Manufacturing, Distribution, and Retail

Overview

Contact UsMajor products manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers rely on Whitfield & Eddy lawyers for their experience defending products in and out of the courtroom.

Members of the team represent automotive, aviation, and manufacturing companies and are active in The Defense Research Institute (DRI), the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), the ALFA International Product Liability Practice Group and other products liability defense-related associations. They serve as resources and leaders in these organizations by contributing to scholarly legal texts about current issues and are featured speakers to many industry groups on matters of vital importance.

Services

  • Assistance with product recalls
  • Consultation on regulatory matters
  • Nationwide defense of self-insured manufacturers
  • Product liability prevention
  • Representation of all entities in the chain of distribution 
  • Coordination of incident investigations

Industries Served

Aviation and Aerospace Athletic Equipment Chemicals Commercial Vehicles Consumer Products
Farm Machinery and Equipment Firearms Food Processing Hand and Power Tools Household Appliances
Industrial Machinery and Equipment Lawn and Garden Equipment Meat Packing Equipment Motor Vehicles Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Recreational Vehicles      

Experience

Experience


Cases and Transactions

  • In re Teflon Products Liability Litigation, 254 F.R.D. 354 (S.D. Iowa 2008).  The firm served as local counsel for DuPont in defense of this national MDL class action assigned to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.  Plaintiffs sought class certification of twenty-three classes of persons who acquired cookware allegedly coated with DuPont’s “Teflon” product.  In its Order, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class with regard to every purported class action before the Court.
  • We obtained a summary judgment and dismissal of a products case filed against the manufacturer of a crane that had collapsed and caused serious personal injury.  After the product was inspected and disassembled we were successful in proving that the collapse was not caused by any manufacturing, design or warnings defect.
  • Scott v. Dutton-Lainson Co., 774 N,.W.2d 501 (Iowa 2009).  We defended a trailer jack manufacturer in an accident where the jack collapsed, causing serious permanent injury.  After a state court trial, the jury returned a defense verdict.  The dismissal was affirmed on appeal in an important case concerning the inadmissibility of subsequent remedial measures.
  • We negotiated favorable settlements on behalf of individual clients who had sustained permanent injuries caused by the ingestion of toxic chemicals.
  • We defended the manufacturer of a muzzle-loading rifle that exploded when the Plaintiff allegedly fired it for the first time.  The case was tried to a jury in federal court and resulted in a defense verdict.
  • We defended the manufacturer of a skidsteer loader which was involved in an accident that resulted in a wrongful death claim.  The case was tried to a jury in state court and resulted in a defense verdict.
  • We defended an Iowa manufacturer who was sued in federal court in Pennsylvania.  The Plaintiff had sustained an amputation injury while operating a machine in a meat packing plant.  The case was tried to a jury and resulted in a defense verdict.
  • We successfully defended a motorcycle manufacturer in a lawsuit where a physician lost control and sustained a closed-head injury.
  • We successfully defended the manufacturer of a tree cutter in a state court case in Minnesota, where a blade broke, struck Plaintiff and caused a permanent leg injury.  The case was settled for a nominal amount.
  • We successfully defended the owner of an aerial work platform, where Plaintiff had moved the work basket into a “pinch point” and caused positional asphyxia, and a “stuck” valve was found after the accident.
  • We successfully defended the manufacturer of a deep brain stimulator implantable device, where it was alleged that a lead “broke” and caused a second surgery to replace it, which resulted in a brachial plexus injury.  The case was dismissed against our client.
  • We successfully defended the manufacturer of an industrial baler, where a workman had entered a scrap removal system, fell into the baler, and triggered the ram, resulting in the traumatic amputation of both legs.
  • We successfully defended the manufacturer of a pneumatic nailer, where one worker put a 3½-inch nail into the knee of a co-worker.  We received a defense verdict in federal court jury trial.
  • We successfully defended the manufacturer of a roof bracket that had allegedly failed, causing a worker to fall and sustain serious, permanent injuries.  We received a defense verdict in federal court jury trial.
  • We successfully defended a major tire manufacturer that was sued after a tire exploded in a mounting accident, causing serious injury. After we took the plaintiff’s deposition our client was dismissed from the case.
  • We successfully defended a major supplier of medical devices that was sued after a bulking agent, used to relieve symptoms of urinary incontinence, was implanted in a patient and serious complications (stricture or blockage) resulted.  The plaintiff’s attorney dismissed the product defect and warnings claims against our client with prejudice after we demonstrated that our client was entitled to preemption under the Medical Device Amendments applicable to products subject to pre-market approval under applicable federal law and regulations.
  • Wright v. Brooke Group, Ltd., 652 N.W.2d 159 (Iowa 2002).  In this seminal case the Iowa Supreme Court adopted the Restatement (Third) of Torts, Products Liability, Section 2, and abandoned the Restatement (Second) Section 402A.  Whitfield & Eddy attorneys authored the amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association and the Defense Research Institute, Inc.  The position of the amici was adopted.
  • Geier v. Honda American Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861, 120 S. Ct. 1913, 146 L.Ed.2d 914 (2000).  In this important United States Supreme Court decision on federal preemption, Whitfield & Eddy attorneys authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Defense Research Institute, Inc.  The position of theamici was adopted by the Court.
  • The firm has defended several large appliance manufacturers sued in fire/property damage product liability cases.  Many such cases were insurance subrogation actions.
  • The firm has represented the world’s largest overnight package delivery service in defending motor vehicle accident cases.
  • The firm has defended major drug manufacturers in defense of product liability claims.
  • The firm has defended major manufacturers of watercraft, boats and jet skis in defense of product liability claims.
  • The firm obtained a dismissal in federal court of a “lemon law” claim filed against a major manufacturer of recreational vehicles (RVs).  The case was filed under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

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