Articles by :


Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Pet Food False Ad Proposed Class Action

The Tenth Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of a proposed class action against a dog food manufacturer, finding that the putative class claims were nonactionable puffery and overly subjective.

In Renfro, et al. v. Champion Petfoods USA, Inc., et al., No. 20-1274, pet owner plaintiffs brought a proposed class action against Champion Petfoods alleging that the packaging for some of its dog food brands were false and misleading. Specifically, plaintiffs asserted claims for violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, breach of express and implied warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, and negligence.

Continue reading “Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Pet Food False Ad Proposed Class Action”

PFAS in Cosmetics Continue to Draw Attention as Litigation and Legislation Efforts Mount

In June 2021, we published Cosmetics Companies: Beware of PFAS, highlighting the recently introduced No PFAS In Cosmetics Act and recommending that cosmetics and personal-care product companies examine their products and supply chains to determine if, when, and where PFAS may affect their businesses. As anticipated, PFAS in cosmetics has continued to draw attention, with the filing of at least two lawsuits and the anticipated enactment of PFAS legislation in several states.

The No PFAS In Cosmetics Act, which seeks to ban the use of intentionally added per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in cosmetics, was introduced in the House on June 17, 2021. The bill has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, but no hearing has been scheduled. Ultimately, the bill will require the Department of Health and Human Services to issue and finalize a rule banning the use of intentionally added PFAS in cosmetics. In the meantime, on February 2, 2022, over 30 senators sent a letter to President Biden requesting funding for Fiscal Year 2023 for PFAS research, regulatory efforts, and testing.

Continue reading “PFAS in Cosmetics Continue to Draw Attention as Litigation and Legislation Efforts Mount”

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Expert Opinion Based on Unjustified Analogy

In the space of a single paragraph, General Electric Co. v. Joiner softened Daubert’s comment that a court’s assessment of expert opinion admissibility should focus “solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate” and gave us two of the most heavily quoted snippets in this area of law: opinions are inadmissible when supported “only by the ipse dixit of the expert,” and courts may exclude opinions for which “there is simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered.” 522 U.S. 136 (1997). Joiner’s call to assess an expert’s factual basis and reasoning was incorporated into the text of Rule 702 itself via the 2000 amendments. Regrettably though, some courts have continued to ignore gaps in an expert’s reasoning, quoting Daubert and other pre-Joiner precedent for the proposition that a court should leave disputes over such fact-based issues for a jury to decide — the very argument that Joiner rejected.

Continue reading “Eleventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Expert Opinion Based on Unjustified Analogy”

FTC Continues Crack Down on Unfounded COVID Claims

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it “ordered more than 20 marketers nationwide to immediately stop making baseless claims that their products and supposed therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19.” Like prior rounds of cease-and-desist demands, the letters warned that the alleged violators could be subjected to monetary penalties under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, which Congress passed in 2020. Specifically, the letters warned that businesses engaging in a deceptive act or practice associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID-19 or a government benefit related to COVID-19 could be subjected to penalties of up to $43,792 per violation.

As the FTC points out, however, “there’s a key point that differentiates these Demands from the more than 400 letters that preceded them.” Namely, copies of the recent round of letters were also sent to the social media platforms used by the advertisers, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Etsy, LinkedIn, Shopify, and TikTok. The FTC found that nearly all of the marketers used social media to convey their claims, with many companies utilizing multiple platforms. A recent FTC analysis on the alleged role of social media platforms in the spread of disinformation related to COVID found that deceptive marketers are able to “extend[] the reach of their deceptive COVID claims by using major social media platforms.” The FTC observed that social media’s design helps scammers amplify their deceptive messages while also identifying users most likely to be receptive to those messages. It cautioned, “[b]ogus claims of miracle cures may be successful in attracting consumers’ eyeballs, but they can have devastating consequences for Americans who forgo needed treatment or part with hard-earned money in pursuit of false cures.”

Continue reading “FTC Continues Crack Down on Unfounded COVID Claims”

The Rule 702 Toolbox: Proposed Amendments Seek to Reset the Application of FRE 702

Litigators! Substantive amendments have been proposed to Federal Rule of Evidence 702. The public comment period closes February 16.

Rule 702 was last amended substantively in 2000, soon after the concluding chapter in the Daubert trilogy, Kumho Tire. Those amendments were intended to reset the Rule based on the post-Daubert experience.

Lower courts had read snippets of language in Daubert through variable lenses, influenced by their level of enthusiasm or reluctance to keep flawed expert opinions from the jury. Though Daubert mandated rigorous gatekeeping, it also included Delphic comments about the “liberal thrust” of the federal rules (compared to the “rigid’ and “austere” Frye rule they replaced) and about the ability of the adversarial process to limit the impact of “shaky but admissible” evidence. Some courts misread these comments to limit the scope and depth of their gatekeeping obligation and adopted standards consistent with this vision.

Continue reading “The Rule 702 Toolbox: Proposed Amendments Seek to Reset the Application of FRE 702”

FDA Solicits Comments Prior to Regulating 3D Printing of Medical Devices at the Point of Care

Medical device companies have for many years used 3D printing to create innovative products such as custom patient-matched devices and individualized anatomical models for surgical planning. Typically, these activities have occurred within traditional manufacturing facilities. Over the past two years, however, supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created medical device shortages that have amplified the use of 3D printing technologies at the point of care. Indeed, healthcare providers have collaborated with 3D printing companies to produce face shields, face mask holders, nasopharyngeal swabs, and ventilator parts within healthcare facilities. As 3D printing technologies improve and healthcare facilities innovate in the face of economic opportunities and pandemic-related challenges, the industry can expect increasing use of 3D printers within the healthcare setting. In turn, FDA is taking notice and has recently issued a paper to facilitate discussion about potential approaches to regulating 3D printed devices at the point of care.

Continue reading “FDA Solicits Comments Prior to Regulating 3D Printing of Medical Devices at the Point of Care”