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From soup to nuts. From A to Z. Choose the appropriate idiom of your liking. For more than 35 years, our product liability practice group has handled cases involving such a vast number of products that we have almost lost count. Representing multi-national and national companies in complex litigation throughout the country, BSCR has acquired a reputation as one of the go-to law firms in this area because of our successful defense of manufacturers, distributors and sellers of nearly every type of product imaginable - from household goods to medical equipment to airplanes to industrial machinery. Not many firms can say the same.

Our reputation is deserved. With cost efficiency as one our hallmarks, we establish a collaborative strategy early in the process, which is derived from our combined years of experience in the business industries we serve. Using state-of-the art electronic discovery techniques we avoid costly fishing expeditions. And by meticulously preparing for trial with a winning attitude from day one, we’re putting our client in control whether in the courtroom or in a conference room.

Just a few examples of the industries our firm has represented in product liability matters are: aerospace, automotive, construction equipment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, retail, and trucking.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling class action and multidistrict litigation.  Some of the firm's attorneys are members of The Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) and several other national and international defense organizations, including being recognized as leading product liability attorneys internationally by International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers.

For more information about our Product Liability practice contact James Scott Kreamer in Kansas City at 816.471.2121 or Mike Hunter in St. Louis at 314.345.5000.

News & Events

Greg Odom to Speak at IDC Webinar Addressing Asbestos Case Deposition Tactics

05.13.20 | Baker Sterchi attorney Greg Odom will present at the Illinois Defense Counsel (IDC) webinar, "The Basics of Taking an Effective Fact Witness Deposition in Asbestos Cases" on May 29, 2020.

Richard Woolf to Present at CLM Introduction to Product Liability Webinar

05.08.20 | Baker Sterchi attorney Richard Woolf will present at a three-hour Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) webinar, "Introduction to Product Liability" on May 13, 2020. The webinar will be given to insurance company claims attorneys, representatives and managers.

Baker Sterchi Welcomes Gregorio Silva in Kansas City

03.26.20 | Gregorio Silva joins Baker Sterchi's Kansas City office as an associate. His practice is focused on civil defense litigation in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, products liability, multidistrict (MDL) litigation, premises liability and catastrophic injuries.

Baker Sterchi Welcomes Christina Dubis in St. Louis

01.28.20 | Christina Dubis joins Baker Sterchi's St. Louis office as Of Counsel. Her practice is focused on defending corporate clients in cases involving premises liability, products liability, toxic tort and personal injury.

Greg Odom Speaks on Asbestos Litigation Panel

11.22.19 | speaking on issues related to asbestos litigation in December.

Baker Sterchi Adds Jennifer Maloney in St. Louis

10.29.19 | Jennifer Maloney has joined the St. Louis office of the law firm of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC as a Member. Maloney's practice is focused on civil litigation defense, primarily in the areas of premises liability, product liability, personal injury and transportation.

Baker Sterchi Enhances Illinois Presence with Addition of Greg Odom and Meghan Kane

10.29.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC has enhanced its Belleville, Illinois presence with the addition of Greg Odom and Meghan Kane.

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Welcomes Haley Stevenson in KC

08.13.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice welcomes Haley Stevenson to the firm's Kansas City office. Stevenson concentrates her practice in civil defense litigation with an emphasis in the areas of premises liability, products liability, and personal injury for the retail and trucking industries.

Jessica Cozart Joins St. Louis Office of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

07.11.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Jessica Cozart to the firm's St. Louis office. Cozart joins the firm as Of Counsel, practicing in the areas of property and casualty litigation, insurance coverage and insurance defense involving claims of personal injury, premise and products liability, construction defects, food & beverage liability and entertainment & leisure liability.

Elizabeth Miller Joins Kansas City Office of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

06.17.19 | Elizabeth "Betsy" Miller joins the firm's Kansas City office as a civil defense litigation associate, with an emphasis in the areas of personal injury, products liability, and class action and multidistrict litigation.

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Welcomes Teresa Hurla in Kansas City

05.22.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Teresa Hurla to the firm's Kansas City office. Hurla's practice with the firm is focused on civil defense litigation, with an emphasis in the areas of products liability and personal injury.

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Adds Beasley as Member in Belleville, IL Office

05.06.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC, has added Laura K. Beasley to the firm's Belleville, Illinois office. Beasley, who joined the firm as a Member, practices in the areas of civil litigation defense, general liability, class action/mass torts, insurance coverage, personal injury, and product liability

Baker Sterchi Cowden and Rice Welcomes Julie Simaytis in St. Louis

04.25.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Julie Simaytis to the firm's St. Louis office. Simaytis joins the firm as Of Counsel. Having practiced exclusively in litigation for over fifteen years, her practice is focused on...

Andreea Sharkey Joins St. Louis Office of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

04.08.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Andreea Sharkey to the firm's St. Louis office, where she will focus her practice in defending insurance, personal injury, general liability and product liability litigation.

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Welcomes Kehl Friesen to Kansas City Office

12.27.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Kehl Friesen as an attorney in the firm's Kansas City office. Friesen's practice with the firm will focus on civil litigation with an emphasis on ...

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Welcomes Dylan Murray to Kansas City Office

12.07.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Dylan Murray as an attorney in the firm's Kansas City office. Murray has represented U.S. and international corporate clients in both federal and state courts in a variety of practice areas for more than 20 years, including commercial, tort, product liability, pharmaceutical, medical device, and construction litigation.

