers who have distinguished themselves in the field of products liability. Our attorneys are named fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and are ranked by Chambers and Partners. In addition to being recognized by independent legal observers as among the nation’s “most influential” trial attorneys who are regularly involved in “significant verdicts,” our lawyers are also known for their intellectual gravitas. They serve on national boards and lecture frequently on products liability and tort defense.
While the design, manufacture, sale, and promotion of many products is now a global endeavor, the majority of U.S. products liability laws are determined by individual states and vary widely across the country. Top law firms, therefore, must be able to operate effectively on the international, national, and state level. Our attorneys have played lead roles in some of the most sprawling multi-jurisdictional products liability litigations to date, including in defense of asbestos, tobacco, and diet systems companies. With offices abroad and lawyers licensed across the United States, Cozen O’Connor has the capacity to respond to products liability matters wherever they arise.
November 14, 2017
The Supreme Court limited a striking vulnerability for product manufacturers in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California this summer when it ruled that out-of-state plaintiffs could not simply claim injuries that were similar to residents to support specific jurisdiction, but must...
October 09, 2017
Brenden Coller and Richard Fama, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims," for Assembly Magazine.
September 13, 2017
Often when we think of product liability we think of a product that doesn’t function as intended and causes some sort of damage resulting in warning, design and/or manufacturing defect claims. However, another important aspect is advertising. The purpose of this post is to focus on one very...
September 12, 2017
Amy Alderfer, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, published, "Glyphosate’s Prop 65 Listing May Affect Everyone in the Supply Chain," in the Daily Journal.
July 21, 2017
Abby Sacunas, a member of the Commercial Litigation Department, published, "Enforcing Arbitration Clauses In Product Packaging," in Law360.
July 17, 2017
On July 13, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would triple the amount of time in which medical device manufacturers are required to report certain malfunctions of some products to the Food and Drug Administration. Companies currently must report product malfunctions within...
July 01, 2017
David Shimikin, a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, published "California Consumers and Food Manufactures Await Key Government Rules on Food Labeling," in the California Minority Counsel Program Diversity Matters Newsletter.
June 26, 2017
Product manufacturers routinely hauled into court in far away, inconvenient jurisdictions can breathe a little easier with the Supreme Court’s decision this week in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California.
A group of plaintiffs, most of whom were not California residents, sued...
June 13, 2017
It is open opinion season at the U.S. Supreme Court, and two recent decisions pertaining to the enforceability of arbitration clauses provide guidance to manufacturers looking to bind consumers through the use of product packaging.
In Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark, No....
May 11, 2017
A Michigan district court judge determined last week that product liability claims against an FDA approved medical device manufacturer were preempted by federal law, but allowed the plaintiff’s claim of fraud against the manufacturer, Medtronic, Inc., to proceed at the state level. Although the...
April 24, 2017
Product liability cases often present challenging and complex issues which require the use of experts. If you are litigating in federal court, any expert you designate will be required to provide a written report. The same, however, may not be true in state court. For example, written expert...
February 22, 2017
Avin S. Singh discusses the growing issue for those in the chain of distribution of the contents of a product’s label and whether it provides for an adequate warning of the side effects associated with consumption of marijuana.
February 16, 2017
In one of our recent posts we touched on punitive damages in the context of one of the Pinnacle Hip bellwether trials. In this post, we address another interesting aspect of punitive damages: whether they can be used to punish a defendant for harms to nonparties. The short answer is no, but as...
January 05, 2017
In a staggering verdict, a Texas jury recently awarded over $1 billion against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. (“DePuy”) (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) to six California plaintiffs who claimed the companies’ Pinnacle hip system’s Ultamet...
November 16, 2016
Most of us understand that the facts that give rise to the legal issues we face are sometimes sewn far in advance. This is certainly true in the area of product claims or statements. As is discussed below, careful consideration should be given to the governing regulatory framework so that the...
