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Product manufacturers, suppliers, and resellers face complex legal issues that play out inside courtrooms, before regulatory agencies, and among business partners. We defend our clients as trial and global coordinating counsel in product liability and toxic tort cases. We advise clients on all aspects of regulatory compliance, labeling, and warning requirements, including providing comprehensive support if a client decides to conduct a product recall. And we advise clients on business-to-business transactions to assess and limit their product liability exposure.

Our clients lead cutting-edge industries, such as AI/robotics, automotive and autonomous vehicles, consumer products, food and wine, Internet of Things, medical devices, pharmaceutical, retail and cosmetics, and technology. We understand the dynamic legal and regulatory landscape and provide creative solutions so our clients can stay ahead of regulators, enforcers, and the plaintiffs’ bar.

Our experience spans the entire product life cycle:

Green Chemistry and Chemical Management

For almost four decades, we have counseled clients on product stewardship and chemical use in areas such as agency rulemaking, litigation, and requirements imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act; the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), and Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives; and China’s RoHS.

Our California lawyers understand how the state’s unique regulatory schemes, including Proposition 65, the California Air Resources Board’s requirements, and Green Chemistry Initiative, can affect our clients’ business operations. We help clients develop appropriate compliance strategies and navigate the multiple layers of federal, state, and local regulations, such as Sections 5 (new chemicals) and 14 (disclosure of data) of the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Crisis Management

Today, legal issues quickly become business issues. We work with our clients to prepare for, anticipate, and mitigate crises that arise out of product recalls, product defect allegations, industrial accidents, environmental releases, or other unexpected health and safety events. Working closely with the business, we develop strategies to protect our clients’ directors and officers, as well as the company’s brand, reputation, and bottom line.

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Indemnification Rights and Obligations

Companies that seek manufacturing and supply chain solutions from around the world often face complex questions of indemnification and risk allocation. We advise clients on contract provisions that appropriately allocate risk in supply chain sourcing transactions and provide indemnification as part of a comprehensive risk management plan.

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Insurance

We represent insurers and policyholders in coverage matters involving comprehensive general liability, property/casualty, professional errors and omissions, and bond coverages. We defend insurers in “first-party bad faith” cases and represent reinsurers in regulatory matters and reinsurance litigation. We also represent clients, including property/casualty insurers and title companies, in administrative proceedings before California’s Department of Insurance such as those in which the state seeks millions of dollars in rate rollbacks under California’s Proposition 103.

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Labeling and Warning Defenses/Risks

Compliance with labeling and warning requirements is often the first line of defense in any action that challenges the integrity of our clients’ products. We counsel our clients before and after they launch a product on product safety compliance, including labels, warnings, and manuals; product safety standards; and other regulatory compliance.

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Litigation

If disputes go to trial, we are there to defend our clients’ businesses. MoFo has a successful track record in the courtroom. Our clients have prevailed in hundreds of cases before judges and juries. And ten of our lawyers belong to the most elite U.S. organizations for trial lawyers: the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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Product Recalls

If a client decides to recall a product, we’re there with comprehensive support. We help clients decide whether to recall a product in the first place, coordinate and consult with regulatory agencies, coordinate a crisis and/or public relations response, and implement a corrective action plan.

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Regulatory Compliance

International, federal, and state legal developments impact every stage of a product’s life cycle. Our counsel to our clients is just as expansive.

We advise clients on new “green chemistry” initiatives and the EU’s and China’s RoHS requirements that could impact their product designs.

We provide guidance for clients on the EU’s REACH, the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and state lead and phthalate restrictions that could affect their raw material and component sourcing.

We counsel clients on carbon emissions and water and energy use reductions that could alter their product manufacturing.

We advise clients on green advertising restrictions, Proposition 65, and other warning and disclosure requirements that could impact their product marketing.

We provide guidance for clients on toxics in packaging and waste minimization laws that could affect their product packaging.

And we counsel clients on take-back, recycling, and waste handling and disposal requirements that could shape their product disposal, including efforts to take-back, recycle, or reuse products or product components.

