When a dangerous product causes an injury, the injured person will often file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the product manufacturer. Typically, the injured party and the manufacturer will reside in different states. Thus, the question of which state’s law applies will often have to be resolved by the courts. Recently, a Florida court addressed the issue of what state’s laws apply with regard to punitive damages claims in a product liability case filed against a Massachusetts company. If you were harmed by an unsafe product, you might be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Florida product liability attorney to discuss your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a procedure during which transvaginal mesh produced by the defendant was implanted to treat urinary incontinence. She then suffered severe side effects and filed a lawsuit as a product liability against the defendant in a district court in Florida. As part of her complaint, she sought punitive damages. Over a year into the litigation of the matter, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to govern the punitive damages claim under Massachusetts law. Ultimately, the court denied the motion.
Choice of Law Analysis in Product Liability Cases
The court explained that parties could stipulate to, or waive, the law that will govern claims or issues in a federal diversity case. In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant’s motion was untimely, as it was filed several months after the deadline for dispositive motions had passed. Additionally, it was not filed due to new facts, as the defendant possessed the information that formed the basis of its request since the onset of the case. Thus, the court denied the motion as untimely.