Douglas Hill Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice in Kansas City

10.04.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Douglas Hill as an attorney with the firm's Kansas City office. Hill is an experienced litigator, managing a diverse civil defense practice that includes professional negligence, product liability, industrial and job site injuries, and general business litigation. He has extensive experience representing ...

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Welcomes Brandy Simpson

08.31.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Brandy Simpson, who joins the firm's St. Louis office as Of Counsel. While she primarily focuses her practice on medical malpractice defense, Simpson is also experienced in defending premises liability, personal injury, and products liability matters.

Article Authored by Angela Higgins on Innovator-Liability Published in DRI "For the Defense"

04.23.18 | The April 2018 edition of DRI's monthly magazine "For the Defense" includes an article written by Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Member Angela Higgins titled, "A Possible Perfect Storm: The Reanimated Innovator-Liability Theory."

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Promotes John Patterson to Member

01.11.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to announce the promotion of John Patterson to Member effective January 1, 2018. Patterson practices in the areas of product liability, employment, construction/fidelity and surety, financial services litigation, premises liability...

Join Rob Chandler at IPSLP's 2016 Product Safety & Liability Conference

02.11.16 | Join Baker Sterchi Member, Rob Chandler, at the 12th Annual IPSLP Association Product Safety & Liability Conference being held May 11-12 at the Donald E. Stevens (Rosemont) Convention Center, Chicago O'Hare. The conference features presentations by a wide variety of professionals with experience in...

Stubbs Article on CPSC's Proposed Interpretive Rule Published in IADC Product Liability Committee Newsletter

03.04.14 | BSCR Member Kara Stubbs' article "CPSC's Proposed Interpretive Rule Would Make Significant Changes to Voluntary Recalls" was published in the February 2014 issue of the International Association of Defense Counsel's Drug, Device and Biotechnoogy Committee Newsletter.

Rice Selected to Act as State Liaison to the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association

06.24.13 | Thomas E. Rice has been selected by the Children's Products SLG of the DRI Product Liability Committee to act as a State Liaison to the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association ("JPMA"). The JPMA is the leading trade association for the juvenile products industry.

Stubbs to Serve as Vice-Chair of ALFA Product Liability Practice Group

01.17.13 | Kara Stubbs was extended an invitation to serve as Vice-Chair of ALFA International's Product Liability Practice Group. Stubbs will service as Vice-Chair of the group for the next three years. . .

Rice Authors Article to be Published in ALFA Product Liability Newsletter

12.20.11 | Thomas Rice's submission of an article regarding a recent product liability decision rendered by the Kansas Supreme Court will be published in the upcoming February/March edition of the ALFA Product Liability Practice Group's Newsletter. The February/March edition of the newsletter is the group's annual "Year in Review" issue, which comprises of case notes from the highest court of each state dealing with product issues from 2011.

Stubbs Serves as Regional Editor for Product Liability Compendium

03.24.11 | Kara Stubbs is currently serving as a Regional Editor for the 2011 ALFA Product Liability Compendium. The Compendium will cover laws and significant developments on topics selected by the ALFA Product Liability practice group and will be published in advance of the group's seminar scheduled for this Fall. . .

Rice and Stubbs to Co-Author Chapters of PLAC 50 State Survey

08.30.10 | Tom Rice and Kara Stubbs have been asked by the Child Product SLG to co-author the Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska chapters of a 50 state survey on parental negligence as a defense to a child's recovery for presentation at the 2011 DRI Product Liability Conference.

BSCR Attorneys Prepare and File PLAC Amicus Brief with Missouri Supreme Court

06.03.10 | At the request of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), Tom Rice, Angela Higgins and Bryan Mouber prepared and filed with the Missouri Supreme Court an amicus brief on behalf of Ford Motor Company. The primary focus of the amicus brief addressed whether Missouri law on proximate cause allows a plaintiff to argue in a product liability case that she would not have purchased the product in question (five years before her accident) had the manufacturer provided her with "adequate" warnings about the product's safety performance during an accident.


Baker Sterchi Obtains Dismissals for Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

BSCR successfully defended a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in litigation concerning the manufacturer's prescription weight loss product, by obtaining dismissals, with prejudice, in two separate cases previously pending in two separate jurisdictions.

Chuck and Gena Norris "Tap Out", Dismiss Lawsuit Against Bracco Diagnostics Inc. With Prejudice

After a lengthy battle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Chuck and Gena Norris abandoned their claims against long-time BSCR client, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. (Bracco). Mr. and Mrs. Norris had been vocal in the media, claiming Gena had suffered debilitating injuries as a result of...

Arizona Judge Excludes Plaintiffs' Expert Witnesses on General Causation in Gadolinium Deposition Disease Cases

On August 2, 2019, Senior Judge Campbell ruled in an 85 page decision that the four expert witnesses put forth by plaintiffs' attorneys to testify regarding general causation would not be allowed to do so based on their failure to meet the requirements of Federal Rule 702 and the Daubert decision.

Defense Verdict Obtained for Construction Equipment Manufacturing Client in Product Liability Trial

Our client, a Fortune 100 manufacturer of construction equipment, was sued in the Superior Court of Lake County, Indiana with allegations that one of its products was defective in both design and manufacture. The plaintiff contended...

