Are things moving a bit too fast with connected cars? Continue reading
Yesterday, a federal jury in Cleveland ruled for Whirlpool Corp. in a warranty-based class action involving allegedly defective front-loading washing machines. As discussed in an earlier post, the case had been up and down to the Supreme Court, and given the Court’s recent class action rulings, that was it was allowed to proceed to trial was rather unexpected. Continue reading
Recent federal court decisions relaxing the standards for class action certification must have plaintiff class action lawyers around the country celebrating. It now seems that a mere handful of customer complaints can support a class action lawsuit on any consumer product. What should manufacturers do to address this development and resulting increase in liability exposure? Should they spend more money up front to resolve warranty claims, before they end up in suit? Or, should they fight it out in court and hope to curtail the recent trend? Either way, we suspect manufacturers’ costs are going up. Continue reading
“Merchantability” is one of those legal terms-of-art that defies precise definition. Courts ruling on implied warranty of merchantability claims generally frame the question as whether the product was “reasonably fit for its intended purpose.” But what any given jury will find to be “reasonable” is anyone’s guess. So better for the defendant that the case never get to the jury. I think Chrysler might agree. Continue reading
Want a better relationship with your customers? Want to spend less time and money dealing with frustrated or irate customers? Want more customers to walk out of the store with your extended warranty or service plan? There’s a sure fire way to make these things happen, plain and simple. Continue reading
It is quickly moving beyond dispute that federal consumer protection law favors binding arbitration over litigation. A North Carolina federal trial court recently joined two federal appellate courts in ruling that the federal warranty law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, does not ban binding arbitration provisions in consumer product warranties. This is good news for consumer product manufacturers, and better news for consumers if more companies turn to binding arbitration.
Is the “Reptile Theory” now slithering through civil trial courts across the U.S. truly a product of science or something else? Its critics view it as lipstick on a lizard. Its creators promote it as a can’t miss scientifically based trial strategy for obtaining huge jury awards and settlements in civil litigation. Think of it what you will, but if you are likely to ever be a defendant in a civil trial, don’t ignore it. Continue reading
A 2012 expansion of Pennsylvania law seems likely to have a profound impact upon liability exposure that builders and their insurers may face if the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirms the 2012 decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Conway v. The Cutler Group. Conversely, this change may benefit real estate professionals and their clients as they now have a means to obtain redress for failures in workmanship. Unfortunately, this change most likely will result in increased litigation and expense.