Practice Details

Product Liability

Today, we live in a culture of blame. We have become a society of victims in search of a scapegoat to sue, some entity to hold responsible for whatever ill may befall us. For manufacturers, retailers or distributors of products, free enterprise, although exciting, can also be frightening. WTK’s attorneys understand this.

WTK’s product liability practice is widely recognized as one of the finest in the region, and we routinely represent high profile clients in nationwide product liability MDL, JCCP, and class actions. Our attorneys have successfully defended a vast array of internationally-known business entities in various types of product liability suits, ranging from medical products distributors to iconic food manufacturers to preeminent automobile manufacturers.

Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in defending manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and users of products when they become the target of a product liability lawsuit. Our experience has sensitized us to the practical considerations that affect the defense of product liability suits. We continually assess the merits of each case to avoid imprudent litigation and unnecessary defense costs, as well as the effect of defense and settlement of one lawsuit on other similar cases. Our goal in every instance is to protect our clients’ interests in the most cost-effective way possible.

Representative Matters

  • Defended an automobile manufacturer in a suit brought by two young men and a young woman suffering partial amputations and third degree burns over as much as 60% of their bodies because of an alleged failure of their pick-up truck’s “mid-ship” fuel tank.
  • Defended an automobile manufacturer in a suit involving allegations that a sixteen-year-old suffered brain injuries as a result of alleged defects in her passenger restraint system.
  • Defended a forklift manufacturer in a wrongful death action brought by the widow and three children of the thirty-nine-year-old decedent, alleging design and warning defects.
  • Defended a medical device manufacturer sued because of a nerve injury, claimed to be caused by an electronic device used to administer medicine.
  • Secured favorable early resolution settlement in individual premises and modular building product liability case involving multiple building contractors. Plaintiffs alleged $3,000,000.00 in damages. Due to early resolution, our client was able to settle for 35% of its share.
  • Defended manufacturer of backup power generator against claims that their product was a substantial factor in the destruction of incubated embryos.
  • Defended scooter manufacturer from claims of catastrophic injuries, including lacerations to the scalp and nose, and a back fracture. Successfully obtained dismissal of the entire complaint against our client through a demurrer and motion to dismiss and in doing so, a reversal of the Court’s tentative ruling to deny the motion.
  • Represented heater manufacturer in pre-litigation investigation of a house fire resulting in the unfortunate death of two young children and severe burns to the father. Through effective use of experts and cooperation at inspection, we were able to demonstrate our client’s product was not the cause of the fire and avoid any litigation.
  • Defended automobile manufacturer involving spontaneous combustion of an engine and causes of action for strict products liability, negligence and breach of warranty. After inspection of the product, and due to a good working relationship with Plaintiff’s counsel, we were able to resolve the case for less than 25% of the damages alleged in the complaint.
  • Represented international product manufacturer in streamlined direct negotiations of multiple cases brought by California water districts and water systems alleging man-made chemical groundwater contamination caused by decades-past agricultural application of pesticide product.
  • Defended national healthcare clients against class action and complex class and individual product and premise liability actions that alleged industrial FDA-approved sanitizer caused employee injuries. Following dismissal by summary judgment of our product-user and premise owner client, we prepared approximately 20 client witnesses as third-party trial witnesses in bellwether trial between plaintiff employees and manufacturer co-defendant. Secured complete dismissal by summary judgment and settlement of all cases, and maintained client’s statutory lien and judgment cost rights against Plaintiffs.
  • Secured favorable early resolution settlement in individual premises and modular building product liability case involving multiple building contractors.
  • Negotiated favorable early-resolution walk-away settlement for national healthcare clients against false allegations of product liability in complex multi-defendant individual plaintiff cases coordinated into a JCCP and MDL.
  • Defended a scooter manufacturer in a wrongful death action wherein we have successfully compelled arbitration and the choice of law provision contained in the terms of service.