BSCR Obtains Dismissal of State Environmental Claim Against Automaker

BSCR, working with our client's national counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell, obtained dismissal of a case filed by the State of Missouri, which sought more than $1 billion in damages. The Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis held that the state environmental claims were preempted by the "clear language" of the federal Clean Air Act.

BSCR Wins Supreme Court Dismissal of Missouri Merchandising Practices Act Class Action

In a Missouri Merchandising Practices Act case in which the plaintiff class alleged that our automotive client had engaged in misrepresentation when it described certain vehicles as luxury or premium vehicles (among other similar statements), when...

Summary Judgment Obtained for Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

BSCR obtained summary judgment in a pharmaceutical product liability case pending in Kansas federal court. Plaintiff filed suit against our clients alleging...

Missouri Court of Appeals reverses trial court, ruling in favor of BSCR's automotive client, and ordering judgment notwithstanding verdict

In a class action brought by plaintiffs in Missouri state court, alleging certain vehicles had defective dashboards, and that our automotive client misrepresented the vehicles to consumers, the Circuit Court of Jackson County originally certified a Missouri class, for claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and breach of express warranty and implied warranty.

BSCR Wins Motion to Dismiss Pharmaceutical Company in Product Liability Action Alleging Innovator Liability

BSCR obtained a dismissal of a pharmaceutical company client in a product liability case. In that case, plaintiff alleged...

No-Payment Dismissal Obtained for Component Part Client in Wrongful Death Plane Crash Action

In this Western District of Missouri product liability wrongful death action involving a plane crash in Australia with 14 fatalities, a third-party action for contribution was filed against our component part manufacturing client by one of the defendants to the action. Upon that defendant’s settlement with plaintiff, BSCR secured ...

Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of BSCR Client in Wrongful Death Product Liability Action

BSCR obtained summary judgment for our client, the manufacturer of a GPS system, in a wrongful death product liability action filed in Jefferson County, Missouri. Plaintiff alleged the manufacturer's GPS unit, which was mounted to the interior of a truck windshield at the time of the fatal accident, caused a dangerous windshield obstruction. . .

Dismissal Obtained for Component Part Manufacturer in Commercial Airline Crash Case

In this action, survivors of a commercial airline crash in Chile filed numerous claims in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas for physical and emotional damages alleging the crash was caused by a defective deicing system. BSCR obtained a dismissal of all claims against our client, a deicing component part manufacturer, following minimal discovery and mediation with no payment by our client.

BSCR Procures Dismissal for Component Part Manufacturer in Airplane Crash Case

BSCR successfully procured the dismissal of our component part manufacturing client in an action involving claimed defects in a component part allegedly causing the crash of a single engine aircraft and death of the pilot. The no-payment dismissal was procured by BSCR in this Rutherford County, Tennessee case prior to the close of discovery.

Dismissal Obtained for Component Part Manufacturer in Airplane Crash Case

In this Baltimore County, Maryland action plaintiffs alleged an avionics product caused the crash of a single engine aircraft resulting in multiple deaths. BSCR obtained a no payment dismissal of all claims against our client, an aircraft component part manufacturer, before the close of discovery.

Summary Judgment Obtained for Electric Match Manufacturer in Product Liability Case

BSCR obtained summary judgment on behalf of an electric match manufacturer, in three related product liability cases. The cases arose out of a 2005 explosion at a fireworks plant in Crestline, Kansas. . .

BSCR Achieves Favorable Settlement for Part Manufacturer in Wrongful Death Plane Crash Action

A favorable settlement was achieved for our client in a wrongful death plane crash action filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Plaintiffs alleged a defective deicing system caused a crash near Moscow, Russia resulting in multiple deaths. . .

Favorable Settlement Negotiated for Engine Manufacturing Client in Wrongful Death Plane Crash Case

A favorable settlement was obtained in a Franklin County, Missouri case involving wrongful deaths due to an airplane crash alleged to have been caused by engine failure on takeoff. Although a multi-million dollar jury verdict was entered, the claims against our aircraft engine manufacturing client were dismissed before trial due to the successful negotiation of a settlement for a nominal payment by our client.

Summary Judgment and Defense Verdicts Obtained for BSCR Product Manufacturer Clients

BSCR defended three manufacturing clients in a lawsuit in which plaintiff alleged that an electric toothbrush caused a fire in their home resulting in nearly one million dollars in property damages. Prior to trial, BSCR successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of one of the defendants. . .

No-Payment Dismissal of Claims Secured for Product Supplier in Wrongful Death Jet Crash

BSCR secured dismissal of our client, a hydraulics system product supplier, in a case in which plaintiffs sued multiple parties alleging mechanical defects in the hydraulic system of a jet airliner causing the crash and death of all passengers and crewmembers. The case, filed in Cook County, Illinois, included mechanical, electrical and hydraulic engineering issues. . .

Favorable Settlement Obtained on Behalf of Component Part Manufacturer in Helicopter Crash Case

BSCR obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a helicopter part manufacturer in a case filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in which plaintiff alleged a defectively designed helicopter component part resulted in the crash of a medical emergency helicopter. BSCR's defense of the case was based on pilot error due to flying in foggy conditions.

Summary Judgment Obtained on Behalf of Life Flight Medical Service Provider in Helicopter Crash Case

BSCR's defense of a life flight medical service provider in a Jackson County, Missouri action resulted in summary judgment for our client. In this action, plaintiff alleged a defective turbine engine in a helicopter caused the helicopter to crash during a medical emergency evacuation. After extensive discovery, including document production in France, summary judgment was entered on behalf of our client. . .

