Products Liability Litigation: Addressing Other Similar Incidents and Lack of Prior Accidents Evidence

Navigating Admissibility Issues, Building a Solid Foundation Through Incident Reporting Procedures, and More

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


Conducted on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare counsel to handle two critical evidentiary issues that arise in product liability trials: (1) preventing the plaintiff from introducing evidence of other incidents involving the same or similar products, and (2) laying the proper foundation for the admission of evidence of lack of similar incidents. The panel will outline effective strategies and discuss the benefits to product manufacturers of collecting incident data prior to litigation to maximize the chance of favorable rulings.

Description

The admission of other similar incidents (OSI) involving products manufactured by the defendant in a product liability case can jeopardize an otherwise defensible case. For this reason, defense attorneys must make preventing the introduction of OSI evidence a priority in the defense of products liability cases and proactively take aggressive measures to ensure that OSI is not admitted.

Additionally, products liability defendants often benefit from favorable evidence showing the lack of similar incidents by the product in question, making it important for counsel to properly lay the foundation for the admission of this evidence and guide clients on proper recordkeeping policies and procedures to preserve such evidence.

Listen as our authoritative panel of products liability defense counsel discusses strategies for keeping bad evidence out and admitting favorable evidence on product safety, and the importance of establishing the foundation for these issues early on in a lawsuit. The panel will also discuss tips for counseling clients on incident reporting procedures.

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Outline

  1. Strategies to prevent the admission of OSI evidence
    1. Restricting the scope of other incidents through written discovery and responding to requests for disclosure of incidents
    2. Limiting the relevance of incidents through opposing counsel’s experts
    3. Attacking purported relevance of OSI evidence
    4. Dealing with OSI at trial
  2. Strategies to introduce evidence of lack of similar incidents
    1. Laying the foundation during discovery and at trial
    2. Countering common objections by plaintiff’s counsel
    3. Basis for the admissibility of evidence regarding the absence of OSIs
  3. Counseling clients to establish solid record-keeping procedures

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is OSI and why is it important for defense attorneys to preclude or limit it in products liability cases?
  • How can products liability counsel use favorable evidence of lack of similar incidents to bolster their clients’ case?
  • What are some best practices for reporting and maintaining records of product incidents that will benefit product manufacturers in the event of future litigation?

Faculty

Stephen J. McConnell
Stephen J. McConnell

Partner
Reed Smith

Mr. McConnell defends clients in product liability and mass tort litigation. He has also handled securities litigation,...  |  Read More

Sean P. Wajert, Esq.
Sean P. Wajert, Esq.

Managing Partner
Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Wajert focuses primarily on complex commercial and products liability litigation. An experienced trial attorney, he...  |  Read More

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