Product Liability


Since 1913, Plunkett Cooney has developed a reputation as one of the Midwest’s premier product liability defense firms, effectively representing product manufacturers and distributors across numerous industries.

Product Focus

Our attorneys aggressively defend product liability litigation and have particular expertise with the following products and legal issues:

• Aerial Lifts
• Agricultural Equipment
• Automobiles and Automotive Components
• Bucket Trucks
• Building Materials
• Children’s Products
• Construction Equipment
• Consumer Products
• Cranes
• Drug and Pharmaceutical Products
• Exercise Equipment
• Food Products, including Raw and Unrefined
• Handheld Power Tools
• Health Care and Medical Devices
• Industrial/Heavy Equipment and Tools
• Manufacturing Tools and Equipment
• Marine Products
• Mass Torts/Class Actions
• Recreational Products/Vehicles
• Toxic Torts and Exposures, Industrial, Commercial and Consumer/Household
• Trucks and Trailers, Light and Heavy Duty
• Warranty Development and Litigation, Consumer and Commercial
• Wood Chippers

In addition to an outstanding background in the defense of product liability claims, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with the range of business issues faced by product manufacturers and distributors, such as risk management and loss prevention, warning development, product marketing and distributor agreements, regulatory compliance, document retention and supply chain claims among others. In short, Plunkett Cooney is a full-service products firm.

Product liability practice is complex and requires expertise and a level of creativity beyond that which is typically demanded in routine legal practices. Plunkett Cooney’s practitioners in this area have been widely recognized for possessing these attributes and obtaining the right results. They frequently lecture, and are regularly published, as specialists in their field, both nationally and internationally.  

As the sole Michigan member of ALFA International, Plunkett Cooney works closely with the best product liability attorneys across the United States and around the world. This network allows Plunkett Cooney to assist clients globally with support from proven product liability attorneys.

Representative Client Work

  • Summary judgment obtained in dispute over highway dynamic message systems
  • Summary judgment obtained in case involving severe injuries sustained by child on a treadmill
  • Obtained successful outcome before the Michigan Supreme Court, which discarded “Simple Tool” requirement of open and obvious defense and reinstated summary judgment in underlying baby death case 

