Product Liability Update

Product Liability Update: April 2016

April 7, 2016

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:

  • United States Supreme Court Permits Class Certification And Proof of Liability Through Statistical Evidence Based on Class Sampling Where Class Was Sufficiently Uniform That Evidence Would Have Been Admissible in Any Class Member’s Individual Action, Holds Propriety of Award to Uninjured Class Members Not Raised Absent Order or Plan for Disbursing Class Recovery
  • United States Supreme Court Holds Citizenship of Real Estate Investment Trust for Diversity Jurisdiction Determined by Citizenships of All Shareholders and Trustees
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Argument Failure-to-Warn Claims In Multi-District Pharmaceutical Litigation Were Preempted By FDA’s Rejection of Citizen’s Petition Premature Before Discovery, and Arguments Claims For Unlawful Off-Label Promotion and Concealment of Information From FDA Were Preempted Too Case-Specific to Resolve at Early Stage

  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds No Reasonable Jury Could Conclude Distributor Sold Machine That Injured Plaintiff Where Defendant Denied Sale, No Testimony Or Records Supported It And Evidence Plaintiff’s Employer Purchased Replacement Parts From Defendant Was Not Accompanied By Explanation As To Why

  • Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Defendant’s Failure to Properly Train Employees About Boom Lift’s Safety Features, Improper Replacement of Safety Component and Repeated Failure To Detect Malfunctioning Safety Features In Inspections Constituted Gross Negligence Justifying Punitive Damages

Excerpt:

United States Supreme Court Permits Class Certification And Proof of Liability Through Statistical Evidence Based on Class Sampling Where Class Was Sufficiently Uniform That Evidence Would Have Been Admissible in Any Class Member’s Individual Action, Holds Propriety of Award to Uninjured Class Members Not Raised Absent Order or Plan for Disbursing Class Recovery

In Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 2134  (S. Ct. Mar. 22, 2016), plaintiffs, employees who worked in certain departments at defendant’s pork processing plant, brought a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”), and putative class action under an Iowa wage statute and Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.  Plaintiffs sought overtime pay for all employees’ hours exceeding forty a week because defendant had not credited the employees for time spent donning and doffing protective gear.  

Download the April 2016 Foley Hoag Product Liability Update (pdf).