U.S. product liability law has continued to evolve over the past year, particularly with regard to the scope of personal jurisdiction and the applicability of federal preemption to tort claims addressing pharmaceutical products. Additionally, given the prevalence of multi-district litigation (“MDL”) that now encompasses a substantial portion of civil cases in federal court – especially those involving product liability claims – problems pertaining to MDLs have garnered significant attention in recent years. Proposed MDL rule changes, if implemented, would likely alter the product liability landscape. Finally, as the design, manufacturing, and function of traditional products rapidly evolve through the advent of new technologies, 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;
- Multi-district Litigation (MDL); and
- Emerging Areas of Product Liability Law.
This chapter appeared in the 2019 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Product Liability; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.