Publications and Lectures

  • “Determining Bankruptcy Status of Plaintiff Provides Advantage for Defense,” Rapid Report, July 22, 2008, Dennis M. Day
  • “Plaintiff Must Identify a Specific Manufacturing Defect Involved in an Implied Warranty Claim,” Rapid Report, April 30, 2007, Edward J. Higgins
  • Contributing Editor, “Privacy Project” vols. I, II and III, IADC 2004-2007, Jerome A. Galante
  • “Legal Issues and Strategies Every Contractor Should Know” Lecturer and Author, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, November 17, 2006, Jerome A. Galante
  • “Spoliation of Evidence May Spoil an Opportunity for Summary Judgment,” Rapid Report, January 31, 2007, Edward J. Higgins
  • “Product Liability: Personal Injury, NHTSA Recall and The Automotive Supplier,” NEVAT Program, Amsterdam, Netherlands, February 2006, Dennis M. Day
  • “Court Grants Statutory Rebuttable Presumption of Non-Liability to Qualified Manufacturers,” Rapid Report, January 9, 2006, Edward J. Higgins
  • “It Just Keeps Going and Going and Going:  The Post-Sale Duty to Warn,” Product Liability Perspectives, ALFA International, Fall 2005, Edward J. Higgins
  • “Caps on Damages: The ‘Lay of the Land,’” RiskVue, March 2005, Edward J. Higgins
  • “Medical Monitoring Claims Are Not Cognizable Under Michigan Law in the Absence of a Present Physical Injury,”  Rapid Report, January 29, 2005, Edward J. Higgins, Michael K. Sheehy and David R. Stechow
  • “The Truth About Mold – Sick Building” Seminar, Troy, MI  2004, Matthew J. Stanczyk
  • “Caps on Damages: The ‘Lay of the Land,’” Product Liability Perspectives, ALFA International, Fall 2004, Edward J. Higgins
  • “A Manufacturer’s Exposure to Foreign Law, Regulations and Standards,” 2004 ALFA International Client Seminar, March 2004, Dennis M. Day
  • “Accident Reconstruction Experts; Defense Use of Biomechanical and Human Factors Experts,” Michigan Law Update Seminar, 2003, Jerome A. Galante
  •  “Mold: The Trespassing Tenant in Your Leased Property,” Plunkett Cooney Client Seminar, April 2003, Dennis M. Day
  • “Spoliation of Evidence, Punitive Damages and State Transportation Safety Audit Procedures,” Michigan Compendium Transportation Law for ALFA, February 2003, David R. Stechow
  • “Sick Building: Your Prescription for Treating Claims, Lawsuits & Liability,” Crawford Claims Management Services, November 2002, David R. Stechow
  • “Problems Enforcing United States Judgments Against Foreign Corporations Abroad,” Product Liability in the 21st Century: A New World Order, October 2002, Dennis M. Day
  • “Product Defect and Defenses, Admissibility of Expert Testimony and Remedial Measures, and Indemnity and Contribution Issues,” Michigan Compendium Product Liability Law for ALFA, July 2002, David R. Stechow
  • “The Toxic Mold Case: The Law and Legal Issues,” Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Summer Conference, June 2002 , David R. Stechow
  • “Sick Building: Your Prescription for Treating Claims, Lawsuits & Liability,” Travelers Insurance, February 2002, David R. Stechow
  • The Professional as a Witness” (Architects, Engineers and Contractors), lecturer, International Association of Defense Counsel, La Quinta, CA (2001), Jerome A. Galante
  • “Sick Building Seminar – Mold and Other Issues,” MSU Management Center, October 18, 2001, Loretta M. Ames
  •  “Test Trials: An Anecdotal View” (Mock Trial Presentation), Michigan Adjusters Association Seminar, October, 2001, Dennis M. Day and Edward J. Higgins
  • “Sick Building: Your Prescription for Treating Claims, Lawsuits & Liability,” October 2001, David R. Stechow
  •  “Cyber-Sales Place: Product Liability Gets a New Venue,” International Client Seminar, March 2001, Dennis M. Day
  • “Gone But Not Forgotten: Manufacturers’ Post-Sale Duties to Warn or Recall,” Michigan Bar Journal, June 1999, Edward J. Higgins
  •  “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education, October 1998, Dennis M. Day
  • “Expert Discovery: What Is and Isn’t Protected by the Attorney Client Work Product Privilege,” International Association of Defense Counsel, La Jolla, CA, 1998, Jerome A. Galante
  • "Winning the War Against Junk Science: An Analysis of Post-Daubert Decisions in One Group of Chemical Exposure Cases," Risk and Insurance Management Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, April 28, 1998, Loretta M. Ames
  • “Dual Role Privilege, Duty to Recall and/or Retrofit, Daubert,” ALFA Compendium Product Liability Law, January 1998, Dennis M. Day
  • “Preparing the Japanese Corporate Witness For Testifying,” International Legal Strategy, June 1997 (Published in Japanese), Dennis M. Day
  •  “Manufacturers’ Post Sale Conduct: Is There a Continuing Duty to Warn and/or a Common Law Duty to Recall,” International Legal Strategy, May 1997 (published in Japanese), Dennis M. Day and Edward J. Higgins
  • “Defense Damage Experts - Helpful Hints for Preparing and Using Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists and Economists as Defense Experts in Personal Injury Claims,” lecturer, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Annual Winter Meeting (1995), Jerome A. Galante
  • “Keeping the Lid on the Liability Case in Construction Disputes,” lecturer, Michigan Concrete Association (1994), Jerome A. Galante
  • “Issues to Consider Before and After Agreeing to Alternative Dispute Resolution in Construction Cases,” lecturer and author, International Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Denver, Colorado (1994), Jerome A. Galante

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