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Product Liability

Overview

For decades, product liability defense has been one of the cornerstones of Nutter’s highly successful litigation practice. Leading multinational companies have turned to Nutter to defend cases in courts throughout the United States and around the world involving allegedly defective medical devices, drugs, industrial materials, and automotive products. We are dedicated to our client’s objectives and aggressively prepare cases to be won at trial. That approach has led to major defense verdicts, but it has also led to many more pre-trial dismissals and favorable settlements without the negative publicity or materially adverse settlements that often encourage further lawsuits.

Our Team
Nutter’s Product Liability practice group has a proven track record of successfully resolving complex cases.

The Nutter product liability litigation team has received numerous prestigious industry recognitions, including: 

  • Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers 
  • Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America 
  • Product liability defense lawyers named in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers in America
  • Ranked as a Tier 1 firm in Product Liability Defense in Boston in the S. News & World Report / Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey
  • Listed among the ranked firms in litigation by Chambers USA

Our Product Liability defense team has a reputation of being both efficient and effective with technology. Nutter has a sub-practice group that is dedicated to mastering both the technology and the law of electronic discovery, which represents the fastest growing budget item in large cases. Our lawyers can work with similarity engines and other high-efficiency e-discovery tools.  

We also draw on the expertise of our multidisciplinary staff, which includes Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), a Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC), dedicated paralegals, case assistants, and medical research librarians.

Who We Represent
We represent clients involved in the design, manufacture, distribution, and sale of many products, including: 

  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  • Health care products
  • Technical and specialty paper
  • Commercial and industrial materials 
  • Automotive and heavy equipment products 
  • Chemicals
  • Food and beverages

What We Do
Our product liability litigation team has defended clients from a variety of industries in cases involving alleged design defects, manufacturing defects, breaches of warranty, and inherently dangerous products.

We handle cases in a wide variety of forums, including state and federal courts around the country, as well as arbitrations, mediations, and other types of alternative dispute resolution. In addition to single case pre-trial proceedings and trials, Nutter routinely participates in mass tort litigation in multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings and other coordinated national litigation. In an increasingly global marketplace, in-house and outside counsel in Canada, Europe, and Asia-Pacific frequently seek our counsel on litigation issues affecting their multi-national clients. Our success in defending complex cases is also due in large part to our well-developed relationships with the Boston area’s rich supply of experts found in local hospitals, universities, and research centers.

We are particularly well-known for our work in the following areas.

Drug and Medical Device Defense
Nutter has been representing manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices for decades, and is engaged on an ongoing basis in pertinent depositions, mediations, hearings, and trials throughout the country and around the world. Relying on our longstanding expertise and broad knowledge of emerging medical science, we help our clients to respond aggressively to rapidly evolving theories of liability.

We have defended cases involving, among other things: 

  • Prosthetic knee, hip, and spinal implants
  • Cardiac devices
  • Surgical instruments
  • Bone cement
  • Surgical sutures
  • Spinal fusion plates
  • Tissue morcellators
  • Natural rubber latex gloves
  • Consumer products, including contact lenses, facial cleansers, and baby powder
  • A variety of pharmaceutical products, including but not limited to, DES, contraceptives, over-the-counter analgesics, and psychotropic drugs

Our multi-disciplinary practice also encompasses other aspects of litigation and investigations involving medical devices, drugs, and biopharmaceutical products, including: 

  • Privacy and data security
  • Internal and criminal investigations
  • Distributor relationships
  • Licensing, technology sharing, and supply agreements
  • Product recalls 

Toxic Tort Defense
Nutter has a cutting-edge practice in the defense of claims arising from alleged exposures to: 

  • Asbestos-containing products 
  • Vinyl chloride 
  • Toxic dust from commercial printing facilities 
  • A wide variety of industrial solvents and chemicals

Nutter attorneys are familiar with the organization and presentation of all aspects of the defense of a complex toxic tort case. In addition, we have worked with leading scientific and technical experts throughout the country and around the world on the development of expert testimony that is a critical aspect of toxic tort defense.

