A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for February 17-23.


Fears of More N.J. Plaintiffs Spur Biz Push for Legal FixesFears of More N.J. Plaintiffs Spur Biz Push for Legal Fixes

Bruce Kaufman | Bloomberg Law’s Product Safety & Liability Reporter

Business groups are ratcheting up the pressure to improve their legal defenses in New Jersey in anticipation of a wave of new plaintiffs who may be encouraged to sue in the Garden State after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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DOJ Signals New Interest In Policing Class Action Settlements

Alison Frankel | Reuters

On Friday, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest opposing final court approval of a proposed consumer class action settlement in federal court in Camden, New Jersey. I’ll tell you below about the substance of the government’s qualms with the settlement, which resolves allegations that a website called Wines ‘Til Sold Out misrepresented the original prices of wines it sold at a purported discount. But the significance of DOJ’s filing isn’t the particular flaws it highlights in the proposed deal. It’s that the Justice Department is exercising its authority to oppose a private class action settlement – and that, based on comments from departing Justice Department official Rachel Brand, the Wines ‘Til Sold Out filing is likely to be just the first in a series from the Trump DOJ.

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Is It ‘Natural’? Consumers, and Lawyers, Want to Know

Julie Creswell | New York Times

In recent years, one bright spot in an otherwise lackluster market for packaged foods, beverages and consumer products has been merchandise promoted as “natural.” Consumers, increasingly wary of products that are overly processed or full of manufactured chemicals, are paying premium prices for natural goods, from fruit juices and cereals to shampoos and baby wipes. But as a spate of lawsuits and consumer advocacy efforts show, one person’s “natural” is another person’s methylisothiazolinone.

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