Product Liability

Selman Breitman has been a trusted products liability defense firm for more than 30 years, representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other businesses within the chain of commerce in state and federal courts across the United States. Products liability cases require the specialized expertise of attorneys who understand the intricacies of the design, manufacture and testing of goods, and who also maintain a mastery of the complex and ever-changing body of product liability law.

At Selman Breitman, our specialized product liability defense attorneys have in-depth and specific knowledge regarding the design, manufacturing and testing related to our clients' products, which proves invaluable at all stages of litigation.

Comprehensive Products Liability Experience, Success And Service

Our attorneys are routinely called to locations after an industrial accident where we manage the investigation process, preserve important evidence, the accident scene and collaborate with technical experts in order to protect our clients' interests. Our experience with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) helps get our clients' job sites and manufacturing plants back up and running as quickly as possible.

Selman Breitman attorneys have represented manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other businesses in allegedly defective product cases and failure to warn cases involving:

  • Consumer goods
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Industrial machinery
  • Building materials
  • Building products
  • Automotive equipment
  • Retail store equipment
  • Firearms
  • Power tools
  • Home appliances
  • Office equipment
  • Recreational equipment

Selman Breitman's product liability defense attorneys are some of the most active product liability attorneys in California and Nevada. We litigate dozens of multimillion-dollar cases each year, including class actions and cases in multidistrict litigation, achieving favorable results that exceed client expectations. Our attorneys understand that product liability lawsuits can implicate a variety of client-specific issues, including continued business operations, customer loyalty, shareholder support, employee retention and CPSC/regulatory compliance. We work relentlessly to protect every area of our clients' interests.

If you would like to discuss a specific product liability issue, please contact us to speak with a leading subject matter attorney.

A nationally-recognized sliding glass door and window manufacturer was represented in a case in which a general contractor demanded six figures for claimed product defects relating to sliding glass doors supplied by client on a large hotel remodel and addition project. General contractor also sought a duty to defend on the part of client. The matter was resolved for significantly less than the total demand.

Represented a welding material manufacturer in cases involving dozens of individual plaintiff lawsuits. The plaintiffs claimed our client's product, along with other welding manufacture defendants suffered from overexposure to manganese, which caused them to suffer Parkinson disease-like symptoms. The cases involved complex medical and industrial hygiene issues. We successfully obtained voluntary dismissals - through aggressive discovery tactics, summary judgment motions, and settlement discussions - of all welding rod cases against our client.

A products liability case was settled for substantially less than the policy limits on a claim that involved the loss of plaintiff's dominant right hand in a drag racing accident.

Defense judgment was obtained by way of summary judgment for a powder coating company on a competitor's action for indemnity arising out of defective powder coating for a manufacturer. The manufacturer was seeking well over $1 million in damages. The Court ruled that, as a matter of law, the competitor had no admissible evidence showing that any product powder coated by client was defective.

Summary judgment was obtained on behalf of subcontractor client, which faced potential exposure of over one million dollars. The litigation arose from the plaintiff's claims for physical injuries sustained as a result of striking a median. Plaintiff argued that he struck the median as a result of the client's alleged negligence in improperly installing traffic signs, reflectors and reflective paint on the median. The court dismissed plaintiff's claim, reasoning that although the warranty the client provided for the products it used on the median was still in effect, the general contractor had already accepted maintenance of the intersection, and the client had no control over the subject median.

An insured HVAC contractor was sued for bodily injury and petty damage resulting from a leak in an HVAC line that caused a bedroom ceiling to collapse. Although the elderly plaintiff claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages related to the bodily injuries, the matter settled for a nominal amount for the property damage following mediation where we presented coverage defenses that the bodily injury occurred after the policy terminated.

Obtained defense verdicts in California, Texas and Tennessee in product liability lawsuits brought against manufacturers of fluid sealing products.

Defended manufacturer in property damage case involving a water heater explosion that burned down a residential house.

Represented the manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment in a million-dollar subrogation claim, resulting from a home fire. It was claimed that overheating of the air handler started the fire. The jury did not agree, and a verdict for the defendant was obtained.

Represented a backhoe operator in a trial brought by a man who was struck by a heavy metal trench plate as it was being moved by the defendant. The injuries included lower leg lacerations and an ankle fracture, with scarring. The jury found for the defense.

Successfully defended appeal of a summary judgment on behalf of a retail store. Plaintiff alleged brain injury caused by carbon monoxide poisoning when the flexible exhaust duct from her clothes dryer, purchased from and installed by the defendant retail store, disconnected from the vent termination and allowed carbon monoxide into plaintiff's house. Summary judgment was granted on the basis of a lack of causation.

