Products Liability and Torts Litigation

For more than 70 years, Day Pitney attorneys have provided clients with comprehensive and innovative defenses of products liability, mass tort and class action matters. Our products liability practice is widely recognized as one of the strongest in the Northeast, and the attorneys in the practice have literally written the book on products liability.

We have served as national and regional counsel and regularly represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, lessors, water companies and municipalities facing allegations of injury and loss related to products and services including, among others:

  • Agricultural equipment
  • Asbestos, chemicals and groundwater contamination
  • Automobiles, trucks, and aircraft
  • Outdoor power equipment and power tools
  • Computers
  • Food products, alcohol and tobacco
  • Fire and safety equipment
  • Healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial and construction equipment
  • A wide spectrum of consumer products

We achieve the best results for clients because we treat every case as if it will be tried. A trial-ready approach strengthens a client's position whether the case goes to court or is settled. At the same time, we also appreciate and share our clients' concerns about their business needs and respond with creative problem-solving and effective, innovative dispute resolution alternatives. Our reputation as tough and reasonable litigators gives clients an edge in either scenario.

Clients also turn to Day Pitney for counseling in related areas of practice, including personal injury and general negligence matters. We provide clients with preventive counseling regarding warnings, warranties and compliance with federal and state statutes concerning consumer product safety and design, and keep them informed of changes in legislation impacting the workplace.

We are a visible, influential presence in legal and industry groups that deal with emerging products liability law and litigation issues, including the American College of Trial Lawyers, Product Liability Advisory Council, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Defense Research Institute, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association Litigation Section, and its various Automotive, Industrial Equipment and Environmental and Toxic Tort subcommittees.

Mass Tort Litigation
Day Pitney has served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in some of the most significant mass tort cases in the United States, helping clients win decisive victories in cases involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, toxic torts and chemical contamination and mass disasters alleging to have caused a broad range of injuries, from repetitive stress syndrome to pulmonary disabilities and from rare cancers and diseases to disfiguring acid burns.

Our team executes the appropriate litigation plan for the client's challenge, strategically managing the complex process and leveraging sophisticated case management tools to increase efficiencies at every stage.

In addition to highly skilled legal counsel, we provide clients with experience in many highly technical fields in which our attorneys have advanced degrees. Moreover, we assemble and coordinate defense strategies with great efficiency, owing to a resource we have built up over the years; our 50-state and international network of both legal counsel and non-legal professionals, comprising physicians, epidemiologists, toxicologists, psychologists, oncologists, engineers, actuaries and others.

Representative Matters
Day Pitney lawyers have successfully defended:

  • A global bank defending claims of alleged injuries from exposure to contaminants in lower Manhattan as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
  • A major energy company defending a mass tort claim for personal injury, property damage and other relief involving more than 300 plaintiffs who allegedly resided near one of the company's former manufactured gas plants.
  • A group of chemical and auto companies among approximately 300 companies defending three actions alleging pulmonary injuries and cancer suffered by the owner-operators of a licensed waste disposal facility and by firemen who responded to an explosion at the site.
  • A major consumer product manufacturer in a class action pending in the Supreme Court of New York State involving claims of product defect and punitive damages.
  • A global security company defending several cases involving catastrophic injury and death resulting from a fire that destroyed a college dormitory.
  • A manufacturer defending claims in a consolidated trial of 13 asbestos cases, including two death cases.
  • A major dietary supplement company in a litigation regarding a weight-loss drug.
  • A global specialty chemical company in a settlement related to a suit demanding costs incurred by another company for abating contamination at a site.
  • An industrial gas manufacturer defending various claims from employees stemming from exposure to vinyl chloride monomer and seeking damages for wrongful death, personal injury and medical monitoring.
  • A Connecticut water company in property damage cases arising from contamination of aquifers by toxic chemicals.
  • A major tool and construction manufacturer defending products liability and negligence claims against the company in state and federal courts.
  • A large pet healthcare manufacturer in a class action demanding removal of a product from the market, an action that threatened to proliferate into several class actions throughout the nation.
  • A pharmaceutical manufacturer defending claims for alleged in-utero injuries caused by ingestion of diethylstilbestrol by the plaintiffs' mothers, in which we were coordinating counsel.
  • A group of chemical and auto companies defending against about 300 defendants in three actions alleging pulmonary injuries and cancer suffered by the owner-operators of licensed waste disposal facilities.
  • A tobacco company in a products liability case wherein a plaintiff asserted that the decedent's death was caused by defective cigarettes.
  • A personal injury action to a jury verdict wherein a plaintiff made a multimillion-dollar demand for alleged brain injury that was rejected by the jury.
  • Claims against the manufacturer of an aircraft propeller system in a fatal air disaster case tried in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
  • The manufacturer of industrial equipment in a case involving the collapse of a suspended scaffold that resulted in two deaths.
  • A European manufacturer against claims of brain damage and seat belt failure.
  • A Big Three major automobile manufacturer involving a claim of product defect and crashworthiness claims and involving claims of catastrophic injury.
  • A global specialty chemical company in a suit demanding costs incurred by another company for abating contamination at a site.
  • Major chemical companies in Lore, et al. v. Lone Pine, et al., toxic tort litigation in which we served as lead counsel and presented argument to the Court on behalf of more than 450 alleged generator defendants that resulted in the dismissal of action. The Lone Pine Order has become a standard in toxic tort litigation throughout the United States.
  • A major consumer product manufacturer in a class action pending in the Supreme Court of New York State involving claims of product defect and punitive damages.
  • Clients in a property damage action arising out of the explosion of industrial equipment, which resulted in a jury verdict of $18.3 million in favor of our clients.

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Diversity and inclusion are core Firm values at Day Pitney. We embrace diversity because we appreciate the reality of a multicultural world and have long understood the value of input and collaboration among professionals with varying perspectives. A multicultural approach leads to broader vision, innovation and creativity. This, in turn, better equips us to provide excellent service to our clients as our focus and dedication to diversity allows the Firm to achieve meaningful, lasting and sustainable results. While we are proud of what the Firm has achieved over the years, the challenge to build on those accomplishments continues. There is still much to do. We remain committed to supporting diversity and contributing to the creation of a profession that more accurately reflects the world in which we live. We do that by encouraging and respecting varying perspectives within the Firm and in the communities in which we practice.

Day Pitney’s diversity and inclusion initiatives not only foster collaboration and mutual respect within our Firm, but also extend outward, into the communities we serve. Our attorneys are committed to enhancing and celebrating diversity in our neighborhoods. Through the Firm’s community outreach efforts, Day Pitney hopes to encourage more women and minorities to enter the legal profession.

Here is an overview of some of our recent community programs aimed at assisting individuals and organizations serving traditionally underserved populations:
  • Through the joint efforts of the Firm's Diversity Committee and Women Working Together (WWT®) program, attorneys in our Florham Park office have been working to foster a relationship with St. Vincent Academy, a college preparatory school for young women of diverse and often politically, socially and economically underrepresented cultures. The students come from various religious backgrounds. Ninety-eight percent of the students are persons of color, and ninety-five percent go on to attend college. Each year before the beginning of the school year, we conduct a back-to-school supply drive to collect donations for the students at St. Vincent. Our attorneys are also working with the school to bring law related programs to the students. 
  • Attorneys in our Hartford office regularly participate in Habitat for Humanity Programs to help socially and economically underrepresented individuals reach the dreams of homeownership. 
  • The Firm is a sponsor of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Conference on Diversity’s annual Diversity Stride, a walk aimed at raising money to fund diversity-related programs for high school students in New Jersey. 
  • All offices annually participate in the Susan G. Koman walk in order to raise money to fight breast cancer. 
  • Day Pitney attorneys have contributed funding, time and pro bono legal services to the Urban League of Greater Hartford, in furtherance of the League’s efforts to “promote the self-empowerment of individuals in the CT Capital Region to achieve educational, occupational and economic equality for themselves and their families.”
  • As a founding member of the New Jersey Law Firm Group (NJLFG), the Connecticut-based Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD), and the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG), Day Pitney actively supports each organization’s common mission of increasing diversity in the legal profession. Each year, Day Pitney attorneys volunteer to serve as mentors to minority law students through programs coordinated by these three organizations. The Firm also hosts several roundtable discussions on various topics relevant to diversity for these organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts and participates in BLG and NJLFG job fairs.
In addition to the programs listed above, the Firm’s Summer Apprentices are also invited to organize community service efforts. The Summer Apprentices in each office traditionally choose a community service outreach program meaningful to them and dedicate their time to the community at-large.
In large part due to efforts such as these Day Pitney continues to make great strides in supporting diversity initiatives in our neighborhoods.
Day Pitney is committed to fostering an inclusive environment for people of diverse backgrounds at all levels. We continue to strive to provide challenging opportunities, meaningful guidance, and positive incentives to assist our professionals in achieving their greatest potential. In doing so, our goal is ultimately to create advantages out of our differences and to achieve richer, broader goals.
  • Day Pitney is the 2009 recipient of the Fifth Annual Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award from The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity
  • Lynn Baronas, Director of Professional Development, Diversity & Legal Recruiting, nominated for the 2008 advocate of the year award by the Connecticut Minority Suppliers Diversity Council 
  • Recognition from the Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. as an "Urban Sponsor" in its 2007 Black History Award Celebration
  • Co-Managing Partner, Jim Sicilian, received a 2007 Human Relations Award for leadership in civic and community affairs by the National Conference for Community and Justice of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, Inc. 
Day Pitney’s commitment to diversity extends to its recruitment efforts in connection with its summer apprenticeship program. We recruit law students for our summer programs from several minority job fairs and diversity initiatives, including the Philadelphia Area Minority Job Fair, the North East Black Law Student Association Job Fair, the Hispanic Bar Association Job Fair, the Rutgers University Newark Minority Student Program and the University of Connecticut School of Law Cultural Diversity Initiative. We are pleased to report that minority law students comprised forty-three percent of our 2008 summer class and forty-one percent of our 2007 summer class.

Day Pitney believes that diversity is not only crucial to creating a dynamic and cohesive summer apprentice class, but is also important to creating a rich and realistic professional experience for all of our summer apprentices. To that end, the summer program includes activities that expose all of our summer apprentices to a wide range of cultures and backgrounds within the Day Pitney family and in the communities where we practice.
For more information about diversity, please contact Edgardo Ramos, Chair of the Diversity Committee at [email protected] or Peter Wilson Jr., Director of Diversity and Legal Recruiting at [email protected]
  1. Number of Human Resources Professionals who are...

    • Non-minority Males 1
    • Minority Males 0
    • Non-minority Females 2
    • Minority Females 2
  2. Number of Finance Professionals who are...

    • Non-minority Males 7
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    • Non-minority Females 9
    • Minority Females 6
  3. Number of Other Lawyers who are...

    • Non-minority Males 35
    • Minority Males 3
    • Non-minority Females 16
    • Minority Females 5
  4. Number of Paralegals who are...

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    • Non-minority Females 65
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  7. Number of Partners who are...

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  8. Number of Administrative Professionals who are...

    • Non-minority Males 39
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    • Minority Females 55
  9. Number of Associates who are...

    • Non-minority Males 62
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  10. Number of Technology Professionals who are...

    • Non-minority Males 13
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  11. Number of Librarians who are...

    • Non-minority Males 3
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    • Non-minority Females 6
    • Minority Females 1
  12. Number of partnerships with minority owned law firms? 1

  13. Plan on partnering with minority owned law firms? Yes

  14. Number of partnerships with women owned law firms? 0

  15. Plan on partnering with women owned law firms? Yes

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