October 06, 2016
Settling a case may be the culmination of years of litigation or a strategic move at the outset to avoid litigation costs. Many times, settlement occurs at some point in between. Regardless of when the settlement occurs, it’s important to focus on certain considerations that should be part of any...
August 30, 2016
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on August 22 that consumers’ state-law claims that manufacturers of a generic Reglan, a heartburn medication, did not adequately warn about its risks are not preempted by federal law.
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, manufacturers of brand-name...
August 08, 2016
Abby Sacunas and Jillian Flax discuss the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released draft guidance to clarify the benefit and risk factors it may consider in compliance and enforcement actions involving medical devices.
August 04, 2016
The Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance last week revealing its intent to better track medical devices, from pacemakers to condoms, through an amendment to its 2013 “UDI (unique device identifier) Rule”. The draft guidance is intended to assist both labelers and FDA-accredited...
July 27, 2016
Virtually every day there are media reports regarding the introduction of driverless cars to mainstream consumers. As driverless cars rapidly accelerate from concept to commercialization, it is becoming increasingly apparent that technological refinements remain necessary and are ongoing in...
July 18, 2016
On July 8, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance amending the process for manufacturers to update labeling of generic drugs in situations where the reference drug labeling has been withdrawn for reasons other than safety or effectiveness.
The FDA generally requires a...
July 14, 2016
Abby L. Sacunas and Jeffrey D. Feldman discuss the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and its impact on manufacturing companies with trade secrets related to a products or services used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.
June 30, 2016
Abby Sacunas, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discusses driverless car regulations in Law360.
April 21, 2016
Abby Sacunas, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Product Liability practice, discusses the Seventh Circuit's decision in Thornton v M7 Aerospace in Today's General Counsel.
March 03, 2016
Jillian Thornton Flax and Abby Sacunas, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discuss the FDA's new guidance on cybersecurity risks for medical devices in Corporate Counsel.
February 22, 2016
Amy Alderfer and Jillian Thornton Flax, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discuss a road map for a successful product inspection in Law360.
February 09, 2016
Abby Sacunas, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability practice, discusses litigation in the marijuana industry in Law360.
November 04, 2015
Abby Sacunas discusses the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania’s decision to dismiss plaintiff’s negligence and §402(B) strict liability claims on summary judgment in Morello v. Kenco Toyota Lift.
October 26, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the Louisiana Supreme Court case Hoffman v. 21st Century North Am. Ins. Co., in which the plaintiff attempted to expand the collateral source rule to allow recovery of medical costs that were never actually billed.
October 19, 2015
John Sullivan discusses In re Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Prods. Liability Litigation, in which the court relied solely on a review conducted by plaintiff’s experts of sample ObTape devices (other than the one implanted in plaintiff) when denying the manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment.
October 15, 2015
The Morello court specifically addressed whether a forklift seller could be liable for injuries in negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty caused by an industrial forklift which did not include accessories such as lights or chimes when operating in reverse.
October 12, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Carlton v. Boston Scientific Corp., in which the court granted Boston Scientific summary judgment.
September 28, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Boston Scientific Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation and how the 510(k) clearance of a medical device is not only insufficient to support preemption, but it’s not probative enough to be discussed at trial.
September 22, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the recent Cymbalta litigation in which the plaintiffs tried and failed to create an MDL.
September 14, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Pacira Pharmaceuticals’ recent First Amendment challenge on their non-opioid pain drug, EXPAREL, in the wake of Amarin’s preliminary injunction win.
August 17, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Amarin’s successful motion for a preliminary injunction in its First Amendment challenge to the FDA’s regulation of off-label marketing and discusses what this means for the FDA.
August 12, 2015
Shelby Riney, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, published, "Strategies for in-house counsel to maximize coordination of multidisciplinary products liability litigation."
August 10, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Becker v. Smith & Nephew, a hip implant case pending in federal court in New Jersey.
