Products Liability – PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, ––– U.S. –––– , 2011 WL 2472790 (June 23, 2011). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that generic drug manufacturers may not be sued under state law for failing to warn consumers about potential risks associated with their products. The basis of this ruling is that a generic drug manufacturer must use the same warning labels the brand name drug manufacturer used. Therefore, Federal law pre-empted state laws which could impose a duty upon generic drug manufacturers to change drug labeling.
Workers’ Compensation – Becker v. Murphy Oil Corporation, 2010-1519 (La.App. 4 Cir. 6/2/11), — So.3d —-, 2011 WL 2164151. The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an award of tort damages to employees who suffered gradual hearing loss because of long-term occupational noise exposure. The court found that the exposure was not an “accident” and therefore was not compensable under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act as an occupational disease. Because there was no workers’ compensation exposure to the employer, the employer could not benefit from the immunity to tort provided through the workers’ compensation laws.
LeBlanc v Excel Auto Parts, 2011-58 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/1/11), — So.3d —-, 2011 WL 2135515. Under LSA-R.S. 23:1201, an insurer’s failure to adhere to mandatory notice provisions when converting a claimant’s longtime disability benefits from temporary total disability (TTD) benefits to supplemental earnings benefits (SEB) may merit the imposition of fees and penalties.
Discovery – The recent decision of Lee v. Max Intern., LLC, 638 F.3d 1318 (10th Cir. 2011) shows the discretion given to the district judge in federal court in discovery matters. In Lee, the U. S. Tenth Circuit ruled that a district court has discretion to impose dismissal as a sanction upon a plaintiff who failed to respond to discovery and two court orders to produce documents. The court stated, “[T]hree strikes are more than enough to allow a district court to call a litigant out.”