Product Liability Update

Product Liability Update: August 2017

August 30, 2017

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 Holds Due Process Forbids Exercising Specific Jurisdiction Over Nonresident Plaintiffs’ Claims Against Nonresident Defendant Where Claims Did Not Arise From Defendant’s Contacts with Forum, Rejecting “Sliding Scale” Approach Giving Weight To Defendant’s “Extensive” Forum Contacts Unconnected to Plaintiffs’ Claims
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Compliance With Requirement to Plead Fraud With Particularity Not Excused Where Multi-District Litigation Court Orders Filing of Master Complaint, But Rule Only Requires Specificity in Pleading Misrepresentations, Not Reliance
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Holds No Design Defect Claim Against Chemical Manufacturers For Products’ Inherent Dangers, No Failure-to-Warn Claim Where Defendant Reasonably Relied On Bulk Purchasers to Warn End Users and No Post-Sale Duty to Warn Due to Inability to Identify End Users
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Finds Genuine Dispute Regarding Identity of Forklift Manufacturer Where Website Information Revealed Multiple Entities Linked To Trade Name on Lift And Defendant’s Affidavits Did Not Negate All Possibility of Responsibility for Product
  • Massachusetts Federal Court Compels Disclosure of Plaintiff’s Adult Criminal Record Because Relevant to Defendants’ Defenses and Regulation Explicitly Contemplates Release of Information For Litigation Purposes Through Valid Court Order

Excerpt:

United States Supreme Court Holds Due Process Forbids Exercising Specific Jurisdiction Over Nonresident Plaintiffs’ Claims Against Nonresident Defendant Where Claims Did Not Arise From Defendant’s Contacts with Forum, Rejecting “Sliding Scale” Approach Giving Weight To Defendant’s “Extensive” Forum Contacts Unconnected to Plaintiffs’ Claims

In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), a group of California residents and non-residents sued the manufacturer of a prescription anticoagulant for injuries allegedly caused by the drug, asserting claims that included strict product liability, negligent misrepresentation and misleading advertising.  Defendant, a Delaware corporation headquartered in New York, had two research laboratories and several hundred employees in California, but did not develop the drug or its marketing strategy there, and moved to quash service of the nonresidents’ summonses for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Download the August 2017 Foley Hoag Product Liability Update (pdf).