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Products Liability

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This decision affirms a judgment against Monsanto for failing to warn of the toxic nature of Roundup.  It holds that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (7 USC 136 et seq.) does not preempt state common law duty to warn and defective design products liability claims.  There was substantial evidence to support the jury's verdict of liability on those… Read More

The district court did not err in reducing punitive damages against Monsanto for failure to warn of cancer risks from Roundup to a ratio of 3.8 to 1 to actual damages, though that ratio was on the borderline of being excessive.  The harm caused was physical, yet the jury awarded plaintiff $5 million in actual damages, 96% of which was… Read More

Following Bates v. Dow Agrosciences (2005) 125 S.Ct. 1788, this decision holds that a state law claim for failure to warn of the dangers of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not expressly or impliedly preempted by FIFRA.  The warning that plaintiff claimed Monsanto should have put on Roundup labels was not in addition to or different from FIFRA's… Read More

The district court erred in dismissing the complaint in this case on the ground that defendant, which owns SnapChat, was immunized by the Communications Decency Act (47 USC 230).  Under Barnes v. Yahoo!, Inc., 570 F.3d 1096 (9th Cir. 2009), a defendant enjoys CDA immunity only if it is “(1) a provider or user of an interactive computer service (2)… Read More

Following Bolger v. Amazon.com, LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 431, this decision holds that Amazon.com is strictly liable in tort for defective products sold through its website even if Amazon does not manufacture or sell the products itself. Read More

California's 2-year statute of limitations rather than Connecticut's 3-year statute of limitations applies to a products liability claim brought by plaintiff who then resided in and were injured in Connecticut by the defendant California manufacturer's malfunctioning medical robotic surgery device.  A statute of limitations serves the state's interest in protecting its defendants against stale claims on which memories will have… Read More

Under the Song-Beverly Warranty Act, a new car manufacturer that is unable to repair the plaintiff's new car after a reasonable number of attempts must replace it or make restitution in an amount equal to the actual price paid or payable by the buyer of the car plus incidental damages.  (Civ. Code 1793.2(b)(2).)  When the plaintiff has leased rather than… Read More

The trial court erred in instructing the jury that a manufacturer remained liable on its limited new car warranty well after the mileage or temporal limits had expired so long as the defect had been reported during the warranty's duration and had not been "fixed."  Instead, CACI 3231 correctly summarizes Civ. Code 1795.6, which extends the warranty period only if… Read More

The Biomaterials Access Assurance Act (“BAAA”), 21 U.S.C. § 1602(1)(A) immunized defendant, the manufacturer of a portion of a hip replacement prosthesis from liability that arose when a portion of the prosthesis supplied by defendant broke after implantation, requiring a new surgery and replacement.  The act provides immunity for those supplying parts of a human implant. Read More

The Right to Repair Act (Civ. Code 895 et seq.) does not apply at all to product liability claims against a non-builder manufacturer of a product that a builder incorporates into a residence--unless the product defect causes the residence to violste one of the building standards set out in Civ. Code 896.  (Civ. Code 896(g)(3)(E).)  Here, however, a defect in… Read More

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