Chrysler Stay Lifted; Further Attacks to Follow

The stay was lifted in a two page order available here. The experts at Scotus blog offered some interesting views on how much this order does or does not mean and noted in commentary that one appeal for certiorari has been filed with the Court. As to the issues for future product liability claimants, it seems fair to assume that collateral changes will arise in the future, as was successfully done in the later stages of the Agent Orange litigation by future claimants whose interests were not properly represented in the original Agent Orange proceedings. See Stephenson v. Dow Chemical, 273 F.3d 279 (2d Cir. 2001). Here, it seems difficult to realistically argue that future product liability claimants could be or were given meaningful or timely notice of the Chrysler proceedings, and there was no designated futures representative, much less an adequate future representative or a meaningful hearing on the issues specific to the future claimants. Time will tell what happens on direct appeal or later collateral attacks. But the Manville/Travelers opinion should be out withing the next three weeks and perhaps will include relevant rulings or clues.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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