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Product Liability ‎


Forming one of the most robust product liability groups on the West Coast, Schwabe’s lawyers apply their experience and problem-solving skills to help protect against one of a manufacturer’s biggest risks: allegations of an unsafe product.

Looking out for your interests

Schwabe defends manufacturers, sellers and distributors against product-related personal injury, property loss and economic loss claims throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our lawyers possess a thorough understanding of this rapidly expanding area of law, and have decades of experience helping clients prevent and protect against product-related claims.

Practical advice to minimize exposure

Many clients seek our counsel during initial product development to ensure that safety features are designed in compliance with the law (including proper warnings and instructions). These services are particularly valuable to emerging companies that may not be familiar with the complexities of product liability laws.

Comprehensive strategies

After representing clients in hundreds of product-related claims, we understand that different cases call for different strategies. Our lawyers have assisted with product recalls, pre-claim investigations, defense of claims in courts and arbitration, settlement negotiations and appeals. We have extensive experience defending companies in matters of all sizes and levels of complexity, from a minor individual injury to catastrophic injury and death claims. We frequently defend class action lawsuits and serve as members of national litigation teams. 

Our lawyers defend manufacturers, sellers and distributors in product liability issues involving:

  • Asbestos and other toxic torts
  • Automobiles and motorcycles
  • Consumer products (household appliances, yard equipment, power tools, etc.)
  • Construction equipment, including pneumatic equipment
  • Electrical equipment
  • Fire and explosives
  • Food and beverages
  • Heavy-duty trucks, forklifts and lift trucks
  • Industrial machinery
  • Marine engines and personal watercraft
  • Pharmaceutical and medical devices products
  • Warnings

Access to top experts

Schwabe has handled a significant number of pharmaceutical and medical device, forklift, fire, asbestos and marine cases, and has fast access to nationally and internationally renowned experts in these areas. Our trial lawyers are skilled at working with these experts to develop and present clear, compelling theories on behalf of our clients.


  • Defended against pharmaceutical and medical device claims for over 40 years, representing manufacturers in individual cases, mass tort litigation, and class action lawsuits.
  • Represented forklift manufacturers against a variety of product liabiltiy claims for over 25 years, taking several cases to trial and winning defense verdicts in all of them. 
  • Represented manufacturers of numerous products against asbestos claims for design defect and failure to warn, including claims where manufacturers only included asbestos component parts in their products.
  • Successfully tried several product liability cases for a major automobile manufacturer involving serious ‎injuries and death.‎
  • Handled numerous marine and land-based fire cases involving origin and cause. 
  • Obtained favorable rulings at summary judgment on the application of Oregon’s non-economic damages cap in product liability cases, including cases arising out of workplace accidents.
  • Won a defense verdict for a manufacturer of a pneumatic hand tool in a class action trial in King County Superior Court. The jury found that there was no proximate cause for the claimed injuries. 
  • Worked closely with national counsel to defend one of a series of cases filed across the United States against riding lawn tractor manufacturers alleging design and warning defects. After a two-week trial, the jury found in favor of the manufacturer and its distributor, stemming the tide of similar new case filings.
  • Obtained early dismissal of action against a national food product manufacturer where plaintiff claimed food product was contaminated by a rodent, preventing potential negative media attention.
  • Defended family-run Northwest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in a wrongful death product liability case, guided client through depositions and litigation process, and developed strategic litigation plan to resolve favorably prior to trial.
  • Won defense verdict at trial for a Fortune 500 toy retailer facing claims of negligence and product defect.

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