July 22, 2015
Denise Bense authored a section on “Medical Device Approvals” in DRI’s recently published “FDA Basics for the Drug and Medical Device Lawyer.”
July 13, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the second Risperdal trial, Cirba v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in which the trial judge denied the plaintiff’s post-trial motion for a new trial.
July 06, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the completed briefing on Amarin's motion for preliminary injunction and the courts preparation to hear oral arguments from the FDA and Amarin.
July 02, 2015
Leigh Ann Benson discusses the need for food and beverage manufacturers to be aware of FDA action, which typically reflects consumers’ interests, that has a direct relationship to class action litigation.
June 22, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the ongoing First Amendment case between Amarin Pharma, Inc. and the FDA.
June 15, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Otis-Wisher v. Medtronic Inc., in which the Second Circuit offered its thoughts on the viability of parallel violation claims based on allegedly misleading off-label promotion.
June 08, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Mayfield v. London Women's Care, PLLC, in which a patient, who had revision surgery and other complications, sued the out-of-state manufacturers and named her local doctor and his clinic as malpractice defendants.
June 01, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the ruling in Dwyer v. Boston Scientific Corp., in which a man died from head injuries suffered during a fall after the failure of his implanted defibrillator.
May 18, 2015
John Sullivan discusses City of Chicago v. Purdue Pharma L.P., which deals with an effort by the city of Chicago to recover payments it made to drug companies on opioid prescriptions for city employees (and retirees) covered by HMO, PPO and worker's compensation plans.
May 11, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. FDA, in which Amarin seeks a declaration that the FDA's off-label regulations, as applied by the FDA, violate the First Amendment and the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
April 27, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Levitt v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., in which the Vioxx MDL court denied Merck's motion for summary judgment, instead ordering that discovery be reopened.
April 20, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Cole v. Medtronic, Inc., in which the plaintiff asked the court to remand the case back to state court because a second defendant, a hospital, was a citizen of the forum state, thus triggering the forum-defendant rule and blocking removal.
April 13, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Whitener v. Pliva, in which the claim states that the manufacturer didn't warn about risks of the drug, in this instance, off-label risks.
March 30, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Yotam v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and the uneven ground of ex parte interviews of treating doctors, an area in which plaintiffs' counsel too often seem to be handed the higher ground.
March 23, 2015
John Sullivan discusses the latest decision in Zogenix, Inc. v. Baker, in which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has tried to regulate Zohydro ER, an extended release hydrocodone drug product that was approved by the FDA in 2013.
March 16, 2015
John Sullivan discusses collateral litigation and companies who find themselves in difficult court battles to protect confidential, business-sensitive information from public disclosure.
March 09, 2015
John Sullivan discusses Lewis v. Johnson & Johnson, in which the defendant calmly and effectively pressed their legal and factual arguments, won a partial victory before trial, continued to press its position on the law and facts at trial until it won a direct verdict, and successfully had it all upheld on appeal.
March 02, 2015
John Sullivan discusses McDowell v. Eli Lilly, in which plaintiff motioned for reconsideration, only to have the judge state the product's label contained sufficient warning and upheld judgment for the defendant.
February 10, 2015
In an article titled ''Lacrosse Equipment Manufacturers Facing Challenges,'' James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, and Christopher Passavia, an associate in the Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and their abrupt announcement in November 2014 that it had voided the manufacturer's certification of two of the nation's most popular lacrosse helmets (Cascade's R model and Warrior's Regulator model). The announcement quickly led to the filing of two putative class action consumer lawsuits against Cascade, one of which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a lawsuit by NOCSAE against Warrior in federal court in Missouri.
January 28, 2015
Shelby Riney, of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, authored, "District Court Denies Takeda's Motion for a New Trial," for the ABA Section of Litigation, Products Liability, News & Developments.