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Industries

  • AI/robotics
  • Automotive and autonomous vehicles
  • Consumer products
  • Food and wine
  • Internet of things
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retail and cosmetics
  • Technology
Fitbit
Represent Fitbit in a class action alleging that a wearable device does not accurately track sleep as advertised and in two putative class actions alleging that Fitbit’s heart rate monitoring does not work as advertised.
Lethal Injection Matters
Worked with a major pharmaceutical company to stop the states of Missouri and Texas from using a significant anesthesia drug in their executions. Faced with the threat of litigation, both states chose alternative methods for lethal injection. Our work helped to prevent a catastrophic drug shortage, as the European Union, which publicly opposes executions and had previously banned the export of drugs used in lethal injections, threatened to impose export restrictions if this drug was used for executions anywhere in the United States.
Automobile Manufacturer
Represent an automobile manufacturer in putative class actions that certain safety and autonomous driving features do not perform as advertised.
Gol Airlines Flight 1907 Litigation
Represented Honeywell International Inc. in a lawsuit involving a mid-air collision between a Boeing 737-800, operated as Gol Airlines Flight 1907, and an Embraer Legacy 600, operated by ExcelAire Services, over the Amazon jungle, Brazil, on September 29, 2006. The accident resulted in the deaths of 154 passengers and crewmembers. Cases were brought in seven different districts, and we were successful in obtaining consolidation of the cases for MDL treatment in the Eastern District of New York. In late July 2008, the motion to dismiss the cases to Brazil for forum non conveniens was granted. The Brazilian carrier is settling the cases with claimants in Brazil. On appeal, the District Court's dismissal of the consolidated actions was affirmed by the Second Circuit. A four week international arbitration conducted in London under the law of England and Wales before a three member tribunal then followed to apportion liability for the accident among certain defendants. The arbitration resulted in a finding Honeywell was without fault for the accident and an award of costs against certain defendants in favor of Honeywell.
Orthopedic Implant Manufacturer
Provide broad-based support for an orthopedic implant manufacturer, including product liability counseling and serving as national product liability counsel. The product liability docket includes multiple cases in jurisdictions across the country and around the world alleging various product liability claims.
Air France 447 Investigation and Litigation
Represented Honeywell International Inc. in litigation arising from the crash of Air France 447. The crash occurred on June 1, 2009, when an Airbus A330-203 went missing over the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. All 228 passengers and crew perished in the crash. A successful motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens before Judge Charles Breyer in the Northern District of California resulted in the dismissal of all actions in favor of a French forum.
Security Cameras
Advise a security camera manufacturer on product safety compliance and recalls, coordinating root cause investigations and representing them before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on voluntary recalls.
Pharmaceutical Distributor
Represent a pharmaceutical distributor in thousands of cases filed across the country, defending against plaintiffs’ allegations of injury due to exposure to a number of pharmaceutical products.
Heparin Litigation
Serving as national counsel in numerous cases filed around the United States, alleging side effects from heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (“HIT”). Our client is the largest manufacturer of heparin, a prescription injectable blood coagulant often used in hemodialysis and cardiac invasive procedures.
Alaska Airlines Flight 694 (Ginena)
Scored a defense verdict for Alaska Airlines in a case brought by a group of first-class passengers who were removed from Alaska Airlines Flight 694 on September 20, 2003. The flight was headed from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Las Vegas but diverted to Reno in order to remove the passengers. We obtained summary judgment of several claims based on the Warsaw Convention, but the remaining claims proceeded to trial. After a three-week trial, the jury of seven returned a unanimous defense verdict on all counts.
Consumer Electronics Manufacturer
Advise a major consumer electronics manufacturer on warning and labeling requirements, and risk assessment, and represented them before the CPSC in conducting a voluntary recall.
Video Game Industry
Counsel a company in the video game industry on product liability issues, including risk assessments, product development and risk minimization, and new questions of liability arising from open source code. We also assist with crisis management for product safety incidents.
In re Aredia and Zometa Litigation
