On April 14, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued information regarding the application for and distribution of approximately $10 billion in relief funds to airports that fall within four categories under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, 2020.
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By Alyson Walker Lotman and Theresa A. Langschultz
The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a notice of proposed rule-making on March 17, 2020 designed to modernize federal safety standards on autonomous vehicles. The proposed rules are intended to pave the way for the future of autonomous vehicles by amending the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Proposed changes include allowing autonomous vehicles – specifically, those designed solely to carry property and goods – to be built without “traditional manual controls” and protective safety features meant for humans. Continue reading “U.S. D.O.T.’s NHTSA Proposes Easing Federal Safety Standards For Autonomous Vehicles”
By Matthew Decker
In Rodgers v. Christie, a recent non-precedential decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit examined whether traditional strict products liability doctrines apply to artificial intelligence-based software. 2020 WL 1079233 (3d Cir. Mar. 6, 2020). There, plaintiffs asserted claims under the New Jersey Products Liability Act (“PLA”), arising from the State’s Public Safety Assessment (“PSA”). Id. at *1. The PSA is a “data-based” risk assessment algorithm which provides quantitative scores and a “decision-making framework” to assist courts in “assess[ing] the risk that [a] criminal defendant will fail to appear for future court appearances or commit additional crimes and/or violent crimes if released.” See Roders v. Laura and John Arnold Foundation, 2019 WL 2429574, at *1 (D.N.J. June 11, 2019), aff’d sub nom. Roders v. Christie, 2020 WL 1079233. Plaintiffs’ strict products liability claims put the PSA at issue, claiming the algorithm had assigned an erroneously low score to a convicted felon, who allegedly murdered their son three days after he was released from detention on non-monetary conditions. 2020 WL 1079233, at *1. Continue reading “Third Circuit Weighs In On Strict Products Liability for Artificial Intelligence”
By John E. Munro
The United States Supreme Court refused to take up a request to revisit the Federal Circuit’s decision regarding design patents covering automotive repair parts. The Supreme Court’s denial to revisit the decision keeps the long-standing principles of functionality with regards to design patents unchanged. The decision stands, however, as a reminder of the importance and usefulness of design patents to protect repair parts in industries that have significant commercial interests in preventing third-parties from copying designs of repair parts. Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Revisit Decision Upholding Design Patent Validity for Automotive Repair Parts”
By Elizabeth Mincer
On February 26, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule changing the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. This final rule will affect companies across industries, but could be particularly impactful on entities operating in the transportation, automotive, and logistics industries. Continue reading “The National Labor Relations Board Changed Its Joint Employer Standard… Again”
By Elizabeth Mincer
Pennsylvania could be joining the ranks of states that require employers to pay employees for time spent in post-shift security screening (federal law does not require employers to do this). In December 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to consider whether the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) qualifies such security screenings as compensable time in Neil Heimbach v. Amazon.com, Inc. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision has the potential to affect a wide range of industries operating in Pennsylvania, including those in transportation, automotive, and logistics. Continue reading “Security Screenings and Overtime Pay: Could Pennsylvania Join Other States in Requiring that Employees Remain “On-the-Clock” for Mandatory Security Protocols?”
It’s hard to imagine any sector where developments arise faster, and legal issues are more volatile, than transportation, automotive and logistics. Our clients sit in the cross hairs of innovation, regulation and risk. They face challenges from all sides, from contracts to procurement, though commercial issues, regulatory risk, safety compliance, litigation risk, product recalls, insurance and even ethical issues. Continue reading “Introduction”