U.S. courts have reached a multitude of opinions in recent years with significant implications for the ever-evolving body of product liability litigation. In the past year alone, courts considering product liability cases have issued important opinions reinforcing defendants’ abilities to successfully challenge the admissibility of plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, strengthening defenses to failure to warn claims under the learned intermediary doctrine, clarifying the scope of First Amendment defenses to claims of off-label promotion, and defining the extent to which federal law preempts state law causes of action. With respect to consumer class actions, recent Supreme Court and federal circuit court opinions will affect defendants’ opportunities to moot class claims and defeat class certification through ascertainability challenges. Furthermore, new revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have the potential to redefine the scope of discovery in product liability and other fact-intensive cases.
This chapter provides updates on each of the following topics:
- Federal Preemption;
- Forum Non Conveniens;
- Class Action;
- Admissibility of Expert Causation Testimony;
- The Learned Intermediary Doctrine;
- Revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Discovery; and
- First Amendment Protection for Advertising
This chapter appeared in the 2016 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Product Liability; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.