Pioneers in worldwide product liability compliance and defense
We help some of the world’s largest companies with their complex product liability issues. Our advice and litigation strategy are grounded in a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional approach. Whether entering new markets or general compliance advice or if you are facing mass tort, personal injury, consumer fraud, toxic tort or securities claims, or government inquiries, we help you to address the toughest challenges.
New product safety standards coupled with accelerating multijurisdictional litigation, including multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the US, and a greater focus on environmental issues have resulted in an increase of product liability class actions around the world.
We are positioned to defend claims of any size involving any industry around the globe. We advise on the legal issues associated with risk, compliance, and business management at every stage of the product development and supply chain lifecycle. We ensure you remain ahead of the curve when it comes to compliance with product safety legislation.
Our innovative approach to resolving claims goes beyond traditional litigation methods: we drive success through early actions in ways that protect our clients and strengthen the law. We serve as national and global pre-emption and resolution counsel to achieve groundbreaking legal victories, consistently resolve claims, and bring mass torts to an early end.
“Their strength is that they work as a team, you don't have individuals going out and trying to outshine others. They know their strengths and bring people in for all areas of mass torts, from science experts to coordinators”
Our lawyers have experience in the areas most likely to be of concern to manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. We’ve worked on materials restriction regulation, such as the REACH and RoHS legislation and waste and product life-cycle management legislation, such as EU legislation relating to WEEE and packaging waste. This can be broken down into three fields: bringing a product to market, products already in the market and product recalls. We advise extensively on all.
Our litigators include medical doctors and others who hold PhDs and advanced scientific and technical degrees. We use Daubert strategies in the US and leverage science-based arguments to attack claims and mitigate exposure. We translate complex information into compelling talking points that persuade opposing counsel and multi-jurisdictional judges and juries to agree with our position. Our relationships with the right expert witnesses result in a distinct advantage for your company.
Chambers and the Legal 500 rank us among the most highly regarded product liability lawyers in the world. We remain ever mindful of your company’s reputation when navigating you through product recalls, governmental investigations, insurance coverage and environmental concerns.
Awards and recognition
- Recognized by BTI Litigation Outlook 2023 as a “Powerhouse” in Product Liability
- Recognized by Legal 500 US 2022 in the categories of:
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions: Toxic Tort – Defense
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions: Consumer Products (including Tobacco)
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices – Defense
- Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions: Automotive/Transport
- Recognized by Chambers USA 2022 in the category of Nationwide Product Liability & Mass Torts: The Elite
At DLA Piper, we view ourselves as “closers” of mass tort litigation. We have an unparalleled track record of using cutting edge scientific or legal strategies to identify dispositive issues that, if successful, will allow the defense to bring the litigation to an early end through federal preemption, Daubert, or other motions. In addition to talented lawyers, our team members also have medical and other advanced degrees that provide unique perspectives on mass tort matters.
- Represented Sanofi as co-national counsel in a federal MDL and related proceedings that allege Zantac caused plaintiffs to develop cancer as a result of contamination with NDMA. The ruling resulted in the dismissal of more than 50,000 Plaintiffs and is the largest Daubert victory for the pharmaceutical industry in history.
- Serve as lead strategic, coordination, expert/science, regulatory, and communications counsel for Bayer regarding the Essure permanent birth control device. This device is the subject of a mass tort litigation involving 33,000 plaintiffs in the US, as well as other litigation and regulatory matters around the world. Since resolving the US litigation, DLA Piper’s role has expanded into global coordinating counsel across twelve countries, resulting in a 100% success rate with more than 90 favorable outcomes from trial and appellate courts in France, Brazil, Spain, and Canada.
- We have served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for Novo Nordisk in a federal MDL and state court coordinated litigation involving allegations that Victoza, as well as other incretin-based therapies approved for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, caused plaintiffs to develop pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. In 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Novo effectively ending the litigations.
- Achieved a significant Daubert victory as national counsel for Pfizer, effectively ending the more than 800-plaintiff product liability MDL in which plaintiffs claimed that erectile dysfunction medications, including Viagra, is associated with the progression of melanoma.
