Products Litigation: Prior Similar Incidents and Absence of Accidents

Navigating Admissibility and Evidentiary Issues

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will prepare counsel to handle two critical evidentiary issues that arise in product liability trials: (1) strategies for admitting and opposing the introduction of evidence of other incidents involving the same or similar products, and (2) strategies and risks of laying the proper foundation to show the absence of prior similar incidents. The panel will outline effective strategies and discuss the risks and benefits to product manufacturers of collecting incident data before litigation to maximize the chance of favorable rulings.


The admission of other similar incidents (OSI) involving products manufactured by the defendant in a product liability case can be the difference between winning and losing a case for both the plaintiff and the defense. For this reason, attorneys must make the introduction or exclusion of OSI evidence a priority in trying product liability cases and proactively take aggressive measures to ensure that OSI is or 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. However, that can open the door to the admission of OSI evidence.

Listen as our authoritative panel of products liability counsel for both plaintiffs and the defense discusses strategies for handling OSI evidence and admitting favorable evidence on product safety, as well as 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.



  1. Strategies regarding the admission or exclusion 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. The basis for the admissibility of evidence regarding the absence of OSIs
  3. Counseling clients to establish solid recordkeeping procedures


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is OSI, and why is it important for the trial or appeal in product liability cases?
  • How can product liability counsel use favorable evidence of OSI or the 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?


Abrams, Rachel
Rachel Abrams

Levin Simes Abrams

Ms. Abrams is involved in the firm's product liability and mass tort cases, involving consumer fraud and false...  |  Read More

Edwards, Randy
Randy Edwards, Esq.

Cochran & Edwards

Mr. Edwards is a trial lawyer and primarily handles business litigation, RICO, personal injury and wrongful death and...  |  Read More

Perkins, Brian
Brian J. Perkins

Of Counsel
Levin Simes Abrams

Mr. Perkins represents plaintiffs with a concentration in complex pharmaceutical and medical device mass torts,...  |  Read More

Piland, Paul
Paul A. Piland

Cochran & Edwards

Mr. Piland is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer. He focuses his practice on complex business and commercial...  |  Read More

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