Mass Tort and Product LiabilityPDF
The attorneys in Robinson Bradshaw’s mass tort and product liability practice have substantial experience representing clients in a broad range of industries facing claims of property damage, personal injury or wrongful death arising from products they have sold, distributed or manufactured. In particular, our product liability litigators have served as coordinating counsel throughout North America for international manufacturers exposed to claims alleged to have been caused by their electrical products.
We have extensive experience defending clients in construction-related product liability litigation. Another significant part of our product liability practice has involved the defense of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, including clients who have faced significant asbestos claims arising from products they – or their predecessors – sold or manufactured. We recognize that our clients’ product liability litigation is multifaceted and we apply a multidisciplinary approach to address all issues at hand.
Robinson Bradshaw’s product liability lawyers are also proficient in coordinating the complicated aspects of significant litigation, including: managing complex insurance issues, seeking indemnification and/or contribution from other potentially responsible parties such as component suppliers or previous owners of manufacturing facilities, and ensuring compliance with statutory reporting obligations and disclosure requirements.
Lighting. We serve as coordinating counsel for product liability claims brought against a multinational firm arising out of fires allegedly caused by the firm’s lighting products. Our lawyers frequently work with experts in handling scene investigations, forensic testing and analysis, fire cause and origin determinations, materials science, electrical engineering and accident reconstruction. These claims have arisen throughout North America, and a number of them allege damages exceeding $50 million. The firm has also defended affiliates of the client against fire claims allegedly caused by defective ballasts.
Heating. We have served as lead national counsel for claims arising out of certain heating products brought against a subsidiary of a public company with $5 billion in annual revenue. In this capacity, our lawyers have worked closely with fire science, electrical and metallurgical experts; participated in numerous product inspections; and represented the client in negotiations regarding protocols for both destructive and nondestructive testing, including extensive SEM work. These cases have involved property damage, personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Medical Products/Devices. Our lawyers have represented a wide variety of clients facing product-related claims in the medical and health fields. The firm serves as general counsel for a leading provider of microwave systems and solutions for laboratory applications and assists the client in analyzing and defending claims arising from its products. We have defended numerous lawsuits filed against an international firm that is engaged in the development, production and sale of medicines derived from human proteins. In addition, we have assisted a public company with a claim that one of its valves failed, causing hot water to be released in a patient treatment area. The firm has similarly represented a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company in handling multimillion-dollar claims arising from alleged performance failures of its products. For many years, we have served as general counsel for a public company engaged in performing contract research services, as well as supplying pharmaceutical products, and handled numerous claims arising out of services performed by the client.
Building Products. Robinson Bradshaw has assisted a national manufacturing company that faced significant claims alleging its product arced and caused fires to residential buildings. Several of these claims exceeded $1 million and the potential retrofit claims were substantial. Our lawyers have advised the client with regard to selection of experts, establishment of a protocol for site examination, and analysis of risks and strategic issues. The claims in these cases arose in several different states.
Industrial Products. The firm serves as national counsel for a North Carolina-based manufacturer of industrial gauges, valves and actuators. We also serve as national coordinating counsel for a company engaged in the distribution and sale of commercial perimeter security systems. Our lawyers regularly coordinate with local counsel, insurers and experts to ensure that the client is properly and vigorously defended against claims relating to these industrial products.
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury. Our litigators have extensive experience in handling significant personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of manufacturers of products. Our clients have included a national retailer in connection with claims arising out of severe burns suffered by a minor using a portable gasoline container; a successor to a corn foraging equipment manufacturer following the death of a farmer while using the company’s equipment; a boiler manufacturer following the carbon monoxide deaths of a married couple; and a heater manufacturer whose product allegedly caused a fire that claimed the lives of two small children.
Served as lead counsel for a company in whose trucking terminal a chemical drum of nitrocellulose exploded, causing a flash fire, over $5 million of property damage and life-threatening injuries to one of the company’s employees. Our firm participated in the initial factual investigation, supervised experts in the chemical, metallurgical and fire investigation fields, and handled all depositions (both fact and expert) in the case, which was successfully resolved just prior to trial.
Obtained dismissals for a company facing claims arising out of an explosion at a pharmaceutical facility located in eastern North Carolina. Property damage claims exceeded $50 million.
Successfully represented a company facing potential wrongful death, personal injury and property damage claims arising out of a chemical leak occurring at a processing plant in eastern North Carolina.
Provided advice to a services firm following an explosion at an agricultural manufacturing facility in eastern North Carolina.
Represented a company in two cases involving fires allegedly caused by the failure of a heating element.
Represented a supplier of deicing equipment to an airport with respect to significant claims arising out of the alleged failure of the equipment.
Represented a company in responding to potential claims arising out of the death of an employee caused by leakage of ammonia gas.
Defended an industrial engine manufacturer against product claims brought by a general contractor for an energy plant. The case arbitrated to a final award, which was well below half of the amount demanded.
Defended a manufacturer of plate heat exchangers against product claims brought by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
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