Products Liability

Products liability has been a sub-specialty of Jacobson Markham since its formation in 1998.  Our experience with products liability cases dates back to the early days of our legal practice.  Current and past cases include defense of manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in design, manufacturing and warnings cases.  The firm is published in a significant state appellate decision stemming from a victorious defense of a product manufacturer in trial.  Experience in this area allowed one firm product client to escape paying any money in settlement of construction defect claims where all other defendants joined to fund multi-million dollar production home settlements in Monterey County.

 

Representative Matters

Consumer Product – Design Defect/Warnings

In an oft-cited case, plaintiff was a middle-aged lady who alleged that she was seriously injured when she used a commonly used household cleaning product.  Despite an admission by his client during trial that the product formulation was changed after this suit was filed because it was determined to be dangerous, Richard Jacobson was able to secure a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of his client, a small Central valley product manufacturer.  The trial judge granted a New Trial and JNOV.  His ruling was affirmed in part and reversed in part in Hansen v. Sunnyside Products, Inc., 55 Cal.App.4th 1497.

Construction Supplier (Warranty of Fitness)

In multi-party, multi-lawsuit litigation claiming the alleged construction defects involving hundreds of homes in Monterey County, Jacobson Markham represented a national supplier of plumbing products.  Both plaintiffs and the plumbing sub-contractors alleged the supplier failed to specify and supply the correct hot water recirculation pumps.  All of the other parties in the litigation settled in a series of settlements over a period of two years.  Millions of dollars changed hands, including a substantial portion paid by the plumbers suing the firm’s client.  Jacobson Markham’s client held out throughout all of the litigation and paid zero in the end.

Truss Manufacturer Defect

Jacobson Markham was called upon to represent a regional truss manufacturer in litigation brought by an employee of a contractor who alleged he fell and sustained severe injuries when a truss he was standing on suddenly broke while he was working.  Plaintiff claimed the truss was defectively manufactured citing a weakness in a wood member.  Richard Jacobson achieved a defense verdict using persuasive expert testimony to prove otherwise.

Backhoe Manufacturer – Design Defect/Warnings

Jacobson Markham represented the Midwest manufacturer of a backhoe attachment made for John Deere.  Plaintiff was operating the tractor on a hillside when it rolled over and pinned him against a tree.  He sustained severe, disabling leg injuries.  Plaintiff claimed the backhoe was defectively designed by failing to incorporate a lap belt to prevent ejection.  Plaintiff sought $2.6 million from the jury.  Richard Jacobson obtained a defense verdict after three weeks of trial.