Home Industries Consumer Products
Goldberg Segalla is proud to serve as national counsel for industry-leading manufacturers of children’s products, appliances, fans and heaters, electronic devices, and other consumer products, providing continuous, daily assistance to these clients in dealings with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other regulatory bodies as well as representation and defense in a wide range of national, regional, and local litigation and a variety of corporate, employment, and transactional matters.
Because of our deep experience in the industry, clients call upon us to provide top-to-bottom review of employment policies; guide them in developing worksite safety standards and responding to OSHA investigations and citations; analyze intellectual property portfolios and develop trade secret protections; assess insurance coverage and exposures; assess industry-specific cyber risks and advise on cyber-incident response; provide guidance corporate and transactional guidance concerning entity formation, licensing, mergers, acquisitions, asset acquisitions, and other transactions; and develop essential policies and procedures that affect day-to-day business operations, including policies regarding document retention and destruction.
Leadership in Action
Goldberg Segalla works tirelessly to advance the development of caselaw favorable to the manufacturing industry. We accomplish this through consistently achieving favorable results for our clients in a broad array of litigation—even in the country’s toughest, most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions.
We also contribute extensively to judicial and tort reform efforts. We actively and proudly encourage these efforts through our support of, and membership in, organizations such as Lawyers for Civil Justice and the Defense Research Institute. Our lawyers also prepare and submit amicus briefs on behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Counsel (PLAC).
In fact, our team is proud to have six members of the PLAC, a highly selective group of leading product manufacturers and the most elite product liability defense counsels operating in the U.S. and abroad. Induction into the PLAC requires swearing an oath never to represent a party against a manufacturer.
We also have practical experience on top of our legal abilities. A small sampling of the experience our team members obtained outside their legal careers includes more than a decade working as an industrial hygienist advising large companies on regulatory issues related to occupational exposure, a previous career designing air and spacecraft wing and fuselage structures as an aerospace engineer, and working in global supply chain logistics and freight management.
Our team also includes leaders and members in the Defense Research Institute, the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and other national and international groups that share our dedication to manufacturing.
Our clients trust the attorneys in our dedicated Consumer Product Regulation practice to provide informed, proactive, and far-sighted counsel regarding products and services that are monitored by an array of federal, state, and international regulations. Whether advising on compliance issues, appearing before regulatory authorities, or responding to an inquiry, our attorneys focus on minimizing risk and maintaining positive working relationships with regulatory bodies. We provide daily counsel to manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and others on issues concerning products under the jurisdiction of federal safety agencies including CPSC, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA); represent numerous businesses in matters of cross-border and international trade; and provide clients with timely updates and analysis on ever-evolving state and federal regulations.
Our services include:
- Handling CPSC inquiries
- Negotiating and handling product recalls
- Safety and regulatory compliance management
- Counsel on product warnings and labels
- Crisis management
- Risk management and claims-handling
- Product liability litigation
- Class-action and mass-tort defense
- Responding to FOIA requests
Goldberg Segalla is recognized as a leader in product liability litigation and risk avoidance. Our product liability attorneys work together as a single integrated team, with the sole purpose of helping our clients win or avoid product liability disputes. We are committed to providing top-quality legal services in the most efficient manner possible. We understand that our clients often manage litigation at an international level, and must do so in a consistent and efficient manner. We therefore strictly comply with our clients’ case-handling and reporting guidelines so that we may meet and exceed our clients’ needs and expectations. Our clients include some of the best-known international manufacturers and retailers of a wide variety of products, including:
- All-terrain vehicles
- Chemical products
- Children’s products
- Consumer products
- Electrical products
- Fire and fire sprinkler products
- Heavy trucks
- Household appliances, electronics, and power tools
- Industrial machinery
- Medical devices
- Personal watercraft vehicles
- Pharmaceutical products
- Sports and recreational products
Our attorneys have successfully defended Fortune 500 companies in national and state-wide class actions, employing creative strategies to win early dismissal or claims and to defeat class certification on motion. Our combination of knowledge and regulatory issues coupled with extensive trial experience and keen understanding of media management makes us uniquely qualified to represent our client’s interests.
As a law firm originally founded by trial lawyers, Goldberg Segalla has tremendous depth and diverse experience handling the most complex and high-exposure litigation, trials, and other forms of dispute resolution. We have extensive experience litigating high-risk cases involving severe injuries and complex liability issues. Our Class Action Litigation team is skilled at the delicate and highly nuanced art of jury selection and presenting cases involving traumatic scenarios in such a way that they are judged on the facts and law, not the emotional connection sought by plaintiff’s attorneys―skills that have proven critical in achieving the best possible results for product manufacturers. We also coordinate media strategy with our clients in high profile cases and successfully minimize their impact.
- Helped a major U.S.-based children’s clothing supplier defeat a nationwide class action arising from the sale of certain garments that allegedly caused rashes and allergic reactions to sensitive children’s skin. Over 100 million garments were at issue and plaintiffs sought to certify a class of all purchasers, regardless of whether their children had suffered a rash, seeking the return of the full purchase price (totaling over $1 billion), plus other incidental costs. Goldberg Segalla was retained as national coordinating counsel for the client even before suit was filed. We coordinated the client’s response to the initial claims, retained leading experts, helped the client develop a response to media inquiries, coordinated the client’s CPSC reporting obligations, and with local counsel developed and implemented the entire litigation defense strategy. The federal court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to certify the class, essentially adopting the arguments raised in our briefs, including a relatively novel judicial standing argument.
