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Band 1 – Leading US Environmental Practice

– Chambers USA 2016

Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Actions

Latham & Watkins helps companies defend complex, “bet-the-company” product liability, mass tort, and consumer class action cases to minimize their liability.

Grocery store isle
Providing Broad Capabilities

Latham’s Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Action lawyers advise companies facing crises — from product recalls to complex multi-jurisdictional litigation. The firm helps clients in a range of sectors — including manufacturing, energy, and consumer goods — navigate matters involving:

  • US Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Other federal and state investigative and regulatory authorities

Latham assists clients around the world with worldwide product recalls, drawing on experience with reporting and regulatory requirements, in more than 50 countries.

Latham defends clients facing mass tort lawsuits, and consumer class actions — including breach of contract, fraud, breach of warranty, and other claims, and lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions.

Implementing a Strategy for Success

Latham offers a formidable bench of seasoned trial lawyers with a record of success in bench and jury trials in state and federal courts across the US and before the US Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation. The team leverages market-leading courtroom skills with complementary substantive expertise in handling complex scientific and technical matters. The practice includes engineers and scientists with in-depth knowledge of epidemiology, toxicology, risk assessment, hydrogeology, air dispersion modeling, and other disciplines who can litigate the most cutting-edge and technical issues in mass tort cases.

When complex cases need to be settled, Latham lawyers craft innovative solutions and draw on the firm’s top-tier Insurance Coverage Practice to bring them to closure.

Drawing on Success

Lawyers in the Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Actions practice have encountered some of the most complex and highest-stakes matters.  Significant matters include:

  • Represented a dispersant manufacturer in the Gulf Oil Spill litigation. Won dismissal of numerous class actions as well as individual personal injury, property damage, and economic loss claims.
  • Represented a manufacturer in class actions across 20 states related to the use of polycarbonate plastic in baby bottles and sippy cups. Defeated class certification and all individual cases settled or were dismissed with prejudice.
  • Represented a global energy company in a series of multidistrict class actions. Plaintiffs alleged that because gasoline sold in warm weather expands, customers receive less energy for their money on warm-weather days. Obtained summary judgment in three California cases.
  • Represented a cigarette manufacturer in a consumer class action trial in Massachusetts. Plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. After a five-week trial, the court awarded judgment of less than US$5 million.
  • Represented a state high school association in a putative class action lawsuit related to concussions in high school football. Won dismissal.
  • Represented a dryer manufacturer in consumer class action filed in California. Defeated class certification. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected plaintiff’s request for appeal of class certification decision. Case was dismissed with prejudice. 
  • Representing product manufacturers in numerous federal and state lawsuits brought by state and local governments and various ports alleging the creation of a public nuisance. Plaintiffs seek to force product manufacturers to pay the costs of, among other things, compliance with government regulations to reduce contaminants to vast bodies of water at the potential costs of hundreds of millions of dollars.
 
 
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