As discussed in the Product Perspective, the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA) represents a major shift in cosmetic industry regulations. This article, in our continuing series of posts diving into each aspect of MoCRA, covers the process for substantiating safety of cosmetic products.
On August 15, 2023, the Missouri Supreme Court in State ex rel. Monsanto Co. v. Mullen, No. SC99942 (Mo. Aug. 15, 2023) (en banc), clarified competing interpretations of Mo. Rev. Stat. 508.010.5(1) (2016) with regard to the proper venue for defendant corporations sued by plaintiffs alleging first injury outside the state of Missouri. In the opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court held that venue is determined based on the location of the defendant corporation’s registered agent at the time the suit is filed, rather than the registered agent’s location on the date of a plaintiff’s first alleged injury, resolving an ambiguity contained in the statute.
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
The Middle District of Pennsylvania’s opinion in Gorton v. Warren Pumps, LLC supported the government contractor defense and set forth a road map for defendants to follow to win summary judgment. The court, relying on the Supreme Court case, Boyle v. United Technologies Corporation, and applying admiralty law, held the government contractor defense was applicable to Plaintiff’s claims for product liability, breach of implied warranty, and negligence. In Groton, Defendant Warren Pumps moved for summary judgment asserting the government contractor defense. The court, after analyzing the record and standards for the defense, granted summary judgment in Warren Pumps’ favor.Continue Reading Middle District of Pennsylvania Sets out a Road Map for Defendants to Assert the Government Contractor Defense in Asbestos Cases
On March 16, 2023, the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) Court denied Defendant Kaiser Gypsum’s post-trial motions following a $15M plaintiffs’ verdict in the matter of Munir Seen, New York Supreme Court, New York County, Index No. 190225/2018. Kaiser Gypsum moved for: 1) a judgment notwithstanding the verdict; 2) an order for a new trial; or, alternatively, 3) a remittitur of what Kaiser Gypsum called a clearly excessive verdict. All were denied.Continue Reading NYCAL Court Upholds $15M Asbestos Verdict, Appeal Imminent after Denial of Joint Compound Defendant’s Post-Trial Motions
On January 5, 2023, a Louisiana appellate court issued a divided opinion that addressed the nature of take-home asbestos claims. Pete v. Bolan Marine & Manufacturing Co., LLC, 2021-0626 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1/5/23), 2023 La. App. LEXIS 2* (La. Ct. App. Jan. 5, 2023). Despite an order limiting Plaintiff’s ability to rely on take-home exposure in proving his claims, a Louisiana appellate court affirmed a jury award of $10.35M in finding that Plaintiff’s take-home exposure was a substantial contributing factor in the development of his mesothelioma.Continue Reading Louisiana Appellate Court Affirms $10.35M Verdict Based on Take-Home Asbestos Exposure
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
Overview of Original Daubert Rulings
In orders issued on October 25, 2022 and November 9, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs provided some clarification to her prior expert rulings in the matter of Walls v. Ford Motor Company, et al., a mesothelioma wrongful death case pending in the Middle District of North Carolina. The plaintiff, Laura Walls, alleges that her deceased husband, Robie Walls, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products through his naval service and career as a truck mechanic. The plaintiff intends to call several experts to offer opinions that the defendants’ products caused the decedent’s disease. The defendants intend to introduce expert testimony that friction products made with chrysotile asbestos did not and could not have caused the alleged injury while asserting that the decedent sustained significant exposure to asbestos during his naval service. The Court took up the parties’ various Daubert challenges over two days of oral argument in June 2022 and made several significant rulings regarding expert admissibility on August 11, 2022 as discussed herein.Continue Reading Walls Closing in on Experts: Federal Court Clarifies Daubert Rulings in Asbestos Case
On March 28, 2022, the Supreme Court of Delaware settled a 15-year battle between asbestos plaintiffs and defendants by affirming the burden-shifting framework provided in a 2006 Superior Court decision. This decision affirms once and for all that where a company manufactured
Continue Reading The Impact of Droz on Evidentiary Standards in Delaware