- Defended a prominent sporting goods manufacturer in a New Jersey class action in which a composite barreled baseball bat marketed as having the bat performance factor compliant with children’s baseball league standards was later prohibited to be used by children in certain leagues. The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, holding that the vague and generalized claims in the plaintiffs’ amended complaint did not meet the pleading criteria outlined in the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
- Obtained dismissal of a class action against a fan manufacturer, alleging that manufacturer engaged in unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) and was unjustly enriched by selling fans with a known design defect that had caused fires due to an electrical failure in the fans’ motors. The manufacturer conducted a voluntary recall with the CPSC. The recall notice advised consumers to immediately stop using the product and to contact the company to receive a free power cord adaptor that would protect against fires. The plaintiff alleged that he would not have purchased the product if he had been aware of the defect, and that the recall remedy was not adequate. The plaintiff did not allege that he availed himself of the recall remedy or that any of the products he purchased manifested a defect. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the putative class-action complaint.
- Defended a food-processing company involving wrongful death and significant personal injury claims that a food-thickening agent was causally related to infants’ development of necrotizing enterocolitis. The case was accepted to a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York “Pilot Project” for matters that could not all be consolidated in an MDL, but that presented complex issues and involved cases in various other jurisdictions.
- Obtained the dismissal with prejudice of a putative class-action lawsuit brought against a product manufacturer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in which the plaintiff alleged that portable electric products manufactured by our client following two previously conducted voluntary recalls still contained the alleged design defect that led to the recalls. In all, the potential damages alleged could have totaled over $200 million for the replacement cost of more than 10 million products.
- Represented a tobacco company in a large number of claims by individual smokers, class actions by unions against the tobacco industry, and foreign government actions filed in the U.S. against the tobacco industry; represented these entities in all phases of litigation and as part of a substantial defense group comprised of counsel for the other major tobacco manufacturers.
We draw on our decades of collective experience handling commercial disputes of all sizes for product manufacturers and other clients in complex matters that often span a multitude of jurisdictions.
Our Commercial Litigation and Arbitration team is defined by federal and state litigation and courtroom experience matched with creative and collaborative cost-efficiency. Other hallmarks include:
- Bench strength across our national footprint, including in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania
- Collaboration with a team of corporate and transactional attorneys that are able to handle the corporate and transactional needs of start-up, mid-cap, and large companies in consumer products and other industries and on a nationwide basis
- Trademark, copyright, and registered patent attorneys
- Experience conducting internal investigations
- Experience in derivative claims litigation
- In-house e-discovery practice
Mindful of the costs and interruption to product manufacturers that litigation brings, Goldberg Segalla aims to avoid it whenever possible by employing creative and results-oriented pre-suit negotiations and pre-answer motions to resolve disputes before they become full-fledged litigations. However, when litigation becomes necessary, our seasoned litigators and trial attorneys utilize business-minded strategies designed to achieve our client’s desired outcome in the most effective and expeditious way possible.
Our Corporate Law and Transactions practice provides companies and organizations of all sizes with practical legal advice and transactional guidance to help them grow and excel. Many of our team members have decades of experience advising on a broad spectrum of matters and disputes, both in-house and as outside counsel. That means we handle each matter—whether closing an intricate transaction or providing day-to-day counseling—with an extraordinary appreciation for your constant corporate stressors; the demand to manage legal costs economically; and the very real impact of legal matters and choices on your organization, your daily operations, and your bottom line. We think about your business needs before our billable hours.
Attorneys on Goldberg Segalla’s view our representation of employers as a strategic partnership aimed at protecting the enterprise and its leaders while helping the organization advance its management philosophy and maintain its company culture. We understand the risks employers face, along with the pressures placed on management, because attorneys on this team have experienced them firsthand as in-house counsel and human resources officers at various companies in multiple industries.
Being a true strategic partner to employers means many things. Because of our extensive experience advising employers through good times as well as challenging ones, we are equipped to handle issues as they arise in real time.
On a given day, you may find our team engaged in activities like:
- Developing company-tailored employee handbooks, policies, and other standards that help employers reduce the risk of lawsuits
- Counseling managers and their teams on day-to-day personnel issues
- Actively helping companies to comply with the requirements of the ADA, FMLA, and state and local sick leave laws
- Advising clients on a wage-and-hour audit
- Guiding management through delicate collective bargaining agreement negotiations
- Defending companies and their supervisors against unlawful termination, discrimination, or harassment lawsuits
- Providing guidance and negotiating resolutions for a company facing ADA accessibility claims
- Running interactive workshops and training sessions on-site for management
Whether providing proactive counsel or vigorously defending an employer in litigation, arbitration, or an administrative action, we bring that business-judgment perspective to every matter—always with an eye toward preventing future conflicts or complications. Our ultimate goal for every product manufacturer is to reach cost-effective resolutions that make sense for their business now and into the future, so we work deliberately at every stage to reduce our clients’ legal expenses, case length, and settlement costs.
