Justia Products Liability Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
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The First Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court finding that Electric Boat Corp. had failed to satisfy the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) for federal officer removal, holding that Electric Boat established the statutory requirements for removal.During the late-1960s, Michael Moore was allegedly exposed to asbestos during construction of a submarine, the USS Francis Scott Key, where he worked as an electronics officer. Moore and his wife (collectively, Moore), brought suit against Electric Board and others, alleging several state claims. Electric Boat removed the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442. Moore filed a motion to remand to state court, which the district court granted after finding that Electric Boat had failed to satisfy the requirements for federal officer removal under section 1442(a)(1). The First Circuit reversed, holding (1) the district court interpreted section 1442(a)(1) in a manner inconsistent with the 2011 congressional amendment to the statute; and (2) Electric Boat satisfied the standard for federal officer removal under section 1442(a)(1). View "Moore v. Electric Boat Corp." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit posed a question of Massachusetts state law to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in this negligence and failure to warn case, holding that this case met the both the SJC's and this Court's certification standards.Appellants sued Sorin Group USA, Inc. in Massachusetts state court alleging negligence and failure to warn claims predicated on Sorin's not reporting adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning Mitroflow malfunctions in young patients. Sorin removed the lawsuit to federal court under diversity jurisdiction. The trial court judge granted summary judgment to Sorin, concluding that Appellants' claims were preempted. At issue on appeal was whether Massachusetts law imposes a duty on medical device manufacturers to report adverse events to the FDA that no more than parallel the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations. The First Circuit certified to the SJC the question of whether a manufacturer's failure to report adverse events to a regular such as the FDA gives rise to liability under Massachusetts law. View "Plourde v. Sorin Group USA, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this design-defect product-liability case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the case for Plaintiff's failure to prosecute and to comply with scheduling orders.Plaintiff brought this action against Defendants. Plaintiff served no discovery before the discovery deadline, and Plaintiff’s counsel did not at the outset retain an expert. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the absence of any expert testimony was fatal to Plaintiff’s case. The district court subsequently granted Plaintiff’s request to reopen discovery, set a new expert-disclosure deadline and other requests for time extensions without any sanction. After the extended deadline for filing an opposition to the motion for summary judgment came without Plaintiff’s opposing the motion, the district court dismissed the case for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with scheduling orders. The district court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. The First Circuit affirmed. View "McKeague v. One World Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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The district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this design defect and failure to warn action.Bernardino Santos-Rodriguez was riding in a boat when a corroded rod end that was part of the boat’s steering mechanism failed, resulting in a loss of steering and ejecting Santos from the boat. Santos sustained extensive injuries. Santos and four relatives sued Seastar Solutions, the manufacturer of the boat’s steering mechanism, alleging a design defect and a failure to warn. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Seastar. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Santos could not prove that any failure to warn or design defect in the steering rod caused his injuries; and (2) because the district court properly granted summary judgment on Santos’s underlying claims, his relatives’ derivative claims cannot succeed. View "Santos-Rodriguez v. Seastar Solutions" on Justia Law