Successful Dismissal of Hoverboard-Related Class Action Suit

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Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC
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A respected New York attorney, Scott Haworth serves as the managing partner of the law firm Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC. His work as an attorney encompasses areas such as torts, product liability, and class actions. In the recent case Brown v. Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc., et al., Scott Haworth was among a team that achieved dismissal of the case within the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

The case involved a plaintiff who attempted to represent a class of consumers spanning all U.S. states, each of whom bought a specific hoverboard model. The allegation was that 45 minutes into charging it with a plug, the hoverboard “burst into flames,” which caused residential damages.

Among the Court’s reasons for dismissal were “failure to plead with particularity” deficiencies in certifying the alleged consumer class, improper venue, and lack of personal jurisdiction. A key factor was that Delaware-incorporated Modell’s did not have any Indiana presence and was primarily a New York-based retailer.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Alternative Dispute Resolution
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An experienced attorney in New York City, Scott Hayworth has provided alternative dispute resolution for a multitude of clients. Scott Hayworth is currently managing partner at Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC.

Often facilitated by attorneys, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has gained popularity in recent years due to the rising costs of court cases. ADR offers a less expensive way to redress wrongs.

Many senior judiciary officials throughout the Western world are in favor of ADR. In fact, a number of them have stipulated that some type of ADR needs to be attempted before litigation within the court system.

ADR takes many different forms. The two most common are mediation and arbitration.

Of the two, arbitration is the most like a court case because it has simplified rules for evidence and limited discovery periods. An arbiter or a panel of arbiters presides over this form of ADR. Arbitration always ends with a resolution, though perhaps not one that satisfies both parties.

In contrast, mediation is facilitated by a mediator and involves negotiations between the two opposing parties. However, unlike arbitration, this form can fail to reach a resolution, possibly leading to a court case.

What are Class Action Suits?

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Scott Haworth
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Licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey, Scott Haworth is the managing partner of Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC. An experienced litigation attorney, Scott Haworth defends clients in product liability, intentional torts, and class action suits.

Class action suits arise when a group of people with similar injuries received from the same product, medical device, or action sue the same defendant together. A class action has the effect of bringing all plaintiffs together in one case rather than having each of them institute individual civil proceedings against a common defendant. For example, patients who were prescribed the same medication and later suffered unforeseen side effects may bring a suit against the manufacturer together, as can people living in the same neighborhood where a toxic spill contaminated their water system.

Class actions are a very effective means of instituting civil proceedings. On the court’s side, class actions enable it to hear dozens of claims at once and to dispose of them together, rather than having to listen to each of them individually. On the plaintiff’s side, class actions bring down litigation costs. By suing as a class, the plaintiffs consolidate their attorneys, evidence, and witnesses, bringing down the cost of the suit. Class action suits ensure that all injured plaintiffs receive a portion of awarded damages.

Differentiating Negligent and Intentional Torts

 

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Scott Haworth
Image: hcandglaw.com

After earning his JD from the New York University School of Law, Scott Haworth worked as an associate at Quirck & Bakalor, PC, and McCarter & English, before joining Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer LLP as a partner. Now managing partner at Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC, Scott Haworth defends matters of product liability, negligent torts, and intentional torts.

Tort claims essentially arise out of injury caused by one person to another. These injuries may have been caused negligently or intentionally, hence a tort can either be a negligent tort or an intentional tort. What determines the nature of a tort is the mindset of the person who committed the tort.

In negligent torts, the person who caused the injury did not willfully intend to do it. It only happened as a result of his or her carelessness. Consider a car accident where a person takes his eyes off the road for a minute and accidentally strikes a pedestrian. The driver did not intend to run over the victim, the accident only happened because of careless driving.

Intentional torts arise from the willful act of one person to cause harm to another. Here, the act causing injury is not committed by accident or carelessness but rather on purpose. Intentional torts include assault, battery, and trespass. Because of their willful nature, many intentional torts are also crimes.

The Role of the US Court of Appeals

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US Court of Appeals
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A former partner at the firm Sedgwick LLP, Scott Haworth is now the managing partner of a New York City-based law firm focused on the legal areas of product liability, catastrophic torts, and construction defense. A member of the New York State Bar Association, Scott Haworth is also licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey as well as the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is one of 13 appellate courts in the United States serving distinct geographic regions. The Court of Appeals falls just below the US Supreme Court in terms of jurisdiction and often has the final say in lawsuits due to the limited number of cases heard by the Supreme Court each year. Of the 13 courts, 12 are delegated by region, while the 13th US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit maintains jurisdiction over the entire country within a specific subset of legal areas, like international trade, patents, and government contracts.

Cases within these appellate courts are almost always heard and decided by three judges without the presence of a jury. Like Supreme Court justices, judges named to the court of appeals are nominated by the president of the United States and must receive confirmation from the US Senate.

Communications Company Found Not Liable for Worker’s Injuries

A member of the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Product Liability and Trial Tactics Committee, Scott Haworth is a well-known defense attorney working in New York City. As a managing partner at Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC, Scott Haworth regularly wins defense verdicts for his clients in cases ranging from product liability to construction torts.

In 2014, Mr. Haworth, along with other members of his firm’s litigation team, obtained a favorable decision for a large communications company. The case, Walter Pantovic v. Sprint Communications Company, went to the Appellate Division, First Department, where the decision to dismiss all of plaintiff’s causes of action was upheld.

Plaintiff had claimed that the company’s cell site was causing extremely high temperatures that led to him passing out at his job site and suffering significant injuries. The case was won for the defendant by arguing that the plaintiff’s activities were not included among protected activities under Labor Law 240(1).

Scott Haworth: Recent Developments with No Injury Class Action Suits

Legal professional Scott Haworth possesses significant experience in national litigation and represents clients such as cosmetics manufacturers, medical device producers, and telecommunication firms. Published in many legal journals, Scott Haworth wrote “Stopped Before They Start–Dismissing the No-Injury Class Action” for the December 2010 edition of For the Defense.

No injury class action lawsuits involve many of the same elements as traditional class action suits. Generally a federal matter, they must feature a large enough number of plaintiffs that it would become impractical for all of them to try the case individually. The plaintiffs must share similar legal and factual issues, while the attorney chosen to defend their case must represent the class as a whole. Though most class action suits require some form of injury, no injury suits attempt to eliminate the injury-in-fact aspect of these cases.

In April 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision regarding these claims based on the case Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer. Commencing in the Sixth Circuit, the suit involved Ohio purchasers of Whirlpool washing machines who claimed breach of warranty, negligent design, and negligent failure to warn, and they sought class certification. The initial court approved, and Whirlpool filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court, arguing that the class would be overly broad and violate Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because most of the plaintiffs were not injured. The justices agreed with Whirlpool Corporation, vacated the Sixth Circuit’s decision, and remanded it to the lower court.