With Michigan’s 2018 adoption of its Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act, fourteen states now have asbestos claims transparency laws on the books. These laws ensure defendants are not kept in the dark when asbestos claimants seek recovery from asbestos bankruptcy trust funds. This stands in stark contrast to the landscape as of just three years ago, when only three states had such asbestos claims transparency laws on the books. Why the shift? In short, it can be attributed to “the Garlock effect.”
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted by the European Parliament went into effect in May 2018.1 Why is this news to American companies? Because GDPR regulations may apply to American companies which collect personal data on European Union (“EU”) citizens or monitor the behavior of EU-based data subjects – even if the companies do not maintain a physical presence in the EU. Accordingly, U.S. companies that do not understand and comply with the GDPR may be vulnerable to civil penalties or legal action.
Continuing its recent trend to mirror their federal counterpart, the Minnesota Supreme Court (the “Court”) recently approved several amendments to the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure (“MRCP”).
On May 21, 2018, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, affirmed the rulings of the district court judge overseeing all asbestos litigation in Minnesota on various grounds. The decision, Conda v. Honeywell International, Inc., arose out of a three-week trial in 2016 regarding the death of Ronald Conda, who passed away because of mesothelioma. Plaintiff had argued that Mr. Conda was exposed to various asbestos-containing products through his work at Northern States Power (“NSP”) facilities and through non-occupational exposures to joint compound and automotive products.
Despite a bipartisan push to significantly alter workplace sexual harassment law in Minnesota, the legislative session ended this week with no changes to the law. At issue was the proposed rejection of the “severe or pervasive” standard that has prevailed for sexual harassment1 claims nationally and in Minnesota for more than 30 years.
The Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari this week in an asbestos case which may directly impact the ability of equipment manufacturers to assert the “bare metal” defense.
Governor Scott Walker signed Wisconsin’s most recent tort reform bill into law earlier this month. Assembly Bill 773 (“AB 773”) aims to lower litigation costs for businesses by modernizing and tightening Wisconsin’s outdated rules of civil procedure.
Does a Minnesota federal district court sitting in diversity jurisdiction apply state law when deciding whether to allow a claim for punitive damages? Despite longstanding precedent, a series of recent decisions suggest the answer is “maybe.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in a recent failure-to-accommodate case that, unlike the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) does not require employers to engage in the "interactive process" with disabled employees to determine if an appropriate reasonable accommodation is necessary.
The Minnesota Supreme Court appears to have abandoned a common law limit on the tort liability of product manufacturers, particularly in a workplace setting.
This time of the year is filled with family, food, laughter, and cheer. But this year, Minnesota limited liability companies should add one more thing to their holiday "to-do" list: a review of their operating agreements, bylaws, and other governance documents.
In a pair of recent rulings, the Supreme Court continues to narrow a state's authority to hale non-resident defendants, such as foreign corporations, into their courts. One decision, BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell et al., narrowed a state's general jurisdiction authority; the other, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County et al., narrowed specific jurisdiction authority.
In what is sure to be a sea change for the whistleblower litigation landscape in Minnesota, a recent landmark ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court expanded the rights of whistleblowers by considerably lowering the threshold for an employee's reporting requirement under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act ("MWA").