Most civil cases are devoted to the particular facts and circumstances of that case, producing an outcome that affects only the parties to that litigation. But certain matters, especially in the products liability arena, lend themselves to the potential for a much wider impact, producing change that can save lives, prevent catastrophic injuries, and affect entire industries and thousands of consumers. In every products liability case that we handle, we consider whether it has the potential for a “win-win,” where we can achieve a just result for our client, while also protecting innocent people from falling victim to preventable tragedies. If you have a products liability practice, we respectfully offer some suggestions for how to move forward in your cases to achieve not only a result for your client, but also a broader impact.
Evaluate how the case can be an instrument for change. Large-scale positive change can take on many forms, including product recalls, safer product designs, the enactment of new laws and regulations, and campaigns to raise consumer awareness of a hazard. It is incumbent upon the attorney to assess what type of change the case can bring. In many cases, we advise clients to immediately report injuries to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) through the saferproducts.gov website. This allows for the CPSC to collect data, which can often lead to recalls of defective and dangerous products.