- We represented Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Pfizer as national counsel in litigation relating to the anticoagulant medication Eliquis. In a significant victory for our client, The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a series of multi-district litigation (MDL) court orders on federal preemption grounds and rejected the plaintiffs’ jurisdictional arguments, effectively terminating the litigation.
- We served as national counsel for Pfizer, Pharmacia and Upjohn in thousands of cases in In re Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2545 (N.D. Ill.), which concerned cardiovascular injuries purportedly associated with testosterone replacement therapy use. We obtained an order dismissing all claims against our clients on the basis of impossibility preemption.
- We helped Pfizer develop its scientific defenses and a Daubert strategy to help extricate the company from a mass tort litigation involving claims by more than 2,000 plaintiffs who alleged that Lipitor—an important medication that lowers cholesterol—caused them to develop type 2 diabetes and other conditions. In a series of rulings, DLA Piper obtained rulings excluding all of Plaintiffs’ causation experts, resulting in summary judgment for Pfizer and dismissal of the entire MDL. The MDL court’s ruling was affirmed on appeal to the Fourth Circuit. See In re Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Mkt’g, Sales Pracs. & Prods. Liab. Litig. (No. II), 892 F.3d 624 (4th Cir. 2018).
- After a string of significant trial and appellate victories for the plaintiffs, DLA Piper was brought in as a national counsel for Wyeth in nationwide product liability litigation, consumer class action litigation and attorney generals’ cases involving Premarin and Prempro. Working collaboratively with other major firms, the DLA Piper team helped the company develop a new MDL and defense strategy, revise the company’s trial and appellate strategies and create a resolution plan. In those roles, DLA Piper led a series of legal challenges that targeted certain types of claims, acted as trial and appellate counsel in certain key cases and took a lead role in implementing a strategy to exit Wyeth from more than eight years of intense litigation. DLA Piper’s work ultimately contributed to the favorable resolution of almost 10,000 lawsuits.
- Representing a leading international automotive group in a mass litigation for warranty and damage claims relating to the specified exhaust gas values for diesel vehicles.
- Lead counsel on behalf of a global chemical company in the largest ongoing multidistrict litigation suit in the US related to PFAS exposure, involving more than 10,000 plaintiffs spanning across over 10 states.
- Coordinated advice from jurisdictions all over the globe in response to a request for assistance from a global FMCG organization in relation to its COVID-19 protocols. This has included advice on a wide range of measures including review of the systems and procedures it implemented at factories and offices in order to ensure to safety of the workforce and so that it could continue to place its consumers goods, approach to testing for COVID-19, and vaccinations. The purpose of this was to ensure that the client could continue to manufacture and place its goods on the market.
- Advice to an international food manufacturer on local law requirements, across 36 countries, and risk management in relation to the presence of ethylene oxide in a food additive. The client requested advice on notification and recall obligations for products where the maximum residue level of ethylene oxide was above the level set at law in various countries, but there was no safety issue.
- Advised on product safety requirements in relation to alarms systems, as well as any local law licensing requirements to sell specified products.
- Advised a high-end perfume manufacturer on product compliance laws, specifically in relation to labelling and safety requirements, in a range of jurisdictions specifically in relation to toys, textiles and clothing. The advice included client sought advice on labelling requirements as well as safety requirements.
- Advising a consumer electronics and household appliances company based in Seoul on a product safety issue and possible product recall for electronic devices. Coordinating strategy vis-à-vis authorities in almost all member states of the European Union and coordinating the global strategy.
- Advising a German car manufacturer on the permissibility under product law of a new light system for vehicles in 88 jurisdictions worldwide.
- Representing an automobile and motorbike manufacturer in product liability and warranty infringement proceedings with hundreds of cases in numerous states.
- Advising a technology company on product safety issues, in particular on notification obligations and actions to be taken as a result of a relevant risk in relation to a fitness tracker. Coordinating numerous other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia and South America.
At the Intersection of Science and Law
News and insights
EPA delays setting PFAS effluent limitations, asks states to fill the temporary gap
25 January 2023 .5 minute read