The New Jersey Appellate Division has held that Korean company LG Chem Ltd. (“LG Chem”)will have another opportunity to dispute New Jersey’s jurisdiction over it in a product liability lawsuit concerning a vaping device battery. The decision is based, in part, on the trial court’s failure to order jurisdictional discovery and convene an evidentiary hearing to resolve the disputed jurisdictional allegations before deciding LG Chem’s pre-answer motion to dismiss. This case underscores that in New Jersey, the standard governing motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, unlike other bases, requires the court to look outside the disputed pleadings alone.
The New Jersey plaintiff alleged he was injured when a lithium-ion battery manufactured by LG Chem exploded in his pocket. Plaintiff attempted to serve process on LG Chem through two of its U.S.-based subsidiaries, LG Chem America, Inc. (LGCAI) and LG Chem Michigan, Inc. (LGCMI). The agents of both refused to accept service.
A new study regarding phthalates has garnered media attention this month, but readers should recognize the study’s limitations. Some media coverage of this study blurs the important distinction between “association” and “causation.”
What Are Phthalates?
Phthalates, sometimes called plasticizers, are a group of chemicals generally used to make plastics more durable, or to dissolve other materials. Phthalates may be found in products such as vinyl flooring, food wraps, intravenous tubing, lubricating oils, and some personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, and hairsprays.
Over the last four months, we have tracked the District of New Jersey’s proposal and adoption of a new Local Civil Rule – L. Civ. R. 7.1.1 – requiring lawyers to disclose details about third-party litigation funding. The Clerk of the District of New Jersey has now issued a Notice to the Bar clarifying that this new Rule only requires the filing of a statement where third-party litigation funding exists.
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has adopted new Local Civil Rule 7.1.1, requiring lawyers to disclose details about third-party litigation funding. On June 21, 2021, Chief Judge Freda L. Wolfson signed the order formally amending the Rule to include Section 7.1.1.
The Eleventh Circuit recently reinstated a case alleging a surgical tool caused internal burns during a hysterectomy surgery, holding that the district court erred in disqualifying an expert on the basis that he had never before used the tool. The decision is a reminder of the importance of asserting and maintaining precise and strategic Daubert challenges.
In Moore v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 19-10869, the plaintiff underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy in which her surgeon used a robotic miniature electrified scissor tool manufactured by the defendant. Following surgery, the plaintiff experienced, among other things, abdominal pain and eventually learned she had sustained internal burns to her left ureter during the surgical procedure. The tool was recalled by the manufacturer a few months after the plaintiff’s procedure, and the plaintiff filed suit.
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has announced proposed amendments to its Local Civil Rules, including a new rule – Civ. Rule 7.1.1 – regarding “Disclosure of Third-Party Litigation Funding.”
As we previously observed on this blog earlier this year, the exact dollar amount that third-party investors infuse into U.S. lawsuits each year is unknown, but conservative estimates begin at approximately $2.3 billion. Currently, the District of New Jersey’s Local Civil Rules are silent as to litigation funding, but the District is focused on the importance of understanding the parameters of outside litigation funding and a mechanism for requiring disclosure.