Legal Protection and Reasonable Treatment for
Corporations Throughout the Entire Product Life Cycle

Upcoming Events

Webinars:
Please check back later for upcoming webinars.

Questions? Email us at [email protected].


PLAC Fall 2022 Conference:
PLAC's Fall Conference will take place October 19-21 at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah

Welcome New Members




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John Earnhardt
Maynard Cooper & Gale

Libby Stennes
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Stephen Yoshida
MB Law Group LLP

Joseph W. Hovermill
Miles & Stockbridge

Lee Mickus
Evans Fears & Schuttert LLP

Timothy E. Congrove
Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Deborah St. Lawrence Thompson
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Bobbie Hooper
Buchalter

Marie E. Chafe
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP.

Rachel M. Lary
Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC



Carlos M. Lazatin
O'Melveny & Myers LLP



Brent Moffett
Moffett Packus and Sims


Click here to see the full list of new members

Members in the News

Cheryl Bush Sworn in as a Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers

Cheryl Bush, Founding Member of Bush Seyferth PLLC (BSP Law), was sworn in as a Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) at the Annual Meeting on October 2, 2021. Bush will serve as Regent of the ACTL’s Region 9, which serves Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As a Regent, she will also be assigned to several committees, including Advocacy in the 21st Century, Attorney-Client Relationships, Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows, and the Emil Gumpert Award Committee. Her term began on October 2, 2021, and will last through the 2025 ACTL Annual Meeting.
Bush handles high-stakes cases across the country and has won 95% of her jury trials. She is actively involved in the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms and is a Senior Life Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Bush is also a member and Former Vice Chair of the Product Liability Advisory Council. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.
Bush Seyferth PLLC

Amicus Curiae Final Report -Smith v. Volkswagen Southtowne, Inc. - Utah Supreme Court

On March 10, 2020, PLAC filed an amicus brief in support of the defendant Volkswagen dealer. On June 30, 2022 the Utah Supreme Court issued its decision, reversed the decision of the trial court to grant JNOV and a new trial, and ordered the verdict against the defendant reinstated.

This brief was authored by Alan J. Lazarus, Faegre Drinker, with support from Tracy H. Fowler, Snell & Wilmer
Read the brief.

Amicus Curiae Final Report - Glover v. Bausch & Lomb, Inc. - Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut

On October 15, 2021, PLAC filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut on behalf of Defendant-Appellees Bausch & Lomb, Inc., Bausch Health Companies Inc. (f/k/a Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.), Bausch Health US, LLC (f/k/a Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC), and Bausch Health Americas, Inc. (f/k/a Valeant Pharmaceuticals International)

This brief was authored by John Cerreta, James Rotondo & Matthew Letten of Day Pitney LLP


Read the brief.

Amicus Curiae Final Report - General Motors, LLC v. Buchanan - Supreme Court of Georgia

PLAC filed an amicus curiae brief on Nov. 22, 2021 in support of General Motors in this case. The brief was written by Phil Goldberg and Anna Pieschel of Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP. The Court issued its ruling on June 1, 2022.

Announcement of Decision Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Mahan Taleshpour, et al. v. Apple, Inc.

On January 12, 2022, PLAC filed an amicus brief on behalf of Apple, Inc briefing the question of whether a plaintiff alleging consumer fraud based on failure to disclose a known defect must allege that the defect creates an unreasonable safety risk.

PLAC’s brief was authored by John M. Thomas of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

Cooper Tire & Rubber, Co. v. Tyrance McCall

Issue or Questions Briefed: Whether the U.S. Supreme Court should grant certioriari to review a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court holding that an out-of-state corporation can be deemed subject to the general personal jurisdiction of a state's courts merely by registering to do business within the state.

 

This brief was authored by: Chilton Davis Varner, Ashley C. Parrish, Brandon R. Keel, Jeremy M. Bylund, and Nicholas Mecsas-Faxon.

Click here to view the submitted brief.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Extends Component Parts Doctrine To Warranty Claims

On December 16, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its decision in Ofer Nemirovsky v. Daikin North America, LLC (SJC-13108.) PLAC submitted an amicus brief in support of member Daikin North America, LLC on the issue of whether the component parts doctrine bars a contract-based claim for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability of a non-defective component. The SJC agreed with PLAC’s argument that a manufacturer, distributor or seller of a non-defective component is not liable for damage caused by a defect in the integrated product.

A copy of the SJC's decision and PLAC’s brief, authored by James M. Campbell and Christopher R. Howe (Campbell Conroy & O'Neil, PC), are available for download below.


