Every product liability matter presents unique challenges. By partnering proactively with clients to understand their industry-specific needs, we develop creative, forward-thinking strategies that consider every possible avenue to success as well as each potential obstacle. Thinking ahead gives us the flexibility to shift tactics when circumstances warrant, the foresight to integrate cost efficiencies into case management, and the clarity to focus on our clients’ goals through every step of the process.


In every product liability matter, Ballard Spahr lawyers are committed to two important principles. The first is to deploy the resources and foresight necessary to end litigation as soon as practicable, so clients are not burdened by business interruption, negative publicity, and the cost of protracted litigation. Second, should the case proceed, we apply our industry perspective and direct experience with the issues and stakeholders to protect the product and brand through trial and appeal. We listen to our clients and often provide creative solutions to dramatically different problems. We complement this litigation philosophy with perspective gained from counseling companies on avoiding product failures and compliance issues in the first place. As we partner with clients to understand their industry demands, we often integrate cost efficiencies through proven alternative fee arrangements.

Our national product team has a track record of success in state and federal courts across the country. Clients call on us when they know a case may need to be tried or when a complex class action requires experienced, strategic case management. We also are known for our ability to develop strategies that bring closure to challenging controversies quickly through early motion practice or strategic mediation.

Our product lawyers take particular pride in helping companies avoid litigation. We guide clients through regulatory, risk management, and product development challenges, including review and drafting of product manuals and warnings; analysis of corporate structure; and failure analyses. Staying connected to our clients’ business needs enables our product liability lawyers to anticipate and prepare our partners for industry challenges before they develop into legal problems.

Our product liability group has had considerable success in coordinating complex controversies toward early and favorable resolutions. We have experience developing private alternative dispute resolution programs that give clients greater control over the most problematic aspects of litigation and, as a result, cost. We also have experience coordinating preemptive voluntary product service campaigns that have mooted class action claims.

Automotive

Our attorneys help automotive companies across the country to protect the product and the company’s brand image. We know that engineers and business personnel work hard to develop safe vehicles and we have been successful in articulating that philosophy to judges and juries. Our team has handled significant class actions, serial warranty claims, government investigations, and the coordination of catastrophic personal injury matters arising from failed recalls, on behalf of automotive manufacturers and component part suppliers. We also counsel clients on regulatory and risk management issues related to vehicle development, claims handling, customer and dealer communications, and product literature.

As a strategic partner to clients, we stay abreast of new issues and emerging trends in the automotive industry, including the development of autonomous vehicles. Working with our Privacy and Data Security Group, we have conducted scoping audits and developed protocols for ISO compliance and litigation preparedness that address the issues unique to automotive companies.

Industrial

Our attorneys have defended industrial clients in significant catastrophic injury cases arising from chemical exposures, fires, and explosions, including benzene exposure, hydrogen disulfide, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen exposures, entrapment claims, building and furnace explosions, and industrial machine accidents. We have the skill and experience necessary to handle the most sensitive and complex cases. Our team has developed a deep knowledge of the interplay of immunity issues arising from worker’s compensation, OSHA impacts, and managing multiple interdisciplinary experts. We also advise companies on compliance with ANSI warnings standards and development of warning labels for applications including steel making, industrial machines, and agriculture.

Commercial and Energy Products

Our attorneys address legal issues that arise in the development of commercial and energy products, particularly the failure effects of smart meters. We have significant experience with applicable UL and ANSI standards and we regularly analyze the warnings and operational procedures associated with lithium-powered home energy sources, as well as solar panels.

We successfully defend class actions brought under the New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract and Warranty Notice Act (TCCWNA), a challenging law that regulates sales disclosures made by product companies in website and other advertising materials.

Our Clients

The group represents clients ranging from start-ups and growing businesses to the world’s largest manufacturing companies, including:

  • AM General, LLC
  • CSL Behring
  • DuPont
  • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Honeywell, Inc.
  • Interface Performance Materials
  • Kia Motors America, Inc.
  • Magnesita Refractories
  • Milacron Inc.
  • PECO
  • Ryan Homes
  • Subaru of America, Inc.
  • Valero Energy Corp.

Practice Integration

Clients benefit from the seamless integration of our product liability practice with our national White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations, Labor and Employment, Class Action Litigation, and Privacy and Data Security practices. Our interdisciplinary teams anticipate and vigorously defend product companies in government investigations and OSHA investigations attendant to litigation, while counseling companies on cyber and data risks.

contact

Neal Walters
Practice Leader
Tel 856.761.3438
waltersn@ballardspahr.com