Product Liability Defense
Our trial lawyers have defended numerous wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury and other product liability claims brought against motor vehicle, chemical, construction, drug and medical device, industrial and heavy equipment, and recreational equipment manufacturers. We are experienced in facing incredibly sympathetic plaintiffs with well-financed plaintiff attorneys in tough jurisdictions.
Successfully defending a product liability case requires more than just mastering the legal complexities of the case. It requires a personal knowledge and understanding of the product and how it is designed, tested and manufactured. It also demands knowledge of your organization’s culture as well as your quality control procedures. It requires an in-depth understanding of the technical and scientific principles applicable to your products, and an ability to effectively cross examine expert witnesses who question your product’s safety.
We have a team of trial lawyers, paralegals, investigators and experts who will defend your product. We are experienced at working with engineers and scientists who design and test products. We understand how to help them explain what they do to a jury. We also communicate effectively with you, the in-house lawyers and engineers who provide critical perspectives and skills.
We are trial lawyers who regularly try cases in front of not only juries in Oklahoma’s state and federal courts, but courts across the nation.
We are effective and efficient. We can evaluate your case and give you advice on how to effectively move forward. We know the difference between a trial candidate and a case where an early resolution should be pursued. We understand that a scorched earth litigation policy or trial may not the best way to resolve every conflict. In defending cases where an early resolution is preferable, our reputation for trying cases helps you reach a more favorable result, because the plaintiff’s counsel understands that when we defend your case, a settlement may not be assumed.
A representative sampling of the successes achieved by our lawyers includes:
Automobiles and Motorcycles
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of a Fortune 10 auto manufacturer in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death action alleging defective design and manufacturing of a pickup truck’s roof structure and safety belt system.
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of a major automobile manufacturer in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death case alleging negligent design and manufacturing for failure to make optional safety equipment standard.
- Obtained defense verdict in a case in federal court in Arkansas that was prosecuted by Johnnie Cochran and his law firm. In that case we successfully defended a major automotive manufacturer in a products liability case where a woman who lost her husband and four children claimed that a defect in the vehicle caused their deaths.
- Obtained defense verdict in a multi-million dollar wrongful death action in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, where the families of five individuals who were killed in an automobile accident sued a major automobile manufacturer alleging a defect in the vehicles caused the accident and the resulting deaths.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer in lawsuit where a man who was rendered a quadriplegic following a rollover accident sued alleging that the roof offered inadequate protection in rollover accidents.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death case where it was alleged that a driver died in a fuel-fed fire as a result of a defective fuel system design.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer in a wrongful death case alleging that a seat back was not strong enough to protect its occupants
- Obtained defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer in a catastrophic injury case alleging that the restraint system design rendered a young mother of two a paraplegic. Verdict and judgment of the trial court affirmed on appeal.
- Obtained defense verdict for a major motorcycle manufacturer in a wrongful death action where it was alleged that a manufacturing defect rendered a motorcycle defective. Trial court’s judgment affirmed on appeal.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a major domestic automobile manufacturer in a suit involving allegations of defective design of an alternator.
- Obtained a jury verdict in Sedgwick County, Kansas, in favor of a major motorcycle manufacturer in case involving allegations of breach of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), violations of Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and design defects.
- In a case defending a major automobile manufacturer where a product defect was alleged to be responsible for a catastrophic brain injury of an 8-year-old, we successfully excluded plaintiff’s expert under Daubert resulting in a summary judgment for our client. Judgment affirmed on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
- Prior to a global settlement being reached, defended a leading pharmaceutical company in hundreds of cases against claims that one of its prescription drugs caused heart valve problems.
