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Torts and Courts: Managing a Product Liability Crisis

Originally Published MX January/February 2005


Bad things happen to good companies.
They need not destroy their financial health.

Kevin M. Quinley

Litigation disasters can befall all types of medical and life-sciences companies today. Medical innovations that bring new therapies to patients sometimes create new risks of product liability claims as well. Ten years ago, few would have guessed that we would now aim lasers at our eyes to improve vision or inject botulism toxin into our faces to smooth out wrinkles. Technologies like these may be laying landmines whose eventual explosion aggressive lawyers can exploit.

Mass-tort and class-action lawsuits are the legal contests du jour. Medical device firms can easily find themselves in the crosshairs of plaintiff attorney gun sights, targets of a well- organized personal-injury bar. These days, the tort and litigation climate holds the prospect of heavy weather for device companies.

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