Practice

Product Liability & Complex Tort

Defending companies in complex litigation involving global product development

Our national practice spans pharmaceuticals and medical devices, industrial products and consumer products. Foley Hoag takes an individualized approach to each case in each industry, creating strategies to help you reach your cost and result goals. We supplement our legal expertise with physicians, scientists and engineers who provide technical support and an extensive network of outside experts.

As a top law firm with offices in Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and Paris, Foley Hoag also provides claim prevention and regulatory compliance services. We regularly conduct safety audits to review a products’ design, manufacturing, warnings and other literature. We can also advise about your obligations under federal statutes such as the Consumer Product Safety Act and under state law.

Our product liability lawyers are active in the civil justice reform efforts of organizations such as the Product Liability Advisory Council, Defense Research Institute and Lawyers for Civil Justice. Inside and outside the courtroom, the firm is working full time to protect your products’ reputations.

Experience

PHARMACEUTICALS AND MEDICAL DEVICES

  • We provided regional counsel to a major pharmaceutical company in federal and state class actions and individual lawsuits claiming cancer, infertility and other injuries from an anti-miscarriage drug. 
  • We defended a modest-sized orthopedic device company in a federal court national consumer class action claiming hip implants had excessive failure rate but had not actually failed. 
  • We represented a major pharmaceutical company against a state court national class action claiming informational mailings to pharmacy chain customers violated consumer fraud statutes and patient privacy. 
  • We provided counsel to a major medical device company in dozens of state and federal court suits claiming disabling allergic reactions and asthma from latex gloves. 
  • We defended two major pharmaceutical companies in state and federal individual and class actions claiming childhood vaccines caused autism and other mental impairment. 
  • We were retained by a major pharmaceutical company hit with a $20 million compensatory and punitive damages judgment for birth defects from an anti-seizure drug. 
  • We represented two major national laboratories in lawsuits alleging erroneous prenatal genetic testing led to the birth of children with serious diseases. 


INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS   

  • We provided national counsel to a major valve manufacturer in approximately 400 asbestos suits involving over 20,000 Claimants in at least 18 states.
  • We provided national representation to a materials handling equipment manufacturer in approximately 200 claims, including suits in approximately 10 states that involved injury and death. 
  • We defended an HVAC manufacturer in a state court suit claiming death from asbestos-related cancer. 
  • We advised a major chemical company in a federal court suit claiming permanent asthma and lung damage from a component of automotive paint.
  • We represented a medical device manufacturer in a state court suit claiming lung cancer from emissions of gas used to sterilize products. 
  • We defended a paper products manufacturer in a state court suit claiming “degloving” injuries to a worker’s hand caught in equipment previously owned by the company. 


CONSUMER PRODUCTS

  • We defended a major cigarette company in approximately 85 class actions and individual lawsuits claiming illness and death from lung cancer and other conditions, and won dismissal of all claims.
  • We helped a plumbing manufacturer in a state court consumer and contractor class action alleging that design defects caused water damage to consumers’ property. 
  • We defended a major cigarette company in a state attorney general suit to recover smoking-related Medicaid expenses of tens of thousands of individuals. 
  • We successfully represented a consumer product manufacturer in a federal court suit claiming a firefighter suffered severe burns from wearing the client’s glove.