Practices

Products Liability

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Ramifications of products liability lawsuits are significant for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and insurers. Litchfield Cavo attorneys understand the risks these industries face and put the full force of decades of litigation and trial experience to resolve products liability claims for their clients.

Our seasoned products liability litigators and trial attorneys are located in offices coast to coast and have the resources to minimize liability exposure and defend product defect claims for clients throughout the United States. Our product liability attorneys defend clients in state and federal courts with particular experience addressing the complexities of defending foreign companies in US litigation.

Our trial attorneys successfully defend product liability, wrongful death actions and catastrophic injury cases to verdict all over the country with great success. This reduces the compensatory and punitive damage exposure of our clients while remaining cost effective. Moreover, attorneys have years of experience in the following roles:

  • Risk management and loss prevention | Our attorneys work extensively with our clients to address immediate threats and minimize exposure. In such incidents, our attorneys conduct immediate accident investigation to minimize our clients’ risk in the event a lawsuit is filed. Our litigators will review product warnings and operation manuals to remain in compliance, reviewing product recalls, drafting document retention policies and related consultation services. Our attorneys offer clients safety issues presentations and counsel on safety training of personnel.
  • Trial counsel | Our attorneys understand a trial is the last resort for clients, yet are always prepared to take a case to verdict. Our attorneys place clients in the best position to prevail at trial in claims alleging design and manufacturing defects, failure to warn, breach of warranty, deceptive trade practices and other conduct resulting in injury or death.
  • National and regional coordinating counsel | Clients who face recurrent liability exposure rely on our products liability attorneys to serve as national and/or regional coordinating counsel in mass tort matters and repeat litigation. Our attorneys oversee the defense of product liability claims by selecting and working closely with local counsel to develop a litigation plan and devise a strategy while coordinating the discovery process. This includes case-to-case consistency while investigating reported accidents, reviewing and organizing key company documents and privilege logs, coordinating written and deposition discovery, and participating in mediations and trials when needed.
  • Advisory counsel | Our attorneys serve as advisory counsel to manufacturers of industrial equipment and other products concerning retrofit campaigns and preparing related component kits, safety labels, customer correspondence and operator manuals, and training material revisions.
  • Special counsel | Our attorneys assist manufacturers in specialized cases when related or identical design issues are the subject of national scrutiny. Our product liability attorneys conduct early and thorough accident investigations, prepare technical arguments to defend the equipment design and ensure the nationwide group of cases are handled consistently across jurisdictions.

Litchfield Cavo attorneys represent manufacturers, distributors and retailers in many areas of commerce involving a myriad of products, which include the following:

  • Asbestos
  • Automobiles, SUVs and trucks
  • Chemicals
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) industrial machining equipment
  • Construction equipment
  • Elevators and conveyors
  • Factory assembly equipment
  • Food products and food processing equipment
  • Heating and air conditioning equipment
  • Home appliances
  • Intraocular lenses
  • Ladders and lift trucks
  • Machinery and machining centers
  • Medical devices, implants and prosthetics
  • Metal working equipment and lathes
  • Motorcycle helmets
  • Paints
  • Petrochemical products
  • Pharmaceuticals, medications and vaccines
  • Printing presses
  • Security systems
  • Sporting equipment
  • Tractors and mowers
  • Underground storage tanks

 

Our Products Liability Record

Our attorneys defend products liability actions throughout the United States, including the following representative matters:

  • Obtained defense verdict following a jury trial for agricultural machinery manufacturer wherein plaintiff claimed a design defect of one machine resulted in the plaintiff being struck by debris causing severe injuries.
  • Defense of crane manufacturer client in a two-month trial of a dispute involving the failure of an overhead crane in a steel-producing facility; the verdict awarded was substantially below the amount the plaintiff requested in closing arguments.
  • Served as trial counsel for a lathe distributor client in a six-week trial and obtained a defense verdict against claims of negligence, strict liability and punitive damages, and successfully defended the verdict on appeal.
  • Defense of a major dairy against a class action arising from salmonella contamination at a major dairy that caused several hundred injuries due to milk contamination, and obtained successful defense against related claims for punitive damages at trial.
  • Defense of a major medical laboratory in products liability and medical malpractice litigation.
  • Served as national counsel and lead defense counsel in hundreds of foodborne illness suits against food suppliers and processors relating to dozens of national outbreaks and recalls for exposure to E. coli, salmonella, listeria and other pathogens. Our attorneys obtain dismissals of numerous suits by establishing a lack of microbiological and epidemiological evidence.
  • Secured dismissals as national counsel and lead defense counsel in serious burn injury and wrongful death suits involving gas cans subject to a national recall.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a Fortune 500 heavy equipment manufacturer in connection with a plaintiff losing control of and crashing picker lift causing her severe injuries. In granting our client’s summary judgment motion, the Circuit Court of Will County, Illinois rejected plaintiff’s argument that the picker lift was dangerous for its intended use.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a packaging machinery manufacturer client against claims of strict product liability and breach of warranty, which was less than five percent of the original settlement demand.
  • Obtained summary judgment in the Western District of Pennsylvania in a wrongful death action on behalf of a manufacturer of a traffic signal pre-emption device client on grounds that it owed no duty to the decedent and the defect did not proximately cause the accident at issue.
  • Obtained favorable settlement just prior to trial in the Western District of Pennsylvania in a wrongful death action brought by the estate of a sawmill worker who was crushed by our client’s edger by showing that the equipment operated as intended and that the decedent’s actions proximately caused his death.
  • Prevailed on appeal in of New York, Appellate Division – Second Judicial Department on behalf of the retailer of inflatable watercraft client that caused serious injuries to the plaintiff. The appellate court applied the theory of alternative liability in finding for our client.
  • Obtained summary judgment in New York Supreme Court, New York County on behalf of a wood floor adhesive manufacturer client whose product allegedly contained toxins causing severe illness due to exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on grounds plaintiff failed to establish a causal relationship between the illness and the alleged toxic exposures.
  • Secured a dismissal in the Southern District of New York on behalf of drain cleaning product manufacturer client whose product exploded and splattered chemicals in the plaintiff’s face, causing permanent loss of vision and facial burns.
  • Obtained summary judgment in the Supreme Court of Bronx County, New York on behalf of retailer client who sold allegedly defective kitchen device that caused a severe hand injury resulting in amputation, whereby the retailer successfully enforced an indemnity provision with the distributor of the kitchen device.