Articles Posted in U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs, the wife and children of the decedent, filed suit against defendants after the decedent died in the hospital after being administered a transdermal pain patch. On appeal, defendants challenged the district court's joinder of several non-diverse defendants and the district court's remand pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1447(e). The court joined its sister circuits and held that section 1447(d) precluded appellate review of a remand order issued pursuant to section 1447(e). Moreover, appellate review of the district court's joinder ruling was barred. Accordingly, the court dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction. View "Fontenot, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of all wrongful death beneficiaries, filed a product liability and wrongful death action against defendants. At issue on appeal was whether the Supreme Court's recent decision in J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro rendered the court's stream-of-commerce approach to personal jurisdiction improper. The court found that the application of the stream-of-commerce approach in this case did not run afoul of McIntyre's narrow holding and, therefore, affirmed the district court's interlocutory order finding personal jurisdiction and denying dismissal. View "Ainsworth v. Moffett Engineering, Ltd." on Justia Law

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A jury found defendant liable to plaintiff under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, La. Rev. Stat. 9:2800.54, for injuries caused by a defect that rendered one of its stucco pumps unreasonably dangerous. The central disputes on appeal were whether the theories offered by plaintiff's experts met the standards for scientific reliability under the Federal Rules of Evidence and whether the jury's imposition of liability for a defect in "construction or composition" of the pump could stand. The court held that none of the expert evidence was improperly admitted and that there was no basis to set aside the jury's finding of a defect under Section 9:2800.55. The court considered the comparative fault challenges, plaintiff's Rule 50 motion on a design defect under Section 9:2800.56, and finally, explained why the increase in the medical award was appropriate. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment on the jury verdict as modified by the district court. View "Roman v. Western Manufacturing, Inc." on Justia Law

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In the underlying action in this case, Appellants Smith & Fuller, P.A. and Hugh Smith represented the Trenado family in a products liability suit against Appellee Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. That case resulted in a jury verdict in favor of Cooper. During the proceedings, Smith and his law firm violated a protective entered by the district court to protect Cooper's trade secrets and confidential information produced during discovery. Following trial, the district court held that Smith and his firm did not willfully violate the protective order but determined that sanctions should be imposed. Appellants appealed, contending that the district court lacked authority to impose sanctions and that the fees and expenses sought by Cooper were unreasonable. The Fifth Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the district court imposed the sanctions under its authority; and (2) the expenses sought by Cooper in this matter were reasonable. View "Smith & Fuller, P.A. v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co." on Justia Law