Represented a major pharmaceutical company in MDL proceedings and state-consolidated cases in which more than 200 plaintiffs claimed that pamidronate, an injectable drug used in the treatment of certain cancers, causes a degenerative condition of the jaw. On January 30, 2012, we obtained dismissals from all remaining plaintiffs in the MDL. The MDL court found that plaintiffs’ claims boiled down to failure to warn claims and, therefore, were preempted under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Mensing. In addition to MDL proceedings in the Eastern District of New York, we represented our client in New Jersey mass tort proceedings.
Cessna Caravan 208 Icing Accidents
Representing Cessna Aircraft Company as national coordinating counsel in individual personal injury and wrongful death cases pending in various jurisdictions in the United States arising from accidents involving Cessna Caravan 208 aircraft flown in alleged icing conditions.
In re Reglan/Metoclopramide Litigation
Representing a major generic pharmaceutical company in hundreds of lawsuits (comprising more than 2,000 individual claims) that have been filed in numerous jurisdictions around the United States, alleging that Reglan/metoclopramide (when prescribed off-label for psychiatric purposes) causes significant side effects and damages health. The cases are pending in mass tort proceedings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California.
Chinook Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan (Getz v. Honeywell)
Obtained summary judgment based on the government contract defense for Honeywell International Inc. in litigation arising from the crash of an Army special operations Chinook in Afghanistan on February 17, 2007.  Eight people died and 14 were injured when the special operations Chinook crashed while returning from a mission pursuing a member of Al Qaeda.  In August 2011, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision ruling that Honeywell and the other government contractor defendants were not liable for the crash.
Cleantech Company
Worked with a solar energy client to implement a fast-track recall of its products, and negotiated a corrective action plan with the CPSC.
Cytec Industries
Serving as national coordinating counsel for Cytec in asbestos-containing product cases pending in California, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Maryland, Texas, and Wisconsin, as well as the multi-district proceedings in Philadelphia. The cases include personal injury and wrongful death claims by persons alleging exposure in the workplace to asbestos fibers.
Electronics Manufacturer
Helped a client develop a response plan, a public relations plan, and customer settlements in connection with reported product safety incidents.  Assisted client in determining whether incidents constituted reportable events to the CPSC and worked closely with the CPSC in responding to customers.
Eyewear Manufacturer
Advised a luxury, high-performance eyewear manufacturer on the use of warning labels and instruction manuals for its sunglasses, 3D eyewear, and Hydro Pens.
High-end Children’s Products Retailer
Advised retailer of high-end children’s products on product safety incidents, product recall and reporting issues, flammability requirements, third-party testing requirements, required General Certificate of Conformity regulations under the CPSIA, and Proposition 65 warnings.
Orange County Groundwater Litigation
Representing two companies in one of the largest groundwater contamination cases of its kind (TCE, PCE, DNAPL and perchlorate), involving a precedent-setting issue of whether a water district has the ability to create its own mini-Superfund. Obtained summary judgment for both companies. 
RCRA Contaminated Property Remediation Litigation
In one of the state’s largest RCRA cases set for trial in 2012, obtained cleanup and injunctive relief for solvent (toluene and methane) contamination on behalf of Newark Industries caused by a prior facility operator, and recovery of more than $1.1 million in attorney fees and costs.  
Video Game Developer and Publisher
Advised a client on its duties and responsibilities under the CPSIA in marketing, selling, and labeling its products.

Chambers USA 2018
National: Product Liability and Mass Torts


Legal 500 US 2018
Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Consumer Products
Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices - Defense
Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Toxic Tort - Defense


Legal 500 US 2017
Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Aerospace and Aviation


U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2018
New York: Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (Tier 1)
San Diego: Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (Tier 1)
San Diego: Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (Tier 1)


Here is what they say about us:

(Chambers USA 2017)

“The team offers fantastic performance and a really strong global reach.”
(Chambers USA 2018)

“One client describes the firm as ‘very knowledgeable in all aspects of products,’ noting that its lawyers ‘can answer any question we have.’"
(Chambers USA 2017)

“Very good client service: their advice is prompt and to be relied upon. Their knowledge of the sector is excellent.”
(Chambers USA 2015)


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