Practice/Industry Group Overview
Clients, ranging from some of the world's largest manufacturers and insurance companies to startup companies and individual inventors, turn to Duane Morris for counsel and representation regarding products liability and toxic torts. Duane Morris has for many years worked with clients to develop cost containment and strategic litigation plans resulting in high-level representation without fear of wildly escalating costs.
Duane Morris has many lawyers with extensive trial experience in the products liability and toxic torts arenas. As one of the 100 largest law firms in the world, Duane Morris utilizes industry-leading technology and IT professionals to efficiently and effectively handle client data needs through secure extranets and other means. In addition, our firm's breadth of capabilities and geographic footprint help us to assist clients with issues touching a range of legal disciplines in jurisdictions across the United States and around the world.
Duane Morris' experience includes product class actions, mass tort defense, and service on clients' national trial teams in federal, state and multidistrict litigation. In fact, we serve as National Coordinating Counsel (NCC) for huge, multinational manufacturers, and our lawyers have been published and quoted on best practices regarding the use of NCC.
The firm has working relationships with an extensive group of well qualified, independent and trial-tested consultants and expert witnesses, as well as experience in developing experts, and handling Daubert and Frye hearings in multiple jurisdictions. Our trial lawyers also work arm-in-arm with our Appellate Practice Group to provide sophisticated approaches to appellate issues faced by our clients in products liability matters.
Range of Services
Our lawyers have defended a wide variety of products manufactured, distributed, sold or insured by our clients. We also counsel clients on regulatory, labeling, packaging and marketing issues to help manage risk and avoid litigation. We advise clients on product safety compliance, reporting, recalls and penalty proceedings before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their state counterparts, and other regulatory agencies.
Range of Experience
Areas in which our attorneys have experience include:
Food, Drugs and Medical Devices
- Hospital equipment and medical supplies
- Clinical and genetic laboratory testing
- Dental devices and equipment
- Chemicals, paints and coatings
- Ground Water Contamination
Vehicles and Equipment
- Automobiles, trucks and their components
- Landscaping and grounds maintenance equipment
- Energy generation equipment
- Construction and farm equipment
- In re World Trade Center Litigation (S.D.N.Y. 2012) – Defended the City of New York and over 150 contractors against thousands of personal injury lawsuits in connection with the rescue, recovery and debris removal efforts following the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
- Obtained on behalf of Ranbaxy, Inc., manufacturer of a significant generic acne pharmaceutical, a complete dismissal of all claims in New Jersey state court because plaintiffs could not evade the U.S. Supreme Court's Pliva Inc. v. Mensing ruling, which barred failure-to-warn claims against generic drug makers, and the Court's recent Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett ruling, which barred design defect claims against these companies.
- National science defense coordination for two major automotive manufacturers, including expert development, strategic defense oversight and trial oversight and coordination.
- National coordinating counsel for Pliva in its PPA litigation involving both diet drugs and generic prescription medications.
- Participated in a successful Frye hearing in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, which challenged the opinions of plaintiffs' experts that "each and every" exposure is a substantial contributing factor to disease.
- Represent Fortune 100 manufacturer in one of the largest furnace recalls (240,000 furnaces) in the history of the CPSC.
- Represent owners and insurers of the Water Taxi LADY D, which was involved in one of the worst maritime accidents to occur in the Chesapeake Bay in the last 30 years, in liability lawsuits that were brought by passengers and crew and also before the National Transportation Safety Board after several fatalities occurred when the vessel capsized due to a testing error made by the U.S. Coast Guard as to the vessel's stability rating. After personal injury lawsuits settled, represented clients in seeking to recover the amounts paid out (over $13 million) from the Coast Guard.
- Represented major cruise line with regard to numerous passenger injury cases brought against their cruise ships for defective conditions and/or products aboard its various cruise ships.
- Serve as national litigation counsel for a welding rod manufacturer in defending against product liability and toxic tort claims. The company, named in thousands of cases brought by welders or former welders who allegedly developed neurological injuries from breathing welding fumes, has joined other welding rod manufacturers in defending against these claims.
- Advised on product recall for a "Big Three" auto maker involving unexplained hand brake failures causing numerous incidents and several fatalities, garnering large scale media and public interest.
- Represented leading Tier 1 component supplier in issues arising from its supply of fuel connectors to trucks which leaked fuel, leading to a sizeable recall and business interruption issues. Engaged in follow up litigation against Tier 2 component supplier, which supplied the connectors, concerning sealing and molding technologies, manufacturing issues and questions of ownership of design responsibility.
- Advised a major manufacturer of lawn and grounds maintenance equipment on product safety and labeling issues to reduce the risk of future product liability claims and to enhance the client's litigation defenses.
- National counsel to dietary supplement marketer in U.S. product liability litigation. Represented client in litigation in more than 40 jurisdictions across the country.