News from this practice

Product manufacturers have been and continue to be beleaguered by litigation. A National Law Journal list of the 2010 Top 100 verdicts included 23 product liability verdicts totaling $1.8 billion, an increase of over 60% from the prior year.

In dangerous venues, any case can turn into a “bet-the-company” nightmare for a product manufacturer. In such a climate, it is critical for a company to have experienced, aggressive attorneys to defend its products.

That is where the trial attorneys at Lightfoot come in. We have substantial experience in the defense of sophisticated product liability cases for all types of products, including the following:

  • Automobiles
  • Heavy Trucks
  • Aircraft
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Devices
  • Consumer Goods
  • Firearms
  • Chemicals
  • Industrial and Agricultural Products

Representative Matters

  • In a 2017 defense verdict, an Alabama jury found in favor of Lightfoot’s client, a sports equipment manufacturer based in California, in a product liability lawsuit seeking more than $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages. After a two-week trial and deliberating for four hours, the jury sided with our client on all claims that a bicycle helmet made by the company failed to protect a woman involved in an accident.
  • Lightfoot obtained a defense verdict in Florida for a ladder manufacturer in which the Plaintiff sought $1.9 million in damages by claiming that our client’s aluminum ladder had been improperly designed, resulting in loss of strength in the wood, causing it to collapse.
  • Lightfoot received summary judgment on behalf of our client, a machinery and engine manufacturer, in a product liability case in which the Plaintiff claimed personal injuries as a result of the allegedly defective design of our client’s backhoe. After briefing and oral argument, the Alabama state court entered summary judgment in our client’s favor, dismissing all of Plaintiff’s claims.
  • Lightfoot obtained a defense verdict in Tennessee for a French manufacturer of electric motors. In this premises liability case the Plaintiff, an independent contractor working at the plant, claimed a heavy metal door with a pneumatic door closer malfunctioned and caused personal injury.
  • Lightfoot defended our client, an American multinational electric company, in Tennessee in a product liability case involving a radial arm saw. After a four day trial, the jury deliberated for a day and a half, and the court declared a mistrial, finding the jury hopelessly deadlocked on all issues of liability. This case was re-tried to a defense verdict.
  • Lightfoot successfully defended our clients – a multinational electric company and an American retailer – in a product liability case in Texas. Plaintiff claimed that our clients’ radial saw was defective because defendants failed to provide a lower blade guard on the saw. Plaintiffs asked for $1.5 million in closing argument. After one and one-half hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
  • An Alabama jury returned a defense verdict for our client, an American manufacturer of power tools, in a product liability suit in which the Plaintiff alleged that our client’s small angle grinder was defectively designed.
  • Nationwide representation of a manufacturer of over-the-road trucks in  crash-worthiness litigation, including cases in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.
  • Defense of both foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers in more than 600 cases involving a wide variety of alleged design or manufacturing defects, including cases involving air bag, seat belt, vehicle structure and other crash-worthiness claims.
  • Representation of the leading supplier of braking systems and controls and active safety systems for commercial vehicles in North America. Lightfoot serves as national trial and coordinating counsel for all North American litigation and regulatory matters for this company.
  • Representation of numerous major manufacturers in the firearms and ammunition industry, including but not limited to representation of a European firearms manufacturer in a nationwide class action alleging that certain handguns are defective and unreasonably dangerous.
  • Representation of leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in various substantial cases involving, among others, the following drugs: phen/fen diet drugs, OxyContin and phenylpropanolamine (PPA).
  • Regional representation of a global manufacturer of industrial process systems, motor systems, control systems and consumer products. We have successfully tried cases for this client in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
  • Defense of one of the nation’s leading tobacco companies in numerous smoking and health cases throughout Alabama in state and federal courts.
  • Representation of a major gas water heater manufacturer in fire and scald cases in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Idaho, Tennessee, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
  • Representation of a major power tool manufacturer in more than a dozen states.
  • Representation of a major breast implant manufacturer, which resulted in the successful defense or resolution of over 1,000 individual cases.

The extent of our product liability experience is most evident in the courtroom, where our lawyers have a long track record of winning high-profile product liability cases involving complex technical, scientific and medical issues.