Product Liability

Recent News:

Litigation Leaders: Cozen O’Connor’s Jim Heller on Building Trial-Ready Product Liability, White Collar and Class Action Teams

The American Lawyer profiled Jim Heller as part of its Litigation Leader series, which features the country's biggest firms' litigation practice leaders.

More

Product manufacturers know that even the most vigilant, safety-conscious companies must be prepared to respond to serious product liability claims. Compared to other torts, the evidentiary burden for plaintiffs is relatively low and potential monetary and reputational harm to defendants can be extraordinarily high.

Cozen O’Connor is a trial firm, first and foremost. We have been defending Fortune 500 companies in significant product liability litigation for more than three decades. Our attorneys are fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; ranked by Chambers and Partners; and recognized as among the nation’s “most influential” trial attorneys who are regularly involved in “significant verdicts.”

SERVICES

We defend single action matters, class actions, mass torts and multidistrict litigation. Attorneys respond to congressional, regulatory and criminal investigations, and appear before state and federal courts, arbitration panels and federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

Cozen O’Connor serves as ongoing national counsel to major corporations in oft-targeted industries. Our attorneys build institutional and brand knowledge, create protocols for fielding claims, minimize overall liability, conserve in-house resources and guide manufacturers through product recalls and withdrawals.

In response to mass tort filings, we work with our clients to develop a national litigation strategy, coordinate multi-jurisdictional discovery, select and prepare experts, and identify critical bellwether cases for priority disposition. Our proactive approach often leads to swift and silent resolutions, minimizing disruption to ongoing business operations.

Our Product Regulatory team works with clients to prevent problems in the first place. We advise on federal and state regulatory compliance (including California’s Proposition 65), conduct risk audits and reviews, and counsel on product labeling, advertising, marketing and manuals.

While the design, manufacture, sale, and promotion of many products is now a global endeavor, the majority of U.S. product liability laws are determined by individual states and vary widely across jurisdiction. With offices abroad and lawyers licensed across the United States, Cozen O’Connor has the capacity to respond to product liability matters wherever they arise.

CLIENTS

Food & Beverage. Provide labeling, advertising and regulatory advice to the food, beverage and nutritional supplement industries. Respond to product liability claims, provide crisis management, guide product recalls and litigate business disputes.

Safety Products. Lead advocacy on behalf of the smoke alarm industry and serve as national coordinating counsel and national trial firm for an international alarm products manufacture. Our attorneys have tried numerous state and federal cases to verdict, often achieving complete victory.

Aviation. Represent aviation clients in multi-jurisdictional product liability, wrongful death and survival actions, personal injury, warranty claims, product recalls and property damage claims.

Medical & Life Sciences. Defend developers, designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and users of medical and life sciences products, particularly against claims of personal injury or wrongful death.

Toxic Torts.  Defend manufacturers and premises owners throughout the country in matters arising out of the release of and exposure to toxic substances, such as asbestos, heavy metals, mold and benzene.

Additional Focus Industries. Serve clients with exposures in the areas of sports equipment, automotive and off-road vehicles, construction equipment and building products, oil and gas, firearms and manufacturing equipment.

Experience

Publications

EPA versus the State of California: An Important Glyphosate Update [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

August 20, 2019

Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide perhaps best known for being the active ingredient in the blockbuster weed killer Roundup®.  As many readers are probably aware, Roundup® is currently the subject of both state and federal litigation in which numerous plaintiffs allege that using Roundup® caused...

How Smart is it for Medical Devices to Learn New Tricks? The FDA Seeks Feedback On Its Proposed Regulatory Framework for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning-Based Medical Devices [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

May 29, 2019

In the shadow of the FDA’s new Proposed Regulatory Framework for Modifications to AI/ML-Based Software as a Medical Device, manufacturers are left to contemplate enhanced product liability exposure. AI-powered devices ingest new data and adjust accordingly – a feature that could result in entirely...

