Clients turn to McDermott for our deep experience in mass tort, product liability litigation. We have represented defendants in large-exposure product liability cases, and possess the collective experience, knowledge and resources necessary to provide our clients with exceptional service.
We have successfully defended our clients against product liability and negligence claims arising from such products as airplane engines, pharmaceuticals and medical instruments, and industrial and heavy construction equipment. We also have extensive experience managing, supervising and handling national litigation, including multi-plaintiff cases involving lead paint, pharmaceuticals, wood treatment, asbestos and other construction products.
To help manage large-scale dockets, we have developed sophisticated, in-house tools and draw on experienced paralegal and support staff to perform case-management tasks effectively and efficiently. We understand that major cases can impose a heavy financial burden on businesses, and use legal project management (LPM) processes to offer fee arrangements that can add a layer of predictability to legal expenses.
We have extensive experience counseling clients regarding insurance policy coverage issues, and reviewing corporate acquisitions and mergers to assess the potential product liability exposure. In addition, our lawyers regularly counsel our clients on product liability issues, including developing instructions and warnings that anticipate hazards, as well as drafting contract and warranty provisions that attempt to limit product liability claims and exposure.
Our product liability lawyers are well known for their strategic and tactical counsel in the management of large and complex class action litigation. We practice regularly before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, serve as lead defense counsel in class actions in federal multidistrict litigation, and represent clients in parallel government proceedings, including multi-state attorney general investigations and actions. We have negotiated settlements in class action matters and successfully defended clients in suits alleging various types of personal injury. For example, in relation to a massive recall of yellow corn products and subsequent nationwide litigation, McDermott has been defending the national seed producer in numerous individual lawsuits as well as in 30 class actions.
We have represented manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other businesses in a broad range of mass tort cases across the United States and internationally. For example, we successfully defended toxic tort litigation in California involving more than 90 defendants, in which we prevailed against the plaintiffs’ “shotgun style” complaint alleging that more than 1,400 products were a “substantial cause” of lung disease. We also achieved a complete dismissal for a major oil and gas producer in a case in which 1,200 local residents were recruited for a mass tort suit alleging that gasoline discharges posed a cancer threat in the town.
An oil industry company, as its lead strategic and trial counsel, and as national coordinating counsel for the National Joint Defense Group (consisting of all major petroleum refiners, including BP), in more than 150 product liability and environmental contamination cases arising from use of the gasoline additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE).
Honeywell, the Fortune 100 technology and manufacturing company, as national coordinating counsel for its docket of Bendix asbestos personal injury and wrongful death cases. There are approximately 20,000 such active cases pending in many jurisdictions throughout the United States. McDermott’s role as national coordinating counsel is to oversee the defense of these cases, to manage the resources Honeywell has budgeted to defend and resolve such cases, and to ensure that Honeywell’s short-term objectives and long-term goals with regard to this litigation (overall and in individual cases) are accomplished.
Monsanto, a publicly traded, multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, in relation to multiple-venue products liability mass tort actions related to the manufacture, sale and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).
Motorola in a series of cases challenging the safety of cell phones. These cases include class actions and individual brain cancer cases. Plaintiffs have sued cell phone manufacturers, service providers, trade associations and standard-setting organizations claiming that cell phones cause adverse health effects. Courts have dismissed many of those cases based on federal pre-emption or the lack of admissible general causation evidence. None of them has survived past the summary judgment stage.
IKO Industries Ltd., and certain affiliates that manufactured or distributed organic asphalt roofing shingles, in a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging that the shingles fail prematurely. McDermott also defends James Hardie Building Products, Inc., in a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging that James Hardie’s fiber cement siding fails prematurely.