A New Jersey District Court Judge has ruled that the March 2020 federal liability immunity statute for pandemic-related countermeasures does not create a basis for federal jurisdiction, resulting in the remand of two COVID-19-related personal injury actions.
On February 21, 2020, the cruise ship Grand Princess embarked from San Francisco, headed to Hawaii. Among the ship’s 3,533 passengers and crew were 62 people who had been exposed to COVID-19 on the ship’s immediate prior trip to Mexico. The Hawaii voyage was curtailed and the ship docked off the cost of California for two weeks, during which passengers were confined to their rooms and two dozen people tested positive. A number of personal injury lawsuits followed, the majority of which have been coordinated before Hon. R. Gary Klausner in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
With no approved vaccine, the world waits for the next big breakthrough in 2020’s medical emergency. Some companies already claim to have found it – and subsequently received warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misbranding. The FTC is targeting companies promoting products with supposed COVID-19 cures, treatment or prevention for making illegal, unsubstantiated claims.
One of the FTC’s objectives is eliminating false and misleading information from the marketplace. The FTC Act defines false advertising as misleading in a “material respect,” which includes both affirmative statements and failure to “reveal facts material in the light of [the product’s] representations[.]” See 15 USC 55(a)(1).
Jurors are factfinders. In many deliberation rooms, however, jurors must begin their discussions without ready access to the exhibits admitted during trial. If a jury requests particular exhibits or evidence, then a trial court may exercise its discretion to decide whether to provide the requested materials. And in some courtrooms, a jury’s requests to review specific exhibits are routinely denied.
Abuse of discretion is a challenging standard of review for any appealing party. What would a party need to show to establish that a trial court abused its discretion? A recent opinion from Pennsylvania Superior Court, Schrader v. Ameron International Corporation, No. 2609 EDA 2018, 2020 WL 1460697 (Pa. Super. March 24, 2020), sheds some light.
In general, a defendant may not remove a case to federal court if the action includes a non-diverse defendant or a defendant who is a resident of the state in which the action was filed. This general rule does not apply, however, if the action is removed prior to the non-diverse or forum defendant being served. This procedure, known as “snap removal” has been endorsed by the Second and Third circuits. Continue reading
The rapidly developing technology of interconnected software allows consumers to reach new heights of convenience and efficiency. We can start our dinner remotely, listen to our music in every room in the house, track and log our heart rate and step count, and program our coffeepot to be ready for us in the morning. This technology sometimes is called the Internet of Things (IoT), which describes the interconnectedness of devices via the internet. These devices can exchange data between themselves to coordinate a variety of helpful functions. While this technology is exciting and signifies many positive new directions for consumer products, manufacturers should be aware of the potential risks that come with creating such products.
To that end, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a Framework of Safety for the IoT (the CPSC Framework) in January 2019. The CPSC Framework provides “technology-neutral best practices to ensure consumer product safety” and to prevent “death, physical injury or illness” resulting from the use of IoT products. It is not intended to address privacy or confidentiality. While general in tone, the CPSC Framework is intended to assist with an “active approach” to safety rather than a reactive one in this quickly growing industry.