Goldberg Segalla’s Intellectual Property attorneys protect the ideas, innovations, inventions, imagery, and other IP assets that propel successful business ventures and create strong brands.
Co-chaired by two highly experienced U.S. patent attorneys, our intellectual property team draws from a broad range of Goldberg Segalla’s litigation and transactional practices, resulting in collective experience solving IP problems that involve a vast array of academic disciplines, cutting-edge innovations, and industry sectors. The GS IP team blends its members’ real-world work in scientific and high-tech disciplines with exceptional business acumen and deep experience handling patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, and other IP matters. The result is a tech-savvy and efficient team dedicated to helping clients develop practical business strategies that maximize the return on their investments and innovations.
When an idea becomes an invention and needs to be protected, the attorneys at Goldberg Segalla can help the inventors obtain the necessary patent protection anywhere in the world. When intellectual property assets require protection from infringement or proactive measures to mitigate risk, our team brings extensive experience litigating and trying complex patent, trademark, copyright, and commercial cases. Because we have the ability to communicate highly technical concepts effectively to courts, jurors, administrators, opposing counsel, and other parties, we are often able to negotiate creative and more efficient solutions to disputes. When that is not possible, this strengthens our ability to enforce our clients’ rights in litigation and other proceedings.
Built around a core of “hard IP” patent litigators, our practice also includes a deep bench of attorneys adept at handling “soft IP” matters. We handle everything from searches and registration to dilution claims, trademark and trade dress infringement litigation, copyright infringement litigation, false advertising claims, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, and other disputes.
Goldberg Segalla is home to one of the only nationwide teams dedicated to advising and representing clients through inquiries, citations, and litigation involving worksite safety and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Our superior value comes from our in-depth knowledge of OSHA regulations and safety and health compliance issues (and the safety profession as a whole) and our ability to aggressively litigate OSHA matters on behalf of employers nationwide and across multiple industries. This team includes attorneys with a dedicated focus on serving the manufacturing sector, leveraging hands-on experience with the dynamics, demands, and conditions, of a variety of manufacturing worksites.
The OSHA and Worksite Safety team integrates seamlessly with our other practice areas, allowing us to provide 360-degree counsel or defense tailored to a product manufacturer’s specific needs, to take an holistic approach to complex legal and business concerns, and to reduce legal spending in both the short and long term. We work closely with our firm’s Workers’ Compensation and Employment and Labor groups to help clients address any worksite injury, occupational disease, whistleblower retaliation, or other claims or issues that may arise, delivering the cost-efficiencies of a coordinated defense. We also tap attorneys across our national footprint with previous experience as in-house counsel, executives, or board members in our clients’ industries.
With a roster stacked with seasoned litigators and nationally recognized authorities in a number of critical legal disciplines, Goldberg Segalla’s General Liability practice brings exceptional strength and savvy to the defense of a wide range of liability claims. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience defending companies of all sizes in various industries in a broad spectrum of matters.
We pride ourselves on the aggressive and cost-efficient manner in which we defend all claims. Our trial record and commitment to early dispositive motions is our hallmark of success. In matters of liability, we employ creative settlement resolutions and resort to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) wherever possible.
Our capabilities include:
- Premises liability
- Property damage
- Negligent security claims
- Automobile liability
- Construction accidents
- Civil rights claims
The mission of Goldberg Segalla’s Workers’ Compensation group is to achieve significant and sustainable reductions to the overall expense of each client’s workers’ compensation program. Our commitment to this mission—and our success in efficient file handling as well as long-range strategic risk-management—has earned us a national reputation for exceeding our clients’ expectations and driving positive change in the practice of workers’ compensation law.
The hallmarks of our innovative practice model include:
- Individual attorney file ownership from conception to closure
- Cutting-edge, value-added programs that identify and neutralize risks and result in fast and efficient resolutions
- Partnering and communicating with each client not only to close individual files, but to develop long-term, comprehensive, and tailor-made improvements to their workers’ compensation programs
Meeting the Unique Challenges of Workers’ Compensation in the Manufacturing Sector
Because of our national reach and innovative approach, we maintain a particular focus on finding enterprise-wide and industry-wide solutions for our clients. This sustained attention has allowed us to develop a mastery of the unique demands of workers’ compensation in the manufacturing sector, from handling rapid-response on-site investigations to collaborating with colleagues across our practice groups to create tailored claims-closure and risk-reduction plans.
Equipped with this deep industry-specific experience, our attorneys have also pioneered value-added programs to address workers’ compensation litigation across entire industries, simplify and systematize knotty issues like Medicare Set-Asides, identify cost-saving and risk management opportunities at the intersection of workers’ compensation and employment decisions, and address major cultural forces like the opioid epidemic and the rise of legal cannabis in the workplace. These issues continue to have a massive impact on risk and workforce management in the manufacturing sector, and our Workers’ Compensation team takes pride in the results of our creative and collaborative efforts to address them.
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