Products liability counselling and defence
We have extensive experience in strategising, defending, managing and trying products liability and complex tort cases throughout the US. We also counsel and closely work with our clients — both domestic and international — even in the absence of litigation, to ensure that they have in place the proper internal practices and procedures to manage and minimise the product liability risks associated with the sale of products in the US market.
Our practice is geared to achieving success on the merits whether at trial or by dispositive motion, by defeating class allegations or by effectively demonstrating to plaintiffs the futility of their claims. We recognise that zealous representation must also be cost effective and deliver value to our clients.
The greatest success is the avoidance of conduct that causes harm or increases the risk of litigation. We have worked closely with our clients, for decades, to assist them in achieving that result.
Our clients operate in a broad range of industries, including food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, over-the-counter products, consumer electronics, and home appliances.
Food and beverage
Our products liability team has played a leading role in the representation of producers of food and beverages for decades.
Our work has included the following representations:
- Counsel for a distilled spirits manufacturer in the defence of numerous putative nationwide class actions claiming that the words ‘All Natural’ on its product labelling are false and misleading. Several of those cases — in California, Florida, and Illinois — have been voluntarily dismissed as a consequence of our strategic defences.
- Counsel for a distilled spirits manufacturer in a highly-publicised lawsuit in which Chadbourne obtained a defence verdict in the first products liability action claiming that a child’s birth defects resulted from his mother’s consumption of beverage alcohol. The unanimous jury verdict for the defendant, following a month-long trial in Seattle, put an end to the then-burgeoning ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’ litigation against all other alcohol manufacturers.
- Counsel for a distilled spirits manufacturer in putative class actions in seven states alleging that distillers and brewers were improperly marketing alcohol to youth. All those lawsuits were dismissed on motion.
Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
Chadbourne has a long history of representing companies in the life-sciences industry through a full range of legal practices. Lawyers throughout the firm effectively serve the needs of our life-sciences clients, which include manufacturers and distributors of both over-the-counter and prescription medication products as well as medical devices.
Representative experience includes:
- Co-national counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in thousands of individual and putative class-action cases filed across the country over more than a decade alleging that an opioid analgesic pain medication was defectively designed and over-promoted.
- New York counsel for a medical device manufacturer in dozens of cases filed in New York alleging defective design, breach of warranty and related product liability claims regarding a knee replacement device.
- National counsel for a consumer product manufacturer in putative class actions in Texas and Illinois against manufacturers of over-the-counter ‘stimulant’ laxative products.
Durable goods companies face increasing legal challenges with the rise of globalisation, increased regulation, and the unrelenting pace of technological innovation.
Our team works closely in counselling manufacturers of durable goods and defending their interests in the event of litigation.
Representative experience includes:
Counsel for a global consumer products manufacturer in a consumer fraud putative nationwide class action involving the federal government’s Energy Star program.
- Counsel for an international consumer product manufacturer before a US regulatory authority regarding a voluntary recall of a household product.
- Counsel for an international consumer product manufacturer in a consumer fraud putative nationwide class action alleging that a household appliance was defectively designed.
Select honours and awards
Our products liability department’s track record of successfully managing our clients’ diverse needs has earned us consecutive recommendations in leading directories all over the world including:
- Chambers USA
- The Legal 500 US
- Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys
For more information on products liability counselling and defence click here.
News from Chadbourne & Parke
Briefings from Chadbourne & Parke
This presentation by Chadbourne & Parke focuses on real-estate investment trusts (REITs) and renewable energy.
The ABA Tax Section’s May meeting hosted a panel discussion concerning the IRS’s start of construction guidance (Notice 2013-29).