K&L Gates’ Product Liability practice has extensive experience in product liability litigation, having handled a wide variety of cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts in jurisdictions across the United States and internationally.
Lawyers in the group have defended and tried cases involving many types of industrial machinery and equipment, numerous commercial and consumer products, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to defending and trying individual cases, group members have served as national coordinating counsel and regional and national defense trial counsel for numerous clients in product liability cases.
As a result of K&L Gates’ extensive product liability experience, lawyers have regular contact with a broad range of expert witnesses upon whom they can draw in providing innovative product liability defenses. Our lawyers also recognize that good settlements often are in their clients’ best interests and are experienced in negotiating settlements, including joint tortfeasor releases and structured settlements, as well as in the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques.
K&L Gates’ automated litigation support capabilities – computer databases that can access plaintiff and witness information, medical histories, communications indexes, full-text transcripts, case and discovery tracking, brief and memo banks, and legal research – also are available for any appropriate product liability cases.
K&L Gates has considerable experience acting as national coordinating counsel on behalf of commercial clients in the defense of product liability and toxic tort cases. Such national coordinating counsel engagements have included our extensive work in the following areas:
Traditionally, product liability law has developed on a state-by-state basis either through common law or statutory enactments. More recently, there have been several national trends in product liability law evident in the United States and elsewhere in the world. In the United States, over the past few years, Congress has considered a number of product liability reform acts. In addition, groups like the American Law Institute continue to update materials regarding product liability, such as the Restatement of the Law (Third) Torts: Products Liability. The United States Supreme Court has recently rendered several opinions regarding punitive damages and expert testimony that have national ramifications. The federal rulings often cause a ripple effect among the states and result in similar, although often slightly different, rulings from the individual states. In Australia, the product liability laws have been substantially strengthened, with both federal and state regulators now having more intrusive investigatory powers, with the ability to commence civil penalty proceedings (or refer to the DPP criminal prosecutions) for product safety breaches.
K&L Gates lawyers have monitored various pieces of legislation relating to product liability reform and have been involved in related lobbying efforts on behalf of clients. K&L Gates lawyers seek to keep clients informed of the trends in product liability law at both the state and national levels. The firm has prepared amicus briefs on behalf of clients in regard to issues that are before appellate courts. The firm's lawyers have lectured at product liability seminars and have written articles regarding current product liability topics. In Australia, K&L Gates has developed a number of diverse and creative product safety and product liability compliance strategies for our clients' use.