Product Liability Claims

At Benesch, we approach product liability defense with the understanding that the future of an entire product line, and sometimes an entire company, can hinge upon finding the right litigation strategy. Our product liability litigators consider not only the pending case, but its long-lasting implications on our clients’ businesses and method of doing business. Accordingly, our product liability team has extensive experience in regulatory compliance and claims prevention as well as in vigorous claims defense. In addition, our attorneys monitor nationwide developments in product liability litigation and product recalls to spot trends and reduce the number and size of future claims.

Our attorneys have been involved in the formation and orchestration of product safety committee meetings and product liability programs, record retention programs, reviews of product warnings, reviews of privilege of critical self-analysis issues and recall procedures. In addition, we have experience in responding to inquiries and investigations of both federal and state regulatory agencies. We have conducted internal seminars for claims departments and engineering departments of our insurance and manufacturing clients.

We are experienced in a wide variety of products and industries, including, among others:

  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals and vaccines
  • Engines and generators
  • Maritime products
  • Industrial equipment
  • Electrical appliances
  • Power tools and other consumer goods
  • Chemicals
  • Asbestos, benzene, and toxic torts
  • Vehicles

Product Liability Litigation

Our litigators have handled product liability claims in courts throughout the country, in ADR negotiations, and in both domestic and international arbitrations. We work side-by-side with our clients to maximize the cost savings that can be achieved through effective case management and discovery. Our litigators use technology whenever possible to benefit our clients and can effectively guide clients through electronic discovery issues. We offer not only a team of skilled trial attorneys, but also a group which has in-depth product liability experience, including:

  • Successful defense of actions brought against medical device insureds/manufacturers, including catheters, implantable pumps, prosthetics and replacements, ambulatory equipment and remote-controlled surgical devices, laser surgical devices, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Extensive experience with fire origination and causation determination and in defending product manufacturers in cases involving fire damage claims.
  • Coordination of large, complex multiparty cases involving engine and generator manufacturers and suppliers, asbestos toxic tort defendants, and cordless telephone and appliance product manufacturers.
  • Defense of multimillion-dollar actions brought against manufacturers and distributors of construction and building materials.

Medical Devices

Benesch has deep experience defending medical device companies in product liability defense matters and counseling in intellectual property matters. On the defense side, we have been involved in numerous medical device litigation and product liability defense matters, including toxic tort litigation, repetitive stress injury litigation, general liability, workers’ compensation, and pharmaceutical liability litigation. Our team has litigated product liability claims involving a variety of biotech/life science products, including Cough Syrup Additives, Forceps, Diet Supplements, Implantable Morphine Pumps, Cardiac Surgery Equipment, Aortic Direct Ellipse Cannulae, Laser Hair Removal Apparatus, Cold Packs, Ear Piercing Apparatus, Loftstrand Crutches, Home Oxygen Tanks, Weight Loss Devices/Home Health Equipment, Spinal Catheters, Ephedra, Wheelchair Lifts, Pharmaceuticals/Thimerosal, Snoring Prevention Devices, Wheelchairs, Quad Canes, Contact Lens Solution, Orthotic Devices, Blood Pressure Machines and Laser Surgical devices.

Product Liability Prevention

We are skilled in a broad range of product safety prevention matters, such as the formation and orchestration of monthly product safety committee meetings and product liability prevention programs, record retention programs, reviews of product warnings, reviews of privilege of self-critical analysis, recall procedures and notifications, responses to agency incident reports and Freedom of Information Act requests, and internal seminars for claims departments and engineering departments.

We have significant experience concerning manufacturing operations and quality control programs. We understand that these programs are designed to result not only in the production of high-quality products, but also, when appropriate, to demonstrate to the courts that attention is being given to safety concerns both during production and in anticipation of consumer use.

We have successfully handled numerous nationwide product recalls in the United States. Our lawyers routinely counsel clients on issues involving product instructions and warnings, warranties, disclaimers, limitations of remedies, and other terms and conditions in sales, leasing, and licensing documents. A sampling of our experience follows.

  • Involvement in at least seven Voluntary Correction Actions or potential VCAs, including extensive and elaborate recall proceedings and protocols.
  • Reviewing over 100 prototype products for product safety, product testing, and warnings.
  • Authoring warnings for at least 30 products, both on product and in manual.
  • Holding in-house seminars for engineers/customer service representatives/quality controllers regarding preparation of internal documents to prevent smoking guns.
    We also have Federal Trade Commission (FTC) experience involving:
  • Authoring and critically reviewing marketing materials for 50+ products.
  • Screening websites and radio, TV, and print media programs for FTC compliance.
  • Orchestrating responses to six FTC and state attorney general investigations/inquiries, including meetings, with no enforcement actions as a result.

Given the potential for jeopardizing your company’s reputation and even its existence, product liability is an issue that deserves the highest attention—yours and ours. Trust the Benesch team to represent your interests and guide you in avoiding runaway claims and costs. With thorough knowledge of preventive practices and skillful case management and representation when needed, our attorneys will help you stay in control and out of danger.