dcsimg Product Liability

Product Liability

McGuireWoods has built a reputation for defending manufacturers of a broad range of products — in an equally wide range of litigation. We serve as regional and national trial counsel; defend and try high-exposure product injury cases in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions; coordinate the defense of pattern litigation, multidistrict mass tort litigation and consumer fraud class actions, and oversee product recalls and Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) investigations.

Our trial lawyers have worked on behalf of product manufacturers in many of the nation’s most difficult jurisdictions, including those identified by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as “judicial hellholes.” Although we are prepared to defend clients before juries and on appeal in federal and state courts across the country, we also work closely with clients to develop strategies to reduce or avoid litigation. In this regard, we regularly provide counsel on risk management, product literature and labeling, product recalls, document retention and control, and other procedures that can reduce exposure to product liability risks.

In order to provide the most effective defense possible, we invest significant time and resources in developing a full understanding of the design, manufacture and use of the products we are asked to defend. This approach has helped us achieve positive results for manufacturers in a number of industries. For example, we have significant experience in the defense of product manufacturers against personal and property damage claims arising from fires and explosions occurring in residential, commercial and industrial structures. Our clients include manufacturers of home safety equipment, valves, sensors, and controls used in home and commercial heating and cooking appliances, and in industrial applications.

The automotive industry is a frequent target of product liability litigation. We regularly defend automotive manufacturers in cases involving a range of plaintiff strategies, including sophisticated defect theories. Our automotive products liability team handles cases involving passenger cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans and motorcycles. We are national trial counsel to a leading U.S. automobile manufacturer, and have tried cases to favorable verdicts in numerous states.

We also have extensive experience defending some of the world’s leading power tool manufacturers, including serving as national trial counsel for more than 30 years to a large international outdoor power tool manufacturer. We have defended claims of personal injury or property damage allegedly resulting from the use of power tools in all 50 states, in dozens of trades and industries, and originating from many different circumstances — from fire and explosion; reactive and dynamic force; and exposure to benzene, silica, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, asbestos or other toxins. We also represent clients in claims arising from simple operator error and misuse of the tools or equipment.

In addition to our extensive trial record, McGuireWoods has broad experience representing clients on every aspect of insurance coverage and recoveries, from advice on appropriate coverage and risk management strategies to assistance with claims processing and negotiation, and arbitration and litigation of coverage matters. We have developed particular strength in the areas of “batch,” aggregate stop-loss orders, and other high-excess policies that cover a company’s aggregated product liability losses.

CONTACTS

J. Tracy Walker IV Partner T: +1 804 775 1131
Samuel L. Tarry Jr. Partner T: +1 804 775 7873
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RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR OUTCOME.

Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defense of a multinational automaker at trial in a case alleging a defective "splash shield" over the exhaust manifold, resulting in a post-collision fire.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defended a multinational automaker at trial in wrongful death resulting from a post-collision fire in which plaintiff alleged a defective fuel system design. A defense verdict was returned.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defended a multinational automaker at trial in a case alleging a defective "splash shield" over the exhaust manifold, resulting in a post-collision fire.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defense at trial of a multinational automaker in wrongful death case tried in Bamberg County, South Carolina.
Representative Matter

Industrial products manufacturer

Obtained summary judgment for an industrial products manufacturer in a personal injury case.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defended multinational automaker at trial in wrongful death action involving an allegedly defective door latch system. Plaintiff nonsuited on the second day of trial following voir dire of plaintiff’s lead liability expert witness.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defended a multinational automaker at trial in wrongful death resulting from a post-collision fire in which plaintiff alleged a defective fuel system design. A defense verdict was returned.
Representative Matter

Leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical company

After a three week jury trial, obtained a unanimous defense verdict for one of the world's leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical companies.
Representative Matter

Automobile manufacturer

Defense at trial of an automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death case tried in the Southern District of New York. Driver was ejected in a multiple rollover collision. Plaintiff contended that the car’s door latching and restraint systems were defective, allowing the door to open in the crash. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict for our client, finding there was no defect.
Representative Matter

Global science company

Defended a global science company in an asbestos jury trial in Richmond Circuit Court. The plaintiff alleged her husband contracted mesothelioma and died, in part from his exposure while working as a pipe designer in our client’s plants.
Representative Matter

Multinational automaker

Defense at trial of a multinational automaker in a wrongful death case tried in Louisville, Ky. Plaintiff was seated in the front passenger seat, unbelted. She was ejected and crushed between the vehicle and a concrete barrier. Plaintiff contended the car’s door lock and latching systems were defective, allowing the door to open in the crash. After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for just 45 minutes before returning a verdict for our client, finding there was no defect.
Representative Matter

Leading global provider of components, systems and services used in heating, air conditioning, commercial cooking/refrigeration, and residential thermostat products

Defense of leading global provider of components, systems and services used in heating, air conditioning, commercial cooking/refrigeration, and residential thermostat products in state court in Wisconsin arising from the catastrophic explosion of a vacation cabin resulting in a death and severe injuries.
Representative Matter

Leading global provider of components, systems and services used in heating, air conditioning, commercial cooking/refrigeration, and residential thermostat products

Defense of leading global provider of components, systems and services used in heating, air conditioning, commercial cooking/refrigeration, and residential thermostat products in state court in New Jersey in combined cases arising from the catastrophic explosion of an acetylene manufacturing plant resulting in multiple deaths. After two years of litigation, our client was dismissed by all parties.
Representative Matter

North American packaged foods company

Nationwide defense of North American packaged food company in adulterated food personal injury claims arising in connection with highly publicized food recalls, including more than 600 cases in 24 states, and 20,000 individual claims.
Representative Matter

Smoke alarm manufacturer

Defense at trial of a manufacturer of residential smoke alarms in federal court in Birmingham, Ala., arising from a house fire resulting in multiple deaths. After a two-week trial, the jury deadlocked 6-2 in favor of our client, and a mistrial was declared.
Case Study

Summary judgment obtained for Ford Motor Company in wrongful death case

McGuireWoods obtained summary judgment for Ford Motor Company in a wrongful death case just days before a jury trial was to begin in Alabama. The case arose out of a multi-vehicle highway crash and subsequent fire. The court ruled that the plaintiff, who had previously recovered against another party involved in the accident, was judicially estopped from making a claim against Ford, based on a theory of fire causation that contrasted with expert testimony in the prior case.

