Gavel

What the Jury Doesn’t Know about Insurance Won’t Hurt Them


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The issue of whether a jury will be less inclined to award an insurance company plaintiff – versus an individual person or entity – a favorable verdict is a real one for subrogation professionals facing a potential trial. In states where the laws allow carriers to choose between filing in their own name or in the name of the insured, there are numerous factors attorneys must weigh before finalizing the caption. However, if a jury is allowed to know the extent of the carrier’s involvement, the notion of filing in the name of the insured becomes less appealing. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Evidence, Massachusetts, Parties, Subrogation and tagged , , , , .
Product Recall

Urban Outfitters Candle Recall and Potter Electric Pull Station Recall


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On February 24, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recalls related to products that present fire-related hazards:

  1. Urban Outfitters Recalls Margo Taper Candle Holders Due to Fire Hazard. According to the CPSC, “[t]he candle holders can catch on fire if they come in contact with the candle’s flame, posing a fire hazard.”
  2. Potter Electric Recalls Addressable Pull Stations Single/Dual Action Due to Failure to Alert to Fire. According to the CPSC, “[t]he pull handle on some units can fail to activate the fire alarm system when manually pulled, posing a risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire.”
This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Gavel

Idaho District Court Affirms Its Role as the Gatekeeper of Expert Testimony


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Many subrogation claims involving fire losses rely heavily on expert testimony. Expert testimony is admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 if it is both relevant and reliable. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), whose standard has been incorporated into Federal Rule of Evidence 702, the Supreme Court instructed federal trial courts to act as a “gatekeeper” of expert testimony, giving them the power to exclude expert testimony that is not supported by sufficient evidence. In Maria Fernanda Elosu and Robert Luis Brace v. Middlefork Ranch Incorporated, Civil Case No. 1:19-cv-00267-DCN, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14449 (D. Idaho Jan. 22, 2021) (Brace), the United States District Court for the District of Idaho exercised its gatekeeper role when it granted in part and denied in part the defendant’s motion to exclude expert testimony pursuant to Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Experts, Idaho, Uncategorized and tagged .
Recall Alert

NZXT Recalls H1 Computer Cases


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On February 12, 2015, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

NZXT Recalls H1 Computer Cases Due to Fire Hazard.

According to the CPSC, “[m]etal screws that attach the PCIe riser assembly to the chassis can cause a short in the printed circuit board and overheating, posing a fire hazard due to the circuit board’s design.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
House Flood

Pennsylvania Federal Court Excludes Expert Testimony That Tries To Force a Square Peg Into a Round Hole


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In Kenney v. Watts Regulator Co, No. 20-2995, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4539 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 11, 2021), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania considered whether to exclude the plaintiff’s liability expert’s testimony regarding the sufficiency of the defendant’s product maintenance instructions. The plaintiff offered the testimony in support of his failure-to-warn product defect claim. The District Court excluded the testimony because the facts of the case did not support the plaintiff’s failure-to-warn claim, which rendered the testimony irrelevant. This case establishes that expert testimony can be excluded if there is an improper fit between the testimony and the underlying claim. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Experts, Experts – Daubert, Litigation, Pennsylvania, Products Liability and tagged , , , .
Product Recall

Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls Electrostatic Sprayers and Cordless Kerosene Heaters


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On February 3, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recalls related to products that present fire hazards:

  1. Victory Innovations Recalls Electrostatic Sprayers with Lithium-ion Battery Packs Due to Fire and Explosion Hazards. According to the CPSC, “[t]he sprayer’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack can overheat and melt, posing a risk of the product catching fire and/or exploding.”
  2. Enerco Group Recalls DeWALT Cordless Kerosene Heaters Due to Fire and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hazards. According to the CPSC, “[t]he heaters can re-start unexpectedly while in standby mode if the room temperature falls below the thermostat set point, posing fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazards.”
This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Recall Alert

Rapala USA Recalls Rechargeable Fillet Knives


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On January 19, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Rapala USA Recalls Rechargeable Fillet Knives Due to Fire Hazard.

According to the CPSC, “[t]he battery can overheat and catch fire if non-Rapala chargers are used to charge the battery.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .
Product Recall

Belkin Recalls Portable Wireless Chargers + Stand Special Edition


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On January 13, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Belkin Recalls Portable Wireless Chargers + Stand Special Edition Due to Fire and Shock Hazards.

According to the CPSC, “[a] manufacturing defect in the power supply unit can cause the charger to malfunction and overheat, posing fire and shock hazards.”

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Recall Alert

Massimo Motor Sports Recalls Percussion Massage Guns Due to Fire Hazard


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On January 6, 2021, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Massimo Motor Sports Recalls Percussion Massage Guns Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Costco.

According to the CPSC, “[t]he lithium-ion battery system can overheat, posing a fire hazard.”

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Product Recall

Anticimex Recalls Smart Connect Mini Devices


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In subrogation cases where the insured’s damages were caused by a defective product, the fact that the product at issue is or was subject to a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may help to establish that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s possession and control. On December 31, 2020, the CPSC announced the following recall related to a product that presents a fire hazard:

Anticimex Recalls SMART Connect Mini Devices Due to Fire and Injury Hazards (Recall Alert).

According to the CPSC, “[t]he device’s power supply can overheat while charging, and cause the plastic enclosure to fly off, posing fire and injury hazards.”

This entry was posted in CPSC Recalls, Products Liability and tagged .