Hughes Hubbard's Product Liability and Mass Tort group is widely recognized by leading legal publications, jurists, clients and the products bar at large as a "go to" defense team for a company's most complex and challenging products litigation. The factors which differentiate Hughes Hubbard are several:
Our Bench Strength With over 75 experienced product liability litigators and trial lawyers, including 10 partners who practice extensively in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields, as well as partners and litigation analysts with advanced degrees in medicine, nursing, chemistry, and engineering, our group is one of deepest and widest in the profession. Our clients benefit from our having a lower cost hub in Kansas City where a number of our leading lawyers practice. The group is co-chaired by Robb Patryk and Diane Lifton, both trial lawyers and consummate legal strategists and each with over 25 years of experience leading the defense of these cases. Our Managing Partner, Ted Mayer, is the senior lawyer in the group and is nationally-renowned for his expertise and leadership in this arena. The group also includes John Duffy, a highly distinguished Professor of torts and patent law at the University of Virginia School of Law, who brings his considerable legal and appellate expertise to the group’s wide range of challenging, complex matters.
Our Trial Record The common wisdom is that big firms do not often try cases or have the stomach to do so. Not so at Hughes Hubbard. In the last four years, our product litigators have tried over 25 cases in the state and federal courts regarding products ranging from cigarettes to diet drugs. Over the course of that time as throughout the history of the group, we have obtained defense verdicts under challenging circumstances in challenging jurisdictions. Our attorneys also succeeded in having two plaintiff verdicts in tobacco cases vacated on post-trial motions, a very unusual result in that litigation. Every step we take as product litigators is with an eye toward trial and positioning our clients for victory there.
Our Industry Expertise We have broad experience across several consumer product industries, with particular expertise regarding federally-regulated industries (pharmaceutical, medical devices, prescription biologics, automotive, specialty chemicals and tobacco). That experience has given us a deep understanding of not only these types of products but also the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing them and of how to partner efficiently and effectively with in-house scientists, engineers, physicians and others.
Our History We have been in the products arena since the inception of mass tort litigation in the 1970’s and count among our many representations the biggest and most widely-publicized product litigations in history, including those related to the Ford Pinto, the San Juan Dupont Plaza hotel fire, the Kansas City Skywalks collapse, the prescription drug DES, and the Engle smoking and health litigation in Florida, among many others.
These factors have persuaded numerous companies to retain us as lead or coordinating counsel for their most complex product liability and mass tort litigations. We provide below a list of several of our more recent engagements that reflect the width and depth of our products experience.
To learn more about our practice in this area, please contact:
National counsel to leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in numerous product liability and consumer class action lawsuits involving pain and statin medications, among others
Science and Medical Expert Development Counsel to major cardiac medical device manufacturer in federal court litigation
National counsel to leading chemical manufacturer in four putative nationwide class actions alleging harm from lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate, a wood preservative that has been used for decades throughout the country in playgrounds and homes
Principal counsel to trusts established in bankruptcies of major asbestos product manufacturers to resolve hundreds of thousands of asbestos personal injury and property damage claims
National defense counsel for several companies who have been sued in thousands of asbestos cases throughout the country
Defense of CBS in an alleged toxic workplace exposure matter in West Virginia
Counsel to a major Korean conglomerate in multiple individual and class action lawsuits involving mobile cellular telephone safety
Defense of a leading specialty chemical manufacturer against medical monitoring claims brought by coal workers allegedly exposed to polyacrylamide
National representation of New York Blood Center, Inc. in blood product matters pending in the State and Federal courts
In what was then (1989-90) the largest product liability trial in US history, we served as lead defense counsel to a wallpaper manufacturer in claims arising out of the San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel fire that killed 97 persons and injured hundreds more
Defense of over 100 cases involving two of the Big Three US automobile manufacturers in the US in cases throughout New York State