A Multidistrict Litigation started by a TikTok trend of individuals breaking into cars recently settled for an estimated $200 million. The Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendants—Hyundai and Kia—knowingly sold defective vehicles that were vulnerable to theft while also asserting that Defendants prioritized profits over safety. The vehicles at issue included 2011-2022 Kia vehicles and 2015-2022 Hyundai vehicles that were equipped with traditional “insert-and-turn” steel key ignition systems. Plaintiffs argued that vehicles lacking immobilizer technology were particularly susceptible to theft. According to Plaintiffs, without an immobilizer, anyone with a USB cable could steal the vehicle. Plaintiffs’ lawsuit encompassed various claims, including consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, and deceptive trade practices.Continue Reading Car Break-Ins Expose Shocking Vehicle Vulnerabilities and Spark Multidistrict Litigation: A $200M Settlement Reached by Kia and Hyundai
On December 16, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling in Brandt v. Pompa that may call into question the applicability of Ohio’s non-economic damages cap in future tort actions. Under tort reform enacted in Ohio in 2005, R.C. 2315.18 (B)(2) expressly limits non-economic damages to $250,000, or an amount equal to three times the economic loss for a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff, with a $500,000 limit per occurrence. The Court had previously ruled the cap constitutional on its face. In Brandt, the Supreme Court found the non-economic damages caps unconstitutional as applied to a victim of childhood sexual assault who suffered lengthy and severe psychological trauma.Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Decision Potentially Alters the Application of Damages Caps in Ohio
On November 4, 2022, the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) coordinating Judge Adam Silvera issued a long-awaited decision denying defendants’ motion to sever punitive damages in asbestos claims filed in NYCAL. Defendants had urged the Court to amend NYCAL’s current Case Management Order (CMO) to indefinitely postpone plaintiffs’ ability to seek punitive damages against defendants, as was the case in the original NYCAL CMO and a procedure that had been in place for over 2 decades up until 2017.Continue Reading NYCAL Defendants Lose Requested Case Management Order Amendment Severing Punitive Damages
Under the now widely-adopted Daubert standard, courts evaluate expert testimony based on the principles and methodology underlying the expert witness’s opinion. Admissibility of expert testimony is not governed by whether the factual underpinnings of the opinion are sound, or the conclusions correct, but rather by the relevancy and reliability of the methods applied in forming said opinion. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently illustrated these principles in Johnson v. Orton.
Continue Reading Cumulative Exposure Theories by Any Other Name Would Still Be Excluded: Illinois Court Requires Evidence of Length and Amount of Asbestos Exposure
On September 1, 2021, the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s decision in the matter of Jolly v. General Electric, et al. in which it had (1) denied defendants’ motion for a JNOV, (2) granted a new trial nisi additur, and (3) denied motions to quash subpoenas requiring defendants’ corporate representatives to appear and testify at trial. The appeal was brought by two defendants, Fisher Controls International, LLC and Crosby Valve, LLC (hereinafter “Defendants”) who had received an adverse verdict following trial in July 2017. Most notably, the circuit court had granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial nisi additur and increased the total jury verdict from $300,000 to $1.87 million. This article examines several holdings in the Jolly opinion which present future implications for asbestos litigation in South Carolina, particularly with regard to the causation standard, the sophisticated intermediary doctrine, additur, and the setoff of verdicts.
Continue Reading South Carolina Court of Appeals Approves Cumulative Dose Theory, Increased Verdict For Plaintiffs
In July of 2021, after more than five months of silence, President Biden finally announced his nominations to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), which included Alexander Hoehn-Saric, as Commissioner and Chair, Richard Trumka Jr., as Commissioner, and Mary T. Boyle, as Commissioner.
Continue Reading U.S. Senate Committee Approves Biden’s CPSC Nominations
On June 1, 2021, the United States Supreme Court announced it would not accept Johnson & Johnson’s petition for certiorari seeking to overturn a $2.12 billion dollar damages award rendered in Missouri to twenty-two Missouri women who alleged their ovarian cancer was caused from microscopic asbestos fibers in the company’s baby powder and other talc products.
Continue Reading A Focus on Missouri’s Tort Victim Fund