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Commercial Law General Counsel and In House Counsel Litigation Products Liability

Duty to Warn and Third-Party Conduct: A Look at Two Recent New York Cases

In the past year, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, issued two decisions addressing both the scope of a defendant’s duty to warn in negligence and products liability actions, and the scope of tort liability in actions predicated upon third-party conduct.

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In the past year, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, issued two decisions addressing both the scope of a defendant’s duty to warn in negligence and products liability actions, and the scope of tort liability in actions predicated upon third-party conduct. In In re N.Y.C. Asbestos Litigation (N.Y.C. Asbestos), No. 83, 2016 WL 3495191 (N.Y. June 28, 2016), the court considered the circumstances under which a manufacturer of a non-hazardous product has a duty to warn against dangers arising from the product’s use in combination with a hazardous product manufactured by a third party. In Pasternack v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, No. 112, 2016 WL 3543713 (N.Y. June 30, 2016), the court considered: 1) whether laboratories and related entities have a common law duty to comply with federal regulations and guidelines governing drug-testing procedures that are unrelated to preserving the scientific integrity of the testing process; and 2) whether a plaintiff who suffers damages as a result of a third party’s reliance on a false representation can state a claim for fraud.

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