An Attack on Plaintiffs' Use of Consumer Complaints [The Legal Intelligencer]

In products liability actions, plaintiffs use prior consumer complaints as evidence that a defect existed or that the defendant ignored a known defect. Precluding these prior consumer complaints is important to the defense, because this evidence has significant potential to prejudice the jury and lead to the imposition of liability in cases where plaintiffs have failed to produce sufficient proof of a defect. For these reasons, defendants must challenge the admissibility of prior consumer complaints. Defendants should argue that the communications are not substantially similar to the facts, circumstances and defects claimed in the case at issue (and are, thus, not relevant), and are inadmissible hearsay.

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James H. Heller

Co-Chair, Commercial Litigation Department
Chair, Product Liability

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