Products Liability

The Gibbons Products Liability Group handles jury trials and other litigation involving cutting-edge legal issues, nationally recognized name-brand products, and high exposure matters on behalf of Fortune 100 clients, often serving in national trial team and regional counsel capacities. The Group comprises highly experienced attorneys and a skilled team of nurse professionals, case managers, paraprofessionals, and medical records clerks. We have been actively engaged in the products liability field for over 40 years and have established an excellent reputation not only in the Northeast, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, and Massachusetts, but also nationally in many other states and venues in which our corporate clients have sought our knowledge, skill, and effective service. In addition, we provide clients with comprehensive preventive counseling.

Our litigators have extensive experience defending corporate clients in a variety of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty and failure to warn personal injury, and catastrophic property damage matters. Group members are prepared and able to effectively attain our client’s specific goals for a particular matter, whether it be to try the case to a positive result or to favorably settle the matter for a confidential amount through mediation following an active and thorough discovery and motion period. In addition to individual matters, the Gibbons Products Liability Group handles class actions and mass tort matters in federal and state courts, involving traditional products liability issues as well as such emerging, complex concerns as consumer fraud and post-Riegel preemption.

Our attorneys also recognize that the optimal goal for clients is the prevention of litigation and the potential negative publicity and business interruption that lawsuits bring. We proactively provide comprehensive audits beginning at the product development and marketing stages, during which we evaluate labels, warnings, packaging, manuals, and other hazard communication media for completeness, effectiveness, and compliance with applicable federal and/or state requirements. Based on our audit, we design and implement a comprehensive plan for the client going forward, which recommends revisions to the literature, as well as policies and procedures the company should follow at the product’s earliest stages in development and on the market, to maximize compliance and minimize the risk of high-profile litigation, with all its inherent negative impact. Group members also counsel and assist corporate clients confronted with other product safety issues, such as recalls and government regulatory actions.

As a result of having a dedicated group of attorneys and other professionals working in the products liability and tort area over so many years, Gibbons has built up a continually updated inventory of legal research and briefs on virtually every legal issue related to the products field.

Areas of Focus

General Products

Gibbons has been actively engaged in the general products liability field for over 40 years. During that time, we have gained extensive litigation experience in the defense of product design and manufacture. The nature of the products we have defended is varied and includes farm and agricultural equipment, hand and power tools, tires, heavy industrial conveyors, boats, elevators, hydraulic equipment, industrial presses, copying equipment, heavy industrial cranes, chemicals, medical devices and related equipment, and numerous other products. Some of the companies we have represented include the world’s leading automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical/life sciences, heavy equipment, and utility vehicle manufacturers, among many others.

Laboratory Defense

Gibbons has represented the two largest private clinical laboratories in the world in hundreds of matters throughout numerous jurisdictions across the country, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in our Mid-Atlantic region, as well as Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona. We also represent smaller clinical laboratories and laboratory-related companies. The Laboratory Defense Team has advised clients on risk management strategies, litigation defense, regulatory compliance, privacy matters, reference lab arrangements, and reporting, and provides crisis management counsel involving retesting and recall programs. We also negotiate and draft a wide variety of agreements, including clinical trial agreements, confidentiality agreements, consulting agreements, and laboratory and other services agreements.

Pharmaceutical & Medical Device

Gibbons is actively engaged in the defense of several well-known manufacturers of ethical pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The Gibbons Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Team handles both individual personal injury matters and national putative class actions. Our attorneys have successfully defended clients in numerous complex actions related to purported adverse effects, warnings, manufacturing, design and use of pharmaceuticals, devices, and implants. Members participate on national trial teams in many high-profile matters.

Toxic Torts

The Gibbons Products Liability Group has been involved in substantial litigation in the defense of cases involving foreign substances (food cases), carcinogenic chemical cases, lead and asbestos cases, and other toxic tort claims. In this regard, we have successfully defended cases on behalf of Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies; a household name paint, textile, and building materials manufacturer; a prominent chemical manufacturer; and global leaders in numerous other products and technologies. The firm also defends clients in fire loss claims and litigation involving a variety of electric appliances and fueled products.