Posts Tagged ‘failure to warn’

Don’t get cozy with a laptop adapter and fall asleep

A California woman claims in her lawsuit that her “husband was using his Apple laptop when [she] fell asleep with her arm on top of the adapter for approximately 40 minutes. She woke up groggy, felt ‘itchy,’ and went to bed. The next morning she felt pain and discovered a ‘one-inch boil’ on her arm.” She’s suing Apple for not adequately warning that the adapters get hot and shouldn’t be left in contact with bare skin for extended periods. [Nick Farr, Abnormal Use]

Suit: lily-seller should have warned of toxicity to cats

“The flower was packaged with a warning about not being for human consumption and about the risk of staining clothing, but there was nothing about potential harm to cats, said [Charley Gee, a] Southeast Portland lawyer.” A pet cat chewed the lily’s leaves — which are toxic to felines — and required expensive veterinary care. The suit calls lilies unreasonably dangerous and says they should be labeled with cat-specific warnings. [Oregonian]

“Colorado jury awards $11.5M to family in helmet lawsuit”

“A Colorado jury has awarded $11.5 million in a lawsuit originally brought against helmet maker Riddell and several high school administrators and football coaches over brain injuries suffered by a teenager in 2008.” While the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim of design defect, it accepted the theory that the helmet maker should have done more to warn of concussions. “The jury assessed 27 percent of the fault for Rhett Ridolfi’s injuries, making the company responsible for paying $3.1 million of the damages.” Riddell has been hit with a wave of lawsuits from both school and professional football players. [AP, Denver Post, earlier](& Coyote)

By reader acclaim: cardiologist should have warned cop of sex spree

Covered it in a roundup a couple of weeks back, but as a reader favorite it may as well have its own post: “A jury has awarded a Georgia woman $3 million over her husband’s heart attack, finding that his doctor should have warned the Atlanta cop against strenuous activity like the three-way sex he was having at the time he died, WXIA-TV reports.” The deceased was not married to either of the other participants in the fatal motel-room encounter. [USA Today/Freep]

What Wyeth v. Levine did

The media and legal academy largely applauded the Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling on preemption, but Michael Greve deems its outcome “irresponsible and not even minimally rational”:

Under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA), drugs sold in the United States require an FDA-approved label—the elaborate, incomprehensible (to laymen) sheets you find inside every package. Every sentence is dictated by FDA requirements, down to the font and letter size. Violations of these requirements, and the sale of drugs without the label or a different label, are subject to very severe penalties. The statutory scheme operates to the explicit exclusion of any state regulatory (administrative) scheme. What Wyeth asks us to believe is that state juries may nonetheless hold drug manufacturers liable, for accidents caused by use in direct contravention of the federal label, on the grounds that the federally required label was inadequate. Meticulous compliance with federal requirements doesn’t preempt “failure to warn” liability under state common law.

Does disclosure matter?

Via Consumer Law & Policy, the punch line of a new study:

We follow the clickstream of 47,399 households to 81 Internet software retailers to measure contract readership as a function of disclosure. We find that making contracts more prominently available does not increase readership in any significant way. In addition, the purchasing behavior of those few consumers who read contracts is unaffected by the one-sidedness of their terms. The results suggest that mandating disclosure online should not on its own be expected to have large effects on contract content.

Regulation, of course, often goes to great lengths to mandate disclosure, and a considerable volume of private litigation is also based on theories that lack of more extensive and prominent disclosure rendered a transaction wrongful. The study is Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Does Disclosure Matter?NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-54 [SSRN].