Articles Posted in Products Liability

by
Plaintiffs were two individuals who purchased Marlboro Light cigarettes in Oregon. Defendant Philip Morris was the company that manufactured, marketed, and sold Marlboro Lights. Plaintiffs brought this action under Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA), alleging that defendant misrepresented that Marlboro Lights would deliver less tar and nicotine than regular Marlboros and that, as a result of that misrepresentation, plaintiffs suffered economic losses. Plaintiffs moved to certify a class consisting of approximately 100,000 individuals who had purchased at least one pack of Marlboro Lights in Oregon over a 30-year period (from 1971 to 2001). The trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion after concluding that individual inquiries so predominated over common ones that a class action was not a superior means to adjudicate the putative class’s UTPA claim. On appeal, a majority of the Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court’s predominance assessment, concluding that the essential elements of the UTPA claim could be proved through evidence common to the class. The majority remanded to the trial court to reconsider whether, without the trial court’s predominance assessment, a class action was a superior means of litigating the class claims. In granting defendant’s petition for review, the Supreme Court considered whether common issues predominated for purposes of the class action certification decision, and what a private plaintiff in a UTPA case of this nature had to prove. The Supreme Court concluded that the trial court properly denied class certification, and accordingly, it reversed the contrary decision of the Court of Appeals and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings on the individual plaintiffs’ claims. View "Pearson v. Philip Morris, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs Linda Two Two and Patricia Fodge filed a complaint against defendant that included claims for negligence and strict liability. Plaintiffs alleged that they had been injured in separate incidents in 2008 when an elevator in the building in which they worked dropped unexpectedly and stopped abruptly. In their negligence claim, plaintiffs alleged that defendant had negligently designed, installed, and maintained that elevator and that defendant's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of plaintiffs' injuries. In their strict liability claim, plaintiffs alleged that defendant had designed, installed, and constructed the elevator and that the elevator was defective and dangerous. Defendant sought summary judgment on both claims. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment on both claims. Upon review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court decided that the trial court erred in granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' negligence claim, but did not err in granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' strict liability claim. View "Two Two v. Fujitec America, Inc." on Justia Law

by
In this product liability action, plaintiff appealed a judgment for defendants after a jury trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed without considering the merits of nine of plaintiff's ten assignments of instructional and evidentiary error. Plaintiff contended on appeal that, in so holding, the Court of Appeals misconstrued the standard for reversal in ORS 19.415(2) as it applied to claims of instructional and evidentiary error like those that the court declined to consider. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the appellate court erred in its reasoning for not considering all of plaintiff's arguments. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded this case to the Court of Appeals to address plaintiff's assignments of error. View "Purdy v. Deere & Company" on Justia Law