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DOT Proposes New Rule To Assess Motor Carriers’ Safety Compliance

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a rulemaking proposal to improve the agency’s ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, in addition to the results of carrier investigations and crash reports, into the agency’s safety fitness...

Federal Court Weighs Trade Secret Concerns With Discovery Goals In Tire Blowout Case

In a products liability tire blowout case, the parties entered into an agreed protective order protecting the disclosure and use of confidential information.  The parties disagreed on whether to include a sharing provision and the court rejected the plaintiffs’ request for a sharing provision that would allow the plaintiffs to share designated confidential information with other...

Foreign Tire Manufacturer Subject To Personal Jurisdiction In Iowa

The Supreme Court of Iowa had to confront unsettled federal precedent to decide whether a Chinese tire manufacturer that sold thousands of tires in Iowa through an American distributor could be subject to personal jurisdiction in the state.  The tire at issue exploded as it was being inflated and caused severe injuries to the individual inflating it.  The individual’s family...

State Supreme Court Issues Contentious Spoliation Ruling

To frame the issue, first consider the following criticisms of the majority opinion from the two dissenting opinions:  “Let me be clear at the outset.  The majority opinion has abolished the tort of spoliation of evidence.  I do not say this lightly.  Under the majority’s decision, no plaintiff will ever be able to withstand a summary judgment motion for spoliation of...

Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Expert Opinions Scrutinized By Federal Courts

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska issued opinions addressing challenges to proffered plaintiffs’ expert testimony in product liability cases.  In the Nebraska case, which involved injuries sustained from a fall off a ladder, the court excluded the plaintiff’s expert opinion that...

Virginia Federal Court Sorts Through Summary Judgment Rulings In Alleged Defective Engine Case

The block heater in a fire truck’s engine allegedly failed while the truck was parked in a Virginia fire house, and electricity running through the block heater arced, shorted, and started a fire that caused significant damages to the fire house.  The fire department brought suit against multiple defendants, including Company A, the manufacturer of the cab and chassis, which...

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