Product Liability & Warranty Defense
As product liability lawsuits continue to make headlines, many companies are rethinking their approach to defending these suits.
- Is an all-out "defend at any cost" approach the best?
- Should the defense of lawsuits be directed by the company, rather than left to the insurer?
- Should lawyers be hired on a "lowest bidder" basis?
- What can companies do to prevent lawsuits?
- Are there new, different ways to approach the problem?
The Product Liability Law Practitioners at Varnum believe that there are innovative, cost-effective answers to these questions -- answers that result from taking a business approach to defending your company's product liability claims.
A Commitment to Quality
At the heart of our business approach to product liability defense is a commitment to quality. At Varnum, we believe quality is not simply a reflection of courtroom skills. Rather, we believe it is a combination of experience, innovation, good management, and, most importantly, working in partnership with clients.
Providing Value Through The Right Defense Partnership
No one knows your products and business better than you. Therefore, a key ingredient in a quality defense is developing a defense partnership at the beginning of the case which includes the right people from your business as well as the legal experts who can best address the issues and complexities of the case. The defense partnership is critical to:
- identifying the issues that will make a difference in the case,
- reviewing the history of your products and business, and
- focusing on creating and following a litigation management plan that can best and most efficiently defend your business.
The defense partnership should be permanent; members should be on board from start of the case to the finish so that work can be done by the appropriate team member at the most cost-efficient level, without the "learning curve" costs that result each time someone new is brought into the picture.
Providing Value Through Experience and Innovation
In defending a product liability claim, simply having a good lawyer is not enough. The defense team must concentrate on your products and business. They must thoroughly understand all aspects of the product -- what it is, how it was developed, how it evolved, how it was made. The defense team must understand the design and manufacturing process, outside standards, testing requirements, and any industry standards or governmental regulations that affect your products and business.
The Product Liability Law Practice at Varnum includes lawyers with extensive industry experience and many years of work with businesses and outside experts in product design and manufacturing. Our lawyers include members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and other organizations focusing on legal and scientific issues affecting these cases.
Varnum lawyers also participate in industry risk management groups. We have built an extensive in-house library of resources to allow us to research, understand, and address the technical and legal issues that we -- with our clients -- face in responding to product liability claims.
Knowing the products and understanding how they were designed and manufactured allow your defense team to represent your products and business in innovative ways. Whether defending your products by looking to industry standards or scientifically determining what really happened to cause an accident, the experience and innovation of the Varnum defense team is one of the keys to achieving a successful result.
Providing Value Through Case Management
Without proper litigation management planning, experience and innovation often fall short of the mark. A quality defense can be achieved only through proper case management, right from the start. Through proper planning, the litigation process can be less expensive and more predictable, resulting in the greatest value for the client.
With the opening of the file, the defense partnership should quickly begin to prepare a litigation management plan. The plan must focus on the crucial issues and should reflect joint decisions with the client as to how the defense will be structured.