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Products Liability & Mass Torts

For more than 25 years, Goodwin Procter attorneys have defended against national mass torts actions involving pharmaceuticals, tobacco, building materials, food and supplements, recreational equipment, medical devices, cell phones and other products. In addition, our firm has handled matters involving 9/11, Flight 103, Hurricane Katrina and many other aggregated actions.

Attorneys in our Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice are well-known for successfully litigating and trying high-stakes cases. Our teams serve as national and lead industry counsel, supervise local counsel, coordinate multidistrict litigation and develop nationwide and multinational defense strategies. We are also well-versed in matters relating to manufacturing processes and alleged chemical and environmental exposures.

We’re known for finding novel approaches – in motion practice, in settlement negotiations and at trial – to achieve outcomes that favor our clients’ immediate as well as long-term interests. While we’ve resolved complex, multibillion-dollar disputes quickly and efficiently, we’re trial lawyers at heart, not afraid to take aggressive positions and win with a jury when we and our clients believe it’s the best approach.

Our experience includes:

  • Serving as the lead counsel for an international tobacco company, winning more than 90 class actions, other aggregated actions and individual smoker lawsuits through summary judgment, dismissal or jury verdict in federal and state courts across the country
  • Winning dismissal of over 30 cases brought by foreign governments seeking billions of dollars in healthcare costs from a large multinational company
  • Handling all aspects of 5,000 DES-related cases, from conducting trials to coordinating the defense effort throughout the United States
  • Serving as national coordinating and trial counsel in thousands of asbestos cases

An integral part of our practice is helping clients avoid costly and uncertain litigation. We routinely advise on products liability/mass tort exposure, risk management, manufacturing issues, product recalls, loss prevention and situations calling for crisis management. Our attorneys review product claims and warranties and counsel clients on how to minimize risks under state consumer protection statutes.

Due diligence presents another opportunity to protect clients by reducing risk. We know what to look for and help determine when an acquisition target might prove to be a liability instead of a sound investment. We do more than identify significant potential exposure. By working closely with colleagues in our Business, Tax and Bankruptcy practices, our products attorneys help create corporate structures to protect clients from future product liability claims.

Some recent examples include:

  • Revealing the potential asbestos liability of a target company that had assured our client its products had never contained asbestos
  • Assessing product liabilities assumed in connection with a stock acquisition, including analysis of current and historical product lines, pending and prior product liability litigation, predecessor entities and potential liabilities of those companies and any potential insurance coverage available to satisfy future claims
  • Advising a manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements concerning restructuring options and potential product liability claims

Practice Highlights

Good Wins Update
November 21, 2013

Good Wins Update
April 29, 2013

The Ongoing Battle over GMO Labeling
For the Defense
April 1, 2016

Strategies for Limiting Product Liability
Inside the Minds
March 1, 2008

Asbestos Reform - Past and Future
Mealey's Litigation Report
April 4, 2007

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
Boston Bar Journal
October 4, 2005

Asbestos Legislation: The FAIR Act Two Years On
Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law
August 1, 2005

Where Will Silica Litigation Go?
Law Journal Newsletters - Silica Legal News Report
For more information on this subject, please see our July 14, 2005 client alert.
July 1, 2005

Daubert in Drug and Dietary Cases: The Recipe Matters
Rx for the Defense
December 1, 2004