Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell is widely known in the area of product liability defense. Named by several of the nation's leading automakers as their primary legal defense counsel in the Southeast, we have also championed products cases ranging from construction and agricultural equipment to motor vehicles, watercraft, electronics, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and toxic substances. RKC has worked on some of the most challenging cases in this field.
Below is a representative list of many of the manufactured products we have defended:
- Airplanes and Aviation Components
- Asbestos containing products
- Stump cutters/grinders
- Chlorine cylinders and valves
- Scuba breathing valves
- Liquid CO 2 delivery systems
- Front-end loaders
- Carpets (allegedly impregnated with noxious substances)
- Fluorescent and halide light fixtures
- Neon signs
- Roller coasters and other carnival rides
- Swimming pool pump/filtration systems
- Radial arm saws
- Corrugated steel flooring for refrigerated storage units
- Garage-type overhead doors
- Steel handles for grain delivery mechanisms
- Concrete mixes for road construction projects
- Beer bottles
- Pollution control "scrubbers" for incinerators
- Latex gloves
- Morphine injection systems
- Tennis Shoes
Since the origins of product liability jurisprudence in Florida, RKC has been at the forefront in establishing the legal doctrines and defenses that evolved to protect product manufacturers here. Indeed, a researcher would be hard pressed to find a Florida auto products defense attorney without some original connection to RKC. Such status is one reason U.S. News & Word Report ranked Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell as a "Tier 1" products liability defense firm. It also in part explains why Chambers & Partners, the leading independent evaluator of the world’s best law firms, cited a “prevailing market opinion” of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell as a firm with "especially strong experience in products liability."
RKC partners are routinely cited as authorities in product liability jurisprudence. For example, J. Richard Caldwell, Jr. of the firm’s Tampa Office, was selected by the Defense Research Institute to write the Florida chapter of the Institute’s “Product Liability Defenses: A State-by-State Compendium” in the DRI Defense Library Series. Product liability law articles authored by Larry Roth, a partner in the Orlando Office, have been cited as authoritative by appellate courts and the Florida legislature alike. See Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. v. Levey 909 So.2d 901, 908 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004) and, SB 142, Florida Senate Bill Analysis and Fiscal Impact Statement, pg 4 et seq. at www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/0142/Analyses.
Apparel and Textiles
We have successfully defended several lawsuits against major shoe manufacturers and distributors, including obtaining a defense verdict for a major shoe manufacturer and sporting goods chainstore after the jury deliberated for only fourteen minutes.
RKC attorneys have also handled cases involving allegedly flammable fabrics. Plaintiffs claimed in these cases that the manufacturer improperly treated children’s garments, such as pajamas and other nightwear, with flame-retardant chemicals. We also handled a claim involving floor carpet, claimed to have released harmful carcinogenic chemicals causing respiratory and visual distress.
We represent major corporate clients in this distinct specialty involving pest control, agricultural, other chemical products, and products once manufactured with asbestos. RKC defends claims of direct and indirect exposure to chemical products, asbestos, and mold. Plaintiffs often claim resulting psychological and physical harm, including fatalities. RKC has wide ranging experience deposing experts who customarily testify for plaintiffs in these types of cases.
From heavy equipment used at a construction site, to machinery used in manufacturing to that used to move materials, the interaction between man and machine plays an integral part in all litigation involving industrial equipment. Thorough investigation, analysis and understanding of the factors at work in an industrial accident is the key to a successful defense. Our attorneys understand this fact and in each case aggressively investigate all aspects of an industrial accident. The experience, training, physical and mental condition of the injured person is examined along with that of coworkers.
Employers' methods of training, supervision and attention to safety including, compliance with OSHA are evaluated and analyzed along with the repair, maintence, use and operation of the equipment involved. Analysis of the technical aspects of each case is undertaken including not only performance of the equipment, but its specific use and application. Human factors are considered whether they involve warnings, conspicuity, reaction times or the myriad other factors that come into play during the interaction between man and machine. In some cases, the biomechanics of the injury are scrutinized as the issue of causation is analyzed.While a case involving a claim of defect against a piece of industrial equipment may contain unique facts, the manner in which we approache the case is not. Attention to detail and thorough investigation is the hallmark of the firm's approach.