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Products Liability

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Products Liability

Products liability, focusing on strict liability, has grown from the first Illinois case of Suvada v. White Motors. From this first case concerning a brake system there has been a focus on numerous products including autos, bottles, chemicals, health and medical supplies, food, household goods, hoisting equipment, elevators, ladders and scaffolds, mining equipment, presses, tires, and saws.

Oftentimes, with the background of an industrial setting, the injuries sustained are severe, potentially arousing juror sympathy. Parties to suit may include employer, service providers, component manufacturers, designers and manufacturers. Given the distribution of products, the potential for class actions or multiple plaintiffs abounds.

The defense of a “products” case calls for an intimate understanding of the product, standards and codes. Evolving law includes bars for recovery of “economic” damages, statutory prohibitions and traditional denials of plaintiff’s elements of proof.

A strong impetus for strict liability was the Restatement of Torts 2d. Now, a new restatement has issued, Restatement of Torts 3d. Focusing on strict liability issues, attempts to resolve issues that have been problematic over the years are now addressed. For instance, focusing on the behavior of the parties: How courts deal with these issues will depend on the effectiveness of the defendants’ advocates.

Our firm stands in perfect position to deal with the complex considerations of jury persuasion, product information, legal defenses and evolving law.

Several attorneys have made products liability a significant portion of their practice.

Perry C. Rocco, member, has also been separately involved in elevator, escalator and amusement ride cases. One of his recent trials involved obtaining a defense verdict in a race track injury to a jockey who had alleged severe personal injuries as a result of a defective railing.

Our Product Liability group, lead by Perry C. Rocco, member, aggressively defends the adequacy of the products designed, manufactured or maintained by our clients. These products may be as diverse as elevators, escalators, furnaces, air conditioners, forklifts, automobiles, amusement park rides, tractor trailers, and various sub components of these products. We at Molzahn, Rocco, Reed & Rouse are acutely aware that our clients take particular pride in knowing that its products are state of the art and in compliance with all current standards and as a result will go to great lengths to defend its products. We applaud and support that position and attitude.

For more information, please email us or call (312) 917-1880. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.