2020 has been an eventful year for everyone, to say the least, and U.S. product liability law has continued to evolve. Courts have arguably narrowed the scope of federal personal jurisdiction, and have continued to interpret the applicability of federal preemption to tort claims addressing pharmaceutical products. Multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) continues to encompass a substantial portion of civil cases in federal court, especially those involving product liability claims. Finally, as the design, manufacturing, and function of traditional products evolve through the advent of new technologies, and as the litigation landscape shifts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts, regulators, practitioners, and companies are being forced to re-examine, develop, and adapt product liability law.
This chapter summarizes and provides updates on each of the following topics pertaining to U.S. product liability law:
- Personal Jurisdiction;
- Federal Preemption;
- MDL Trends; and
- Emerging Areas of Product Liability Law.
This chapter appeared in the 2021 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Product Liability; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.