Product Liability

Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has skillfully represented product manufacturers and sellers throughout our firm’s history. Our Product Liability Practice Group’s clients range from some of the world’s largest corporations to family owned businesses.

The law of product liability holds manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others of unreasonably dangerous products strictly liable for the injuries those products cause. It’s a tough legal standard, much harsher than mere negligence.

In state and federal courts throughout the region, we successfully represent manufacturers and sellers of trucks, automobiles, material handling equipment as well as consumer, recreational, and medical products.

A substantial part of this sophisticated practice is devoted to the defense of specific product liability claims involving:

– Automotive product liability.

– Manufacturing machinery and equipment.

– Supplemental parts.

– Electrical components.

– Building products.

In the field of pharmaceuticals, our lawyers are often engaged in defending parties named in large class actions.

Our attorneys are also actively involved in the defense of asbestos product liability claims on behalf of manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment, valves, pumps, compressors, building products manufacturers, and aircraft manufacturers throughout New England.

As a result, advocates in this group are highly skilled in both individual and mass tort claims. This experience also provides our lawyers with exceptional access to the top expert and technological resources available.

In addition to defending suits alleging product defect, we assist our clients in preventing such claims through the performance of product safety audits.

The range and depth of our experience in product liability defense allows our lawyers to bring unmatched institutional knowledge to this complex area of legal practice and to guide our clients to the best possible result in the most efficient manner.
Representative cases:

– Defending successfully the manufacturer of a pulley that was incorporated into a conveyor belt system. Summary judgment granted and affirmed by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The court recognized that Section 5 of the Restatement (Third) Torts 1998 requires that a manufacturer or seller of a component part is subject to liability only if the component is defective in itself or: (1) if the seller or distributor of the component substantially participates in the integration of the component into the design of the product; and (2) the integration of the component causes the product to be defective.

– Defending the manufacturer of a commercial loader on product liability claims. The two-week trial in Massachusetts Superior Court resulted in a defense verdict.

– Defending the manufacturer of a tractor mower in a wrongful death action based on product liability claims. The six-week trial in Massachusetts Superior Court settled favorably two hours after the jury commenced deliberation.

– Representing one of the 14 defendants involved in the manufacture of the anti-miscarriage drug diethylstilbestrol, the synthetic estrogen known as DES, in a class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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