September 17, 2014
Amy Alderfer, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, authored an article titled “The Times, They Are a Changin’ – The Emergence of 3D Printing.” The article provides an overview of the potential impact 3D printing may have on products liability law as an increasing number of products are able to be manufactured at home. “While it’s too early to tell how these scenarios will play out, it is important to recognize the product liability issues that will arise as 3D printing becomes more widespread and continues to infiltrate the market,” advises Amy.
February 11, 2014
In products liability actions, plaintiffs use prior consumer complaints as evidence that a defect existed or that the defendant ignored a known defect. Precluding these prior consumer complaints is important to the defense, because this evidence has significant potential to prejudice the jury and lead to the imposition of liability in cases where plaintiffs have failed to produce sufficient proof of a defect. For these reasons, defendants must challenge the admissibility of prior consumer complaints. Defendants should argue that the communications are not substantially similar to the facts, circumstances and defects claimed in the case at issue (and are, thus, not relevant), and are inadmissible hearsay.
January 03, 2014
The Eighth Circuit recently upheld the removal to federal court of product liability claims filed by over 100 plaintiffs in state court in St. Louis. See Atwell v. Boston Scientific Corp., 2013 (8th Cir. Nov. 18, 2013). The decision illustrates how plaintiffs’ requests to coordinate multiple cases can sometimes sweep “mass tort” cases filed in state court right into federal court as a “mass action” under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. This is no small shift in a litigation, and so Atwell provides a helpful background on some of the characteristics of a plaintiff coordination proposal that can trigger such CAFA removal.
November 25, 2013
Does a company expose itself to liability in California when it boasts that its products are the “safest in the business?” The answer will depend on whether courts will consider that statement to be a misleading claim or mere advertising puffery.
May 04, 2011
Roadmap to social media for pharmaceutical companies - PharmaLive -
February 09, 2011
The Preemptive Scope of the Vaccine Act: Must Unavoidable Damages be Determined on a Case-by-Case Basis? - Life Sciences Alert! - On January 11, 2011, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania decided Wright v. Aventis Pasteur, et al., 2001 Pa. Super. 9 (2011) in which it determined as a matter of first impression that the National Childhood Vaccine Act (Vaccine Act) does not preempt any design defect claim based on state law, but rather requires case-by-case inquiry to determine whether a particular vaccine’s side effects are unavoidable.
January 18, 2011
Adverse Incident Reports: How Many Is Too Many? - Life Sciences Alert - On January 10, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in the matter Siracusano v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 585 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 2009), and suggested that some major changes may be in store for pharmaceutical companies which could forever alter how they handle adverse reports.
November 01, 2010
The Difficulty in Certifying a Class Action Against Drug Companies - Life Sciences Alert! - Three cases decided over the past few months demonstrate the difficulty with certifying class actions by third-party payors (TPPs) against drug companies.
October 22, 2010
Investigational Devices and the Defenses that Protect Them - Cozen O'Connor Paper -
September 09, 2010
Cozen O'Connor Webinar - Smoothing the Wrinkles of Off-Label Promotion: Allergan's Preemptive Strike Against the FDA -
May 06, 2010
Dram Shop Liability: The Exposure is Greater Than You Think - Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper - A sporting event between historic rivals, a concert given by a major pop star, a bar or
restaurant at which one celebrates a birthday, new job, or a dinner out, and a banquet hall hosting
a wedding, anniversary, or office party.While these venues often host exciting and celebratory events, their commonalities, all too often, combine to result in unfortunate and, sometimes, tragic
September 07, 2009
Before Facing a Lawsuit: What Every Establishment Needs to Know - Cozen O'Connor Presentation -
May 01, 2009
2009 Property Insurance Directory - Global Insurance Group - We are pleased to enclose Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance Group 2009 Property Insurance Directory, which identifies our principal property insurance lawyers in each of our offices with listings of specific areas of expertise those attorneys have in the property insurance area. I am sure you will agree that this is an impressive group of property lawyers, likely the largest in the U.S., with both breadth and depth of experience in all fields of interest in property claims.
