Product liability lawsuits are among the most complex and potentially damaging lawsuits a company can face. Even when a case is settled or adjudicated favorably, the business can still suffer severe damage to its finances and reputation. When facing such claims, clients need seasoned litigators with extensive trial experience who can offer a sophisticated, effective, and cost-efficient product liability defense. With one of the largest litigation practices in the Southwest, that’s exactly what they will find at Jackson Walker.
Our attorneys employ innovative strategies and a nuanced understanding of jurisdictional, procedural, and legal defenses to the benefit of our clients. When we try a case to verdict on the merits, we have not only the litigation experience needed, but also the understanding of the complex issues inherent in production, manufacturing, and distribution necessary to distill complicated technical, scientific, and medical jargon into compelling narratives that persuade judges and juries.
Our attorneys work as both local and national counsel, representing clients in single-plaintiff cases, multi-district litigation matters, class actions, and mass tort litigation involving serious personal injuries or catastrophic events concerning a wide variety of products. We regularly practice in state and federal courts across the country at both the trial and appellate level. In our home state of Texas, known for some of the most plaintiff-friendly venues in the nation, we are particularly effective in evaluating claims, venue, the trial judge, and opposing counsel to create an exceptional litigation strategy that can then be effectively managed to minimize costs to every extent possible.
Our product liability and mass tort attorneys are able to call on our Environmental and Regulatory attorneys, recognized by Chambers USA for their “strong team fielding expertise,” as well as seasoned professionals in our Corporate, Healthcare, and Tax practice groups as cases demand.
At Jackson Walker, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring our outstanding litigation skills to bear in the effort to safeguard our clients from potentially high-damage product liability and toxic tort awards while protecting the integrity of their products and their reputations.
Consumer and Commercial Products
- Successfully defended tractor-trailer manufacturer in product liability action resulting in a take-nothing judgment that was affirmed on appeal.
- Secured unanimous defense verdict on behalf of trailer manufacturer in product liability action.
- Resolved without payment of damages multiple cases brought against all-terrain vehicle manufacturer’s trade association.
- Obtained resolution without payment of damages but automobile dealer in a case involving alleged odometer defect.
- Obtained Texas jury verdict in favor of engine manufacturer sued for wrongful death arising out of a helicopter accident in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Obtained summary judgment for military helicopter manufacturer based on the government contractor defense.
- Represented a product defendant in litigation brought by US citizens arising out of an accident involving Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Brazil to France. All cases were ordered consolidated with other cases filed by foreign plaintiffs and the consolidated cases were eventually dismissed for forum non conveniens.
- Obtained favorable settlement for major home builder in lawsuit with more than 40 parties involving claims based on product liability, negligence, fraud, DTPA, breach of warranty, and fraud claims with over $11 million in damages claimed to more than 1,000 homes.
- Obtained favorable settlement for construction company in construction defect case involving over 14 parties and allegations of mold contamination to church.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of crane manufacturer in products liability case by demonstrating that component part manufacturer was responsible for plaintiff’s injury.
- Favorably settled claims against crane manufacturer in accident involving the death of an employee injured during the operation of the crane’s winch.
- Successfully defended manufacturer in air compressor products liability case by demonstrating employee injured in sand blaster accident contributed to his own injury.
- Obtained summary judgment in products liability case on behalf of bucket truck manufacturer by demonstrating operator error.
- Defended operator of electrical transmission line against claims brought by rural telephone carrier contending that harmonics emitted by transmission lines interfered with telephone service. The case resulted in the assessment of costs against the telephone carrier after it was shown the telephone carrier’s equipment was improperly grounded.
- Secured forum non conveniens dismissal of product liability case brought in Mexico involving allegation of defect in overhead light.
- Based on plaintiff’s inability to demonstrate that client manufactured allegedly defective product, obtained non-suit of product liability case involving injury to alleged defective ballast in overhead light.
- Secured take nothing judgment as a result of plaintiff’s inability to demonstrate that client’s lighting product was the cause of a fire that resulted in multiple deaths.
- Successfully defended fast food restaurant operator in a case alleging chemical contamination of food served to customer. Obtained summary judgment based on contributory negligence.
