Home Practices & Industries Products Liability Litigation

Products Liability Litigation

Liability for personal injuries arising from the use of commercial products can constitute a huge and uncertain financial exposure for manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and retailers. That exposure can be limited in number of ways including through the observation of sound manufacturing and quality control processes, the utilization of principled risk and failure analysis, the employment of thorough and appropriate warnings, and an early, informed response to potential product malfunctions or shortcomings. However, once exposure materializes in the form of a claim or litigation, exposure is best managed through experienced legal representation by trial lawyers who have both a command of products liability law as well as a thorough understanding of product design and manufacturing processes.

The Hancock Estabrook Products Liability Litigation Practice is a leader in products liability counseling and defense, advising and defending clients on claims alleging product design defect, manufacturing defect breach of warranty and failure to warn. We have extensive experience in defending and managing all aspects of products liability and complex tort litigation on a national and regional basis. Our past and current clients include large and small product manufacturers, designers, retailers and distributors of all types of products including medical equipment and devices, industrial machinery, sporting goods and recreational equipment, chemical and pharmaceutical products, propane gas, electrical and power equipment, automobiles, lawn mowers, and snowmobiles. We employ a team approach working together with inside counsel, outside coordinating counsel, industry experts, insurers, and in-house expert employees to protect our clients’ interests and assets.

We also serve as national products liability counsel to several of our clients litigating and/or coordinating the defense of large-scale products liability litigation across the United States and abroad. Our litigation management and products liability expertise in this area has led to significant cost savings for our clients.

We are known for our personalized approach to products liability litigation, striving to attain an intimate knowledge of our clients’ product lines as well as our clients’ business goals. We incorporate those business goals into our trial strategy together with our clients’ other important considerations including product and company reputation and good will, regulatory and governmental concerns, and market competition.  We focus not only on resolving the case at hand, but also on minimizing our clients’ risks of future exposure.  We keep our clients abreast of relevant changes in the law and educate them about potential sources of exposure and suggest ways to manage risk in order to minimize the impact of an anticipated problem.  Our attorneys have published articles in products liability periodicals and are members and hold or have held leadership positions in several product defense organizations, including Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Finally, we strive to help our clients control and reduce litigation expense through various means, including the use efficient case staffing and the use of technology management.  We take the goal of managing our clients’ liability exposure very seriously and adopt litigation and/or settlement strategies that best accomplish that goal in a manner that is as efficient as possible, while still honoring the reputation and good will associated with our client’s product lines.

Our Experience in Products Liability

Our products liability attorneys have many years of experience defending companies who design, manufacture and sell products such as:

  • Automobiles
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical products
  • Commercial laundry equipment
  • Electrical and power equipment
  • Infant seats
  • Lawnmowers
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • Propane gas
  • Snowmobiles
  • Sporting goods and recreational equipment

Representative Cases

The following reference some the matters demonstrating the breadth of the firm’s product liability experience:

  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a products liability claim brought in a wrongful death action venued in Arizona against a manufacturer of a sternum saw that had been involved in a product recall.
  • Settled a grounding pad burn case venued in California Superior Court for nuisance value after upon the filing of a meritorious summary judgment motion.
  • Settled case a pre-suit in California involving an intrauterine medical device that had been subject to a product recall.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of medical device manufacturer from pain pump class actions venued in Texas and California.
  • Successfully resolved property damages claim involving allegations of a product defect in florescent light ballast involving in difficult causation issues.