Practice/Industry Group Overview
For decades, Duane Morris has developed effective strategies for defending clients against asbestos and toxic tort claims. Asbestos is the longest ongoing toxic tort litigation in U.S. history, with far-reaching implications for manufacturers, insurers and the legal system itself. As plaintiffs' lawyers promote aggressive and expansive new theories of liability, increasing numbers of companies who have marginal or nonexistent ties to asbestos now face the threat of years of costly lawsuits. More recently, plaintiffs' lawyers have applied tactics learned in asbestos litigation in bringing mass toxic tort claims against manufacturers of numerous industrial and pharmaceutical products.
At Duane Morris, we craft and implement defense and litigation strategies that match our client's specific needs. From our extensive experience in trying complex toxic torts to verdict, we know that strategic, coordinated case management helps control litigation costs and can lead to better outcomes. Our goal is to defend our clients from present claims and protect them from such claims in the future. We staff our matters as leanly as possible to achieve the best outcome for our clients. Our approach balances sophisticated legal thinking with the essential skills that define excellent trial lawyers: the ability to explain complex scientific facts in simple, yet persuasive terms. Understanding the emotional nature of many asbestos and toxic tort claims, our attorneys draw on both data and empathy to connect with juries. Working with our clients, we target key issues for appeals to make the playing field more level in the products liability arena.
Major companies in industries ranging from food, healthcare, pharmaceuticals to consumer products, automotive and heavy equipment turn to us for representation in national asbestos, toxic tort and products liability litigation. We have acted as one of two science defense coordinators and one of a handful of national trial counsel for Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation in their asbestos litigation. Duane Morris' experience includes product class actions, mass tort defense, and service on clients' national trial teams and as National Coordinating Counsel (NCC) in federal, state and multidistrict litigation. With our appellate practice group, our lawyers obtained the first state supreme court decision eliminating the "each and every breath" theory of causation from asbestos litigation in Pennsylvania. Our lawyers are sought for thoughtful leadership as NCC. We remain on guard for new toxic tort developments and have been published and quoted on best practices as NCC and in multidistrict litigation.
In addition to our experience with asbestos, we routinely represent manufacturing and industrial clients in other toxic torts class actions involving:
- Silica and amorphous silica
- Benzene and diesel fumes
- Manganese and welding fumes
- Chemicals, paints and coatings
- Cleaners and degreasers
- Ground water contamination
Strong results in the courtroom require keen preparation and dedicated litigation support resources. As one of the 100 largest law firms in the world, Duane Morris uses industry-leading data management and information sharing technology, backed by highly trained IT staff, to efficiently and effectively handle the immense data needs of large asbestos and toxic tort cases. In addition, our breadth of capabilities and geographic footprint help us assist clients with issues involving a wide range of legal disciplines in jurisdictions across the United States and around the world.