Teresa A. Griffin

Teresa Griffin represents global and nationally based clients in complex litigation, including as national coordinating counsel to manufacturers and industrial clients in product liability, environmental, toxic, and mass tort litigation. In this role, Teresa is an advocate for industrial as well as health and life science industry clients, counseling them and helping them engage in practices to avoid and to defend against consumer disputes and product liability actions so often brought against biopharmaceutical, medical device, life sciences and chemical companies.

View the full bio for Teresa A. Griffin at the Faegre Drinker website.

Articles by Teresa A. Griffin:


Enforcement of Representative Actions is Here

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It’s finally here.  Enforcement of the Collective Redress / Representative Actions Directive (RAD) in the EU has now begun.  At this time, six member states have adopted a national translation of this law and nineteen states are engaged in ongoing discussion and drafting.  The landscape is changing rapidly and our team is tracking these developments.

Are you ready for this shift in litigation culture?  Backed and supported by the growing EU third party litigation funding industry, the RAD will provide an unprecedented procedural mechanism to bring class and consumer actions on a mass scale against EU traders.  These actions can be premised upon one or more of 66+ substantive regulations that cover everything from the finance industry to environmental regulations to product and artificial intelligence liability.  If you have not prepared, now is the time.

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EU Publishes General Product Safety Regulation – Full Enforcement to Commence in December 2024

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On May 23, 2023, the European Commission formally published the new General Product Safety Regulation, which reforms a variety of product safety regulations for manufacturers doing business in the European Union (EU) and its 27 member states. The European Parliament adopted the text of the regulation on March 30, 2023, and the European Council adopted it on April 25, 2023, but its official publication yesterday triggers the implementation and enforcement deadlines. Specifically, the regulation takes effect on June 12, 2023 (20 days from yesterday) and will include an 18-month transitionary period for EU member states, companies subject to the regulation and other actors to implement the new and revised regulations. Full enforcement begins December 13, 2024, after the conclusion of the transition period.

The regulations have been under consideration for many years and represent a major overhaul of product safety regulation in Europe. Product manufacturers should review the full set of regulations carefully and make any necessary adjustments to their procedures and processes to be in compliance with the new regulations before full enforcement takes effect on December 13, 2024. Among other things, the new General Product Safety Regulations include new requirements related to adverse event reporting, pre-market risk assessments, safety recalls, and product labeling and documentation. For example, manufacturers will be required to report “accidents caused by a product” “without delay” if the product is involved in an incident resulting in death or “serious adverse effects on health and safety.” Meanwhile, operators of online marketplaces are subject to an even more broadly worded requirement to report “accidents caused by a product … resulting in serious risk or actual damage of the health or safety of a consumer,” which extends the reporting requirement beyond incidents of actual injury.

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Class Action Filings on the Rise in Europe, Especially in Product Liability Cases Ahead of Full Implementation of the EU’s Representative Actions Directive

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Under the timeline imposed by the EU’s Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers, the EU’s 27 member states were required to provide a collective litigation option to consumers by December 25, 2022, including by adopting or amending national law in jurisdictions where mechanisms for such litigation were not previously established. By June 25, 2023, member states are required to implement and begin applying these new mechanisms. But while that process is still ongoing, multiple EU member states have already taken legislative action to permit greater collective litigation mechanisms than previously available in their respective jurisdictions. Additionally, legal industry observers have already noted the increased presence of plaintiffs’ firms and litigation funders in the EU in response to the greater and increasing availability of representative and collective redress actions. See K. Henderson, Z. Okanyi, et al., European Class Action Report 2022, at 2, CMS (2022), available at https://cms.law/en/int/publication/cms-european-class-actions-report-2022.

In particular, one study noted that class action filings in Europe had increased more than 120% over the last five years (from 49 in 2018 to 110 in 2021), propelled by greater attention to potential mass actions by plaintiffs’ firms and increased availability of litigation funding. The data confirms what practitioners in this space already know: the plaintiffs’ bar in the EU is not waiting for the full implementation of the Representative Actions Directive. Of particular note, this rise is fueled, in significant part, by product liability, personal injury, and consumer mass actions.

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European Commission Updates Liability Rules to the Digital Age

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The European Commission adopted two proposals that adapt liability rules to the digital age, circular economy and the impact of global value chains. These proposals are related to the Revised Product Liability Directive, fit for the green and digital transition and global value chains, and the AI Liability Directive to provide easier access to redress.

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Considerations from the ABA’s Best Practices for Litigation Funding

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The exact dollar amount that third-party investors infuse in U.S. lawsuits every year is unknown, but conservative estimates begin around $2.3 billion, with agreement that the industry has room to grow. With the ongoing pandemic stretching litigation timelines and straining budgets, the litigation funding industry remains highly active. Despite the importance of litigation funding to all parties involved (lawyers, plaintiffs, and defendants), regulation varies by state, and litigation funders are largely left to self-regulate.

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New Conferral Requirement for Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions Effective December 1

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The last month of the year brought changes to Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Rule 30(b)(6), governing deposition notices to organizations. The rule was amended, effective December 1, 2020.

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