Product Liability Update

Product Liability Update

January 31, 2013

Foley Hoag's Product Liability Update is a quarterly update concerning developments in product liability and related law of interest to product manufacturers and sellers. If you find this update useful, please encourage your colleagues and contacts to also register with us on our Web site. As always, you can access all of our publications at www.foleyhoag.com

Included in this Issue:

  • First Circuit Holds Unfair and Deceptive Practices Claim Precluded by Judgment for Defendant in Earlier Product Liability Action in Which Plaintiff Did Not Appeal Denial of Leave to Assert Claim and Which Involved Same Issues and Evidence
  • First Circuit Holds Indemnity Judgment Against Supplier of Tainted Meat Supported by Sufficient Evidence, Including Videotaped Deposition Testimony of Supplier’s Former Expert That Supplier Was “Probable” Source of the Meat
  • Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Judgment for Manufacturer of Malfunctioning Yacht Engines Because No Evidence Plaintiff’s Engines Malfunctioned During Express Warranty Period and Manufacturer Not Liable for Distributor’s Breach of Repair Contract
  • Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Defense Judgment in Automated Door Case, Holding No Error in Excluding Misleading Accident Reenactment Video and Res Ipsa Loquitur Jury Instruction Not Warranted When There Was Evidence Plaintiff Fell Without Any Contact from Door
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Expert Testimony Fire Was Caused by Microwave Malfunction, Together with Evidence Microwave’s Condition Was Unchanged Since Purchase, Avoids Summary Judgment on Design Defect Claim Even Though Expert Could Not Identify Specific Defect in Microwave
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Plaintiff in Prescription Drug Failure-to-Warn Case Couldn’t Use “Heeding Presumption” to Prove Causation, as Prescribing Physician Would Still Weigh Drug’s Risks and Benefits in Light of Any Warning, But Prescribing Physician’s Colleague Could Testify That Standard Practice in Community Was to Convey Manufacturers’ Warnings to Patients

Excerpt:

First Circuit Holds Unfair and Deceptive Practices Claim Precluded by Judgment for Defendant in Earlier Product Liability Action in Which Plaintiff Did Not Appeal Denial of Leave to Assert Claim and Which Involved Same Issues and Evidence 

In Hatch v. Trail King Industries, Inc., 699 F.3d 38 (1st Cir. Nov. 2, 2012), plaintiff was paralyzed after a hydraulically operated drop gate on the trailer he operated fell on him, and sued the trailer manufacturer in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging negligence, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability (the Massachusetts near-equivalent of strict liability) and loss of consortium.

Download the Foley Hoag January 2013 Product Liability Update (.pdf)