U.S. courts have rendered important decisions in recent years in the areas of personal jurisdiction, federal jurisdiction, and expert witnesses, with broad implications for product liability litigation. Federal preemption continues to be a key issue in product liability law in the wake of significant decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, with lower courts deciding numerous matters, further refining when product liability claims may be brought against the makers of prescription drugs and medical devices. In addition, recent decisions have made it more difficult for plaintiffs to prevent the removal of class actions from state court to federal court, and to obtain certification of consumer fraud class actions. Recent proposed changes to the rules governing civil litigation are designed to make discovery less burdensome and to clarify the standards governing discovery sanctions.
This chapter provides updates on each of these topics:
- Personal Jurisdiction and the Alien Tort Statute.
- Clarification of Federal Removal, Jurisdiction, and Venue Provisions.
- Federal Jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
- Expert Witness Gatekeeping and Designations.
- Revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Discovery.
- Consumer Fraud Class Actions.
This article appeared in the 2015 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Product Liability; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.