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Product Liability

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NEWS
February 10, 1989 | By Jodi Enda, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
You buy a ladder at the hardware store, read the warnings and hoist it up to your second-story window. The first time you ascend, you come right back down, courtesy of a weak rung. There are doctors' bills, missed work, lots of pain. Can you sue? If so, whom? The battle has now been joined in Harrisburg to provide the answer. The big guns are being lined up, lobbyists at the ready. On one side is the newly incorporated Pennsylvania Task Force on Product Liability, which counts among its members such corporate giants as Phillip Morris, General Electric and Merck pharmaceuticals.
NEWS
November 14, 1990 | By Jodi Enda, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
All it took was one word - tobacco - breathed on the Senate floor yesterday to effectively kill a proposal that would have limited consumers' abilities to collect large damage awards after being injured by products. Nearly two years after a business coalition was established to promote the measure, and seven months after the House passed it, the Senate laid the hotly contested "product liability" issue to rest for the remainder of the two- year legislative session. "If there's any indication that the tobacco industry will be protected, there will not be product liability" legislation, said Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Mellow (D., Lackawanna)
NEWS
June 9, 1987 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Despite protests from organizations representing consumers and lawyers, the state Senate yesterday passed a measure that would make winning lawsuits more difficult for people who contend that they were harmed by unsafe products. By a 25-11 vote, the Senate approved a measure sponsored by Raymond D. Lesniak (D., Union-Middlesex) that would establish new legal ground rules by which companies could fight such lawsuits. Although critics called the bill, in the words of one state senator, "a major step in the wrong direction," supporters said it would restore to an even keel a legal system that they see unfairly tilted toward those filing suit.
NEWS
April 10, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
AUSTIN L. HOGAN liked to kick back on the rooftop deck of his Society Hill condominium overlooking the Delaware River and burn through books at a scary pace. "He would devour a book in an hour and a half," said his wife, Margaret Leyden. "It was frightening. " Not only books but newspapers, local, national and even international, would fall into the maw of his insatiable greed for information and amusement. And he often would turn from the printed page to his Kindle. "He read everything," his wife said.
NEWS
April 4, 1990 | By Jodi Enda, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
In a debate that pits consumers and workers against businesses and the manufacturers of unsafe products, House members yesterday chose the latter. With a vote of 107-87, the House gave its preliminary nod to a measure that would limit consumers' ability to collect large damage awards when they are injured by defective products. A final vote is expected today. Supporters of the measure, passed as an amendment to a bill, hailed the vote as a victory for manufacturers, who they said had been unfairly burdened with product-liability lawsuits that result in large damage awards and high prices.
NEWS
June 26, 1991 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Despite optimism expressed last week, backers of a measure to place limits on lawsuits filed over defective products conceded yesterday that they did not have the votes in the Senate to pass their controversial legislation. For a second straight day, Senate Majority Whip D. Michael Fisher (R., Allegheny), the proposal's sponsor, put off a vote on the bill after realizing he lacked the support to approve it. "We're within one or two votes, but there's no sense of bringing it up without the votes to pass it," Fisher said.
NEWS
September 18, 1990 | By Jodi Enda, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Amid charges that a House-approved bill was written to protect tobacco companies from lawsuits, a Senate committee yesterday shelved the measure and replaced it with legislation that the sponsor said would leave the rights of cancer victims intact. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-3 to send to the full Senate a bill that supporters said would broaden the legal rights of consumers injured by defective products and workers hurt on the job. It also would offer some protection from lawsuits to businesses that unwittingly sell defective products that were manufactured by someone else.
NEWS
May 4, 1989 | By PAUL LASKOW
In testimony before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee last year, a nationally recognized legal authority described Pennsylvania's judge-made product liability law as "idiosyncratic, irrational and at bottom incomprehensible. " Aaron Twerski, a professor at Brooklyn School of Law, went on to say that Pennsylvania's peculiar rules placed our manufacturers at a distinct competitive disadvantage in selling their current products and developing new ones for national markets.
NEWS
June 10, 1989
The Pennsylvania legislature is starting to get the kind of high-powered public relations and lobbying that manufacturers have used in New Jersey and other states to weaken the rights of people hurt by unsafe products. This year's push for such legislation is being aided by a new corporate group, the Pennsylvania Task Force on Product Liability, and by an upgraded effort from the Pennsylvania Civil Justice Coalition. Last week the coalition jammed the Capitol with hundreds of people calling for "fair play," making it sound as if new limits on product liability would benefit everybody except lawyers.
NEWS
March 22, 1994
Corporate America has been claiming for years that the rules under which people can sue when hurt by an unsafe product are unfair. In the 1980s, many states changed their product liability laws to make them more industry- friendly, but Congress couldn't seem to get it together to take action on this issue. And, frankly, this is one case of Washington gridlock that didn't really bother us. The current system has problems, mainly the occasional overly lavish damage award to some idiot who was injured through his or her own stupid fault.