View PLAC’s Brief View the Court’s Opinion

LCJ Launches New ‘Don’t Say Daubert’ Web Portal as Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules Solicits Comments on Amendment to FRE 702

PLAC is teaming up with Lawyers for Civil Justice and other defense bar organizations to support a proposed amendment to improve and clarify FRE 702.  Attached is a message from LCJ describing the amendment and providing helpful background information.  We expect to submit a comment to the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules on behalf of our members in the next several months.
 

LCJ Launches New ‘Don’t Say Daubert’ Web Portal as Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules Solicits Comments on Amendment to FRE 702

New resource page highlights courts’ repeated misapplication of expert evidence admissibility standards, encourages public to submit comments supporting proposed reforms

 

Arlington, VA – August 9 – Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) – Today, Lawyers for Civil Justice launched a new web portal focused on expert evidence reform, Don’t Say Daubert, highlighting the need for amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702. The launch of the website comes as the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules invites public comments on a proposed amendment to FRE 702 that would clarify the widely misunderstood standards for expert evidence admissibility in U.S. federal courts.

 

“No matter how you pronounce it, the famous Daubert Supreme Court case doesn’t set the standards for expert evidence admissibility – Rule 702 does,” LCJ General Counsel Alex Dahl said. “The amendment process is a perfect time to get rid of the inaccurate slang by saying ‘Rule 702’ when referring to the standards for admitting expert testimony. We strongly encourage members of the bar to submit comments in support of the Advisory Committee’s amendment, which will clarify the standards for expert evidence and bring greater fairness to our civil justice system.”

 

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1993 decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the word "Daubert" has become a de facto shorthand for the standard by which expert evidence is evaluated for admissibility before a federal civil jury. However, it’s Federal FRE 702, not Daubert, that sets the standard that courts must follow in determining whether expert testimony is admissible.

 

The use of ‘Daubert’ instead of ‘Rule 702’ affects people’s understanding of what standards apply to those motions. While the ‘Daubert standard’ is based on a lineage of case law, the more recent Rule 702 standard is based on the 2000 amendment to the rule approved by the Supreme Court and Congress, codifying it into law. The current proposed amendment to Rule 702 would further clarify that courts are responsible for determining the admissibility of expert opinion testimony, rather than leaving fundamental questions about the basis of expert opinions to a jury. The widespread misunderstanding of expert evidence admissibility standards in both trial and appellate courts within every federal circuit for more than two decades have led to decisions that are patently incompatible with Rule 702.

 

The web portal outlines the history behind expert evidence admissibility standards, which shows that the all-too-common invocation of “the Daubert standard” should be discarded and replaced with “the Rule 702 standard.”

 

The Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules opened its six-month public comment period on Friday, August 6. To learn why FRE 702 needs to be amended and how to submit a comment on the proposed rulemaking, visit www.DontSayDaubert.com.

 

To read the full text of the proposed amendment to FRE 702, click here.

We Said It Before; We’ll Say It Again – Drug/Device Companies Should Join PLAC

We return to a theme we’ve repeated twice before, in 2011 and in 2014 – that in addition to industry-specific groups, manufacturers of prescription medical products should definitely consider joining the Product Liability Advisory Council (“PLAC”). We continue to believe that PLAC membership helps pharmaceutical and medical device defendants litigate stronger (through inter-industry cooperation on shared issues of concern), smarter (through cutting edge CLE and webinars), and more efficiently (utilizing PLAC’s online knowledge base and other resources).

Jim Beck, Esq.
Reed Smith LLP

Read the Full Blog Post 

Amicus Program

PLAC's mission is to obtain fairness and balance in the common law of product liability. A primary tool to accomplish this mission is PLAC's Amicus Curiae Program, often called “The heart and soul of PLAC.”

PLAC has filed more than 1,200 amicus briefs, written by some of the nation’s top appellate practitioners. Our briefs have been accepted in virtually every state and federal court in the U.S. They are routinely acknowledged, quoted, and praised by courts in published opinions.

PLAC’s amicus briefs help shape the law for all manufacturers on important issues.

Click here to learn more about PLAC’s Amicus Program or to submit a request for amicus support. 

Our Mission

PLAC is a specialty bar association focusing on complex litigation and regulatory issues in the area of product development and product liability. Our not-for-profit association of product manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and select regulatory, litigation and appellate professionals who work to shape the common law of product liability and complex regulation, provide guidance on changing regulations, and strategically help corporations manage risk throughout the entire product lifecycle. PLAC is a unique resource for companies who must defend their products’ integrity and their companies’ reputation.

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