Hollingsworth LLP is widely recognized as one of the country's foremost toxic torts and products liability defense firms. We have demonstrated expertise in trying such cases on behalf of manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, premises owners, waste generators, and other corporations. We appear in federal, state, and administrative tribunals, and we have represented our clients in some of the leading appeals court cases involving toxics and products issues.
We serve as national trial counsel for the defense of such cases involving multiple litigation. With the help of contacts from our national network of local counsel and experts, we have advanced our clients' most sophisticated and technical defenses into all parts of the country. Our business requires that we maintain an extraordinarily current appreciation of developments and trends in toxics and products liability law nationwide.
Diverse, Significant Representations
The Firm's attorneys defend individual lawsuits, serial litigations, mass tort claims, and class actions alleging myriad personal injuries, property damage, and economic harm in connection with consumer product design, manufacture, and warnings; and contamination from chemical, radioactive, and other hazardous substances. Because we are a litigation firm, we handle cases from the earliest pre-trial and investigative stages (including concurrent federal and/or state agency administrative, civil, and criminal investigations) through trial and through resolution on appeal. We also track cases of interest for our clients' amicus curiae participation, and we draft and coordinate amicus curiae filings on behalf of our clients.
These cases involve consumer products, alcohol, petroleum products and by-products, pesticides, solvents, detergents, radioactive materials, herbicides, asbestos-containing products, hazardous wastes, military hardware, "sick buildings," and various chemicals, and chemical products and their feed stocks and intermediates. (Our specialized work with pharmaceutical products and medical devices is separately described.) These cases also regularly include novel or emerging plaintiffs' theories in areas such as medical monitoring, second- or third-generation injury claims, synergistic interactions, hazardous substance migration, and disease "syndromes."
Working closely with world-class experts, we defend with a strongly science-based motions and trial practice, especially where plaintiffs allege that an occupational, environmental, or residential exposure (from air, property or groundwater contamination) caused chronic disease or sub-clinical injury. We have litigated several of the most significant pre- and post-Daubert toxics cases, and we are relentless in our attack on junk science proponents who are willing to associate injury with exposure even to minuscule amounts of alleged toxins. Beginning with our successful trial defense of some of the earliest litigated toxic tort cases, the Firm has developed particular expertise and has been particularly successful against plaintiffs alleging chemical carcinogenicity, leukemogenicity, immunosuppression, and other latent toxicities. See, e.g., Schudel v. General Elec. Co., 120 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 1997) (alleged solvent encephalopathy and detergent-induced Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1094 (1998); Conde v. Velsicol Chem. Corp., 24 F.3d 809 (6th Cir. 1994), aff'g 804 F. Supp. 2d 972 (S.D. Ohio 1992) (alleged immunotoxicity and carcinogenicity of pesticides).
Litigation Planning and Associated Regulatory Counseling
We are able to offer broad assistance to our clients as they develop business strategies that minimize products liability and toxic tort exposure. For example, we have worked with our clients to ensure worldwide insurance coverage and to develop worldwide record retention programs. We screen product bulletins, labeling, distribution agreements, and media releases. We have helped our clients confront several national product recalls and corrective action programs, product boycotts, product bans, product modifications, and major published critiques. We also have vast experience with sensitive document control. As appropriate to the client's needs, we take advantage of the Firm's impressive litigation-support technology and staff.
Our toxics and products liability work also involves the presentation of our clients' positions at U.S. Congressional and state legislative proceedings and related counseling on pending and threatened legislation. Our work includes alleged toxic exposures associated with the performance of government contracts — for example, alleged exposures to asbestos-containing products, pesticides and defoliants (Agent Orange) arising out of war contracts and alleged exposures to medical sterilants at a federal hospital — and extends as well into white-collar criminal defense.
Federal Agency Proceedings
We have handled some of the largest matters before the Consumer Product Safety Commission, including successfully representing one of the major manufacturers of plastic pipe vent in connection with a national corrective action program involving mid-efficiency furnaces and boilers that resolved pending enforcement and class actions..
Drawing on the Firm's considerable complementary expertise in Environmental law, we also have handled extensive proceedings before federal and state agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. We regularly advise our clients, many of which are members of heavily regulated industries, with respect to their dealings with governmental agencies and officials, especially as related to potential or actual tort liability.
Annual Seminar on Complex Litigation Defense
The Firm hosts an Annual Seminar, now in its 29th year. Leading defense practitioners share cutting-edge legal theories and strategies developed through years of experience successfully defending high-stakes cases in complex litigation involving, among other things, pharmaceutical, medical device, and chemical products, and environmental torts.