Product Liability, Toxic Tort and Environmental Group
Product liability claims are a growing concern for manufacturers, distributors and sellers. Butler Snow has a long history of strongly defending such cases regionally and nationally, whether single plaintiff or complex, multi-district class-action claims and mass tort litigation. With our high standard of experience and service, we’re the go-to firm on many so-called “bet the company” cases.
The list of industries Butler Snow has represented includes aviation, automotive and truck, firearms, agricultural chemicals and industrial chemicals, involving a range of products including recreational products, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, personal watercraft boats, industrial machinery, hand tools, hand tool vibration cases, asbestos, silica, benzene, metal working fluids, tires, oil and gas product equipment and many other industrial and consumer products.
The Products Liability Group defends product liability cases in the Southeast, and, for some clients nationally within the following industries: asbestos, agricultural products, chemical products, electrical products, mechanical products, recreational products, silica, medical devices and pharmacies. We have represented clients in significant product claims filed in venues as diverse as Florida, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Idaho, Michigan, Texas, Washington and California. Many of these so-called "bet the company" cases involved trials lasting from one to three months.
Our attorneys have the background and hands-on experience to work with design engineers and operators in the field to mount the best possible defense before and during trial. To support our clients, we can marshal the latest scientific information and a network of experts. Besides extensive negotiation and litigation experience, we offer strategic counsel on regulatory compliance and avoiding future claims.
Butler Snow represented the manufacturer when the present-day concept of product liability was introduced into Mississippi in State Stove Manufacturing Co. v. Hodges, 189 So.2d 113 (Miss. 1966). That history underlies our record of achieving significant victories for a wide range of clients in a variety of product liability cases. A few of our areas of practice and the industries we serve include:
Asbestos, Silica and Toxic Torts
Machinery and Recreational Products
Drug and Device
Butler Snow’s Product Liability practice group is proud to be a nominee in the 2013 Chambers USA Awards for Excellence. The awards honor outstanding firms for pre-eminence in key practice areas and notable achievements during the past year. The group is included as a nominee for outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.
The practice group was also recently named the “2013 South Product Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation for excellence in Product Liability.
- Butler Snow attorneys have also been at the forefront of the mass tort phenomena in Mississippi, Tennessee and surrounding states, and regularly handle cases with hundreds (if not thousands) of plaintiffs. Our lawyers have litigated matters in 49 states and several foreign countries, and we have tried countless cases to verdict.
- Our lawyers have broad and varied litigation management experience. We serve as regional, national and international coordinating counsel for several clients. Butler Snow lawyers not only oversee the pre-trial litigation for these clients, we also serve as lead counsel at trial.
“Have technology, will travel" describes our approach to case management. We use software that allows our attorneys to load entire cases on laptops and to handle document productions exceeding a million pages. We also use state-of-the-art courtroom technology that enables us to barcode and instantly retrieve exhibits, videotaped deposition segments, pleadings, or any other document, and then project the images for the judge and jury. If the courtroom is not equipped with the latest technology, Butler Snow can provide its own IT personnel and equipment, including projectors, flat-screen viewing monitors, touch-screen monitors, telestrators, and more. In addition, Butler Snow utilizes the most current communication technology including video-conferencing equipment to communicate with clients and counsel across the country. We have the only in-firm, state of the art courtroom in Mississippi within our offices for trial preparation and related uses.
Government agencies we regularly deal with include the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Mississippi Oil & Gas Board.
- The firm has managed, coordinated and tried class actions and cases before the Multidistrict Litigation Panel, in addition to individual claims. On major cases, the firm’s environmental and regulatory specialists serve as a particularly helpful resource; thus, we can immediately provide both litigation management and remediation assistance where necessary.
- The firm has been selected by the Product Liability Advisory Counsel to prepare and file amicus briefs on various cases of importance to product liability law.
- We understand the public relations issues that can make or break an important case. Working closely with our Government Relations Group and outside issues management firms, we can provide our clients with a comprehensive management plan for educating the public as well as winning the case.
- Attorneys responsible for this practice have held leadership positions in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), DRI, IADC and the ABA Section of Litigation and TIPS. Our attorneys regularly speak on subjects related to product defense and have developed national reputations as recognized in Who's Who Among International Product Liability Lawyers and in The Best Lawyers in America®.
For additional information on Product Liability, please contact Meade Mitchell or Lem Montgomery.