Here Come The Drones — And The Legal Headaches

Here Come The Drones — And The Legal Headaches

By Nate R. Bohlander

Law360, New York (February 23, 2017, 11:09 AM EST) —

There is arguably no bigger stage in America than that of the Super Bowl halftime show. More than 117 million people watched recently as Lady Gaga appeared to jump from the roof of NRG Stadium and down to the sea of adoring fans below. But before showing off her acrobatic abilities, she offered a subdued rendition of “God Bless America” in front of a series of red, white and blue lights seemingly suspended in mid-air.

The audience was completely unaware that this light show, which first formed a series of stars and then a fluttering American flag, were actually a swarm of 300 drones flying in perfect formation, all controlled by a single computer. Intel’s Shooting Stars, quadcopters that feature built-in LED lights that can create more than 4 billion color combinations, danced and dazzled the brave new world of drones even further into the mainstream of American culture.

Product Defect and Inadequate Warning Claims: We’ve Got a Jury for That

By Patricia J. Baxter and Nate R. Bohlander

If a product lacks any cognizable defect and conspicuously warns against the exact harm which befell plaintiffs, do defect and failure to warn claims against a manufacturer require a jury determination?  Your response would likely fall somewhere on the spectrum between “Probably not” and “No way!”  And you would probably reason that a judge could, and should, dismiss those claims at the motion stage.  But, in a January 13, 2017 decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled to the contrary.