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Product Liability

Product Liability
Product Liability
Expertise / Sectors / Life Sciences / Product Liability
Standout product liability practice providing seamless national support as well as cross-border capabilities.
Ranked in Band 1 for Litigation: Product Liability, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2020

In an era of expanding regulatory oversight and increasing consumer activism, product liability law has evolved into a complex and ever-changing area of risk for many businesses. As the first Canadian firm that has defended a product liability matter through a common issues trial to a defence verdict, the Blakes Product Liability team is widely regarded as one of the top practices in the country and the only firm recognized in Band 1 for Product Liability Defence by Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018Who's Who Legal Canada: Product Liability Defence 2017 refers to Blakes as “the foremost firm in this area."

We are frequently retained as counsel to guide clients through the interrelated regulatory and litigation issues that arise throughout a product’s lifecycle, from early product assessment, claims prevention and compliance to tailored risk and reputation management strategies, and defence of claims.​

Solving Problems

Our Product Liability team includes trial lawyers who are experienced in developing trial strategies that inform pre-trial preparation and procedural decisions, including the preparation of expert evidence. Our collective trial experience, combined with our national footprint, is particularly valuable in the current environment when product liability matters are more frequently certified as class actions than other types of class proceedings. 

We advise on complex domestic and cross-border product liability issues, offering our clients creative and pragmatic solutions. Our team has a reputation for providing commercially aware and sophisticated, product-specific advice. We understand the dynamics of product development and the underlying scientific and technical aspects of drug, medical device, food and mechanical products, among others. Our clients also have the benefit of strategic advice from lawyers in our Marketing & Health Regulatory practice, who regularly engage various federal and provincial regulators on products-related issues. 

Our Product Liability lawyers proactively advise world-class manufacturers and distributors of products on a broad range of product liability issues including:

  • The defence of product liability claims, including design and manufacturing negligence claims, allegations of breach of the duty to warn, breaches of sale of goods and consumer protection legislation and a wide range of "toxic tort" claims

  • Claims avoidance and related insurance

  • Compliance programs and regulatory obligations 

  • Product risk assessment

  • Labelling and warnings

  • Complaints involving injury or adverse effects

Our team advises and represents clients in claims, particularly class actions, that involve a number of products, including medical devices, pharmaceutical medicines, consumer appliances and other electronic products, automobiles and parts, construction equipment, computer software, among others.

With a dedicated, in-house E-Discovery & Document Management team, Blakes offers cost-effective, “litigation-ready” information management systems that facilitate fast and efficient document retrieval. ​

Building Relationships  

We fully appreciate how important open communication, collaboration and coordination is to our clients, particularly as product liability litigation increasingly arises in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional contexts. We regularly integrate into multi-jurisdictional trial teams alongside in-house counsel and/or external counsel. Our understanding of the U.S. legal system and regulatory environment, and the key differences under the Canadian legal system, enables us to manage efficiencies when defending clients facing cross-border and multi-jurisdictional claims that extend into Canada.

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