April 01, 2009
PREEMPTION IS NOT DEAD: A Fresh Look at Wyeth v. Levine in Context - Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper - A White Paper analyzing the state of the preemption doctrine in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Wyeth v. Levine 173 L. E. 2d 51 (Mar. 4, 2009)
April 01, 2009
Commentary: The Flight to Access - Risk & Insurance - With more and more frequency, possibly due to personnel cutbacks and more attention focused on legitimate security concerns,
courts are seeing actions brought by disabled
passengers alleging discrimination,
exacerbation of a physical injury, mental
anguish and distress, and even punitive
damages as a result of what has been
perceived as either the inability or
unwillingness to deal with the specific needs
of disabled passengers.
February 27, 2009
On Jan. 30, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that its criminal division and the U.S. Department of Justice were pursuing a criminal investigation of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). This investigation comes on the heels of one of the largest food poisoning According to U.S. Center for Disease Control statistics, 654 people across 44 states have been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium from ingesting peanut-based products originating from PCA’s Blakely, Ga., facility.
January 01, 2009
Flying Through Squabbles of the Turbulent - Risk and Insurance Online -
November 24, 2008
Northern District of California Concludes Complaint Potentially Seeks Damages... - Insurance Coverage Alert! - The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss, reasoning that class action claimants potentially sought damages because of bodily injury, despite the fact that the claimants’ “complaints . . . did not seek damages for physical injury.” Plantronics, Inc. v. American Home Assurance
Co., No. C 07-6038 PVT, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88921 at * 4 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2008).
November 21, 2008
Georgia Court of Appeals Applies Exclusion M to Contaminated Bread Claims - Insurance Coverage Alert! - The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld an
insurer’s denial of coverage for claims related to use of contaminated bread through application of Exclusion m, the impaired property exclusion. See Lavoi Corp. v. National Fire Ins. of Hartford, 666 S.E.2d 387, 395 (Ga. Ct.
November 01, 2008
The Admissibility of Other Incidents in Aviation Products Liability Cases - International Association of Defense Counsel - Typical law school evidence courses include only a cursory examination of the admissibility of “other acts”,1 and even then, it is usually in the context of criminal cases under FED R. EVID. 404(b). And, indeed, the federal rules and case law are well-established when dealing with the government’s efforts to use evidence of other acts against a criminal defendant. But in civil matters—products liability cases in particular—the rules are less clear. So it is
October 07, 2008
A group of consumers sued a bottled water manufacturer because its water came from purified municipal sources and not the snow-topped mountains featured on its label. Another seeks damages because a guacamole dip doesn’t contain enough avocados. A third sues a satellite radio network for not providing entirely commercial-free programming.
October 01, 2008
International Litigation: The U.S. Jurisdiction To Prescribe and the Doctrine Of Forum Non Conveniens - The Federal Lawyer - Since the 1945 decision by Judge learned hand in United States v. Aluminum Co. of America (colloquially known as the "Alcoa" case), it has become well-established law that the Sherman Antitrust Act-legislation that was adopted over 100 years ago-applies to and prohibits conduct in foreign countries if that conduct has an illegal "effect" in the United States. The very important issue today is the extent to which the
October 01, 2008
Lettuce and spinach tainted with E. coli creates panic throughout the country. Raw onions contaminated with hepatitis kill four and sicken nearly 700. Salmonella-laden tomatoes make hundreds ill and raise fears of bioterrorism. While this may sound like something out of a bad horror movie, foodborne illness and the devastation it leaves behind – both in terms of human suffering and costs to our economy – should not be taken lightly.
September 01, 2008
The Shadow Knows No Bounds - Risk & Insurance -
July 01, 2008
Recipe for Disaster - BEST'S REVIEW - Propelled by globalization, outsourcing and offshoring by American companies, the global food network has morphed into a complex, complicated system - ripe for food contamination claims of epic proportions, with insurers bearing the ultimate financial burden.