Manufacturers Can MAN UP With Defenses to the Texas Products Liability Act: Part II, How Sellers May Find Themselves a MAN DOWN [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

January 22, 2019

On September 11, 2018, Cozen O’Connor’s Product Liability Prevention and Defense (“PLPD”) blog provided a quick reference guide that manufacturers can consult to MAN UP on defenses when hit with a claim under Chapter 82 in Texas.  Hayden; Don't Find Yourself a MAN DOWN: Manufacturers Can MAN UP With...

The Canary in the Coal Mine Isn’t Looking So Good Anymore

December 04, 2018

John Sullivan, a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, authored the blog, "The Canary in the Coal Mine Isn’t Looking So Good Anymore" for the Drug & Device Law blog.

Just In: New Jersey Supreme Court Adopts Daubert Factors For Assessing The Reliability Of Expert Testimony [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

September 24, 2018

On August 1, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a seminal ruling elucidating the state’s standard for admission of expert testimony in civil litigation.  In a unanimous decision, the Court adopted the Daubert factors for assessing the reliability of expert testimony, and reaffirmed the trial...

Don’t Find Yourself a MAN DOWN: Manufacturers Can MAN UP With Defenses to the Texas Products Liability Act [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

September 11, 2018

As of September 1, 1993, a manufacturer's duty to indemnify a seller in a products liability action became statutorily mandated in Texas.  See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 82.002 (Vernon 1997) (“Chapter 82”).  Chapter 82, also known as the Products Liability Act, made changes that place...

MDL Court in the Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation Throws Out Another Large Jury Verdict

July 13, 2018

John Sullivan, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice, authored, "MDL Court in the Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation Throws Out Another Large Jury Verdict," for the Drug & Device Law Blog.

Personal Jurisdiction through Alter Ego Fails in Illinois

June 29, 2018

John Sullivan, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice, authored, "Personal Jurisdiction through Alter Ego Fails in Illinois" for the Drug and Device Law Blog.

ALERT: U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiori to Decide Whether FDA Excluded Warnings Pre-Empt State Law Claims [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

June 28, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to consider a Third Circuit ruling that revived litigation over Merck's alleged failure to warn about a risk of femoral fractures from its osteoporosis drug Fosamax.  The precise question presented on appeal is “whether a state-law failure-to-warn claim is...

8th Circuit Reverses to Uphold Successor Liability Defense, Highlighting The Importance of Consistent, Clear Descriptions Of Acquisitions To Avoid the de facto Merger Exception [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

June 01, 2018

On April 5, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit wiped out a jury verdict in a products liability action and $13 million punitive damages award against a manufacturer and its wholly owned subsidiary on the basis that the parent company manufacturer could assert a successor liability defense....

FDA releases draft guidance on expansion of abbreviated 510(k) Program [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

May 01, 2018

On April 12, the FDA released draft guidance discussing an expansion of its Abbreviated 510(k) program for medical devices. This new guidance would allow a submitter to establish substantial equivalence by demonstrating that a new medical device meets certain performance criteria, rather than by...

The Legality of Cannabidiol and Concerns Regarding False Advertising [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

April 17, 2018

The legality of marijuana (also known as cannabis) has been a popular topic in recent years with thirty states and the District of Columbia having laws that legalize marijuana in some form.  However, under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I drug and remains illegal for all purposes. Schedule I...

Third Circuit Issues Precedential Ruling on Express Preemption for Hybrid Medical Devices [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

March 20, 2018

The Third Circuit has become the first U.S. Court of Appeals to address the application of the express preemption provision in the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 to hybrid medical devices. Hybrid medical devices are devices which contain differently classified components. In Shuker v. Smith...

Known to the State of California to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Harm - What is Proposition 65 and What You Need to Know [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

February 08, 2018

A majority of California voters in 1986 approved a ballot initiative known as Proposition 65, officially titled California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Prop. 65”).  Prop. 65 seeks to protect California’s drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals...