Case Study

Ford Motor Company successfully defended

McGuireWoods successfully defended Ford Motor Company in the matter of Raymond E. Yancy, et. al. v. Ford Motor Company, pending in the State Court of Adams County, Miss. Following a three-and-a-half week trial, a Natchez, Miss. jury found in favor of Ford on all counts. The case arose from an car wreck occurring the morning of Jan. 15, 2002.
Case Study

McGuireWoods obtains victory for Ford Motor Company

McGuireWoods successfully represented Ford Motor Company in Jones v. Ford Motor Company in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. On October 27, 2006, the court affirmed the judgment of the federal district court that had ruled in favor of Ford in 2002. The case, which has now been successfully tried to defense verdicts twice, involves a claim of "sudden acceleration" of a Lincoln Town Car that resulted in an elderly driver's paralyzing injury.

Representative Matter

Automobile manufacturer

Defense at trial of an automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death case tried in Jackson County, Mo. Plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic in a rollover accident. Plaintiff’s counsel alleged handling and stability defects, and roof strength defects. This was a high profile case, and the resulting defense verdict was publicized throughout the United States.
Representative Matter

World-class academic and health care system

Representation of a world-class academic and health care system arising from alleged exposure of thousands of surgical patients to a contaminated cleaning agent used on surgical instruments.
Results 1-20 of 25
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Kenneth W Abrams Kenneth W. Abrams
Associate
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4771
F: +1 757 640 3950
vCard
Candace Ali Blydenburgh Candace Ali Blydenburgh
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4772
F: +1 804 698 2034
vCard
Ginnie Bondurant S. Virginia Bondurant
Associate
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1414
F: +1 804 698 2192
vCard
Leo J M Boyd Leo J. M. Boyd
Counsel
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1066
F: +1 804 698 2025
vCard
Brady_Michael Michael H. Brady
Counsel
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4327
F: +1 804 698 2302
vCard
Bryan C Brantley Bryan C. Brantley
Partner
EQT Plaza
625 Liberty Avenue
23rd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3142

T: +1 412 667 7983
F: +1 412 667 7971
vCard
Stephen D Busch Stephen D. Busch
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4378
F: +1 804 698 2024
vCard
Pamela J Butler Pamela J. Butler
Counsel
300 North Third Street
Suite 320
Wilmington, NC 28401-4099

T: +1 910 254 3829
F: +1 910 254 3830
vCard
Heather Carlton Heather L. Carlton
Associate
Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

T: +1 434 977 2562
F: +1 434 980 2251
vCard
Michael R Daglio Michael R. Daglio
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1185
F: +1 804 698 2250
vCard
Joan S Dinsmore Joan S. Dinsmore
Associate
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6693
F: +1 919 755 6592
vCard
Douglas W Ey Jr. Douglas W. Ey Jr.
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2076
F: +1 704 444 8727
vCard
Philip Goldstein Philip Goldstein
Partner
1345 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10105-0106

T: +1 212 548 7012
F: +1 212 715 2315
vCard
Adam Greaves Adam Greaves
Partner
11 Pilgrim Street
London EC4V 6RN
United Kingdom

T: +44 20 7632 1649
F: +44 20 7632 1638
vCard
Jonathan P Harmon Jonathan P. Harmon
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4712
F: +1 804 698 2073
vCard
Christian E Henneke Christian E. Henneke
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1050
F: +1 804 698 2136
vCard
Richard Holzheimer Richard Dean Holzheimer JR
Partner
1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1800
Tysons Corner, VA 22102-4215

T: +1 703 712 5087
F: +1 703 712 5254
vCard
Justin D Howard Justin D. Howard
Partner
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6685
F: +1 919 755 6586
vCard
Wen Hutchinson Wen Hutchinson
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2008
F: +1 704 353 6219
vCard
J. Brian Jackson J. Brian Jackson
Partner
Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

T: +1 434 980 2221
F: +1 434 980 2253
vCard
Brian A Kahn Brian A. Kahn
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2351
F: +1 704 444 8869
vCard
Sidney Kanazawa Sidney Kanazawa
Partner
1800 Century Park East
8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-1501

T: +1 310 315 8238
F: +1 310 315 8210
vCard
William H King Jr. William H. King Jr.
Counsel
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4326
F: +1 804 698 2095
vCard
Andrew E Kristianson Andrew E. Kristianson
Counsel
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6665
F: +1 919 755 6699
vCard
Christiaan A Mazza Christiaan A. Mazza
Associate
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6694
F: +1 919 755 6597
vCard
Results 1-4 of 4
Article

A Rose by Any Other Name Is a Lawsuit

Courtroom Battle over the Labeling Practices of Food Manufacturers

Food Manufacturing
January/February 2013
Results 1-4 of 4