December 22, 1999 |
A Mississippi jury awarded $150 million in actual damages to five people who claimed their health problems could be traced to the controversial diet drug cocktail known as fen-phen. The jury verdict against American Home Products Inc. could kill its planned merger with Warner-Lambert Co., which has received a higher bid from Pfizer Inc. Jurors were still determining punitive damages late Tuesday. The trial, which began last month in Fayette, Miss.
August 26, 1999 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's No. 1 retailer, must pay $1 million to a former Virginia middle school principal hurt when a newly installed tire fell off a moving vehicle in 1995, an appeals panel ruled. Zed French III suffered serious back injuries in a crash on Interstate 64 six days after new tires were installed on a friend's Jeep at a Wal-Mart Sam's Club store in Charlottesville, Va., according to an opinion by the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.
March 9, 1999 |
The National Rifle Assn., mounting a counterattack against U.S. cities seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages from gun violence, has helped draft legislation in 14 states and Congress to bar cities and states from suing firearm manufacturers. NRA supporters in three more states plan to introduce similar bills when their legislatures convene.
December 20, 1998
Thank goodness there is still a modicum of common sense existing in California ["Beretta Wins Case Brought by Parents Who Sued Over Death," Nov. 17]. The idea that this suit would even get to court defies reason, but at least the jury had sense enough to realize that a loaded gun, when pointed at another person and the trigger pulled, is not a "defective product" when it fires. Lawsuits of this type are the desperate, last-ditch efforts of anti-2nd Amendment groups attempting to deny citizens the right to self-protection.
December 16, 1998 |
Owens Corning, maker of insulation and other building materials, said it will pay $1.2 billion to settle asbestos-related lawsuits in a bid to end one of the biggest product liability cases in U.S. history. The company, which stopped selling asbestos products in 1972, said it expects to make most of the payments during the next two years to resolve about 90% of 176,000 cases pending against it. The plan will also help resolve new claims without litigation, it said.
December 11, 1998 |
The U.S. tobacco industry was slammed by a widening foreign legal assault Thursday as the Republic of Nicaragua filed a large damage suit and Brazil threatened such action to recover costs for treating smoking-related illnesses. Nicaragua's suit follows ones filed in U.S. courts in recent months by Guatemala and Panama. The suits are patterned after those filed throughout the U.S. by state attorneys general that led to a massive settlement in November.
December 9, 1998 |
A federal appeals court has made it easier for consumers to pursue product liability lawsuits, ruling that plaintiffs do not have to rely on extensive scientific studies to show that a product caused their injuries. The decision allows consumers suing pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers to call experts to testify on their behalf--even when such testimony is unsupported by scientific studies.
October 30, 1998 |
The first major product liability and negligence suit by a local government against the U.S. gun industry is expected to be filed in New Orleans today, drawing heavily on the tactics and potent legal resources used against the tobacco industry in recent years. The campaign is aiming to prove that handgun makers bear responsibility for an epidemic of gun violence in the nation's cities, just as cigarette makers were charged with the medical woes of their customers.
October 6, 1998 |
To most observers, Southern California's growing need for housing should create an ample market for new condominiums. Rising land costs are pushing single-family homes out of the reach of many would-be buyers at the same time that low mortgage rates make mortgages affordable. At a similar point in the last real estate boom, many buyers opted for new condos. This time around, they don't have that option.
September 30, 1998 |
Tobacco industry lawyers on Tuesday denied any conspiracy to suppress the truth about smoking and health and accused Washington state of being its willing "financial partner" in the sale of cigarettes. "The state was very aware of the health risks of cigarettes," R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. lawyer Bradley Keller said, outlining the industry's response to the state's landmark lawsuit. "The state has to accept responsibility for its choices." Reynolds, a unit of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp.