Product Liability Litigation: Strategies and Tips that You Should Know in 2018 and Beyond
Successfully navigating the complexities of product liability litigation requires understanding of the diverse U.S. legal framework of product safety and liability. No common law on product liability exists in the U.S., thus, creating different definition and standards of product liability law in each state. Effective litigation strategies are shaped by in-depth understanding of these standards, as well as knowledge of the technical and scientific principles applicable to the product in question.
Our panel of key thought leaders and practitioners will offer a discussion of the legal framework of product safety and liability in various U.S. jurisdictions. They will also review the recent notable developments, including regulatory changes and case law, in relation to product liability law. This LIVE Webcast will offer litigation strategies and tips based on these developments.
Key topics include:
- General Climate and Recent Developments
- Causation and Burden of Proof
- Legal Bases for Claims
- Evidence Standards
- The Role of Expert Witness
- Available Defenses in Product Liability Cases
- Preliminary Procedural Mechanisms
- Product Liability in the Pharma and Life Sciences
Morgan & Akins, PLLC
- (Under Legal Bases for Claims / Preliminary Procedural Mechanisms) Products Liability and Corporate Successor Liability. In the past couple of years we have seen a marked increase in the number of suits brought against companies that did not design, manufacture or distribute the product at issue. Rather the Defendant bought some or all of a predecessor who designed, manufactured and/or distributed the product. This is particularly big issue in PA, NJ and CA, all of which have carved out exceptions to the general rule that a successor company is not liable for the torts of a predecessor. Other states are headed in that direction and it is an issue which needs to be considered when acquiring products lines and other companies. (this is admittedly a rather huge topic. Barely scraping the surface could eat up 15 min. Delving deeply could be a half day affair);
- (Under Available Defenses in Product Liability Cases / Evidence Standards) Industry standard compliance as a defense. Is it possible and does it work?
- (Under Preliminary Procedural Mechanisms / Causation and Burden of Proof) Component manufacturers, should they be joined as additional defendants in pending litigation?
Maryellen Connor, Partner
Malaby & Bradley LLC
Josephine A. Reina, Associate
Malaby & Bradley LLC
- In personam jurisdiction as critical threshold analysis and important emerging defense; the US Supreme Court has now curtailed a basic and frequently utilized tactic of plaintiff in product and toxic exposure actions with respect to forum shopping; to include emerging and important effects on defense strategy and judicial response to motions to dismiss; how a state's long arm statute may impact this defense; summary of critical US Supreme Court decisions including Bristol Myers Squibb; end goal is to radically curtail litigation in plaintiff friendly jurisdictions.
- Causation is one of the most critical defenses in products and toxic exposure cases; effective use at trial and at the dispositive motion phase; productive review and usage of medical records; understanding the critical nexus between science, medicine and the law in the defense of these matters.
- Cumulative exposure assessments and dose reconstructions frequently buttress the causation defense; emerging evidentiary thresholds by state; how to defend against plaintiff attacks under Frye/Daubert and current admissibility/evidentiary issues state by state.
- Enhancing the use of expert witnesses; the importance of being fully and comprehensively informed regarding the technical and medical/science issues in your case so that you can "talk the talk" and better prepare defense experts.
- The affirmative use and increasing importance in a post-OSHA world of state-of-the-art data to counter plaintiff's broad-based assertions regarding corporate knowledge; the necessity to work carefully with the client to comprehensively build the defense; the importance of an in-depth knowledge of state-of-the-art literature and the effective use of a state-of-the-art expert and/or consultant where the state-of-the-art poses challenges.
- Compendium discussion of which states and federal jurisdictions currently require that plaintiff present threshold indicia of exposure or otherwise risk summary judgment including discussions of jurisdictions requiring from the plaintiff a demonstrated quantified relative risk or other definitive scientific or medical evidence, including testing, to support causation in the first instance.
- Brief discussion of seminal and plaintiff-favorable Berkowitz decision in New York permitting liability to extend to an entity that neither manufactured, utilized nor applied the product at issue; discussion of how this decision is squarely at odds with component parts cases.
Oliver R. Brooks recently became a Partner at Morgan & Akins. His focus industrial and consumer product liability. His practice focuses on the defense of manufacturers of products, including those for the consumer market, industrial tools, factory machines, automotive designs as well as outdoor and firearm related products. Specific areas of focus include mechanical design and manufacturing, machine guarding, warnings and interlock mechanisms. Prior to joining Morgan & Akins, Oliver represented multiple Japanese, Korean and German manufacturers of motor vehicles in automotive crashworthiness products liability defense including the defending allegations of defective airbags, glazing, seatbelts, seatbacks, stability/rollover propensity, electronic stability control systems, structural integrity and post collision fuel fed fires.
Oliver R. Brooks recently became a Partner at Morgan & Akins. His focus industrial and consumer product liability. His practice focuses …
Ms. Connor has vast experience litigating cases on behalf of industry leaders in the petrochemical, manufacturing, and industrial fields, in actions arising in the areas of complex toxic tort, product liability, premises liability, construction, pharmaceutical, and asbestos actions. She has keen insight into developing beneficial cost-effective strategies and garnering favorable results in complicated and tough cases, making her an extremely effective advocate. As one facet of her practice, Maryellen has achieved several successes in challenging causation in toxic tort cases and has skillfully navigated the nexus between science, technology, medicine and the law. She has defended toxic tort, products liability, asbestos and construction/premises cases in New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Illinois and Massachusetts. Prior to joining Malaby & Bradley, Maryellen worked for more than ten years at the Washington, D.C. office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
Ms. Connor has vast experience litigating cases on behalf of industry leaders in the petrochemical, manufacturing, and industrial fields, in …
Josephine is a litigation associate who focuses her practice on asbestos and products liability defense. She has over four years of experience in all aspects of mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. Prior to joining Malaby, Josephine worked at a well-known plaintiff’s law firm in New York City. While there she focused her practice on mass tort case discovery, including taking and defending depositions of individual clients and medical professionals, as well as preparing and responding to discovery requests. Josephine uses her past experience representing plaintiffs when defending her clients. Josephine is responsible for representing clients throughout all phases of litigation, including motion practice and discovery. She also assists the firm’s partners with client management, developing defense strategies, trial preparation, and settlement negotiations. Josephine is barred in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the USDC of New Jersey, and the USDC of Maryland.
Josephine is a litigation associate who focuses her practice on asbestos and products liability defense. She has over four years …
Print and review course materials
Method Of Presentation:
Basic understanding of product liability law
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Areas of Professional Practice
Unlock All The Knowledge and Credit You Need
Leading Provider of Online Continuing Education
It's As Easy as 1, 2, 3
UNLIMITED 1 Year Pass for only $199
About Morgan & Akins, PLLC
At Morgan & Akins our primary goal is to provide the best possible result for the client in the most expeditious and economical manner. The Founding Partners learned through years of experience that the best way to accomplish that goal is to lay excellent groundwork on every file and thoroughly investigate all aspects of each case before the administrative or trial process is well underway. This approach ensures that every Morgan & Akins’ attorney handling a particular file enters into negotiations with opposing counsel fully informed and with a clear evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of our client’s case. Full investigation of the factual circumstances and corresponding legal ramifications on each file sets Morgan & Akins’ attorneys apart and gives us a competitive edge over our opponents.
About Malaby & Bradley LLC
Founded in 1999, Malaby is a New York litigation firm of approximately twenty attorneys specializing in the defense of clients in complex personal injury, premises liability and toxic tort cases. Malaby & Bradley have expertise defending white collar criminal cases pending in state and federal court. Whether a Fortune 500 company, small business, or an individual, all of their clients receive a high level of expertise, experience, and innovative defense strategies, honed to the unique requirements of each client and each specific case. Malaby attorneys and staff possess the demonstrated knowledge, and skills necessary to effectively provide a balance of legal excellence and bottom-line value.