State Court Relies Upon Supreme Court’s Bristol-Meyers Squibb Decision to Vacate Jury Verdict Against J&J [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

November 14, 2017

The Supreme Court limited a striking vulnerability for product manufacturers in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California this summer when it ruled that out-of-state plaintiffs could not simply claim injuries that were similar to residents to support specific jurisdiction, but must...

Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims

October 09, 2017

Brenden Coller and Richard Fama, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "Defending Made-In-The-USA Claims," for Assembly Magazine.

Lack of Substantiation Theories in False Advertising Cases—The Burden Lies on the Plaintiff [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

September 13, 2017

Often when we think of product liability we think of a product that doesn’t function as intended and causes some sort of damage resulting in warning, design and/or manufacturing defect claims.  However, another important aspect is advertising.  The purpose of this post is to focus on one very...

Glyphosate’s Prop 65 Listing May Affect Everyone in the Supply Chain

September 12, 2017

Amy Alderfer, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, published, "Glyphosate’s Prop 65 Listing May Affect Everyone in the Supply Chain," in the Daily Journal.

Proposed Legislation to Relax Rules on Medical Device Reporting Passes U.S. House [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

July 17, 2017

On July 13, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would triple the amount of time in which medical device manufacturers are required to report certain malfunctions of some products to the Food and Drug Administration.  Companies currently must report product malfunctions within...

California Consumers and Food Manufacturers Await Key Government Rules on Food Labeling

July 01, 2017

David Shimikin, a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, published "California Consumers and Food Manufactures Await Key Government Rules on Food Labeling," in the California Minority Counsel Program Diversity Matters Newsletter.

Supreme Court Solidifies Specific Jurisdiction Analysis To Dismiss Product Claims Filed Against Non-Resident Defendant, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

June 26, 2017

Product manufacturers routinely hauled into court in far away, inconvenient jurisdictions can breathe a little easier with the Supreme Court’s decision this week in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California. A group of plaintiffs, most of whom were not California residents, sued...

The Failure to Warn of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

February 22, 2017

Avin S. Singh discusses the growing issue for those in the chain of distribution of the contents of a product’s label and whether it provides for an adequate warning of the side effects associated with consumption of marijuana.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

DRI: Product Liability Conference

February 08, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV

Critical Issues in Litigation – 2016

November 03, 2016 - New York, NY

DRI Product Liability Conference 2016

February 03, 2016 - New Orleans, LA

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

Three Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Selected to Best Lawyers in Canada

August 26, 2021

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers has selected three Cozen O’Connor lawyers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.

Cozen O’Connor Expands International Offices with Strategic Additions in Vancouver and Toronto

June 14, 2021

The new additions will further expand the firm’s North American Intellectual Property, Securities Litigation, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Product Liability, and Commercial Litigation practices.

Litigation Leaders: Cozen O’Connor’s Jim Heller on Building Trial-Ready Product Liability, White Collar and Class Action Teams

March 29, 2021

The American Lawyer profiled Jim Heller as part of its Litigation Leader series, which features the country's biggest firms' litigation practice leaders.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

Jury Sent Message With $8B Risperdal Verdict, but Lawyers Don't Expect it to Stand

October 09, 2019

Jim Heller was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer discussing the multibillion-dollar verdict that the jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson this week.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Critical Mass: Monsanto's $2 Billion Roundup Question

July 24, 2019

Amy Alderfer was quoted on Law.com discussing why a reduced roundup verdict still matters.