- Handled more than 350 product liability cases, including several purported class actions, while serving as sole Oklahoma counsel for a major pharmaceutical corporation whose nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug was alleged to cause cardiac events. The firm was successful in getting all the cases removed, when filed in state court, and transferred to the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana pursuant to orders from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
- Defended numerous manufacturers and distributors of medical devices and supplies, including prosthetic knees and hips, surgical screws, fracture plates, implants and spinal fusion devices, in product liability litigation.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a manufacturer of an over-the-counter nasal inhaler in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligence, failure to warn, breach of warranty and product liability. Judgment affirmed by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Eastern District of Oklahoma for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a lawsuit alleging failure to warn of a generic drug’s possible adverse reactions, including liver toxicity, when taken in combination with another medication. Judgment affirmed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Northern District of Oklahoma on a motion to exclude expert witness testimony under the Daubert standards in a lawsuit involving the manufacturer of a spinal rod system. Also prevailed on summary judgment motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for manufacturers’ products liability, negligence, failure to warn, breach of express and implied warranties, and fraud.
Industrial and Heavy Equipment
- Obtained jury verdict in favor of a downhole equipment manufacturer in a product liability case involving the blow-out of a deep gas well.
- Obtained a jury verdict in the Northern District of Texas in favor of an industrial facility in a case involving allegations of defect in a pressure vessel and negligence resulting in severe burn injuries.
- Obtained two separate jury verdicts in the Eastern District of Oklahoma in favor of a national manufacturer of industrial cracker making machines in separate cases involving allegations of improper design and improper guarding.
- Obtained a jury verdict in Beaumont, Texas, in favor of a manufacturer of a heat exchanger which exploded in a petrochemical plant.
- Obtained two separate jury verdicts in favor of an electrical utility in Lubbock County, Texas, in separate cases involving negligence and allegations of component design defects resulting in fatalities.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of an electric utility in Carlsbad, New Mexico, in case involving allegations of electrical contact injury resulting from negligent system design.
- Obtained defense verdict in wrongful death action involving tractor with inoperable neutral start switch.
- Obtained summary judgment for defendant in manufacturers’ products liability action involving a death in a tractor rollover accident.
- Obtained summary judgment for defendant on all issues, including design defects and failure to warn, in wrongful death claim involving rollover and fire on a Ford 8-N tractor.
- Obtained summary judgment for defendant, a manufacturer of agricultural tractors, in a product liability and personal injury action in which the plaintiff was run over while starting the tractor.
- Successfully represented a manufacturer of industrial valves and controls against a personal injury lawsuit arising from the explosion of a gas line that severed the legs of the plaintiff.
- Successfully represented a manufacturer of valves and controls for the oil and gas industry in a lawsuit alleging millions of dollars in damages arising from a boiler explosion that resulted in catastrophic burns and other injuries to the plaintiff.
- Successfully defended a winch manufacturer where catastrophic injuries were alleged to be the result of a defective design.
- Successfully defended in the Eastern District of Oklahoma a product liability claim against national manufacturer of burners involved in an explosion.
- Obtained jury verdict in favor of a ladder manufacturer in a case involving allegations of defective design resulting in a double fatality electrocution.
- Obtained summary judgment in state court in New Castle County, Delaware, in favor of a manufacturer of home products in a personal injury lawsuit. Judgment affirmed on appeal before the Supreme Court of Delaware.
- Obtained dismissal of a petrochemical defendant in a products liability case brought in the Eastern District of Oklahoma in a suit involving the death of a two-year-old child who ingested Tiki torch lamp fuel for which the petrochemical company supplied a petroleum distillate.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Western District of Oklahoma in favor of a table saw manufacturer in a case involving allegations of defect resulting in serious hand injuries.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Western District of Oklahoma in favor of a ladder manufacturer accused of defective product labeling.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement in favor of the manufacturer of an outdoor cooker in a case involving a house fire.
Other Product Liability Actions
- Handled class actions for various manufacturers where nationwide classes have been certified alleging that a defect in the product rendered the product unreasonably dangerous.
- Coordination of pre-litigation investigation, accident reconstruction, and negotiation with potential plaintiff resulting in manufacturing client not being named as a defendant in a lawsuit regarding the explosion of a tank-truck inside a commercial building.