Product Liability

Olson Brooksby has extensive experience with product liability law through decades of representing national and international manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and suppliers. Our trial lawyers know how to effectively settle and try product liability cases and how to minimize risk and avoid future claims.

Our attorneys provide a wide range of services to product manufactures. We have experience working with a wide variety of product liability experts, such as product design and manufacturing experts and highly specialized medical experts, regarding complicated factual and medical issues. We also assist our clients with litigation avoidance strategies by relying on experts when necessary for the development of protocols and safety standards. We are familiar with federal and state product liability law and regulations, and work with our clients to determine the best defense strategy when faced with a product liability lawsuit or a threatened potential lawsuit.

Our Clients

Many of Olson Brooksby's clients are product manufacturers and component part manufacturers, and we offer them a broad range of support. We provide our clients with on demand counseling and advice concerning potential claims and concerns. We are familiar with the various applicable state and federal regulations that apply in product liability cases, and serve as on-call counselors for our clients as issues come up. We also assist our product liability clients with insurance coverage issues, employment and temporary worker concerns, and contract analysis.

Olson Brooksby is experienced in defending companies of all sizes against product liability claims--from small franchisees to Fortune 500 companies. As a result, we are aware of the needs of different-sized companies facing issues like product recalls and compliance issues.

Our Experience

We have provided representation for a wide variety of product claims involving electrical and gas powered consumer products, large fire loss claims, mobile and industrial equipment, airplanes, elevators, and medical devices. We also have experience handling product recalls and modifications. The chair of our product liability group, Scott Brooksby, is an Oregon Super Lawyer for product liability defense and was recognized in "Best Lawyers in America"© for product liability litigation from 2018 to the present. Recognition by Best Lawyers®  is based entirely on peer review. Scott is also an Executive Committee Member and the President-elect of the Oregon State Bar Product Liability Subcommittee.

The majority of Olson Brooksby's work consists of high-exposure product liability defense cases. We have extensive experience handling product liability cases that involve bet-the-company-type litigation and media exposure. Our partners have tried product liability cases to verdict and serve as counselors to their clients.

Our product liability cases have involved:

  • Aviation, including aircraft and components
  • Large fire loss claims
  • Recreational products
  • Lead-based products
  • Chemicals, including paint, solvents, pesticides, benzene, and toluene
  • Aquatic products, including towables and pool slides
  • Piping and valves
  • Toys and children's products
  • Tools
  • Machines and machine components
  • Insect-infested wood products
  • Farm supplies and farm products, including defective seeds
  • Leisure products ranging from paintball guns to pogo sticks
  • Heavy equipment, including large truck transmissions, tractors, forklifts, loaders, logging equipment, and scissor-lifts
  • Light equipment, including shopping carts, luggage carts, and ladders
  • Foreign objects in food and beverages
  • Defective food and beverage packaging
  • Glass products, including tempered and conventional glass, as well as shower doors and bottles
  • Heating equipment and components, including elements and thermal cut off devices
  • High voltage equipment, including insulators, power lines, poles, and cables
  • Electronic products, such as clipboards (carpal tunnel claims)
  • Green technology, including heat pumps and water heaters
  • Railroad equipment and component parts
  • Industrial equipment used in the fabrication of raw steel and metals, including rollers, punch-presses, laser torches, sample burners, and test equipment
  • A wide range of consumer products
  • CPSC product regulation and recalls, as well as Section 15 reporting
  • Drugs
  • Medical devices and surgical equipment
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Automobiles and vehicular equipment
  • Conventional stoves, washers and home appliances
  • Gas fireplaces, as well as pellet and clay stoves (chimideros)

Oregon Legal Standards

The lawyers at Olson Brooksby have a deep understanding of the various codes, standards, and regulations relating to product liability law, including CPSC, ANSI, ASTM, NFPC, UL, ASME, and many others.

Oregon is a "consumer expectation" state and Oregon law allows strict liability and negligence claims. Three types of product defects are recognized in Oregon: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn. Generally, a plaintiff must show that the product was not only defective but was also "unreasonably dangerous" in order to hold a manufacturer, distributor or seller liable. Our lawyers have defended companies against all three types of product defect claims and have successfully challenged product liability cases pleaded under both negligence and strict liability theories.

Our Services

Some of our product liability services include:

  • Product design review and counseling
  • Investigation of potential claims and cases before lawsuits are filed
  • Defensive strategy sessions before lawsuits are filed, including an analysis of potential discovery issues, such as requests for documents concerning prior claims
  • Settlement and resolution of claims and litigation
  • Representation at trial

Local Counsel Services

Besides serving as national counsel to various companies, Olson Brooksby also has extensive experience working as local counsel and assisting national counsel in product liability cases. We provide our national counsel clients with valuable, Oregon-specific assistance regarding practice and procedure, product and injury-specific expert selection, judicial preferences, jury selection, and trial demeanor. Our lawyers have handled product liability cases in both state and federal courts throughout the State of Oregon.

Our product liability attorneys are familiar with Oregon's product liability laws, and we have a wealth of industry-specific knowledge in regard to product liability claims. We work to understand our clients' products and industries so that we can fluently present product liability cases to Oregon juries, judges and mediators. Our lawyers have enough product liability experience to understand how to present even the most technical product liability cases.

Advisors and Counselors

To assist product manufacturers in avoiding litigation, the firm provides ongoing assistance and counseling for the prevention of product liability claims. Such assistance may include assistance with the development and authoring of current manuals and handbooks; safety protocols and best practices; compliance manuals; and document preservation. Shareholder Scott Brooksby regularly gives management presentations and employee trainings on request.

We Try Cases

Understandably, most people want to avoid trial. However, when trial is necessary, our seasoned trial lawyers are prepared to try your case, no matter how long or how complex. Our shareholders have been trying cases since the beginning of their careers and have decades of experience trying product liability cases throughout the State of Oregon. In a day and age where attorneys with trial experience are dwindling, our clients rely on our substantial courtroom and trial experience to see them through their cases from start to finish.