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NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Michael O'Sullivan Floyd, 75, of Center City, a Philadelphia lawyer who specialized in commercial litigation, died Friday, Jan. 9, of complications from Parkinson's disease at his home. Mr. Floyd spent his 43-year career with the firm Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.C. His office was in Philadelphia. According to a resumé on the company's website, Mr. Floyd concentrated on product liability and antitrust work. He generally represented big area companies when actions were brought against them.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rick Forman wanted to pay attention in class at Rutgers University, but he just couldn't handle it. "I was crawling out of my skin," said Forman. "I'm like, 'I have to get out of here,' because I'm in the back figuring out how many thousands of dozens of T-shirts I needed to buy for the flea market. " Forman, 54, who started selling T-shirts at flea markets while he was still in high school, never graduated from college. But he did graduate from flea markets to run Forman Mills, a $275 million retail chain with 2,700 employees, 31 stores painted an aggressive yellow, and a loudmouth ad campaign: Stretch those bills at Forman Mills.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Diversifying a business can make sense, but Wednesday presented an example of diversification gone awry. Pfizer Inc. is the world leader in selling prescription medicine and has a big operation in Collegeville. But part of its legion of lawyers was in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan handling a $964 million settlement fund of cash and assets for some - but not all - people claiming harm from asbestos. The asbestos was contained in insulation used in blast furnaces for steel-making.
NEWS
April 10, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
AUSTIN L. HOGAN liked to kick back on the rooftop deck of his Society Hill condominium overlooking the Delaware River and burn through books at a scary pace. "He would devour a book in an hour and a half," said his wife, Margaret Leyden. "It was frightening. " Not only books but newspapers, local, national and even international, would fall into the maw of his insatiable greed for information and amusement. And he often would turn from the printed page to his Kindle. "He read everything," his wife said.
NEWS
July 19, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Daniel L. Thistle, 67, of Washington Square, a trial lawyer, died Friday, July 13, of bladder cancer at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. After graduating from Villanova University Law School in 1970, Mr. Thistle joined the law firm headed by James Beasley, a prominent litigator. He was a partner in the Beasley Law Firm when he left in 1995 to establish the Thistle Law Firm. The Center City firm includes Mr. Thistle's son, Daniel Jr., and nephew Thomas, and represents plaintiffs in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, drug liability, general negligence, and automobile accidents.
NEWS
May 10, 2012 | By John F. Morrison, Daily News Staff Writer
Remember the 1993 movie "Philadelphia"? A lawyer played by Tom Hanks is fired from a Philadelphia law firm after it is revealed he has AIDS. William J. O'Brien, one of the city's premiere trial lawyers, had a similar case in 1994. He represented the law firm of Kohn Swift & Graf, which was sued in federal court by a 30-year-old lawyer who contended he was fired by the firm because he had HIV. Both the real case and the movie case wound up being settled out of court. For a lawyer renowned for his work on commercial litigation, involving such fields as product liability, insurance fraud, malpractice claims, government relations and the like, Bill was involved in a number of high-profile cases that made headlines.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2012 | Diane Mastrull
To local sports enthusiasts, Leslie Gudel is likely best known for her Phillies reporting and anchoring on Comcast SportsNet. To another category of fan, Gudel might not be known at all. But her portable baby recliners sure are. Since they hit the market in early 2009, Nap Nanny and its current derivation, Nap Nanny Chill, have delivered countless parents from the spirit-crushing torture of life with an infant who would rather cry than...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 2011 | By Peter Mucha and John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writers
After setting the table for Sheryl Crow in 2009 and having to endure the ignominy of opening for the Goo Goo Dolls last year, Philadelphia and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon band the Roots will finally get to headline its hometown July 4 celebration! Mayor Nutter announced the bill Tuesday morn for the free concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Art Museum. Along with the Roots, the lineup includes classic R&Bers Earth Wind & Fire , singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles , blue-eyed Doobie Brother Michael McDonald , British hip-hop soul singer Estelle , and, on the wheels of steel, Philadelphia's DJ Jazzy Jeff . Aaron Neville , whose Joe Henry -produced gospel album I Know I've Been Changed was one of the overlooked treasures of last year, and Philadelphia bass man Gerald Veasley will play Penn's Landing during the Taste of Philadelphia festival, which runs June 24-26.
NEWS
May 4, 2010 | By Maya Rao INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a career focused on defending the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and chemical industries in product liability, pricing, and intellectual property disputes, lawyer Anne M. Patterson has won praise even from her opponents. "There are some folks you just get along with because, although they are tenacious in terms of being an adversary, you also know that they are being professional and honest," said John Lacey, a partner at the firm Connell Foley who has observed Patterson in cases where he was opposing counsel.
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