Category Archives: General

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The NJ Supreme Court Reminds Litigators How to Properly Use Requests to Admit and Missing Witness Charges

In Torres v. Pabon, the New Jersey Supreme Court clarified two sometimes misunderstood, but useful, litigation tools — the Clawans missing witness jury charge and requests to admit. Torres’ facts are straightforward. Early one morning, the plaintiff, Torres, drove her vehicle into the back of a garbage truck. The garbage truck was driven by the defendant, Pabon, and owned by his employer, defendant Suburban Disposal, Inc. Some of the rear lights on the garbage truck were obstructed by debris that could not be removed…

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Connecticut Supreme Court Expands the Scope of Derivative Claims

In a decision released on October 6, 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court overruled its prior decision wherein it declined to recognize a derivative cause of action for loss of parental consortium by a minor child. In its decision in Campos v. Coleman, et al , the court joined the growing number of states that recognize a claim for loss of parental consortium, thus permitting minor children to recover damages resulting from injury to a parent. In Campos, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had…

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To Each His Own … Law

In a ruling that could make legal cases more predictable for companies, a New Jersey court held that laws from other states could apply to different defendants in the same negligence case. The case involved a couple who was given incorrect information regarding their child’s chances of being born with Tay-Sachs. The plaintiffs filed a wrongful birth claim, also known as a wrongful life claim, which is when a medical provider allegedly failed to warn parents of the risk of conceiving a child with serious…

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Illinois Law Amendments to Impact Civil Jury Sizes and Asbestos Claim Potential

Two recent amendments to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure will have a significant impact upon future civil damage cases and asbestos exposure claims. The first pertains to the reduction of jurors in civil trials from 12 to six jurors. The second relates to the exclusion of asbestos-related injury claims from the construction statute of repose. Effective June 1, 2015, jury demands in civil cases will be limited to six jurors (735 ILCS 5/2-1105 as amended by Public Act 098-1132). The requirement for a civil…

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ABA’s Blawg 100 – Nominations Due August 9th

The ABA Journal is putting together its annual list of the 100 best legal blogs, based on reader votes. As publishers of the Risky Business blog, we are proud to be considered for this prestigious list — and we would be honored if you would help. If you enjoy visiting Risky Business, and believe it is worthy of industry recognition, please click here to visit the ABA Blawg 100 Amici page and nominate us before the August 9 deadline. Thank you!  …

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Foreign Manufacturer of Surgical Masks Hit With FDA Warning Letter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning letter to a manufacturer of surgical masks.  The manufacturer, located in Taiwan, was subject to inspection by the FDA that revealed numerous violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act).  The FDA determined that the masks (medical devices) were adulterated and misbranded under the act. Violations included failure to conform with current good manufacturing practice requirements of the Quality System found at Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 820;…

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The Not So Friendly Side of Social Media – Employers and Employees Spar over Ownership of Information on Social Media Websites

A litany of lawsuits have recently been filed over the issue of who owns the information available through accounts with social networking websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  In Pennsylvania for example, an individual sued her former employer after it accessed and changed the password for her LinkedIn account; this occurred after the plaintiff left her position with the company.  This, according to the Plaintiff, prevented her from accessing critical contacts and hindered her ability to find a new job.  The employer…

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You Can’t Sell Everything On EBay: The Fight Will Rage On Over Applicability Of First-Sale Doctrine To Goods From Abroad

The fight over the applicability of the first-sale doctrine is expected to continue even after the United States Supreme Court hears arguments and decides the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. Under the first sale doctrine, an item is out of the copyright holder’s control once it is sold for the first time.  This allows individuals to resell or lend items that they have previously purchased without infringing upon the rights of the copyright holder. The Kirtsaeng case stems from an individual,…

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No Fiesta for Ford

Ford Motor Company programmed its 2011-2013 Fiesta subcompacts with passenger side curtain air bags that do not deploy in certain crashes if the right rear seat is empty.  However, Ford has recently decided to recall 262,000 of these vehicles because they fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) regarding occupant crash protection.  While these airbags were designed not to deploy in the above-referenced situation, this information is not explained in the owner’s guide as required by the FMVSS.  Consequently, an occupant in…

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