A white paper released by the Cozen O'Connor law firm in March - published on the heels of the largest beef recall in U.S. history in February -
June 16, 2008
Global Losses From Tomatoes Likely Pricey - Best Week - The multibillion tomato industry in North America is in disarray as U S regulators struggle to determine the source of a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that has so far sickened
roughly 228 people across 23 states
The delay in finding the source has meant significant business disruption for U S tomato growers and distributors and to some extent their counterparts in Canada and Mexico whose produce are consumed in the United States
June 10, 2008
The ChemNutra Indictment: A Sign of Things to Come? - FoodProductDesign.com - In regulating our conduct, in everything from our daily lives to business activities, we assume that, unless accompanied by a culpable mental state, be it intentional, reckless or knowing, our actions should not be considered criminal. Based on this assumption, the shopper who leaves a store without paying for an item
that was mistakenly left in the cart is not guilty of a crime. Likewise, the innocent
May 12, 2008
Last Word: Food-borne ills pose sky-high peril - Industry Focus - For North Americans, the year of eating dangerously continues. The food industry has been pummeled by contamination claims and recalls
stemming from illnesses and deaths nationwide.
The risks associated with getting safe food to our tables are increasing.
What's more, we've recently discovered that the acute health effects from food contamination
could have long-lasting, widespread and costly health consequences.
April 01, 2008
A Look at a Key Illinois Decision - The Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin - An Illinois appellate court recently held that a subcontractor’s insurer wrongfully rejected a general contractor’s tender of defense for a suit
filed by the subcontractor’s employee. State Automobile Mut. Ins. Co. v. Habitat Constr. Co., __Ill.App.3d__, 875 N.E.2d 1159 (1st Dist. 2007).
March 01, 2008
Food Contamination Insurance Coverage Issues: An Insurer’s Perspective - Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper - It seems that it is difficult to turn on the television or open a newspaper without reading about another story of contaminated food. Recent multi-state, international recalls of Escherichia coli (“E. coli”) and Salmonella contaminated produce in 2006 and 2007 highlight the countless examples of the widespread
impact of food contamination claims in our modern, industrialized society.
January 14, 2008
Private inspections of produce can help alleviate the United States' overburdened border control - Nation's Restaurant News -
January 02, 2008
Country of Origin Labeling - Food Product Design - In 2007, perhaps the most notorious ongoing news story was the steady stream of contaminated imported food items reaching American ports, and the risk this poses to the American consumer. As a result, much political action has ensued to safeguard our imported food supplies, most notably with respect to our relationship with China. However, another result has been increased consumer interest in country of origin
December 01, 2007
Product Liability Defense: At The Center of The Storm - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -
October 12, 2007
A Pre-Trial and Procedural Roadmap for Defending Food-Related and Other Mass Tort Litigation - Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper - This past year has seen a wide variety of news coverage related to our nation’s food
supply. In early 2007, the FDA promulgated guidelines pertaining to fresh cut produce.
Concerns surrounding contaminated spinach, green onions, other vegetables and most recently,
beef have led to various recalls by manufacturers and others in the industry.
October 01, 2007
Beware Diacetyl: The Next Legal Quagmire? - Food Safety Magazine - Move over asbestos, you may have met your match. For years, personal injury lawyers have been searching for “the next asbestos,” and although they achieved significant successes against big tobacco, a new toxin with the staying power of asbestos has remained elusive. Recent court rulings and years of civil lawsuit defeats have dulled the once shining star of so-called toxic mold. Personal injury lawyers may now be on the verge of striking gold—that is, the golden hue
April 12, 2007
Remarks of Adam C. Bonin, Esq. Cozen O'Connor - Campaign Finance Law, Issue Advocacy and the Supreme Court - Remarks from a panel discussion held last Thursday, April 12, 2007, at the American Constitution Society, regarding the upcoming Supreme Court arguments in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life
October 20, 2006
Fall 2006 - Commercial Disputes Observer -