Product Liability Litigation

Our Reputation

Frost Brown Todd has a distinguished reputation defending manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of products as well as counseling clients concerning product liability prevention measures and product recalls.

Nationally Recognized and Centrally Located

In 2010, Frost Brown Todd was named one of six “standout law firms in product liability” by Law360 based upon a survey of 240 corporate counsel conducted by the BTI Consulting Group.  According to the report, “These firms have positioned themselves with the world’s most demanding clients as the ones corporate counsel would most like to have by their side in head-to-head competition.  In essence, they are the best players in the game.”

We have over 40 Product Liability attorneys, with one-quarter of the group listed in The Best Lawyers in America®. Members of our group are active in Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), Defense Research Institute (DRI), Lawyers for Civil Justice and American Bar Association (ABA) and several are invited members of the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

By integrating the experience and abilities of our attorneys with the most modern technology and our centralized regional location, our attorneys provide sophisticated, efficient and effective defense for clients facing product liability cases of every type and size.

Experienced Trial Lawyers

Our practice encompasses litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. Our experience includes multidistrict litigation, serial product liability cases and single-incident loss cases. We have served in many different capacities ranging from national coordinating counsel to lead trial counsel.

Our attorneys have represented clients in product liability matters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and we have tried more than 300 jury cases to verdict. Whether we are acting as national trial counsel or local counsel, our product liability knowledge has been invaluable to the successful defense of our clients’ products and brands. Our attorneys also have significant experience defending our results on appeal.

Focused, Value-Driven Services

Frost Brown Todd is committed to helping clients manage their legal costs. From creative solutions that encourage the best thinking on cost control measures to new ways to address pricing scenarios, we partner with our clients to ensure their legal costs are examined and managed carefully.

Cost control starts by using firms with extremely competitive rates.  Four recent independent law firm rate surveys indicate that Frost Brown Todd's rates are below the average hourly rates of comparable attorneys in the Midwest.  The reason is simple. We have aggressively managed overhead through the years and focused on improving performance through process improvements.

We look for alternatives that lower or control legal costs and design creative partnership arrangements that not only satisfy the strategic legal results demanded by General Counsel but the fiscal integrity sought by today’s CFOs.

Our Approach

Our top priority is to protect the integrity of our clients’ products and reputations. Recognizing that our clients have business concerns that must be carefully factored into a successful legal strategy, we seek to learn all we can about their business and industry so that we proactively identify all issues relevant to building a sound defense.

At the earliest stages of our relationships with clients, we discuss litigation-minimization and cost-saving strategies such as alternative dispute resolution, early case analysis and post-mortem assessments to review successes, outcomes and lessons learned.

The most successful defense of product liability litigation begins with well-designed initiatives in the product development process. Our product liability lawyers exemplify total client service by consulting and advising our clients from the product development process through the defense verdict.

Product Liability Prevention and Defense Counseling

To provide the most effective product liability defense strategies, our lawyers do far more than simply respond to litigation filed against our clients. We work closely and proactively with clients, in-house counsel and engineering staff to prevent future product liability litigation by designing and implementing liability prevention programs. We believe in counseling our clients on business practices and processes that are consistent with and integral to a successful product liability defense.

We routinely advise our clients regarding document organization and retrieval systems as well as e-discovery.  Likewise, we help them in developing product safety programs and company histories on product safety initiatives, overseeing compliance with standards, rendering advice regarding contemplated product recalls and responding to actions by safety organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Resources

The Product Liability Practice Group has produced Product Liability Act and Related Statutes Guides for Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Click the appropriate state for the respective guide.

In the News

Press Releases

Publications

Practice Highlights

Automotive

  • Defends numerous international automobile and motorcycle manufacturers in product liability and personal injury claims.
  • Serves as national counsel for manufacturers of safety restraint systems in product liability actions.
  • Serves as national coordinating trial counsel for major automotive manufacturer in fatality and rollover cases.
  • Served as the Defense Liaison for all defendants in the Ford-Firestone multidistrict litigation based in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Appointed by a Fortune 500 client to a team of settlement specialists attempting to resolve major nationwide claims involving a high-profile recalled product.

