Mass Torts and Products Liability

Davis Polk represents Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes products liability and mass tort cases, as well as other class actions. Our experienced lawyers leverage resources across practice groups to develop successful defense strategies that protect our clients against multijurisdictional claims which can involve thousands of plaintiffs nationwide. We have extensive experience counseling clients in “crisis” situations that include regulatory investigations, enforcement actions or congressional investigations which can garner high-profile media coverage.

Our litigators are not only skilled courtroom practitioners, but also understand and advise clients on the impact that litigation has beyond the legal defense at trial as it relates to a company’s insurance coverage, financing, financial reporting, corporate governance, future corporate transactions and communications to shareholders. 

Notable Matters

  • FanDuel Investor Group. We successfully represented FanDuel in connection with consumer class action litigation directed against the daily fantasy sports operator together with its investors and financial intermediaries.
  • Con Edison:
    • We represented Con Edison in multiple litigations arising out of steam pipe eruptions and gas explosions. The litigation has included major personal injury actions as well as cases brought by hundreds of businesses, which at the outset of the case sought nearly a billion dollars in lost profits and property damage.
    • We represented Con Edison in consolidated cases in New York State Court and regulatory proceedings arising out of power outages in New York City during the summer of 2006.
  • Pfizer. We represented Pfizer in all Neurontin products liability and consumer-protection matters, defeating class certification in the MDL and in state courts and winning dismissal of a number of other purported class actions brought on behalf of classes of consumers and third-party payers.
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Inc. We successfully represented Hyundai (the manufacturer of the Deepwater Horizon) in MDL class action litigation related to the Gulf Oil Spill in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • Smith & Nephew. We won dismissal of a putative nationwide class action brought in New Jersey federal court against our client Smith & Nephew, a manufacturer of orthopedic devices, and a second orthopedic device manufacturer.
  • Technip S.A. We represented Technipin asbestos litigation filed in Illinois.
  • ExxonMobil. We represented Exxon in three simultaneous federal and state grand jury investigations of alleged environmental violations relating to a major oil spill.
  • ICI. We represented ICI, a U.K. chemicals manufacturer, and several of its affiliates concerning litigation commenced by governments and individuals with respect to lead paint and lead pigment exposure.
  • Altria. We represented Altria in class-action products liability litigation pending around the country relating to “light” cigarettes.
  • Suzuki Motor Corporation. We represented Suzuki Motor Corporation in several product liability litigations relating to the Samurai sport utility vehicle, including obtaining the reversal of two multi-million dollar verdicts in the Supreme Court of Missouri, and brought a product disparagement lawsuit on Suzuki’s behalf against Consumers Union (CU) and its magazine Consumer Reports.