3D Printing: Evaluating Product Safety and Liability Risks, Avoiding and Defending Claims

Mitigating Manufacturer Risks With Quality Control Measures, Product Monitoring, Insurance Coverage and Contract Provisions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, January 28, 2016
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will examine the product safety and liability concerns surrounding 3D printing and discuss best practices to avoid or defend claims over manufacturing defects, design defects or failure to warn of non-obvious dangers involving products created via 3D printing.


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has exploded onto the scene, giving rise to numerous legal questions and emerging grey areas for product liability attorneys. For example, who is considered a manufacturer of a 3D printed product that causes injury? What are the insurance coverage implications when products are replicated using 3D printing technology?

Products liability counsel must understand how to apply current product safety and liability laws to the evolving world of 3D printing—and how to most effectively fill in the gaps—in order to help manufacturers minimize liability exposure and defend manufacturing or design defect claims or failure to warn allegations.

Implementing quality control mechanisms, monitoring products throughout the manufacturing and distribution life cycle, leveraging insurance coverage and drafting contract language that effectively allocates and shifts risks are all key to mitigating manufacturer risks.

Listen as our authoritative panel of products liability attorneys examines emerging and evolving product safety and liability issues that surround 3D printing and steps manufacturers should take to avoid or defend product liability claims.


  1. Product liability and 3D printing—emerging issues
    1. Auto industry
    2. Consumer product industry
    3. Medical device industry
    4. Commercial products
  2. Application of existing product liability laws to 3D printing
  3. Best practices for manufacturers to minimize liability risks and defend claims


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How are existing product liability laws being applied to 3D printing?
  • Who is liable when a consumer is injured due to a design or manufacturing defect in a 3D printed product?
  • What strategies are effective for manufacturers to mitigate the risk of liability when harm is caused by a 3D printed version of their product?


Matthew D. Jacobson, Esq.
Reed Smith, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Jacobson practices primarily in the area of product liability litigation for medical device companies. He has experience working on single-plaintiff matters, as well as coordinated cases and multi-district litigation. Mr. Jacobson has also represented consumer product and transportation manufacturers in product liability actions in both state and federal courts. Mr. Jacobson handles all aspects of litigation, including drafting responsive pleadings, conducting written discovery, and taking and defending numerous depositions of plaintiff, fact and expert witnesses.

Colin K. Kelly, Partner
Alston & Bird, Atlanta

Mr. Kelly focuses his practice in the areas of product liability defense and mass/toxic torts and has bet-the-company crisis management experience. He is currently serving as national counsel to U-Haul International in its serious and fatal product liability matters in more than 10 states. He has a history of trying difficult cases in difficult places. Over the past decade, Mr. Kelly has litigated complex matters for more than 10 different Fortune 500 companies and has prepared cases for trial in more than 25 states.

Brandan P. Mueller, Partner
Husch Blackwell, St. Louis

Mr. Mueller represents clients in the defense and prosecution of cases involving product liability, transportation matters and complex commercial litigation. He also works with clients to guide them in all aspects of product safety to include investigations; product recalls and other corrective actions; product warnings, warranties and instructions; product testing; and product warning analysis. Mr. Mueller’s practice often addresses state, federal and international product safety regulations, as well as industry and consensus standards.


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Michael Hoenig


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