Navigating the Legal Landscape: Key Industry Updates (January 2024)

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2024

Navigating the Legal Landscape: Key Industry Updates (January 2024) image

The AI Pin: fashion-forward or tech’s next big thing?

Humane, an AI startup, has publicly launched orders for its stand-alone smart assistant, the wearable AI Pin, which attaches to clothing via a magnet. Founders Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, former Apple employees, see this as the start of a new era. At Paris Fashion Week, Coperni designers showcased the AI Pin's appearance, though not its functionality, aligning with their vision of "forward-thinking fashion" that integrates design, creativity, and technology for cultural change. Despite models not interacting with the prototype during the autumn show, the AI Pin was praised for its aesthetics, although it didn't contribute a distinct design element to the clothing.

Source: The Global Legal Post

ESG in 2024: getting to grips with the new paradigm

In 2023, global ESG developments saw the introduction of key disclosure frameworks, setting minimum expectations for sustainability reporting. Notable events included standards from the ISSB, ESRS under the CSRD, additional TNFD guidance, and the TPT's Disclosure Framework. Although not all frameworks are mandatory, businesses will face increased scrutiny from regulators and stakeholders. The momentum is expected to continue in 2024 with further ESG advancements.

Source: The Global Legal Post

McKinsey to pay $78 million in US opioid settlement with health plans

McKinsey & Co, a consulting firm, has agreed to pay $78 million to settle allegations by U.S. health insurers and benefit plans. The claims asserted that McKinsey contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic by providing services to drug companies, including Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin. The settlement, revealed in documents filed on Friday in a San Francisco federal court, represents the final resolution in a sequence of settlements that McKinsey has entered into to address lawsuits related to the U.S. opioid crisis.

Source: Reuters

Judge certifies Johnson & Johnson shareholder class action over talc disclosures

A federal judge in Trenton, New Jersey, has granted Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) shareholders the ability to collectively pursue a class action lawsuit. The shareholders allege that the company fraudulently concealed asbestos contamination in its talc products. U.S. District Judge Zahid Quraishi, rejecting J&J's argument for a shorter class period, permitted the claims of securities fraud from Feb. 22, 2013, to Dec. 13, 2018, stating that certain events causing stock price decline did not lack "new" information.

Source: Reuters

45 journalists killed in 2023, marking lowest toll since 2002: RSF report

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) revealed in its annual report that 45 journalists were killed in 2023, the lowest since 2002. Additionally, 54 were held hostage, 84 were missing, and 521 were detained. Improved journalist security in conflict zones, enhanced regulatory frameworks, and increased self-censorship may explain reduced exposure to physical threats.

Source: Jurist

Tokyo High Court holds Japan government not liable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Tokyo’s High Court absolved the Japanese government of liability for damages in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, placing sole responsibility on TEPCO. The court also reduced damages to $165,000 for 44 petitioners, citing the government's inability to prevent the flooding. This decision follows previous rulings in 2022 and earlier years, examining the government's role in disaster prevention, including a 2022 case holding TEPCO executives personally liable.

Source: Jurist

UN Genocide Convention has had mixed results since it was approved 75 years ago

Seventy-five years ago, following Nazi atrocities, a global commitment was made. Nations vowed to free humanity from the "odious scourge" of genocide by establishing a new convention at the United Nations on December 9, 1948, focused on preventing and punishing genocide.

Source: The Conversation

NZ First fears over WHO regulations are misplaced – robust checks and balances already exist

The new government's swift "reservation" against adopting amendments to World Health Organization regulations puzzled some expert observers but indicated an early victory for the NZ First party.

Source: The Conversation

As plastic production grows, treaty negotiations to reduce plastic waste are stuck

Plastic pollution has reached Earth's remotest areas, impacting wildlife, the environment, and human health. To address this issue, U.N. member countries are in talks for a global treaty to decrease plastic pollution, with the goal of finalizing it by the close of 2024.

Source: The Conversation