Topic: Product Liability

Chinese Drywall – Senate Bill Could Facilitate Effecting Service of Process on Foreign Defendants

Legislation recently introduced in the United States Senate could help homeowners haul foreign manufacturers of allegedly defective Chinese drywall into court.  The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2009, introduced by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), seeks to make it easier to bring foreign companies before American courts. 

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Chinese Drywall – Senators Seek Expansion of Federal Assistance for Impacted Homeowners

Florida Senator Bill Nelson recently sent a letter to President Obama asking the administration to streamline federal assistance available to homeowners with allegedly tainted Chinese drywall.  Nelson requested “White House mobilization and coordination of all federal resources that could help homeowners” and stressed the need for an inter-agency Drywall Task Force to coordinate efforts and a “one-stop federal Drywall Assistance Center” that could provide information and resources directly to impacted homeowners. 

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Chinese Drywall – Environmental Protection Agency Releases Preliminary Test Results

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently conducted comparative testing on drywall manufactured in China and the United States.  As reported here, here, and here, Chinese drywall emits fumes that allegedly smell like rotten eggs, cause health problems and corrode metal in thousands of new homes built between 2002 and 2007.  Complaints have been registered nationwide but are concentrated in the Southeast, particularly in Florida. 

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Deadline Approaches for Compliance with Massachusetts Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Conduct Regulations

On July 1, 2009, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers of FDA-approved drugs or medical devices doing business in Massachusetts or doing business with health care practitioners (“HCPs”) licensed in Massachusetts (regardless of where benefits are provided or expenditures are made) (“Companies”) must be in compliance with the Massachusetts Code of Conduct Law. This requirement is contained in regulations issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (the “DPH”) on March 11, 2009 (the “Regulations”). 

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The Follow-on Biologics Debate and the June 2009 FTC Report on Follow-on Biologic Drug Competition

On June 10, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission released a detailed report entitled: “Emerging Health Care Issues: Follow-on Biologic Drug Competition.”  The FTC Report is important because it provides the most current government-sector analysis of the U.S. biologics market and the FTC’s recommendations for legislation designed to allow for “follow-on” versions of such drug products. 

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Southern District of New York Holds Excess Insurer Liable for Reimbursement of Foreign Defense Costs, Despite Policy’s Exclusion of Duty to Defend

Wyeth, a pharmaceutical and health care product manufacturer, purchased 20% of its excess product liability insurance from one insurer in the 1980s.  Starting in 1988, a subsidiary of Wyeth, John Wyeth & Brother, Ltd., was named as a defendant in over 11,000 product liability actions in the United Kingdom and Ireland because of its manufacture and prescription of Ativan and other drugs containing benzodiazepine. 

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Chinese Drywall– Florida Department of Health Finds Corrosive Compound

Historically, builders used drywall (a/k/a sheetrock, gypsum board or wallboard) that was manufactured in the United States for residential construction.  However, during the construction boom years of 2002-2007, a shortage of domestic drywall forced many builders to purchase product that was manufactured in China. 

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