Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Products Liability

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Defendants challenged a district court order requiring that they add two statements to their cigarette packages and advertisements: an announcement that a federal court has ruled that they “deliberately deceived the American public” about the dangers of cigarettes; and a declaration that they “intentionally designed cigarettes” to maximize addiction. The court concluded that given its earlier decisions in this case, the manufacturers’ objection to disclosing that they intentionally designed cigarettes to ensure addiction is both waived and foreclosed by the law of the case. Those decisions make equally clear that the district court, in ordering defendants to announce that they deliberately deceived the public, exceeded its authority under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-1968, to craft remedies that “prevent and restrain” future violations. 18 U.S.C. 1964(a). The court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed from the dismissal of wrongful death and survival actions she filed against her son's employer and two pharmaceutical companies. Plaintiff's son committed suicide using a gun provided by his employer while he was taking prescribed medication manufactured and distributed by the pharmaceutical companies. The court held that the district court did not err in ruling that plaintiff failed to state a claim of negligence against the employer when the district court invoked, sua sponte, District of Columbia law that suicide was an intervening and independent cause of death subject to limited exceptions that were inapplicable. The court declined to certify questions of negligence-liability to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The court also held that the district court did not err in ruling that the complaint failed to state a plausible claim of products liability against the pharmaceutical companies and in denying her leave to amend. View "Rollins v. Wackenhut Services, Inc., et al" on Justia Law