Product Liability, Property Damage, & Personal Injury
Whether representing plaintiffs who have suffered serious injuries or property damage as a result of defective products or careless conduct, or defending companies in high-stakes cases arising from terrible accidents or claims that their products or business practices contributed to deaths or serious injuries, Susman Godfrey has long been a go-to firm in product liability, personal injury, and property damage cases because of our relentless focus on what will matter at trial, our ability to develop cases for trial, and our skill in presenting cases involving complex and sensitive matters to judges and juries.
Our clients include private plaintiffs, classes of individuals, and small businesses who have been injured or had their property damaged by others’ defective products or careless and reckless acts; as well as Fortune 500 companies in their defense against product liability and other injury claims alleging significant monetary liability. Cases involving allegedly defective products or severe accidents commonly give rise to multiple similar actions, and when they do courts and major companies often appoint Susman Godfrey to coordinate and oversee nationwide litigation strategy, and of course, try each individual action to verdict if it is necessary to achieve our clients’ goals.
- Confidential Personal Injury Disputes. Serving as national counsel to a Fortune 500 retailer in personal injury cases alleging that the retailer is liable for accidents that occurred in the retailer’s parking lots. Several such cases have settled on favorable terms to the retailer.
- Product Liability Defense Litigation for Walmart. Served as National Trial Counsel for Walmart in products liability litigation relating to portable gasoline containers and National Monitoring Counsel on all products liability litigation relating to Talc.
- In re General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation. Serves on the Court-appointed Executive Committee for plaintiffs in an MDL proceeding which consolidated hundreds of lawsuits in the Southern District of New York, all of which allege that GM’s faulty ignition switches made vehicles with those switches unsafe. The class actions were recently settled, subject to final approval of the Court.
- Confidential Product Liability Dispute. Served as lead counsel defending one Fortune 500 company against another Fortune 500 company in a major products liability dispute involving over $200 million. We secured a highly favorable settlement for our client following several weeks of negotiation before any lawsuit was filed.
- Cuellar v. Pelonis Appliances and Texas Instruments. Represented component part manufacturer, Texas Instruments, and obtained a voluntary dismissal against plaintiffs and crossclaim defendants in a products liability, wrongful death, and statutory indemnity action involving a fire allegedly caused by a fan heater manufactured by Pelonis. Our team met with engineers in Amsterdam, conducted site inspections in Indiana, and uncovered key documents in Nebraska that ultimately led to dismissal of all plaintiffs’ claims.
- Houston Refining v. Deep South Crane & Rigging. Represented Houston Refining LP (HRO), a subsidiary of LyondellBasell Industries, in a $48 million negligence suit against the owner and operator of one of the largest cranes in the world, whose crane collapsed on HRO’s refinery. Before Susman Godfrey was hired, the trial judge granted partial summary judgment for the crane company, holding that the economic loss rule barred our client from recovering lost profits or any other non-property damages—a ruling that eliminated over 95% of the damages our client sought. After Susman Godfrey was hired, the team persuaded the trial judge to overturn his prior summary judgment order on the economic loss rule, restoring HRO’s right to seek 100% of its damages. The case settled on confidential terms.
- In re Rio Piedras Explosion Litigation. Served as lead counsel for defendants in San Juan, Puerto Rico, directing the efforts of seven law firms in the defense of more than 500 consolidated lawsuits arising from a fatal explosion that resulted in 33 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
- Gutierrez v. Hess. Represented nine individuals with personal injury claims related to their exposure to benzene and hexavalent chromium released from several refineries in the “refinery row” area of Corpus Christi, Texas. Susman Godfrey successfully secured large, confidential settlements with the defendants, giving significant recoveries to each client.
- Knutson v. Silicon Systems, Inc. Represented Texas Instruments and obtained dismissal of over 30 similar product liability cases, spread out over 12 states and involving three wrongful death and survivor claims. We hired and managed 11 sets of local counsel, coordinated all discovery, deposed 50+ plaintiffs and experts, worked with leading fire cause and origin experts, and removed 20+ additional cases to federal and state multi-district litigation.
- In re Sensata Technologies. Won summary judgment for auto parts manufacturer, Sensata Technologies, Inc., in a product liability case before the Nassau County branch of the New York Supreme Court.