On May 18, 2023, the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 219 (Bill) which, if signed by Governor Pritzker, would allow punitive damages in wrongful death cases. Illinois law does not currently permit punitive damages for recovery, only allowing compensatory damages. Suits against state and local government officials will still be exempt from damages if the legislation passes.
The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (“MoCRA”) was signed into law on December 29, 2022. MoCRA expands the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to regulate cosmetics and serves as the most significant change to the regulation of cosmetics since the passage of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act in 1938. MoCRA is a seismic shift in the world of cosmetic regulation, bringing new authorities to the FDA that are similar to those that currently exist for food, drugs and medical devices, among other regulated products. MoCRA has sweeping implications for domestic and international cosmetics manufacturers that market products in the U.S.
The American Tort Reform Foundation (ATR) published its 2021-2022 Judicial Hellholes Executive Summary. The report highlights the most prominent jurisdictions across the United States known for allowing innovate lawsuits, welcoming litigation tourism, and expanding civil liability.
The 2021-2022 Judicial Hellholes
The ATR’s top judicial hellholes are:
(1) California. “The Golden State” is back in the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole spot due to appellate courts holding e-commerce companies strictly liable for products sold on their sites, “baseless” Prop-65 lawsuits, “frivolous” Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, and the AG promoting an “expansive view” of public nuisance law.
(2) New York. “The Empire State” is right behind California for having one of the worst legal climates in the nation. The ATR notes this is due to New York’s unmatched number of “no-injury” class actions, ADA lawsuits, and immense asbestos litigation docket. …
Continue Reading Things Are Heating Up: The Top “Judicial Hellholes” For 2021-2022
On November 9, 2021, the Oklahoma Supreme Court set aside a $465 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in State ex rel. Hunter v. Johnson & Johnson, 2021 OK 54. In 2017, the State of Oklahoma sued three opioid manufacturers, including J&J, alleging the companies deceptively marketed opioids in the state. At trial, only J&J and the claim of public nuisance remained. At the end of a 33-day bench trial, the district court ordered J&J to pay $572 million, representing funding for one year of Oklahoma’s opioid abatement plan. Our previous report on the district court award can be found here. Due to a calculation error in the original award, the district court award was subsequently reduced to $465 million. According to the district court, J&J was liable under Oklahoma’s public nuisance statute for conducting false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns about prescription opioids.
Continue Reading Oklahoma Supreme Court Sets Aside $465 Million Public Nuisance Opioid Verdict