Applying The Lessons Of The Past To The Litigation Of The Future

Articles & Publications

January 5, 2004

We have been asked to provide you with our assessment of certain mistakes that manufacturers of consumer and industrial products have made in the defense of mass tort product liability claims - and to offer certain suggestions that will help all of us shape a better future. In our respective roles as an in-house counsel for a member of the pharmaceutical industry (which, as an industry, has faced a wide array of aggregated claims in multi-district litigation, class actions and state court coordinated proceedings) and as an outside counsel whose role as national product liability coordinating and trial counsel has required a national defense effort and trials in a variety of jurisdictions, we have seen many changes in the mass tort landscape over the past ten years. Although we clearly are not comfortable nor qualified in serving as seers, our common experience has helped us identify certain "mistakes" which members of industry have made defending the mass tort. Our suggestions may not work for all mass tort litigation, but clearly, will work for most.

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