Judge Cuts $2 Billion Verdict Against Bayer in Tentative Ruling on Weed-Killer Case

July 19, 2019

Amy Alderfer was quoted in Bloomberg in which she explains why there is good reason for Bayer to keep fighting the Roundup lawsuits. She states, "You continue to telegraph to plaintiffs and their lawyers that you’re disputing this, and you’re not going to just accept these verdicts,”

Breaking Down J&J And California's $1B Pelvic Mesh Trial

July 12, 2019

Amy Alderfer was quoted in Law360 stating, "If this is something that can really gain traction and be successful and deliver a large payout, other states will pursue it"

Three Cozen O’Connor Attorneys recognized as Crain's Chicago Business “Notable Gen X Leaders in Law”

May 31, 2019

Three Cozen O’Connor attorneys have been recognized as 2019 Chicago Notable Gen X Leaders in Law by Crain’s Chicago Business for their success and accomplishments in their leadership roles within the firm and across the legal community.

Jillian Thornton Flax Named to Product Liability Advisory Council “Future Leaders”

April 24, 2019

Jillian Thornton Flax, a member in Cozen O’Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, was admitted to the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC) as a part of their “Future Leaders” program.

FDA Alert on Hacking Vulnerability in Heart Defibrillators is Wake-Up Call: Lawyers

March 28, 2019

John Sullivan was quoted in Law360's recent article on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent safety alert last week about the vulnerability to hacking of up to 750,000 implantable heart defibrillators.

Hazy Regulations, Huge Reward

March 13, 2019

Rich Fama discussed with Marijuana Ventures the rise of CBD products and the lack of clarity at the federal level on regulating CBD.

Punitives Promise Fiercer Fight In Philly Risperdal Trial

January 28, 2019

Jim Heller, co-chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law's 360 article, "Punitives Promise Fiercer Fight In Philly Risperdal Trial."

Prescribing Doc's Testimony Key In 2nd Philly Xarelto Trial

April 04, 2018

James Heller, vice chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department and chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice, was quoted in Law360's "Prescribing Doc's Testimony Key In 2nd Philly Xarelto Trial."

James Heller Named to Product Liability Advisory Council

March 28, 2018

James Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was admitted as a sustaining member to the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC).

2018 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Ranks Cozen O’Connor

February 01, 2018

In the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms, Cozen O’Connor is ranked nationally in 17 practice areas and regionally in 64 practice areas.

$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say

December 06, 2017

James Heller, chair of the firm's Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "$28M Philly Xarelto Verdict Ripe For Reversal, Attys Say."

Xarelto User Faces Hard Sell In 1st Philly Mass Tort Trial

November 03, 2017

James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in Law 360's article, "Xarelto User Faces Hard Sell In 1st Philly Mass Tort Trial."

With Upcoming Xarelto Bellwether It's All Eyes on Philadelphia

November 02, 2017

James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer article, "With Upcoming Xarelto Bellwether It's All Eyes on Philadelphia."

$120M State AG Deal With GM Preludes More State Actions

October 20, 2017

Jillian Thornton Flax, a member in Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's recent article, "$120M State AG Deal With GM Preludes More State Actions."

3 Trial Losses Won't Doom Xarelto Patients

August 23, 2017

James Heller, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Products Liability Practice Group, was quoted in Law360's article, "3 Trial Losses Won't Doom Xarelto Patients."

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Lack of Substantiation Theories in False Advertising Cases—The Burden Lies on the Plaintiff

August 20, 2017

Brett Taylor and Amy Alderfer, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, published, "Lack of Substantiation Theories in False Advertising Cases—The Burden Lies on the Plaintiff," on Law360.com.

Cozen O’Connor Promotes 17 Attorneys to Membership

April 03, 2017

The management committee is pleased to welcome a particularly qualified group to membership, composed of outstanding attorneys who have demonstrated remarkable professionalism, leadership, dedication, and loyalty to the firm and the legal community at large.

Contacts

James H. Heller

Co-Chair, Commercial Litigation Department
Chair, Product Liability

jimheller@cozen.com

(215) 665-2189

John J. Sullivan

Member

jsullivan@cozen.com

(212) 453-3729

People

Awards

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

Related Practice Areas

Related Blogs

Products Liability Prevention & Defense

Real-time analysis on preventing and defending product liability claims.

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