Product Liability

Tort litigation against businesses continues to escalate at unprecedented rates. Product manufacturers and distributors will find no reprieve from this trend, as a 2009 study commissioned by the Defense Research Institute identified products liability as the leading growth area in tort litigation.

And Alabama is unique. Products liability cases in Alabama are based on the Alabama Extended Manufacturer’s Liability Doctrine as promulgated in the cases of Casrell v. Altec and Atkins v. American Motors Corporation and is unique to the State of Alabama.

The attorneys of Christian & Small assume that every case will go to trial, and we prepare the defense of our cases in that way. With that approach, Christian & Small has amassed a record of successfully defending product manufacturers and distributors representing various industries. Our trial-oriented approach has taken us to the four corners of Alabama, where we have successfully tried numerous high-stakes, complex products liability cases in some of the state’s most notorious venues. In fact, clients have called on Christian & Small on the eve of trial to take over cases that other firms were handling. Our lawyers often heed the call to appeal a products liability case following an unsuccessful outcome achieved by another firm at the trial level.

While products liability litigation continues to intensify, Christian & Small understands that the efficiency of defending its clients is paramount. As a result, many products liability cases can and should be resolved before trial. Christian & Small’s willingness to take cases to trial, coupled with our wealth of trial experience, allows us to routinely achieve successful pre-trial resolution through the cost-effective development of critical facts.

Our products liability lawyers have represented manufacturers, insurance companies, distributors and retailers in both individual and large, sophisticated cases involving varied products, such as:

  • ladders
  • hydraulic transfer cars
  • all terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • motorcycles
  • kerosene heaters
  • automobiles
  • medical devices
  • blow mold machines
  • diet drugs
  • tractors
  • extruders
  • underground mining equipment
  • handguns
  • all forms of industrial equipment
  • aircraft components
  • mobile cranes
  • building materials
  • overhead cranes
  • chemicals
  • pharmaceuticals
  • commercial and consumer lawn equipment
  • PVC pipe
  • commercial electrical regulators
  • power tools
  • commercial HVAC systems
  • televisions
  • concrete anchor lifting systems
  • scaffolds
Representative Matters
  • Defended international manufacturer of steel fabricating system in federal court for multi-million dollar property damage claim arising out of massive molten steel spill and involving design defect claims. Obtained summary judgment in favor of system manufacturer.
  • Defended domestic mobile, all-terrain crane manufacturer in wrongful death case in state court involving claims of design defect. Obtained summary judgment in favor of crane manufacturer. Alabama State Supreme Court subsequently affirmed the decision.
  • Obtained defense verdict in state court wrongful death case involving design defect and failure to warn claims against foreign agricultural tractor manufacturer.