Product Liability Update - September 2013


Cross Examination of Experts: How to Avoid Hurting Your Case

by Warren E. Platt

Irving Younger wrote the “Ten Commandments of Cross-Examination” in 1976. These ten points are probably still as central to an effective cross examination of an expert as they were then. Here is some elaboration on what usually works, and what seldom works.

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Snell & Wilmer Defends Airbag Claims at Nevada Trial

by Jay J. Schuttert and Daniel S. Rodman

Snell & Wilmer attorneys Daniel S. Rodman and Jay J. Schuttert represented Ford Motor Company in a case tried in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas. The case was filed against Ford in Nevada federal court by the family of a man involved in a head-on collision in 2007. The family claimed that the man died of a head injury due to a design defect in the 2007 Ford Focus’s airbag system.

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Product Recall Trends and How to Prepare for a Recall

by Kelly MacHenry

Product recalls are more common than ever. We see recall announcements virtually every week. Consumers have come to expect them, and to expect that companies will act quickly and decisively when a product risk is identified. Most recalls today are voluntary and move very rapidly. Here are some observations about 2013 recall trends.

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Personal Injury Claims Escape Preemption Defense in Medical Device Case

by Sara Athen

The District of Arizona recently denied a motion to dismiss by Medtronic Inc., rejecting the argument that federal law preempted a plaintiff’s personal injury claims related to a product that had obtained premarket approval.

Infuse is a bio-engineered liquid bone graft substitute.  It is classified as a Class III device under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976.  Medtronic submitted a Premarket Approval for Infuse on January 12, 2001.  On July 2, 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Infuse for use in spinal fusion procedures in skeletally mature patients with degenerative disc disease through an anterior approach.

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The FDA’s 510(k) Approval Process in Medical-Device Litigation

by Troy D. Roberts

Any litigator knows evidence makes or breaks a case. One piece of admissible evidence may not determine a matter outright, but it may be that crucial nudge for a jury to tip the scales of justice for one side or the other. In medical-device trials, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) regulatory approval may be that evidence. This dynamic was never more evident when two separate juries, one in March and one in April, determined whether or not DePuy’s ASR XL metal hip implants caused injuries to the plaintiffs.

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Snell & Wilmer Authors Complete Product Liability Desk Reference Chapter

by Kelly MacHenry, Sara Athen and Patrick X. Fowler

The Product Liability Desk Reference is one of the most useful and comprehensive books available on product liability law. It is a state-by-state reference that provides the most recent statutory and case law developments on product liability laws.  It covers all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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