Products Liability

Product liability claims can seriously impact a company's products and reputation and clients need counsel that can quickly minimize the risk of legal exposure. Our accumulated experience involving products liability issues enables us to timely provide the wide range of legal services needed by manufacturers, distributors and sellers of products. As a full-service team, we strive to meet our clients' routine needs and represent them in sophisticated, complex matters and litigation.

The attorneys in Phelps Dunbar's products liability practice represent a variety of clients who manufacture, distribute or sell products in the areas of transportation, construction, industrial equipment, consumer goods and in the chemical, agricultural and petroleum industries. Attorneys have tried complex cases and developed extensive experience in representing clients in mass tort claims regarding asbestos litigation, pedicle screw actions, tobacco and water heaters, as well as a variety of other matters.
 
Our attorneys involved in products liability defense have a wide range of experience. Clients benefit not only from our products liability background, but also from our experience in other areas such as mass tort litigation, medical malpractice and personal injury. Members of the group have represented clients in multi-district litigation involving medical device manufacturers.

Major changes in tort law, effective risk management, and new technological advances are just a few of the challenges faced by businesses today. Our attorneys recognize the significant impact of these developments on the legal needs of companies involved in the business of manufacturing and selling products. Our products liability practice adapts to developments in the legal environment for product manufacturers, sellers and distributors, as well as their insurers.

Experience

Representative products liability cases we have handled include:

  • Representation of the maker of personal recreational watercraft in defending personal injury claims arising from the operation of one of its products. These claims typically involve allegations of manufacturing and design defects, failure to warn issues, and breach of warranty matters.
  • Representation of the manufacturer and marketer of the world’s broadest range of electrical and electronic products, systems, and services in lawsuits seeking recovery for damage to persons and their property. Our representation typically includes defending allegations of manufacturing and design defects, failure to warn issues, and breach of warranty matters.
  • Representation of a chemical distributor in products liability case involving failure to warn allegations. Plaintiff claims to have contracted leukemia following prolonged dermal exposure to chemical product containing traces of benzene.
  • Representation of an office products manufacturer in defense of product liability/personal injury claims involving allegations of manufacturing defects and failure to warn.
  • Representation of a manufacturer of veterinary pharmaceuticals in personal injury actions resulting from the injection of veterinary vaccines into poultry workers. These cases involve traditional theories of tort recovery for an alleged failure to warn.
  • Representation of a manufacturer of commercial drill presses for personal injuries to operators and bystanders involving alleged improper design and failure to warn.
  • Served as Texas counsel for a manufacturer of spinal implant devices utilized in back fusions. This involved defending approximately 275 cases statewide.
  • Representation in the litigation involving a diet drug combination. This involves representing approximately 75 claims alleging product defect and breach of warranties.
  • Representation of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of disposable cigarette lighters and utility lighters. Our representation of this client in several serious burn cases involving multiple deaths and permanent disfigurement has included defense of claims alleging design and manufacturing defects, failure to warn and breach of warranty.
  • We have represented a major pharmaceutical company in several personal injury matters and are currently defending a wrongful death case in which the plaintiff alleges that the manufacturer’s labeling on two of its drugs was defective and unreasonably dangerous. Our representation of this client includes having a $6 million default judgment (entered prior to our representation) set aside on appeal.
  • Representation of the manufacturer of lawn trimmers in a personal injury case in which a child lost the sight in one eye as the alleged result of design and manufacturing defects. The case also included warning and warranty issues.