Household Chemicals & Appliances
- Defeated product liability claim against manufacturer of hot water heater as a result of plaintiff’s inability to demonstrate that client manufactured product that caused plaintiff’s injury.
Industrial Machines & Manufactured Components
- Obtained favorable settlement prior to commencement of litigation for owner of a natural gas-fired power plant in connection with claims arising from defective radiator coils, mechanical components, and software for a chiller system intended to ensure efficient operation during hot weather.
Oil and Gas Industry Equipment
- Secured summary judgment in favor of casing manufacturer in wrongful death action.
- Resolved case alleging well failure in favor of manufacturer during mediation and secured dismissal of case with prejudice.
- Secured summary judgement in wrongful death action against tubing manufacturer alleging breach of warranty.
- Secured early, cost-effective dismissal of personal injury case alleging a platform explosion was caused by manufacturer’s valve by proving the valve was not manufactured by our client.
- Served as lead counsel in major oil spill litigation, guiding the drilling contractor through crisis-management and regulatory issues. *
Drug, Medical Devices and FDA Regulated Products
Dietary and Nutritional Supplements
- Represented prominent medical professional in suit alleging false claims were made about the efficacy of diet supplements.
Hepatitis Infection Claims
- Represented major pharmaceutical company as national counsel in vaccine-related personal injury cases. Successfully challenged expert witnesses in one of the first applications of the standards articulated in Daubert. *
- Served as Texas counsel to major pharmaceutical company in the successful resolution of nationwide class action concerning the bioequivalency of generic versions of prescription medication.*
- Defended a major pharmaceutical company in numerous cases involving a drug removed from the market by order of the FDA. Removed cases to federal court. Obtained summary judgment based on lack of evidence regarding causation in all cases except one. Tried sole remaining case to a verdict for the defense.
- Secured summary judgment orders on behalf of major pharmaceutical company in defense of product liability claims against one of the top sales-ranked drugs in the country.
- Successfully defended manufacturer of homeopathic remedy and assisted in defense of developer (represented by another firm) through the identification and deposition of expert witnesses and generation of reports disproving claims of negative effect. Prepared brief concerning causation.
- Successfully defended maker of over-the-counter pain reliever in case alleging the product caused a bleeding stomach ulcer. *
- Successfully defended pharmaceutical company in case alleging birth defects caused by in-utero exposure to drug administered to mother by proving through expert testimony that defects were caused by a rare, recently recognized condition unrelated to the drug exposure. *
- Represented major pharmaceutical manufacturer in personal injury cases regarding biosphosphonates causing esophagus erosion when not taken properly. *
- Represented major pharmaceutical manufacturer in personal injury cases regarding serious side effects allegedly caused by a pain reliever in multiple cases across the country. *
- Represented major pharmaceutical manufacturer in personal injury cases alleging birth defects, liver failure, and psychiatric symptoms as a result of an anti-acne drug in multiple cases across the country. *
- Represented major pharmaceutical manufacturer in personal injury cases regarding allegations of liver defects in heavy drinkers taking an over the counter medicine. *
Environmental, Toxic Tort, and Mass Tort Product Liability
- Obtained dismissals or summary judgment in asbestos suits around the country due to lack of product identification, or lack of hazardous component parts for manufacturers involved in the railroad and aircraft industries, various pump manufacturers involved in oil and gas and chemical processing industries, heat exchange and desalinization manufacturers, and offshore drilling platform and drilling components.
- Tried numerous cases in Texas and Missouri involving exposure to asbestos and silica at various manufacturing plants, resulting in favorable settlements upon appeal.
- Secured dismissal of our client in asbestos litigation involving multiple parties.
- Represented chemical manufacturer in an RCRA corrective action suit filed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Successfully defended contamination and property damage claim from agricultural products allegedly abandoned on Plaintiffs’ property which was previously leased by Defendant for storage.
- Successfully mediated claim against employer alleging employee developed leukemia as a result of exposure to benzene during employment.
- Settled case against gas processing company regarding performance in connection with environmental cleanup contract.
- Secured dismissal of several multistate, putative class actions brought on behalf of purchasers of mobile phones complaining that such phones are unreasonably dangerous.
- Worked with state attorneys general and co-counsel to secure a court ruling by the DC Court of Appeals pursuant to a previously obtained remand order by the United States Supreme Court that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency was overly broad and must be rewritten.