Settlement of under $100,000 was obtained for a trucking manufacturer while defendant's motion for summary judgment was pending, in a brain damage case involving an 8-year-old who had over $4,000,000 in medical specials.

Summary judgment was obtained for various car manufacturers in air bag, crashworthiness and component part cases, based upon issues ranging from a lack of a manufacturing or design defect to causation.

Secured an order via motion to dismiss that dismissed all strict liability claims against the clients, a recycling plant and its related entities, in a case involving an alleged crane accident.

Dismissal was obtained of two clients sued in a serious bodily injury case involving a vehicle rollover that occurred during a national racing event. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit based on various negligence theories as a result of physical injuries suffered in the accident. Motions to Dismiss were filed on all claims prior to incurring discovery costs, and the dismissals of clients followed shortly.

An affirmance of a defense verdict was obtained in an action by a tortilla factory worker who was seriously injured when his hand got caught inside a tortilla-making machine. Client had refurbished a used/inoperable tortilla machine for use by plaintiff's employer. The Court of Appeal found that client had no duty to install safety features on the machine that were not present as the machine was originally manufactured.

A defense judgment was obtained by way of Summary Judgment for an electrical contractor, arising out of a tower crane accident in which plaintiff suffered a broken neck. Plaintiff alleged that the crane tipped over because defendant client had failed to properly compact trenches it dug for its electrical lines. The Court found that defendant client had no duty regarding the compaction of the trenches.

In a Proposition 65 claim brought by a school district, settlement was achieved below the actual replacement cost on behalf of client, an artificial turf manufacturer.


News and Publications

Selman Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America Four Selman Breitman Attorneys Selected as 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers Bridget Moorhead Named to List of 2020 Super Lawyers Selman Breitman Attorneys Honored as 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers San Francisco Attorneys Named 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
2019 Southern California Rising Stars Announced Bridget Moorhead Named to List of 2019 San Diego Super Lawyers Partner John Katerndahl Named to ABOTA Jerel Agatep Receives Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) Credential DRI's The Voice Features Selman’s Defense Win in David Copperfield/MGM Litigation San Francisco Attorneys Named 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Las Vegas Attorneys Named 2018 Super Lawyers Two Associates Named to Key Positions With Filipino Bar Association of Northern California 2018 Southern California Rising Stars Announced Selman Breitman Seattle Office Moves to One Union Square Selman Breitman Again Ranked a Law360 Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys Daira Waldenberg Joins Selman Breitman's Seattle Office Law360 Announces 400 Largest U.S. Law Firms Bridget Moorhead & Elaine Harwell Named 2018 San Diego Super Lawyers Jerry Popovich Inducted into American College of Trial Lawyers Jerel Agatep Joins Selman Breitman's San Francisco Office Selman Breitman Attorneys Honored as 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers Jillian Harvey Joins Selman Breitman as an Associate in San Francisco Former Sedgwick Partner Joins Selman Breitman Selman Breitman Names Eight New Partners Across Four Offices Angelica Zabanal Joins Selman Breitman's San Francisco Office Selman Breitman Continues to Grow With Three New Associates Matthew Quigg Joins Selman Breitman's Seattle Office Selman Breitman Trial Team Wins After Jury Is Asked To Award $43 Million In Home Furnace Case Selman Breitman to Co-Sponsor Diversity Event Past Medical Expenses: Amount Paid vs. Amount Billed. the Defense Wins Big in the California Supreme Court Misled Consumers Can Obtain Injunctions Against Businesses SCOTUS Rules CA Courts Lack Specific Jurisdiction to Entertain Injury Claims by Non-Residents (Bristol-Myers) Discounted Amount Paid by a Third Party for an Uninsured Plaintiff's Medical Lien Is Not Admissible Without Evidence to Show it Represented the Reasonable Value for Treatment Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Law Product Liability Statute of Limitations: Knowledge and Suspicion Something to "Howell" About: Bill to Overturn Pro-Defendant Decision on Medical Costs Dies in California Legislature Primary Assumption of the Risk: Still on a Bumpy Ride Important Medicare Secondary Payer ("MSP") Act Developments Property Casualty 360: Medicare Set-Asides and Third-Party Liability Cases: Part Three Property Casualty 360: Medicare Set-Asides and Third-Party Liability Cases: Part Two Property Casualty 360: Medicare Set-Asides and Third-Party Liability Cases: Part One

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