Product Liability

As recent, high-profile cases have shown, even companies with solid reputations can face significant negative publicity and financial losses as a result of a single faulty product. When facing product liability litigation, government investigations or consumer class actions, businesses must rely on litigators who are not only capable of mounting an aggressive, effective, and timely defense in court, but who are also mindful of the need to manage costs in an efficient manner.

Troutman Sanders has a long-standing record of defending clients in significant and complex product liability matters. We represent clients in single-plaintiff cases, multi-district class actions and mass tort litigation involving serious personal injuries or catastrophic events. Our product liability attorneys have extensive first-chair trial experience and regularly serve as national counsel with respect to specific products. Our effective defense strategies involve an in-depth understanding of our clients’ products, processes and markets, as well as exceptional knowledge of the science and technologies that underlie these systems. For our results, service and substantive knowledge, we have been ranked as a Tier 1 firm in the United States for Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions Defense by U.S. News – Best Law Firms.

We offer product liability defense in several core areas:

  • Asbestos Litigation
    We have been involved in asbestos litigation since its inception in the late 1970s, and we have played a wide variety of roles – including national counsel, regional counsel and local counsel – in numerous jurisdictions – federal and state – across the country. We have been involved in all facets of asbestos litigation and have represented a broad array of clients in a variety of industries. Our clients have included premises owners, equipment manufacturers (pumps, diesel engines, valve, and boilers), friction products manufacturers (automotive and aviation brake products), laboratory equipment manufacturers, specialty construction products, gasket and seal manufacturers, and conglomerates with a wide range of products consisting of asbestos-containing components. We have collectively handled all aspects of asbestos litigation from discovery to trials to appeals. We have also advised foreign clients on asbestos litigation in the United States and its attendant issues, such as personal jurisdiction and forum issues. Additionally, we have counseled clients on asbestos liabilities in connection with potential M&A transactions for clients, and we have experience in obtaining insurance coverage for asbestos liabilities and claims for many clients.
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation
    We have been handling high-stakes pharmaceutical and medical device litigation for at least 30 years. We have defended major pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers in claims related to individual surgical devices, orthopedic implants, cosmetic devices, and prescription drugs. While we litigate individual cases, our greatest distinction is our expertise in handling multiple cases involving the same product or arising out of the same event. We have served as national or regional trial counsel for global pharmaceutical companies in claims involving anti-coagulants, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, gynecological products, and cosmetics. Our clients are among largest and most well-known pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the world, including Johnson and Johnson, and its numerous subsidiaries, and Sanofi Aventis.
  • Industrial Equipment and Vehicle Litigation
    We have defended manufacturers, designers, service providers and distributors of industrial equipment and vehicles in personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death claims arising from alleged product defects. Our clients span a broad range of industries, including: automotive and aviation, construction, retail, transportation, and utilities to name a few.
  • Consumer Product Litigation and Recalls
    We have resolved personal injury and wrongful death claims involving a full spectrum of consumer products, including appliances, recreational products, and munitions. We represent clients before courts across the United States and before the Consumer Product Safety Commission with respect to large-scale product recalls.
  • Toxic Exposure Litigation
    We have defended toxic and chemical exposure product liability claims involving allegations of workplace exposure, environmental illness, and chemical sensitivity. We understand and are experienced in litigating the central issues of exposure, dosage and causation. We have defended claims of disease allegedly caused by exposure to everything from electromagnetic fields to mold, and tried cases of exposure to many substances, such as diesel fumes, lead, and solvents. We represent chemical manufacturers, petroleum manufacturers, plant owners, food supplement manufacturers, and transportation companies, among others.

In addition to our strong litigation experience, we provide product liability counseling to promote product safety and minimize future product liability exposure. Such counseling services include analyzing a client’s design and manufacturing processes, testing protocols and quality assurance programs; advising on appropriate insurance coverage; drafting product warnings and instructions; reviewing vendor and customer agreements for appropriate warranty, disclaimer and indemnity language; developing programs for proper document retention and post-sale product retrofits or recalls; and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Due to our collective years of experience, the sophistication of our clients and the complexity of our matters, we are established leaders in the product liability bar. Several of our product liability attorneys are active and hold leadership positions in professional and defense organizations including, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), Defense Research Institute (DRI), Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ), and the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). Our attorneys regularly speak and publish regarding products liability law, including publication of a well-respected and often cited treatise on products liability law in Virginia published by West Publishing.

Rankings & Recognition

  • U.S. News & World ReportBest Law Firms: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defense – National (2017) – Tier 1
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Product Liability Litigation-Defendants – Atlanta (2017) – Tier 1
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Product Liability Litigation-Defendants – Richmond (2017) – Tier 2
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defense – Atlanta (2017) – Tier 1
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defense – Richmond (2016) – Tier 1
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants – Atlanta (2017) – Tier 1