- Worked with co-counsel to secure a United States Supreme Court order that the Environmental Protection Agency must include a consideration of costs relative to benefits claimed in determining the Mercury & Air Toxics Standards.
- Worked with state attorneys general and co-counsel to secure a ruling by the United States Supreme Court blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing the Clean Power Plan prior to a ruling by a lower federal court on the constitutionality of the Clean Power Plan.
- Served as coordinating counsel for all mold cases in the state of Texas for a major homeowner’s insurance company.
- Served as lead counsel for an interstate pipeline in multiple cases alleging MtBE contamination of municipal water supplies and private land arising out of a gasoline spill. Obtained summary judgment in pipeline’s favor in numerous cases, including two putative class actions filed under Oil Pollution Act in which the pipeline was awarded costs as part of the judgment. Negotiated favorable settlements in the balance of the cases, including a case filed by a major municipality, which settled two weeks into a jury trial for $10 million less than the pretrial settlement demand after the cross examination of the city manager. Filed a related action against the pipe manufacturer and negotiated a very favorable confidential settlement.
Toxic Tort Exposure
- Defended chemical corporation in mass toxic tort case involving approximately 20,000 plaintiffs total in 80 separate class actions claiming personal injuries and property damage resulting from an alumina plant explosion.
- Disqualified plaintiffs’ expert witness thus securing the dismissal of our client in case alleging individual as well as mass tort claims (including claims implicating benzene, mercury, hydrogen sulfide, and asbestos) brought by hundreds refinery employees.
- Successfully mediated claim brought by neighboring landowner alleging property damage, loss of livestock and contamination of water source from a release of agricultural chemical in conjunction with ongoing operations after forcing Plaintiff to abandon personal injury claims.
*Cases handled by Jackson Walker attorney during previous employment.
- Charles “Chip” Babcock litigates and handles appeals across the United States. He is licensed in both Texas and New York and has tried over 100 cases to a jury, argued over 50 appeals, and litigated cases in 24 states. Chip is Chair of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He is recognized as a Band 1 National Trial lawyer by Chambers USA, as a Best Lawyer in America, and as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. According to Chambers USA, Chip is known as “the premier First Amendment lawyer in Texas” and clients remark that he “understands the intricacies of high-profiles cases” allowing him to “develop a really good strategy.” He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, The American Board of Trial Advocates, the Litigation Counsel of America, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Chip was named Texas Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Texas Bar Foundation in 2016.
- One of the country’s most respected legal scholars, Bill Powers is a member of the American Law Institute, where he was co-reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment of Liability and the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical Harm. Bill has worked as a legal consultant with the U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature. In 2001, he chaired a special investigation committee that examined the financial transactions of Enron Corp. The resulting report, which has come to be known as the “Powers Report,” and his subsequent testimony before Congress, gained national recognition.
Consumer and Commercial Products
- Agricultural products
- Automotive products
- Aviation products
- Building materials
- Construction equipment
- Electrical equipment
- Food products & dietary supplements
- Household chemicals & appliances
- Industrial machines & manufactured components
- Oil and gas industry equipment
- Recreational equipment
Drug, Medical Devices, and FDS Regulated Products
- Dietary and nutritional supplements
- Heart stents
- Hepatitis infection claims
- Implantable devices
- Medication reactions
Environmental, Toxic Tort, and Mass Tort Product Liability
- Chemical exposure
- Drug and medical devices
- Food, dietary, and nutritional supplements
- MTBE (environmental)
- Toxic tort exposure
Our attorneys have experience handling all aspects of Product Liability lawsuits including:
- Class certification proceedings
- Medical monitoring claims
- Punitive damage awards
- Epidemiological analysis of causation to exclude dubious expert testimony
- Daubert (or other state law equivalents) proceedings to exclude dubious expert testimony
- Bet-the-company medical product cases
- Filing of amicus briefs
- Consumer protection statute defense
- Management of large class actions
- Comprehensive record management and e-discovery solutions
- Defense of third generation liability
- Selection and preparation of expert witnesses
- Experienced review and management of medical records and research
- Application of the learned intermediary rule in defending pharmaceuticals
- Application of Restatement of Torts Section 402A, comment k in defending pharmaceuticals