Articles Posted in U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

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After Dr. Brian Howard received a knee implant manufactured by Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc. that failed to bond properly, Howard and his wife filed suit against Sulzer alleging negligence per se. Following the completion of earlier consolidated litigation, the district court dismissed the Howards' negligence per se claim, predicting that it would not be cognizable under Oklahoma state law. The Tenth Circuit stayed the Howards' appeal pending the resolution of a question of state law certified to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. That question was answered, and the Tenth Circuit now reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings. The Oklahoma Court held that Oklahoma law allowed private individuals to maintain a parallel claim for negligence per se based on violation of a federal regulation whose enforcement lies with a governmental entity. The court further concluded that "[t]he existence of a provision in federal law providing that all enforcement proceedings 'shall be by and in the name of the United States' did not prohibit a state law claim for negligence per se based on violation of the federal regulation." Noting that Howard did not claim he should have been entitled to bring a private action under the FDCA, but rather brought a state claim based on duties that "parallel, rather than add to, federal requirements," the court determined that Howard's negligence per se claim should have been allowed to proceed. View "Howard, et al v. Zimmer, Inc., et al" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-Appellant Arrienne Mae Winzler brought state law claims against Defendant-Appellee Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. (Toyota) on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of 2006 Toyota Corolla and Toyota Corolla Matrix owners and lessees. She alleged that the cars harbored defective "Engine Control Modules" ("ECMs"), making them prone to stall without warning. As relief, she asked for an order requiring Toyota to notify all relevant owners of the defect and then to create and coordinate an equitable fund to pay for repairs. Before addressing whether Plaintiff's class should be certified, the district court held her complaint failed to state a claim and dismissed it under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). As Plaintiff began her appeal, Toyota announced a nationwide recall of 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars to fix their ECMs. Arguing that these statutory and regulatory processes were exactly the relief sought in Plaintiff's complaint, Toyota asked the Tenth Circuit to find that its recall rendered Plaintiff's case moot. "Because prudential mootness is arguably the narrowest of the many bases Toyota has suggested for dismissal, and because it is sufficient to that task, [the Court has] no need to discuss any of Toyota's other arguments for the same result." The Court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. View "Winzler v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc" on Justia Law

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Shortly after Plaintiff Mark Rimbert's father began taking Prozac, he killed his wife and himself. Plaintiff brought a wrongful death action against Defendant Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac. Defendant moved for summary judgment on various grounds and to exclude the testimony of Plaintiff's sole expert witness on the question of causation. The motions were denied by the district judge initially assigned the case. Once the case was reassigned, Defendant moved for reconsideration. The second district judge granted Defendant's motion to exclude Plaintiff's expert witness. The court then entered summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that without the expert's testimony, Plaintiff had no case. Plaintiff brought this appeal to the Tenth Circuit, arguing that the district court erred by excluding the testimony of his expert. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's order excluding the testimony, but reversed the order granting summary judgment. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.

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Shortly after Plaintiff Mark Rimbert's father began taking Prozac, he killed his wife and himself. Plaintiff brought a wrongful death action against Defendant Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac. Defendant moved for summary judgment on various grounds and to exclude the testimony of Plaintiff's sole expert witness on the question of causation. The motions were denied by the district judge initially assigned the case. Once the case was reassigned, Defendant moved for reconsideration. The second district judge granted Defendant's motion to exclude Plaintiff's expert witness. The court then entered summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that without the expert's testimony, Plaintiff had no case. Plaintiff brought this appeal to the Tenth Circuit, arguing that the district court erred by excluding the testimony of his expert. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's order excluding the testimony, but reversed the order granting summary judgment. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Rimbert v. Eli Lilly & Co." on Justia Law