Unending tort liability for innovators

December 22, 2017 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

The California Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision in T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In doing so, the Court went further than it has ever gone before in applying the tort of negligent misrepresentation. … ...


Minnesota Supreme Court abandons limits on tort liability

July 17, 2017 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Last week, in Montemayor v. Sebright Products, Inc., a 4-3 majority of the Minnesota Supreme Court held that any “close” tort case must go to a jury. This case involves a tragic accident that led to the serious bodily injury of Nereus Montemeyer as a result of his employer’s misuse of an industrial extruder and … ...


NY Court of Appeals : No control = no tort liability

February 21, 2017 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Last Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously relieved a drug-treatment halfway house of liability for a former resident’s subsequent assault on his mother’s boyfriend. The case, Oddo v. Queens Village Committee for Mental Health for Jamaica Community Adolescent Program (JCAP), arose when Sean Velentzas violated JCAP’s ...


Is a halfway house liable for a former resident’s crimes?

August 12, 2016 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Sean Velentzas resided at Queens Village Committee for Mental Health for Jamaica Community Adolescent Program as an alternative to incarceration. He violated the facility’s rules by drinking alcohol and assaulting another resident. Queens Village told him that, as a consequence, he was being discharged from the program. When Velentzas became ...


Extending tort liability on the basis of indirect economic benefit

September 03, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

In Sherman v. Hennessy Industries, the California Court of Appeal held that the manufacturer of an “arcing machine”—essentially a highly calibrated saw used to customize brake linings—is liable for injuries caused by asbestos dust released by certain brake linings even though the machine itself contains no asbestos. The decision cre ...


President’s weekly report — March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

Environment & Endangered Species Act — 60-day notice filed for the Kangaroo Rat As required by the Endangered Species Act, we filed a sixty-day notice on intent to sue with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service over the Service’s failure to act on our petition to delist the Stephens Kangaroo Rat. Ad described here, our pet ...


Will the California Supreme Court expand asbestos take-home liability?

March 10, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Johnny Kesner was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011.  Because this is an asbestos-related illness, he cast a wide net and sued 19 companies, most of whom were Kesner’s former employers where Kesner was exposed to asbestos on the premises, but also including Pneumo Abex Co., which employed his uncle.  Kesner claims that his uncle left  ...


Texas Supreme Court requires proof of causation in asbestos cases

July 11, 2014 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Timothy Bostic died from mesothelioma, which he alleged was caused by his exposure to asbestos from a variety of sources, including his use of asbestos-containing joint compound manufactured by Georgia-Pacific Corporation when he was a child and teenager helping his father on weekend drywall projects.  He originally sued dozens of defendants and, ...


N.M. court abdicates responsibility to define tort duties

May 08, 2014 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court decided in Rodriguez v. Del Sol Shopping Center that when a court decides whether a property owner has a duty to protect people from harm on the premises, the court must never consider whether the harm was foreseeable. PLF has long argued in premises liability cases that foreseeability cannot … ...