Articles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs appealed from the district court's dismissal of their claims in connection with the design, manufacture, and sale by Philip Morris of cigarettes that allegedly contained unnecessarily dangerous levels of carcinogens when smoked by humans, and plaintiffs' independent equitable claim seeking to require Philip Morris to fund a program of medical monitoring for longtime smokers of Marlboro cigarettes who have not been diagnosed with, but were at risk for, lung cancer. The court concluded that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' claims for negligence and strict products liability as time barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Further, the implied warranty of merchantability was not breached if the cigarettes were minimally safe when used in the customary, usual, and reasonably foreseeable manner and, therefore, summary judgment dismissing these claims was appropriate. With respect to the claim seeking medical monitoring, the court certified a question of law to the New York Court of Appeals. View "Caronia v. Philip Morris USA" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Merck and the dismissal of her products liability claim for failure to provide an adequate warning regarding the risks associated with Fosamax. Fosamax has allegedly been linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw and plaintiff claimed that Merck should have known of a possible link between the drug and the condition. At issue was whether the district court erred in granting Merck's summary judgment motion after discrediting expert testimony from plaintiff's treating physician. Because the physician's expert testimony contained contradictions that were unequivocal and inescapable, unexplained, arose after the motion for summary judgment was filed, and were central to plaintiff's failure-to-warn claim, the court held that the district court did not err in determining that there was no genuine dispute of material fact raised by the later testimony. View "In Re: Fosamax Products Liability Litigation" on Justia Law

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This case required the court to address the scope of federal bankruptcy jurisdiction over suits against non-debtor third parties, as well as the scope of a stay issued pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 524(g)(4). Pfizer and Quigley appealed from a judgment in the district court reversing the Clarifying Order of the bankruptcy court and holding that the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos (Angelos) could bring suit against Pfizer for claims based on "apparent manufacturer" liability under Pennsylvania law. The court determined that it had jurisdiction to hear the appeal; that the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to issue the Clarifying Order; and that the Clarifying Order did not bar Angelos from bringing the suits in question against Pfizer. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "In re: Quigley Company, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs Debbie and Max Walters appealed from a district court judgment that dismissed their petition for the issuance of a turnover order. In 1990, the Walters' thirteen-year-old son was killed on a hunting trip with his father when a Chinese-manufactured rifle the boy carried allegedly misfired. The Walters sued China and several entities allegedly controlled by China in the U.S. District Court on theories of products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty in connection with the manufacture of the rifle. The Walters eventually won a $10 million default judgment, and sought to enforce it by collecting China's assets in the possession of the respondent banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Ltd., Bank of China, Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corporation. Citing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA), the district court dismissed the petition with prejudice. Without filing a new petition, the Walters argued on appeal that the Banks lacked standing to assert foreign sovereign immunity on behalf of China, and that China waived any immunity by its conduct underlying the default judgment and by its failure to appear. Upon review of the submitted briefs and the applicable legal authority, the Second Circuit found Plaintiffs' arguments were without merit, and affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss their case.

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Plaintiffs Debbie and Max Walters appealed from a district court judgment that dismissed their petition for the issuance of a turnover order. In 1990, the Walters' thirteen-year-old son was killed on a hunting trip with his father when a Chinese-manufactured rifle the boy carried allegedly misfired. The Walters sued China and several entities allegedly controlled by China in the U.S. District Court on theories of products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty in connection with the manufacture of the rifle. The Walters eventually won a $10 million default judgment, and sought to enforce it by collecting China's assets in the possession of the respondent banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Ltd., Bank of China, Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corporation. Citing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA), the district court dismissed the petition with prejudice. Without filing a new petition, the Walters argued on appeal that the Banks lacked standing to assert foreign sovereign immunity on behalf of China, and that China waived any immunity by its conduct underlying the default judgment and by its failure to appear. Upon review of the submitted briefs and the applicable legal authority, the Second Circuit found Plaintiffs' arguments were without merit, and affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss their case. View "Walters v. Indus. & Commercial Bank of China, Ltd." on Justia Law