Blog Posts

Got A Product Problem? Go To The Origin.

05.19.20 | On March 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed an Eastern District of Missouri judgment, finding that the Plaintiff failed to establish that a product was inherently defective or dangerous, where he had failed to provide evidence of when a product entered the stream of commerce.

Missouri House Approves Stricter Standards for Punitive Damages Claims

05.13.20 | In an update to a prior post, Senate Bill 591 (which seeks to impose stricter standards for the application of punitive damages) cleared The Missouri House on May 12, 2020 in a 98-51 vote. The Bill, now on its way to Governor Parson for his signature, will likely go into effect on August 28, 2020. Governor Parson is expected to sign the measure without veto.

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Plaintiffs' Verdict in Asbestos Lawsuit

03.16.20 | Has your company or client been sued in asbestos litigation and told that there is no hope for winning summary judgment, if the plaintiff testifies to using your or your client's asbestos-containing products? If so, the Illinois Fourth District Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that might bolster your or your client's argument in support of summary judgment.

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Plaintiffs' Verdict in Asbestos Lawsuit

03.16.20 | Has your company or client been sued in asbestos litigation and told that there is no hope for winning summary judgment, if the plaintiff testifies to using your or your client's asbestos-containing products? If so, the Illinois Fourth District Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that might bolster your or your client's argument in support of summary judgment.

Kansas City Area Saw Increase in Defense Verdicts in 2019, According to Annual Jury Data

03.02.20 | The data is out on Kansas City area jury verdicts for calendar year 2019, and it contains mostly good news for defendants. While the total number of jury verdicts was up slightly from 2018, the percentage of those verdicts in plaintiffs' favor was down, with nearly 60% of claims that went to a jury ending in a defense verdict. 2019 also saw a drop of almost 30% in the number of verdicts over $1 million. Although the data shows a rise in the average verdict amount, that increase is entirely attributable to a single mega verdict of more than $100 million; controlling for that outlier, the size of the average award was also down significantly.

Illinois First District Appellate Court upholds $4.8 million asbestos verdict against John Crane.

02.20.20 | Is your client or company sued in asbestos litigation in Illinois? If so, does it argue, as many defendants in asbestos litigation do, that plaintiffs' expert witnesses should be prohibited from testifying that any exposure to a defendant's asbestos-containing products is a substantial contributing factor to the development of mesothelioma and that pre-trial settlement amounts must be disclosed prior to trial? If this describes your client or company, the recent opinion in Daniels v. John Crane, Inc. is likely going to disappoint.

Illinois First District Appellate Court upholds $4.8 million asbestos verdict against John Crane.

02.20.20 | Is your client or company sued in asbestos litigation in Illinois? If so, does it argue, as many defendants in asbestos litigation do, that plaintiffs' expert witnesses should be prohibited from testifying that any exposure to a defendant's asbestos-containing products is a substantial contributing factor to the development of mesothelioma and that pre-trial settlement amounts must be disclosed prior to trial? If this describes your client or company, the recent opinion in Daniels v. John Crane, Inc. is likely going to disappoint.

City of St. Louis falls to 5th on the Judicial Hellhole list with Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois close behind ranking 7th.

02.12.20 | City of St. Louis has seen a steady decline on the judicial hellhole rankings with modest reforms but the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair remain hotspots for asbestos litigation and "no-injury" BIPA lawsuits according to the 2019/2020 American Tort Reform Foundation Judicial Hellholes Report.

City of St. Louis falls to 5th on the Judicial Hellhole list with Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois close behind ranking 7th.

02.12.20 | City of St. Louis has seen a steady decline on the judicial hellhole rankings with modest reforms but the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair remain hotspots for asbestos litigation and "no-injury" BIPA lawsuits according to the 2019/2020 American Tort Reform Foundation Judicial Hellholes Report.

Is a case overturned due to confusing special interrogatories still relevant under rule change?

02.06.20 | The new rule governing special interrogatories gives the trial court power to prevent confusing special interrogatories, as the one in Doe v. Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hosp., but it also rips away an important tool for the defense. 735 ILCS 5/2-1108.

Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals Overturns Talc Verdict

11.20.19 | The Appellate Court overturned the verdict for an out of state plaintiff for lack of personal jurisdiction against defendants. Key to the determination was whether the original judgment entered by the trial court was a final appealable judgment.

Federal Aviation Administration Certifies UPS to Become First-ever Drone Airline.

11.07.19 | FAA waives multiple restrictions permitting UPS to fly unlimited number of remote unmanned aircraft 24 hours a day by the most expansive Part 135 Certificate of Waiver ever issued.

United States Supreme Court Holds Counterclaim Defendants May Not Remove Diverse Lawsuits

07.25.19 | The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a third-party defendant is not entitled to remove because neither the General Removal Statute nor the Class Action Fairness Act permits a third-party counterclaim defendant to do so.

Second Update: Hopping On The Missouri Bandwagon? Not So Fast Out Of State Litigants.

07.16.19 | SECOND UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs Senate Bill 7, which amends venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

Illinois Counties Remain Top Jurisdictions for Asbestos Litigation in 2018

07.08.19 | Even with asbestos litigation on the slow decline, Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois remain the top venues for asbestos litigation.

