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Products Liability & Complex Torts

Conrad O’Brien attorneys are adept at cultivating experts and translating advanced scientific and technical concepts into clear, cohesive storylines, essential to winning any products liability case, whether before a judge, jury, arbiter, or otherwise. We have served as trial, national, and regional counsel, representing clients spanning industries—including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals, oil, tobacco, sporting goods, appliances, and electronics. Our case experiences include chemical exposure, toxic tort and asbestos litigations, environmental and property exposure litigations, and the more traditional defective mechanical product matters. Several Fortune 500 companies regularly rely on us to represent them in products liability cases filed against them in Philadelphia.

Products Liability & Complex Torts

  • Retained by a sporting goods manufacturer to assist the company in evaluating its exposure in products liability matters throughout the country.

  • Served as lead counsel for leading chemical companies in a range of cases, including cases claiming toxicity from exposure to benzene, toluene and ethyl xylene, asbestos, respiratory injury, and other personal injuries.

  • Served as co-trial counsel for a number of tobacco companies in smoking and health litigation in Pennsylvania, as well as counsel in related actions. Representation included significant work in the landmark case, Barnes v. American Tobacco Co., in which the Third Circuit ultimately held that individual issues precluded class certification and that defendants were entitled to summary judgment. In another case in which we represented a tobacco industry organization, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of antitrust, RICO, and state common law claims filed by union health and welfare funds.

  • Represented a major steel company in a variety of matters, including an over $80 million claim for defective construction of a coke oven which involved complex issues of construction law, as well as complicated scientific and technical issues.

  • Represented an e-commerce company in connection with products liability claims brought by the family of a university student who committed suicide after allegedly purchasing a hazardous substance through a third-party seller.
  • Represented an international chemical company seeking insurance recoveries for environmental liabilities at Superfund and other sites around the country. We handled jury and non-jury trials and appeals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and ultimately recovered more than $300 million for our client.
  • Represented a major computer manufacturer in mass tort and class action litigation relating to repetitive stress injuries (RSI) allegedly stemming from computer keyboard use. Conrad O’Brien attorneys handled appellate issues and developed the medical defense. Although plaintiffs’ lawyers touted RSI claims as the “asbestos litigation of the 1990s,” such claims have largely dried up after several key defense victories.

  • Represented a major oil refinery in litigation involving catastrophic personal injury and death claims brought against the refinery, including cases involving explosions and trucking accidents involving multiple deaths and personal injuries.

  • Represented the American Red Cross in Pennsylvania in cases involving alleged transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C through blood products, and cases alleging venipuncture injuries.

  • Represented a leading regional pharmaceutical company sued by an individual alleging injury from the use of a prescription drug manufactured by the company. We successfully moved to dismiss a number of the plaintiff’s claims, and through motion practice significantly narrowed the scope of the plaintiff’s available causes of action for trial. Following the court’s resolution of a number of pre-trial motions filed by Conrad O’Brien, the plaintiff agreed to settle the matter for a full release in exchange for a nominal sum.