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Product Liability Defense

Bowles Rice actively defends product manufacturers and distributors in product liability litigation in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and other surrounding states. We also work with our clients to develop internal programs designed to proactively identify and prevent potential safety and liability issues.

Our Approach
We recognize that the successful defense of any product liability matter begins with a clear and complete understanding of the product, from its initial design concept to its ultimate, intended use. We work closely with our client’s design professionals, production workers and marketing team to thoroughly evaluate alleged defects, breaches of warranty and consumer protection violations. We identify appropriate defenses and develop a sound litigation strategy to protect the client’s hard-earned reputation.

Whether in the context of a single incident or an alleged mass tort, Bowles Rice can effectively analyze and defend the toughest, most complex issues, delivering high quality work in a cost-efficient manner. To assist in our client’s defense, we identify and retain first-class experts with specific knowledge, training and experience matched to the needs of the case. When necessary, we utilize cutting-edge technology to analyze the facts and help tell our client’s story.

Our Experience
Bowles Rice lawyers have experience defending a broad array of products:

  • Industrial Equipment – With offices located in the heart of the Appalachian coal fields, Bowles Rice has considerable experience litigating product liability claims arising from equipment used in the mining industry. Bowles Rice lawyers have also defended claims involving other types of industrial equipment such as forklifts, hoists, cranes, foundry equipment, milling equipment, earth-moving equipment, road construction equipment, agricultural equipment, and electrical devices and equipment.
  • Consumer Products – Bowles Rice has handled claims involving numerous consumer products including but not limited to automobiles, tires, household appliances, consumer electronics, recreational products and common power tools.
  • Drugs and Medical Devices – We have defended pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers against product liability claims asserted individually and by groups of plaintiffs on a statewide and regional basis. We also have defended claims involving dietary supplements and health foods. Whether leading the defense or working with its client’s coordinating counsel, we are adept at managing and defending these claims.
  • Building and Construction Products and Materials – Bowles Rice lawyers also have worked on matters involving products and materials used in the building and construction industry, such as underground storm water retention system components and synthetic stucco materials used for finishing building exteriors.
  • Toxic Torts – Our lawyers are experienced in the defense of a wide variety of toxic torts involving substances such as tobacco, asbestos, polyacrylamide, pesticides and hydrocarbons as well as large environmental contamination claims.

Our People
Bowles Rice lawyers are recognized by respected peer-ranking organizations such as The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA and Super Lawyers and highly rated by Martindale-Hubbell. But legal skill and technical acumen is not enough in the challenging venues where Bowles Rice defends product liability claims. When – as is often the case – an in-state plaintiff alleges that an out-of-state manufacturer designed, manufactured or marketed a defective product, there is no good substitute for first-hand experience in the relevant court system. We know the landscape where we practice, hold the respect of our colleagues and the judges before whom we appear, and have an admirable track record of success. We have successfully defended product manufacturers many times before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel.  We are also adept at handling multi-district litigation (MDL) matters, which are increasingly prevalent.

Bowles Rice lawyers have provided leadership in local and regional tort and judicial reform initiatives, have taught post-graduate university and continuing education courses addressing the intersection between the work of engineering and other design professionals and the tort litigation system, and have taken an active role in many professional organizations and societies. We live in, are part of, and contribute to the communities we serve.

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