From the East to the West, Does Arbitration in Missouri Reign Best? Missouri Courts Uphold and Invalidate Arbitration Agreements

06.25.19 | Missouri has continued to hold that arbitration agreements are not unconscionable when they are shown to have valid mutual assent and are not self-serving.

Can't satisfy both the FDA and the State? The judge will be the judge of that.

06.20.19 | With great power comes great responsibility; how the recent SCOTUS decision requiring prescription-drug manufacturers to prove the FDA rejected sufficient additional warnings will affect your impossibility preemption defense.

Kansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Statutory Caps on Noneconomic Damages

06.17.19 | A seismic shift in Kansas personal injury litigation may be on the horizon, as the Kansas Supreme Court rules that the state's cap on noneconomic damages violates the constitutional right to a jury trial.

Update: Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

05.20.19 | UPDATE: House Passes Senate Bill 7, in which the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

In a case of first impression, the Appellate Court of Illinois allows counsel to withdraw previously disclosed testifying expert

04.12.19 | The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, held that a party may timely withdraw a previously disclosed testifying expert and redesignate said expert as a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant entitled to the consultant's privilege against disclosure absent exceptional circumstances.

Dangerous Advertising: Violations of a fair trade practices statute creates new liability for firearm manufacturers and sellers

04.04.19 | Connecticut Supreme Court rules that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act does not bar a lawsuit brought by shooting victims' families against a manufacturer, under the state's fair trade practices act, challenging sales practices surrounding the sale of semi-automatic weapons.

SCOTUS Rebuffs Ninth Circuit's Attempt to "Soften" Deadline to Appeal Class Action Certification

03.25.19 | The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure give parties just 14 days to appeal a ruling granting or denying certification of a class action. The United States Supreme Court recently found that deadline to be "purposefully unforgiving," and rejected an appeal from a plaintiff who missed the deadline because he opted to seek reconsideration of the trial court's class certification ruling before trying to appeal.

Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

03.18.19 | In Senate Bill 7, the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

Missouri Court of Appeals Rules Venue Proper Only in County Where Decedent First Ingested Opioid Pain Medication and Not Where Drug Prescribed

02.21.19 | In State ex rel. Mylan Bertek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Vincent, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, held that, in a case alleging wrongful death, medical malpractice, and pharmaceutical liability, venue was proper only in the county where the decedent first ingested opioid pain medication, rather than the county where a defendant prescribed it.

Illinois Supreme Court Further Defines Product Liability Seller Exception

01.28.19 | The Illinois Supreme Court decides what a plaintiff unable to recover a product liability judgement from a manufacturer must show to reinstate a seller under the Illinois Seller Exception set forth in 735 ILCS 2-621(b)(4).

City of St. Louis - Still A Judicial Hellhole

12.26.18 | Defense attorneys beware. The 2018-2019 American Tort Reform Foundation's (ATRF) Judicial Hellholes Report is out, and the City of St. Louis landed fourth on this list because of its massive verdicts, forum shopping, and legislative failures.

Missouri Supreme Court Opinion Calls Into Question Many Consumer Arbitration Agreements

11.20.18 | In a blow to the enforceability of arbitration clauses found in many existing consumer contracts, the Missouri Supreme Court declines to appoint a substitute arbitration provider after the agreed-upon arbitration forum's "sudden and unforeseen departure" from the scene.

Consider Playing By This Book's Rules: FDA-MITRE Cybersecurity Guidance

10.31.18 | In an October 1, 2018 statement issued from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., the FDA not only announced its efforts to strengthen its medical device cybersecurity program, but also unveiled its collaborative effort with MITRE, producing a cybersecurity "playbook" in order to assist entities in preparing for and responding to cybersecurity attacks.

Federal Preemption Doesn't Bar Railroad's Suit Against Locomotive Seat Manufacturer

08.24.18 | The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a railroad's products liability and breach of contract claims that were based on federally-imposed standards of care are not preempted. BNSF Railway Co. v. Seats, Inc., (No. 17-1399, 8th Cir. 2018).

No Class: SCOTUS Holds That Tolling Properties of Class Actions Only Apply to Individual Cases, Not Future Class Actions

07.31.18 | The recent United States Supreme Court decision China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, 201 L. Ed. 2d 123 (2018), sensibly resolved some existing confusion about the tolling effect that a putative class action creates for the members of a proposed class.

ANTI-FORUM SHOPPING: Limitation on Joinder in Missouri on the Horizon

06.18.18 | The Missouri Legislature introduced bills during its most recent legislative session to curtail forum shopping of class action plaintiffs in Missouri. This anti-forum shopping legislation, while not ultimately enacted into law, would have limited out-of-state plaintiffs from joining lawsuits involving local claims against out-of-state defendants.

"Impossibility Preemption" Remains Alive and Well in Missouri for Generic Drug Manufacturers

04.06.18 | "Impossibility preemption" applies to bar tort claims where it is impossible for a party to comply with both state and federal law. In the recent opinion of Raskas v. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc., No. 4:17-CV-2261 RLW, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3507 (E.D. Mo. January 8, 2018), the Eastern District of Missouri reaffirmed application of,,,

Breaking Up [Plaintiffs] Is [Not] Hard To Do

03.28.18 | In dismissing non-Missouri Plaintiffs from a product liability lawsuit, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri adds to split in authority between two of Plaintiffs' favorite forums in Missouri and California, testing the limits of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

North Carolina Court Finds Employer's Negligence to Be Superseding, Sole Proximate Cause of Asbestos Plaintiff's Injuries

02.07.18 | The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholds judgment in favor of a vendor of asbestos products. Although the vendor was found to be negligent and this negligence was found to be an initial proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries, under North Carolina law the...

