Practice Areas & Industries: Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

 




Products Liability & Mass TortReturn to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Drinker Biddle brings to products liability and mass tort litigation exceptional breadth and depth of experience.  The products liability practice group includes over sixty lawyers, with a national presence in the firm’s offices across the country.  Drinker Biddle lawyers have successfully tried cases from “bet the company” to individual claims in courts around the country, handled class action and Daubert hearings, and have achieved numerous other victories through dispositive motions and on appeal.  Our recent representations have included substantial matters pending in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona and California.  As a leader in the national, regional and local management of mass tort and class action litigation, we closely coordinate our work on a team basis with corporate and local counsel.

A Wealth of Experience

Drinker Biddle’s products liability and mass tort experience touches leading commercial, medical, scientific and industrial enterprises and involves critical issues and challenges currently facing the defense community.

Pharmaceuticals and National Coordination.  Drinker Biddle lawyers have been at the forefront of innovations in the management of national pharmaceutical litigation.  Our present and recent engagements as national coordinating counsel in major pharmaceutical and medical device litigation involve numerous different products for many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers.  Many of our cases have involved federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), and we have developed effective coordination strategies to deal with simultaneous federal and state court litigation.

Across Drinker Biddle’s offices, our national lawyer teams serve clients as one firm.  We have also developed an extensive network of pharmaceutical lawyers throughout the country with whom we have worked successfully in the past.  The firm matches its strengths with those of its local counsel to help achieve cost-effective representation.  As litigation progresses, we often work with those lawyers in ways that go well beyond the traditional role of local counsel.  Their efforts can, for example, include assistance with company witness preparation, locating and contacting potential expert witnesses, work on document production and participation during trial.  We also represent our clients as regional or local counsel, defending individual claims and working as part of teams assembled by clients.

Class Action, Punitive Damages and Daubert Issues.  Drinker Biddle’s reputation as one of the top class action defense firms in the country results from its enormous fund of experience in defending against alleged class actions across a broad range of products litigation as well as antitrust, employment and securities litigation.

Defense against punitive damages claims has also come to play a critical role in mass tort and products litigation.  Drinker Biddle lawyers have substantial and successful experience in building the factual and legal foundations on which to counter such claims.

We have similar experience in developing a record and molding the arguments with regard to Daubert motions.

Toxic Torts and Chemicals.  Drinker Biddle’s toxic tort experience has covered a spectrum of cases including asbestos containing products, solvents and dyes, lead paint, silica, pesticides, industrial waste products and chemicals.  This work also draws upon the firm’s environmental practice group.

Other Products.  We represent a leading wireless communications provider in extensive and geographically dispersed litigation involving allegations of products liability. Our experience also has included litigation involving medical software, nuclear facilities and other high tech products, playground equipment, food additives, over-the-counter medication, elevators and escalators, military explosives and agricultural products liability.  In the machinery area, we have represented a variety of U.S. and foreign manufacturers of everything from food processors to automobiles and industrial jacks to electrical and large manufacturing equipment. Our assignments for a variety of clients involve defending against allegations of consumer fraud or other assorted monetary or property damage.

Electronic and Paper Discovery.  The conduct and management of discovery can have a significant impact on both the outcome and expense of litigation. Recently, rapid growth in electronic discovery has increased significantly the scope and complexity of this work.  Drinker Biddle has extensive experience in meeting these challenges.  Drinker lawyers have, for example, designed and implemented preservation, collection and production programs for paper and electronic discovery in individual cases and on a massive scale.

The Drinker Biddle Trial Team.

In an era when many lawyers seldom go to court, Drinker Biddle clients are afforded the advantage of our extensive trial experience.  We count among our lawyers Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and/or American Board of Trial Advocates.  A number of our lawyers admitted to practice in New Jersey are certified as civil trial attorneys and/or are masters in local inns of court, the preeminent training place for young trial lawyers today.

Our experienced trial lawyers are led by Drinker Biddle partners with national reputations located in various offices across the country.  This leadership is complemented by the strength and depth afforded by numerous additional partners with extensive experience with mass tort and products liability litigation.  Drinker Biddle’s products liability lawyers also actively participate – as members, officers, authors and lecturers – in the principal organizations that serve the defense community and the products liability bar.