Product Liability Defense

Primary Practice Contact: Rodney R. Parker

Our Product liability defense attorneys protect and defend businesses from claims related to products, food, medicines medical devices, and other goods supplied to the public

Product liability cases often fall into two categories: a case where only one person is injured because of a single defective product, or mass tort cases (“class action lawsuits”) in which a large number of people are alleged to have been injured in a similar way as the result of a specific defect.

We represent manufacturers (including drug and medical device manufacturers), sellers, distributors, and others in the sales chain in both instances.  While these types of cases may be similar factually, mass tort cases require an additional level of experience in case management. And, because a large class of potential plaintiffs is typically involved, potential damages in mass tort cases is much higher compared single plaintiff cases.

Our Product Liability Defense Experience

In serving as product liability defense counsel – locally, regionally, and nationally -, we have defended numerous manufacturers against mass tort/class action litigation. In mass torts, several cases are brought together in a single court and evidence is shared among the cases. We have the resources to efficiently oversee and coordinate such massive workloads.  This includes highly experienced staff and sophisticated document management software.

Mass product liability claims can have enormous consequences, including the potential to put a company out of business.  Product liability cases where only a single plaintiff is severely injured, can cause significant financial damages and negative ramifications for companies and individuals.  As a result, when a business is sued in a product liability case, it is critical to retain experienced product liability defense counsel who can vigorously protect and defend the rights of those against whom claims have been made.

What Constitutes a Defect Product for Product Liability Purposes?

Products (including equipment, machines, medical devices, and prescription drugs) can be defective in many ways. Equipment and machines can have a manufacturing defect, so they do not operate correctly.  They can be defective in design, so they cause an unreasonable risk of danger.  Proper usage instructions about how to operate a product may be missing or unclear.  Products (particularly drugs) may cause unintended injury, such as unexpected side effects in cases involving prescription drugs.

In a product liability case, it is incredibly important for us to gain a thorough understanding of exactly how the product was being used, and how the harm resulted.  In many cases, the harm may have resulted due to the failure of the person to use the product as intended, or to follow the safety procedures provided.  Knowing this information will be critical in the development of a defense.

In some cases, such as alleged defective drug cases, the harm alleged may not be scientifically supported.  As an example, a person’s development of cancer may not have been caused by their use of a specific product; instead, the cancer may have occurred independently of such product use.

We often will retain experts to assist in determining how an injury occurred and, with respect to matters involving allegedly defective drugs or similar matters, whether the alleged harm can be scientifically linked to the product.

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance covers a manufacturer’s or seller’s liability for losses or injuries to a buyer, user, or bystander caused by an alleged defect or malfunction of the product, an alleged defective design, or an alleged failure to warn.

When a client has insurance that potentially covers a product liability claim, we work closely with the insurance carrier in making defense and indemnity claims under the insurance policies, and thereafter work with the carrier’s representative in defending the client.

Our Experience in Product Liability Claims

We have defended drug and medical device manufacturers as well as manufacturers of asbestos products and consumer products (such as toys, ladders and cars). In hundreds of cases, we have worked closely with trusted experts from a variety of industries.  We are experienced in handling individual and mass tort liability claims resourcefully, and guiding clients through discovery, mediation, arbitration, and trial.  At each stage we are focused on vigorously pursuing our client’s chosen defense strategy, and seeking the best possible outcome for them given this strategy.

Providing Risk Mitigation Counsel

We help clients avoid product liability claims through ongoing counseling on ways to reduce risk and minimize the chances of legal issues surfacing. Our business lawyers help clients establish business practices that position them to defend their practices and products in litigation and in court.

Experienced Utah Product Liability Defense Counsel – When the Stakes are High

Our product liability defense attorneys are ready to help.  For more information please contact Rodney R. Parker or another member of our team.

Practice Contacts

Rodney R. Parker

Bradley R. Blackham

Camille N. Johnson

Nathanael J. Mitchell

Andrew M. Morse

Scott C. Powers

Nathan R. Skeen

Richard A. Vazquez

Heather S. White

Elizabeth L. Willey

Derek J. Williams