Missouri Court of Appeals Weighs in on the Breadth of Discoverable Prescription Records, Post-Mortem

01.19.18 | Where a coroner's report revealed that a decedent had ingested prescription opioid mediation, defendant may discover, for a reasonable time period, the decedent's prescription records.

Missouri Supreme Court May Be Signaling a Change in Analysis of Misjoinder of Claims in Multi-Plaintiff Product Liability Cases

10.19.17 | The Missouri Supreme Court has recently issued a preliminary writ of prohibition regarding a City of St. Louis trial court's refusal to formally sever one of dozens of product liability cases that the court has ordered be separately tried. The preliminary writ may provide hope of a reversal in course on recent jurisprudence related to misjoinder of claims.

The Balancing Act of OSI Evidence

09.18.17 | Courts are often asked by plaintiffs’ counsel to admit evidence of other similar incidents (OSI) in order to show a defendant’s knowledge of an alleged defect, and/or causation. Plaintiffs have used this approach to tap into the power of strength in numbers and will typically seek to introduce evidence of as many “similar” incidents as a trial court will allow. Although the law allows for the introduction of this type of evidence…

U.S. Supreme Court Says it Again: Arbitration Agreements Should be Honored, and Not Singled Out for Negative Treatment by State Courts

08.10.17 | The U.S. Supreme Court rejects yet another creative state court end-run on arbitrability.

Is It Necessary for an Expert Opinion to Take Into Account Obvious Alternative Explanations for an Injury? Eighth Circuit Weighs In.

08.07.17 | In Redd v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has reminded litigators of the importance of ensuring expert witnesses perform a thorough review of a matter, including apparent alternative causal explanations, prior to issuing their opinions.

You've Got Mail - Service of Process by Mail is Satisfactory under the Hague Service Convention

05.30.17 | The United States Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that the Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad, permits service by mail if the receiving country has not objected to service by mail and service by mail is authorized under otherwise-applicable law.

Federal Judge Clobbers Claims in a Class III Medical Device Case

05.22.17 | A federal judge in North Carolina agreed with Bayer that federal law preempts all of plaintiff's claims against Bayer in a medical device case. The judge then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the medical malpractice claims against the healthcare providers and dismissed those claims as well.

Indiana Judge Relies on Bausch to Bounce Preemption Motion

05.15.17 | A federal judge in Indiana relied on the Seventh Circuit's decision in Bausch v. Stryker Corp., 630 F.3d 546 (7th Cir. 2010) to reject a medical device maker's argument that federal law preempts plaintiff's claims, including plaintiff's negligence per se claim.

Court Muzzles Counsel: Says Defendants Cannot Ask Plaintiffs if Their Attorneys Referred Them to Treating Physicians

04.27.17 | The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that the attorney-client privilege protects a party from being required to disclose that her attorney referred her to treating doctors.

The Daubert Standard - Coming Soon to a Missouri Court Near You

03.31.17 | Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens signed Missouri HB 153 into law. HB 153, which supplants Missouri's existing expert witness standard with that set forth in Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, 704 and 705, effectively submits expert testimony in most civil and criminal case to the analysis set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Federal Judges Blow Their Stacks Over Boilerplate Objections

03.27.17 | Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.

Reports of the Death of Litigation Tourism in Missouri Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

03.01.17 | A recent Missouri Supreme Court decision is good news for out-of-state defendants, rejecting the theory that appointing a registered agent in the state to accept service of process equated to consent to personal jurisdiction, and explicitly adopting Daimler and Goodyear. The decision probably creates more turmoil than it resolves on the “general jurisdiction” front, however, and does not directly stamp out the multi-plaintiff litigation tourism that is presently bedeviling the state.

Rationale Underlying Missouri's Runaway "Supplemental Jurisdiction" Theory to be Tested by U.S. Supreme Court

01.30.17 | The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted certiorari in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, a pharmaceutical product liability case in which some 600 out-of-state plaintiffs sued in a California court, arguing that the defendant had "contacts" with the state even though their individual claims did not arise out of those contacts. Because Missouri's long-arm personal jurisdiction test...

Effectively Addressing Cybersecurity Breaches in Medical Devices (Part 3 of 3)

01.24.17 | Continuing from our two prior posts in this three-part series on effectively addressing cybersecurity breaches in medical devices, this third and final post will focus on best practices to prepare, mitigate and otherwise manage vulnerabilities and potential cyber-attacks.

Effectively Addressing Cybersecurity Breaches in Medical Devices (Part 2 of 3)

01.11.17 | Continuing from our prior post in a three-part series on effectively addressing cybersecurity breaches in medical devices, this second post will focus on specific examples of cybersecurity attacks on medical devices.

Effectively Addressing Cybersecurity Breaches in Medical Devices (Part 1 of 3)

12.14.16 | We will explore in a series of three blog posts: (1) the specific vulnerabilities and risks inherent with embedded and interconnected medical devices, (2) cybersecurity and attacks on medical devices, and (3) practical approaches companies may employ both before and after a device is marketed. This first post in the series serves as an introduction to navigating the medical device field...

