Arent Fox routinely provides counsel to companies facing a mandatory recall, a consumer protection class action or multi-jurisdictional litigation over allegations of product defects. Our attorneys have vast experience representing manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in a variety of industries in diverse product-related matters in courts across the United States and before various regulatory agencies.
Product-related matters frequently require considerable legal, strategic, tactical, and collaborative skills to efficiently and effectively defend clients in complex, multi-claim, and multi-party cases. Our experience allows us to develop efficiencies and provide cost effective counseling, even in the most complex product cases. We strive to achieve success on the merits, whether at trial or by dispositive motion, by effectively demonstrating the weaknesses in our adversary’s claims. Our product-related team consists of experienced trial lawyers who provide strategic and innovative counseling and advice, and if needed to protect our clients, demonstrate a tough and aggressive demeanor in the courtroom.
In the anticipation of litigation, we work closely with clients, based both in the United States and overseas, to counsel, strategize, and manage their product portfolios to ensure that they have in place the proper internal procedures to minimize risks associated with the sale of products in the US market. We also counsel clients on best practices to avoid conduct that may cause harm or increases the risk of litigation. Our litigation attorneys work closely with lawyers in our Food & Drug, Automotive, Environmental, and Consumer Product Safety practices to offer our clients integrated solutions. We have worked with numerous experts on all facets of product liability and toxic tort claims, and can readily call upon these relationships to build appropriate and successful strategies.
Our recent product-related work includes the defense of product liability and toxic tort lawsuits. A few examples are listed below:
- Represented medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies in numerous product liability cases.
- Represented companies in the automotive and consumer products industries in numerous consumer fraud class actions.
- Counseled manufacturers/sellers of various consumer products regarding product recall, warning label, and litigation planning issues.
- Defended nearly every cell phone manufacturer and service provider in North America, as well as related trade associations and standards development organizations, against allegations that cell phones cause brain cancer.
- Defended a semiconductor manufacturer against allegations of toxic exposure to arsenic and methanol used in the manufacturing process in an action brought by the family member of an employee of the company.
- Defended a hospital against claims by former and current employees that they suffered personal injuries due to the presence of toxic mold in the hospital’s facilities.
- Defended a major homebuilder in numerous cases claiming residential mold exposure.
- Defended building owners and several automotive manufacturers and major manufacturers of vehicle parts in actions involving claims of personal injury from exposure to asbestos. Served as national counsel for two of these manufacturers in asbestos-related cases filed in numerous state and federal courts. Obtained the dismissal of multimillion dollar asbestos-related claims against the owners of a high-rise office building in New York City.
- Defended multiple consumer class action cases alleging defective or improperly labeled food, health, and personal beauty products.
- During a four-month trial, defended multi-million dollar claims that a major supplier to the defense industry had caused emotional distress and other psychological injury to members of a community whose groundwater had been contaminated by various chemicals.
- Defended the “Big Three” auto makers in product liability cases based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing component parts such as brake linings, clutch linings, mufflers, and gasket materials.
- Defended American and Japanese auto makers in rollover and other pattern litigation, resulting in catastrophic brain and/or spinal injuries.
- Defended and represent consumer products manufacturers in fire cases.
- Defended American and Japanese motorcycle makers in litigation involving catastrophic injuries.
- Defended a major tire manufacturer in several tire blow-out cases in which serious injuries occurred, including alleged psychological injuries. Issues in these cases included proper maintenance of the tires and the vehicle, alleged manufacturing and design defects, as well as the failure to warn.
- Defended a major merchandise franchise in a product liability lawsuit arising from the discharge of a BB gun in a moving vehicle.
- Represented Amtrak in a $200 million dispute with the manufacturer of the Acela high-speed trains and its performance bond surety.
- Represented companies and individuals in disputes with insurance companies regarding the scope of insurance coverage for product liability and toxic tort claims.
- Represented clients in workers’ compensation litigation, insurance issues, and third party liability claims involving workers’ compensation liens in workplace accidents/exposures.
- Represented a German sports car manufacturer in various defect suits.
- Represented a Korean automobile manufacturer in lawsuits and government investigations regarding allegedly defective seatbelts.
- Represented a nationally-known water treatment and filtration system supplier in defect suits involving personal injuries and property damage claims.
- Defended a senior living facility against claims by regulators that its indoor pool and fountains caused Legionnaires’ disease among several residents.
- Represented multiple consumer products companies, drug and vaccine manufacturers, and medical device manufacturers and suppliers in multiple disputes with federal and state governments and private attorneys general regarding allegations of fraud and improper pricing and advertising.
Arent Fox’s Proposition 65 Experience
Arent Fox advises clients on the scientific and technical aspects of consumer product safety, including California Proposition 65 suits, potential recalls, and ingredient or component toxicity. Our attorneys regularly counsel and defend clients in Proposition 65 cases against claims of alleged failure to warn California consumers that they are being exposed to products containing chemicals alleged by the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm. We are experienced in representing manufacturers and distributors of such consumer products as children’s jewelry, furniture, cosmetics, toiletries and vehicle products against Proposition 65 allegations, from receipt of 60-day Notices of Violation (NOVs) to litigation or mediation. Where feasible, we participate in Joint Defense Groups in order to help spread the costs of litigation (including technical experts’ fees) among multiple defendants. Arent Fox has also created and presented Proposition 65 compliance programs to company employees and trade organization members across a broad spectrum of industries.
A few examples of our Proposition 65 experience are listed below:
- Defended a national retailer of children’s clothing and accessories in a California Proposition 65 lawsuit involving alleged exposure to lead.
- Defended manufacturers and a national retailer of cosmetics and other personal care products in various California Proposition 65 lawsuits involving alleged exposure to a number of chemicals.
- Defended a major vehicle parts manufacturer against claims that several of its sealing and other products contained chemicals that violated California Proposition 65.