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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Crashworthiness – Evidence – Accident Causation (access required)

Quinton v. Toyota Motor Corp. Although S.C. courts have not directly addressed whether evidence of the cause of a crash is admissible in a crashworthiness case – in which plaintiff alleges that a defect caused an “enhanced injury” when the accident occurred, resulting in plaintiff’s decedent’s death – the S.C. Supreme Court has embraced the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability. Since the Restatement Third says causation evidence is admissible, the court denies plaintiff’s motion in limine to exclude such evidence

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Torts – Products Liability—Expert witnesses – Exclusion (access required)

Graves v. CAS Medical Systems Expert witness testimony is inadmissible where computer experts’ opinions are shown unreliable as scientific evidence and as nonscientific evidence. Likewise, a doctor’s testimony may be excluded where she is shown not to be an expert in sudden infant death syndrome, the subject of her testimony.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Civil Practice – Pleadings – Parent Corporation (access required)

Derrick v. Johnson Controls, Inc. Just over a month after plaintiff filed this products liability action based on an automobile battery explosion, defendant indicated in an interrogatory response that it had not manufactured the battery at issue and that plaintiff may have intended to sue defendant’s wholly-owned subsidiary.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Corporate – Asset Purchase – Successor Liability – Duty to Warn (access required)

Knott v. Deese In this products liability case, plaintiff lost two fingers when they were caught in the “pinch point” between the handrail and open gate of a pontoon boat in Arizona. Plaintiff is suing the corporation that bought the assets of the manufacturer of the boat’s finger-pinch guard.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Manufacturing Defect – Expert Testimony – Unnecessary (access required)

Morris v. Kmart Corp. If plaintiff were pursuing her products liability claim pursuant to a design defect theory, expert testimony would be required to prove her case; however, since plaintiff is proceeding under a manufacturing defect theory, expert testimony is not required. Plaintiff’s failure to submit an expert witness report is not fatal to her claim.

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Civil Practice – Third-Party Complaint – Derivative Liability – Class Action – Severance – Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Windows (access required)

Johnson v. M.I. Windows & Doors, Inc. In a putative class action against a window manufacturer, the manufacturer’s third-party claim against those who designed and built the named plaintiff’s house is not sufficiently derivative of plaintiff’s claim that the windows were negligently designed and manufactured. The third-party defendants’ motion to sever is granted.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Hormone-Replacement Drugs – Proximate Cause – Prescribing Physician’s Death (access required)

Sauls v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. According to the Fourth Circuit’s binding interpretation of S.C. law, in order to prove that an inadequate drug warning was the proximate cause of her injury, plaintiff must prove that the drug’s additional non-disclosed risk was high enough that it would have changed her doctor’s decision to prescribe the product for her.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Pleadings — Medical Device Amendment – Federal Preemption — Parallel State Claim (access required)

Viserta v. St. Jude Medical, Inc. The medical device at issue – a Riata lead — was discarded upon its removal from plaintiff, and her complaint does not allege the actual condition of the device, how defendant failed to comply with federal requirements in manufacturing the device, or any causal connection between defendant’s actions and the Riata lead perforating plaintiff’s heart.

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Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Medication Pump – Preemption – Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (access required)

Walker v. Medtronic Inc. The 4th Circuit upholds the district court decision that plaintiff has no common law tort claim against defendant Medtronic, maker of the allegedly defective SynchroMed pump for delivery of medication through a catheter, as her claim is preempted by the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 and regulations which provided for premarket approval by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

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