Merchants Beware: Ingredient List Is Not Necessarily a Defense and Losing the Benefit-Of-The-Bargain Counts as an Ascertainable Loss Under the MMPA

11.16.16 | In a recent decision, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with consumers asserting deceptive labeling practice claims against merchants under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA).

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

FDA Launches Webpage Allowing Anonymous Reports of Regulatory Misconduct Regarding Medical Devices

10.25.16 | One week before Halloween 2016 and the FDA just launched a new webpage titled "Reporting Allegations of Regulatory Misconduct" which allows anyone to report alleged misconduct on the part of medical device manufacturers or individuals marketing medical devices.

Forum Non Conveniens - When Home Isn't Always Convenient

07.05.16 | In civil litigation, the practice of "forum shopping" refers to the deliberate examination of multiple courts or jurisdictions in order to file or transfer the case to one that is most likely to treat that party's claims most favorably. Often, this forum shopping is blatant – where plaintiffs deliberately attempt to...

Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corporation: Another Nail in the Coffin of Field Preemption for Aviation Product Liability Claims

05.03.16 | In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corporation, the Third Circuit issued a sweeping decision that field preemption is not applicable to aviation-related products liability claims. While conflict preemption is still viable in cases where it is physically impossible to comply with the type certificate and state law, manufacturers should expect to remain subjected to the patchwork of various state product liability standards for the foreseeable future.

Proposed MMPA Legislation Would Provide Balance for Businesses and Consumers

02.10.16 | In its current state, the MMPA has allowed consumers to collect substantial verdicts in cases that have strayed from the original intent of lawmakers. SB793 hopes to restore a balance that requires not only that businesses act fairly, but also that consumers act reasonably.

"Excusable neglect" is a real standard requiring real evidence (Updated 01.04.2016)

01.04.16 | While a Kansas court may grant relief from a final judgment based on excusable neglect, it is an abuse of discretion to grant that relief when the party seeking that relief has failed either to explain what facts constituted excusable neglect or to provide any evidence to support that claim.

The Defective Product was Destroyed by the Plaintiff: What now?

11.24.15 | In any product liability action, one of the first questions every attorney will ask is: ""Where is the product?" The plaintiff has the burden of showing that the defect existed when the product left the defendant's control, and that the product reached the plaintiff without any alterations or modifications. But what happens if the plaintiff destroys the product?

Forget the Pitchers - The H.E.A.T. Team Brought the Real Heat in October

11.10.15 | In October, the Department of Justice's special health care fraud prevention team announced settlements of more than $719 million. The settlements involved allegations of illegal kickbacks, unnecessary medical treatments and premature implantations of medical devices.

FDA's New Draft Guidance Concerning Animal Studies for Medical Devices Makes "Strong" Recommendations

10.22.15 | On October 14, 2015, the FDA issued a draft guidance to the medical device industry in which the FDA is expanding the scope of its guidance about animal testing and making some strong recommendations to industry.

Kicking the Can Down the Road: The U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in "Failure to Update Labeling" Case Against Generic Drug Manufacturer

05.20.15 | Manufacturers of Generic Pharmaceuticals bask in uncertainty after the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in Pliva, Inc. v. Huck, leaving all to wonder whether or not state law "failure to update labeling" are preempted.

The Missouri Court of Appeals clarifies who will be considered a "sophisticated commercial entity", for purposes of enforcing contract language limiting liability

04.09.15 | It has long been thegeneral rule in Missouri that for a party to contractually release itself from or limit liability for its own future negligence, the language in the contract must be clear, unequivocal, conspicuous and must explicitly include the word "negligence" or "fault." However, when the contract is negotiated at arm's length between "sophisticated commercial entities", a party can release itself from or limit liability with less precise language.

State's "Right to Try" Legislation Hangs Drug and Device Manufacturers Out to Dry.

01.20.15 | Kansas has joined a short, but growing, list of states introducing legislation purporting to give terminally ill patients the option to try drug treatments not yet approved by the FDA, but which have passed Phase One FDA testing. However, the legislation does not incentivize any manufacturer to provide such drugs and in fact potentially exposes a manufacturer who does provide access to additional risk of lawsuits.

The Supreme Court's Jurisdictional Stretch in Resolving the Evidence Needed to Support a CAFA Removal

01.06.15 | A defendant removing a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act need not provide evidence proving the jurisdictional amount in controversy in the notice of removal. A "short and plain statement of the grounds for removal" is sufficient.

Failure-to-Update Claims Against Generic Manufacturers Remain Viable

10.16.14 | In Franzman v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of the manufacturers of the generic form of Reglan (the "Generic Defendants") on the portion of Franzman's failure-to-warn claim relating to the Generic Defendants' failure to update their warning labels to reflect the 2004 brand-name label revision.

Weeks II: Alabama bucks the trend and accepts the Innovator-Liability Theory

10.10.14 | On August 15th, the Alabama Supreme Court endorsed the theory of "innovator liability" and held for the second time in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, 2014 Ala. LEXIS 109 (Ala. Aug. 15, 2014) that a plaintiff who took only the generic version of a medication could still make a claim against the brand-name manufacturers. While this position remains the minority view, the Weeks case demonstrates that the innovator-liability theory remains an important and contested issue for brand and generic drug manufacturers.