Nutter has successfully tried claims in state and federal courts in California, Kansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Similarly, we have handled a wide variety of appellate matters in both the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal and the various state appellate courts.

Defense of Other Products Cases
Nutter has successfully tried, arbitrated, and mediated other cases involving allegedly defective automotive and industrial vehicle products, and various industrial and commercial materials used in all kinds of products and manufacturing processes.

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Jury defense verdict for a large printing company on a multi-million dollar claim

    A jury defense verdict for a large printing company on a multi-million dollar claim arising from allegations of widespread hazardous exposure to lead dust.

  • Represent company in multi-district product liability litigation

    Represent medical device company in a multi-district product liability litigation involving recalled device. Member of team responsible for analysis of the science, retention of expert witnesses, analysis of company documents and developing narrative themes for company witnesses.

  • Representation of a manufacturer of prosthetic hip implants in multi-district product liability litigation

    Member of the science team responsible for expert witness preparation.

  • Representation of a manufacturer of prosthetic knee, hip and spinal implants in cases around the country

    Ongoing representation of a manufacturer of prosthetic knee, hip and spinal implants in lawsuits around the country including so-called “mass tort” multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings and other coordinated national litigation.

  • Representation of major corporations in cases involving diverse pharmaceutical and medical device products

    Ongoing representation of major corporations in cases involving diverse pharmaceutical and medical device products such as contact lenses, contraceptive patches, pediatric painkillers, quinolone antibiotics, and migraine medication in lawsuits in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  

  • Represented a manufacturer of prosthetic spine implants in multi-district product liability litigation involving over 250 plaintiffs

    Represented medical device manufacturer in a multi-district product liability litigation involving over 250 plaintiffs. Managed team of associates in the review and production of over four million pages of documents contained in an Electronic Reading Room.

  • Represented Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Special Assistant Attorney General in connection with claims arising from alleged "sick building" status of "Ruggles Center"

    Service as Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in connection with all claims arising from the alleged “sick building” status of the “Ruggles Center,” the former home of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. These matters involved extensive personal injury and property damage claims arising from alleged illnesses at the building in question, along with a thirty million dollar claim against the Commonwealth for breach of its lease agreements. After several years of litigation, the matters were successfully resolved with a multi-million dollar payment to the Commonwealth.

  • Automotive Products Liability Trial

    An automotive products liability trial in 2016 against Hyundai Motor America, involving a claim that the brake and accelerator pedal configuration of an automobile was conducive to simultaneous depression of the pedals and unintended acceleration, resulting in serious personal injuries. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Nelson Apjohn’s client, Hyundai Motor America.

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eDiscovery

eDiscovery

Nutter’s eDiscovery team is comprised of knowledgeable and seasoned litigation attorneys working in concert with our litigation technology professionals. Nutter is focused on providing creative, agile, and cost effective eDiscovery solutions to our clients starting from preservation at the initial anticipation of litigation through production, retention, and, ultimately, destruction.

Our Team
Our multidisciplinary team understands the ever-expanding universe of data and the technical, legal, and financial challenges it presents. Nutter has a deep bench of litigation attorneys with extensive experience handling complex eDiscovery matters. Nutter’s litigators draw on the substantial technical expertise from the firm’s technology professionals, including multiple Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

What We Do
Our experienced litigation technology professionals can handle Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) internally from collection to production through our advanced technology platforms, or work with our vendors and our clients to craft a tailored approached to ESI management. We have extensive experience in managing all aspects of the eDiscovery process, including identification, preservation, collection, review and analysis, and production. Our data hosting infrastructure provides secure access to clients and external parties at a cost significantly below vendor market rates.

The Nutter team, led by Seth Berman, leverages its experience with a wide array of workflows and advanced technology, including technology-assisted review, to maximize efficiency in the document review process with strategies that are defensible in court. We design meticulous quality control procedures when managing a team of expertly trained contract lawyers and advanced forensic data analysis firms, to ensure an effective and efficient process.

Nutter approaches each new eDiscovery challenge with practical and defensible processes to ensure a streamlined and cost-effective outcome.

Experience

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