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Life Sciences - Product Liability

We excel at helping life sciences clients take proactive measures to minimize the risks of product liability litigation and if necessary, to succeed in the courtroom. Chambers USA (2011) ranked Kaye Scholer in the top tier for Product Liability Litigation: “We value the team's ability to think outside the box. The lawyers work in thoughtful and creative ways to address our needs," sources say. Both Chambers USA (2008) and The American Lawyer (2006) named Kaye Scholer as having the best product liability practice in the United States. In ranking Kaye Scholer #1 in 2008, Chambers noted that clients praise the firm for its “impressive depth of quality attorneys.” In ranking Kaye Scholer #1 in 2006, The American Lawyer lauded the firm’s “unparalleled expertise in cutting-edge product liability defense work” in “high stakes, complex” mass tort litigation, which can “escalate rapidly to risk-the-company proportions.” Chambers also ranked Kaye Scholer in the top tier in 2007: “This New York-driven outfit is marked by its sweeping strategic vision, which eschews a ‘color by number’ approach in favor of a creative, case-by-case analysis of the problem at hand.” Legal 500 ranked Kaye Scholer in the top tier for Pharmaceutical Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense in both 2007 and 2008: “Clients repeatedly judge the firm to be ‘absolutely top-flight’, particularly for complex MDL. Doubtless, this is in large part because the ‘practice works well with local counsel from all parts of the country... the group runs a very good team.’”

Trials and Trial Strategy

The successful defense of product liability litigation requires counsel who are ready, willing and able to try cases. We are nationally recognized for our depth of trial talent, with a proven track record of trial success in product liability litigation.

Kaye Scholer, as both trial counsel and as national counsel supervising other trial lawyers, has achieved an outstanding track record in pharmaceutical/medical device product liability trials.

Reducing Exposure at the Pre-Trial Stage

According to The American Lawyer: “Narrowing down issues [before trial] has been an essential element of Kaye Scholer’s success.” The firm’s work in the ProteGen® Sling litigation for Boston Scientific was cited: “Kaye Scholer did it all. [Plaintiffs’] strategy was to confuse and overwhelm. They couldn’t do that because of how good [Kaye Scholer] was in discovery.” The American Lawyer also cited the firm’s experience in the Rezulin® litigation, where its lawyers won pretrial rulings that “significantly reduced the plaintiffs’ arsenal.”

Creative End Game Solutions

Kaye Scholer has been at the forefront of creative solutions to wrap up product liability and mass tort litigations, including a worldwide class action settlement involving more than 50,000 claimants, and in another case, the simultaneous settlement of 35,000 claimants represented by 23 plaintiffs’ firms. Kaye Scholer also has designed innovative business solutions to third-party payor litigation.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Because high-stakes litigation calls for the seamless coordination of cases filed across the country and around the world, Kaye Scholer strongly believes in “partnering” with both the client and other law firms. We take full advantage of the talents of other lawyers and work hard to ensure that co-counsel and local counsel are fully engaged as cooperative participants in all matters. According to The American Lawyer: “[Kaye Scholer] lawyers make an effort to ensure that co-counsel and local counsel participate as full team members — a cooperative approach that pleases clients.”

Product Liability Counseling/Risk Mitigation

In the medical device industry there are two certainties: All devices have potential complications and some patients will pursue litigation. Acknowledging in advance the likelihood of litigation can help a company take proactive measures to minimize the risks. Kaye Scholer attorneys are experienced in product liability counseling regarding measures which can be taken in a company’s most vulnerable areas: promotion and marketing, labeling, and adverse event reporting. We also conduct product liability risk assessments for proposed acquisitions or product extensions.

Cost Containment

Kaye Scholer is adept at cost containment, using various creative methods such as flat fees, blended rates, outsourcing, pre-approved budgets with monthly tracking and analysis, task-based billing entries, and attention to client “cost-benefit” when settlement opportunities arise. For large litigations, Kaye Scholer offers national, regional and/or trial budget modeling; national, regional, and/or trial budget tracking; and vendor cost containment. In 2007, Legal 500 stated that “[Kaye Scholer] provides all potential clients with a budgeting model to set out likely fee structures at the start of the process. The drive to improve value has clearly impressed the market: in the words of one client, ‘services, including legal skill and expertise, client attentiveness, and cost-effectiveness all exceed expectations.’”

Top Ranked Chambers USA 2011 Leading Firm

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