Iowa Judge Sanctions Attorney for Obstructionist Behavior

09.24.14 | Of all the things that will keep a litigator up at night, producing a witness for deposition should not be on the list. Unfortunately, we have all experienced the sinking feeling when a witness is spinning out of control. Some are brash and argumentative. Some have poor or selective memories. Some are too nervous. Some are overconfident. Some are Lil Wayne

The James Brady case, 33 years later

09.15.14 | New criminal charges are being considered against John Hinckley, Jr., 33 years after the shooting. What are the implications for potential civil litigation?

All is Fair in Love and Food Mislabeling Claims

08.04.14 | A company may sue for unfair competition under the Lanham Act, challenging a competitor’s food and beverage labels. Such claims are not precluded by the FDCA

Frying the Frye Test and Increasing the Caps: New Amendments to Kansas Civil Actions and Civil Procedure

07.11.14 | K.S.A. 60-19a02 has been amended, increasing Kansas's long-standing cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) recoverable in personal injury. K.S.A. 60-456(b) has also been amended to mirror the requirements for the admissibility of expert testimony set forth in Fed. R. Evid. 702.

In a differential etiology, experts need not rule out all possible causes

06.23.14 | Experts are not required to rule out all possible causes when performing the differential etiology analysis if the experts have properly ruled in the alleged cause.

Punitive Damages Part 1: Don't Get Caught Flat-Footed

04.29.14 | A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.

Kansas abolishes assumption of the risk defense.

04.21.14 | Based on its adoption of a statutory scheme of comparative negligence, Kansas has abolished common law assumption of the risk as a bar to recovery. Simmons v. Porter, 298 Kan. 299, 312 P3d 345, 355 (Kan. 2013).

Failure to Warn: The Risk of Cronobacter Infection from Powdered Formula

04.10.14 | A lawsuit brought in 2012 against the manufacturers of Enfamil alleges that the powered form of the product was contaminated with Cronobacter, a bacteria which can cause meningitis. The product was consumed by three infants in 2011, each of whom contracted meningitis, and the meningitis resulted in the death of one of the infants.

A mundane lesson from an important decision, or, the importance of presenting evidence

03.20.14 | The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.

CPSC's Proposed Interpretive Rule Would Make Significant Changes to Voluntary Recalls

03.05.14 | On November 13, 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding Voluntary Recall Notices and Corrective Action Plans. The Commission's stated objective is to better inform consumers, create greater clarity for manufacturers and achieve more effective recalls.

No Signed Settlement Necessary, Except When It Is

02.25.14 | In Kansas, the parties bind themselves to an enforceable settlement, even though the parties contemplate subsequent execution of a formal instrument. However, when the parties specifically condition a contract on it being reduced to writing and signed, there is no enforceable contract until such act is accomplished.

Missouri Now Authorizes Discretionary Federal-Type Expert Witness Discovery

11.22.13 | Especially in complex cases, defense counsel should consider requesting earlier and more extensive expert disclosures, under recent amendments to Rule 62.01, on Case Management conferences.

Courts Struggle to Understand the "Stream of Commerce" Theory of Personal Jurisdiction Over Product Manufacturers

08.21.13 | Asahi and Nicastro provided no clear guidance regarding the scope and application of the "stream of commerce" theory of personal jurisdiction, leaving a conflict of decisions amongst the many different federal and state courts decisions.

The economic loss doctrine does not bar negligent misrepresentation claims in Kansas

08.05.13 | On July 26, 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court refused to expand the economic loss doctrine from its origins in product liability litigation to act as a bar to tort claims for economic recovery in the context of a negligent misrepresentation claim.

Eighth Circuit Weighs In on CAFA Removal, and the "Other Paper" Clause

07.26.13 | Exactly when, during the course of a state court class action, that case may have become removable to federal court, can be a tricky question. Defendants must act within 30 days from when it can "first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable", or forfeit their right to remove. On the other hand, if the court deems a removal premature, the case may be remanded.

Collective Liability and Product Identification in Kansas

04.10.13 | The necessity of product identification is one area where there is a scarcity of reported case law, but clear indications that Kansas requires plaintiffs to identify the specific product that caused their alleged harm. No reported Kansas case has ever adopted a "collective liability" theory like enterprise liability, alternate liability, or market share liability.

Virginia Rejects "Substantial Contributing Factor" Standard for Proximate Cause in Asbestos Cases

01.11.13 | In asbestos litigation, the standard for determining whether a defendant manufacturer's product proximately caused the plaintiffs' injuries varies among the courts of different states, a factor that can strongly influence plaintiffs' choice of venue. . .

Admission of Testimony in Prior Cases Cannot Substitute for a Daubert Review

11.19.12 | The Ninth Circuit held that a district judge erred in admitting expert testimony by relying solely on evidence of prior admissions of the expert's theory in other courts. . .

Product Warnings as Questions of Law; Sufficiency of English-only Warnings

10.30.12 | The Eleventh Circuit recently held that courts applying Florida law may determine as a question of law the reasonableness of a product's warnings. A Florida plaintiff purchased two propane-gas fired, infrared portable heaters designed for outdoor use from Home Depot. . .

Product Manufacturer Retains Anonymity While Challenging CPSC Report

10.12.12 | In 1972, Congress created the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC was charged with drafting and enforcing guidelines to protect the public from unsafe products. . .

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