Agricultural/Construction/Industrial Equipment

  • Defends manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks, agricultural and construction equipment in product liability actions.
  • Serves as national counsel for Japanese manufacturer of industrial equipment including dough mixers, cutters, grinders, blenders and presses.
  • Serves as national trial counsel for a manufacturer of loader backhoes.
  • Serves as regional counsel for a major construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer.

Aviation

  • Defend helicopter engine manufacturer.
  • Represent insureds of major aviation insurer.

Consumer Products

  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for manufacturer of glass, bakeware and home accessories.
  • Advises clients on consumer product regulation including CPSC reporting and recall-related issues.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for manufacturers of children’s products, including, car seats, commercial playground equipment and toys.
  • Defended a children’s products manufacturer in wrongful death actions.

Drug and Medical Device

  • Defends manufacturers in numerous drug and medical device serial litigation matters, including diet drugs and other pharmaceuticals, hip implants, insulin infusion pumps, latex gloves, bone screws, mechanical heart valves, cardiac stents and catheters.
  • Served as lead trial and national counsel representing a manufacturer of orthopedic products and instruments in multidistrict litigation.
  • Defended pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in federal court product liability litigation, including requests for class certification.

Fire and Explosion

  • Defends numerous underground mine fire and explosion cases, including most recently the Sago Mine in West Virginia.
  • Serves as national fire counsel for manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment.
  • Defended numerous makers of appliances and electronic devices against product-related claims for fire losses, property damage and personal injuries.
  • Defended manufacturers and distributors of propane delivery systems, MAPP gas cylinders, smoke detectors, boilers, furnaces, fans and electronic air cleaners.
  • Defended companies and individuals in major catastrophic loss cases including the Rhode Island Station Nightclub fire, Oklahoma City bombing, Ivel Natural Gas Pipeline explosion, Rexnord Industrial Plant explosion, Johnny Cash residential fire, San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel fire and Happy Land Social Club fire.

Food Industry

  • Serves as national counsel for a distributor of flavorings in diacetyl and acetaldehyde cases.
  • Defends food manufacturers in personal injury claims arising from their products.
  • Represented national franchises in the genetically modified corn litigation and E. coli litigation.
  • Represented international companies in the genetically modified rice litigation.

Hand and Power Tools

  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for international and domestic manufacturers of pneumatic, electric and battery-operated nailers, staplers, screwdrivers and other fastening devices and accessories.
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for S&P 500 company’s manufacturing division of hand-held torches and distributor of gas cylinders.
  • Serves on a trade group of legal and standards-making committees handling media issues and CPSC interaction on behalf of various clients.
  • Instrumental in developing industry-wide safety warning labels, manuals and safety education programs for end users.
  • Serves as statewide counsel for international hand and power tool manufacturer.

Recreational Products

  • Defends all-terrain vehicle manufacturers in product liability actions.
  • Defended marine manufacturers in defeating propeller guarding allegations brought by various plaintiffs in lawsuits in various state and federal courts.
  • Defended manufacturers of personal watercraft in product liability suits.

Toxic Exposure

  • Serves as national, regional and/or jurisdictional counsel for over 20 asbestos manufacturers.
  • Serves as national trial counsel for a manufacturer defendant in welding consumables litigation.
  • Serves as national trial counsel in Isocyanate exposure cases in the mining industry.
  • Serves as national coordinating and trial counsel for a number of contractors, developers and suppliers of Chinese drywall.
  • Serves as managing counsel for a manufacturer of lead paint.
  • Served as lead toxic tort counsel for a national lawn care company.
  • Defended an industrial client against personal injury and wrongful death claims for alleged job site exposure to benzene or benzene-related products.
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