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MDL Mass Tort & Class Action Monitor

Developed to serve primarily as a litigation scouting report for plaintiff and defense counsel, insurers and legal service providers, HarrisMartin’s MDL Mass Tort & Class Action Monitor covers significant new filings and decisions in the JPML, MDL and related mass tort arenas. The quick delivery of breaking news and additional features will keep you within close range of every development occurring in the high-stakes environment of mass torts litigation — where minutes can make a difference. The MDL Mass Tort & Class Action Monitor is an online-only offering that includes frequent email updates and is available at no charge to annual and event sponsors of HarrisMartin’s CLE Conferences.


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Issue #37, March 2020

50 Companies Express Concern About Court’s ‘Gatekeeping’ Function in Letter to Administrative Office of U.S. Courts

The chief legal officers of 50 companies have expressed concern that federal courts have not been fully executing or enforcing the “gatekeeping” obligation, instead allowing juries “a role in deciding whether an expert’s opinions have the requisite scientific support without first ensuring that the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods and is reliably applied.”


Calif. Federal Jury Awards Economic Damages in VW ‘Clean Diesel’ Bellwether Trial

A California federal jury has awarded economic damages to five of the 10 plaintiffs in the first portion of a bellwether Volkswagen “clean diesel” trial, which will now proceed to the punitive damages phase.


Boston Scientific Sanctioned for Withholding Witness Info in Whistleblower Action

A Minnesota federal magistrate judge has imposed discovery sanctions on Boston Scientific Corp. in a qui tam action accusing it of selling defective cardiac defibrillators, ruling that the company improperly failed to provide witness information in its Rule 26 disclosures until the final hours of discovery.


Plaintiffs in VW ‘Clean Diesel’ Litigation Move for Mistrial

Plaintiffs have moved for a mistrial in the Volkswagen “clean diesel” litigation, arguing that the California federal judge overseeing the proceedings has made prejudicial and one-sided comments that have unfairly influenced the jury against the plaintiffs’ position.


Fla. Sup. Court Adopts Proposed Amendments to Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases

The Florida Supreme Court has adopted proposed amendments to standard jury instructions in civil cases, requiring a jury to consider state-of-the-art of scientific and technical knowledge and other circumstances that existed at the time of the product’s manufacture when deciding whether a product is defective.


744 Active Cases Pending on BHR Hip Replacement MDL Docket

According to a recent court filing by Smith & Nephew Inc., there are 744 total active cases pending on the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing multidistrict litigation docket in Maryland federal court.


Risperdal Plaintiff Files Appeal Following Reduction of $8 Billion Verdict

The plaintiff in a Risperdal gynecomastia case has filed a notice of appeal in Pennsylvania intermediate court after a trial court judge slashed an $8 billion punitive damages verdict to $6.8 million.


Court May Not Bar Expert Witness Solely Due to Missed Deadline, Ga. High Court Rules

The Georgia Supreme court has ruled that a trial court may not exclude an expert witness solely because the witness was identified after the deadline set in a scheduling, discovery, and/or case management order.


Plaintiffs in Evenflo Car Seat Actions Ask JPML to Create MDL Docket

Plaintiffs in two Evenflo “Big Kid” car booster car seat actions have asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create a federal docket in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.


Bench Trial Resumes in Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ MDL Cases in Calif. Federal Court

Trial has resumed in seven cases pending on the Volkswagen “clean diesel” multidistrict litigation docket following denial of the plaintiffs’ bid to disqualify the California judge from overseeing the proceedings on the basis of bias.


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