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Products Liability

As the COVID-19 torts and product liability landscape quickly evolves, Crowell & Moring’s Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation team is on the front lines, addressing in real-time the critical questions arising every day in this crisis. We are also looking around the corner, preparing our clients today to confront the litigation that will follow tomorrow. Our lawyers have been guiding clients on COVID-19 issues since the virus first started impacting their businesses, and we will continue to do so as the effects of the virus in the product liability sphere evolve. Issues we are seeing – and those we anticipate – include:

  • Companies pivoting to new product lines to address the pandemic face new tort risks and must learn how to minimize and manage new regulatory and litigation challenges.
  • Illness or wrongful death claims by employees deemed “essential” during the crisis, as well as “take-home” exposure suits by their family members or roommates.
  • Tort liability claims against retailers, transportation companies, and other businesses alleging they did not do enough to keep their premises safe by following CDC guidelines or enforcing social distancing requirements.
  • Regulatory investigations of care facilities, manufacturing facilities, or workplaces by state attorneys general and other regulators.
  • Single-plaintiff, mass tort, and class action consumer litigation regarding products marketed to sanitize, protect against disease, or prevent disease.

Our team counsels companies on the critical issues they face as their manufacturing shifts to new product areas that address the COVID-19 crisis, such as masks, hand sanitizers, medical gowns, and ventilators. This work includes creating contractual language to build liability protection into both sales and donation agreements, drafting warning labels in efforts to mitigate the product liability and class action risks, and working closely with the federal government and several states to ensure protection under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) for medical countermeasures against COVID-19.

Crowell & Moring’s Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation lawyers are well-prepared to apply our nationally recognized experience in the defense of consumer, occupational, and environmental tort cases to the COVID-19 crisis. We know how to identify the potential issues on the front end, advise on ways to mitigate the risks, and defend the inevitable claims when they arise. Our team counsels clients on developing and recording the facts to be in the best position for any litigation that should arise. If and when the time comes for litigation, we know how to bring good science to the courtroom and translate complex medical and scientific principles for lay judges and juries.