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Product Liability Defense

Kopka Pinkus Dolin defends manufacturers and distributors nationwide when they are faced with defective product injury claims. Our firm has achieved success as national trial counsel for leading manufacturers of hospitality furniture, playground equipment, construction equipment, and a leading manufacturer of baked goods. We also help companies avoid claims through risk management, avoid costly litigation, and negotiate favorable settlements in our clients’ best interests. To date, 84% of our product liability cases have been settled for less than 50% of their original demand.

We have handled product liability cases involving all of the following types of products:

  • Aerial lifts
  • Articulating ladders
  • Articulating tables
  • Banquet/hospitality metal stack chairs
  • Bariatric beds
  • Conveyor belts
  • Flight simulators
  • Furnaces
  • Highway crash cushions
  • Inflatables
  • Intermodal yard end loaders
  • Lawnmowers
  • Motion bases
  • Office furniture
  • Overhead cranes
  • Portable dance floors
  • Power-driven reclining chairs
  • Power saws

Product liability cases are complex

Product liability often involves complex litigation with multiple defendants; anyone in the stream of commerce – manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers – can wind up named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging injury by a defective product. Claims against multiple parties introduce additional complex elements into litigation.

Any injury with a product doesn’t mean the product was defective. With warranty and strict liability theories of recovery, plaintiffs don’t always have to prove negligence. They do, however, have to prove a defect in the product and a causal connection between the defect and the alleged injury. On the defense side, we hold plaintiffs to their burden of proof, however low it may be, while raising available defenses and challenging the plaintiff’s version of events as appropriate. Common issues that may arise in a product liability claim include:

  • Consumer misuse of the product
  • Product used for something other than its intended use or a reasonably foreseeable use
  • Plaintiff’s own negligence
  • Assumption of the risk
  • Plaintiff was not an intended user of the product, such as a child using a product meant for adult use
  • The product was modified or substantially changed after it left the manufacturer’s control
  • Plaintiff’s claim is preempted by federal law, such as is often the case in claims involving automobiles, prescription drugs, or medical devices

Product liability claims can be costly

Depending on whether an alleged product defect is in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of the product, a product liability claim might involve one unit of the product, one lot, or the entire line. Cases can rapidly multiply and turn into class-action complaints. Kopka Pinkus Dolin can work to resolve complaints at the earliest stages, settle when appropriate, and litigate when necessary through trial and appeal. No matter what stage your claim is at, our attorneys can step in with practical legal advice and advocacy to help you get the best result.

Get the Help You Need With Product Liability Claims

If you are a manufacturer or distributor or an insurer, call Kopka Pinkus Dolin for help with a potential or live product liability claim. With offices in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin, we help clients throughout the Midwest achieve a positive outcome with the product liability issues they are facing. Call today or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.