Product Liability


Members of our product liability practice have significant expertise and experience in the defense of product liability claims. The lawyers in this area have represented manufacturers of many types of machines, devices, and products, including power plant components, heavy equipment, industrial systems and consumer goods, as well as product designers, distributors, and retailers, in product liability actions.

We help clients defend product liability claims in state and federal courts nationwide ranging from individual actions to major class actions. This challenging area of the law requires continual analysis and extension of defenses available to manufacturers of products. The lawyers who practice in this area remain current in addressing the issues that arise in products liability cases, including the following:

  • Claims based on defective design or defective manufacture of a product;
  • Claims based on inadequate warning or failure to warn (including original warnings and post-marketing warnings), including claims addressing the content and delivery of the warning; and
  • Theories of defense available to manufacturers of products, including definition of a product, assumption of risk, substantial alteration of the product, the open and obvious condition of the product, “state of the art” and unforeseeable misuse of the product.

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Andrew Lehmkuhl as an Associate in its Product Liability Practice Group. Lehmkuhl joins Ulmer’s Cincinnati office where he will focus on product liability litigation and the defense of pharmaceutical, biologic, medical device, dietary supplement, and mass and toxic tort...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that the Cleveland Jewish News has named Associate Michael Davis Hoenig to its 2019 list of “18 Difference Makers,” which honors and celebrates individuals making invaluable contributions for the betterment of Northeast Ohio’s Jewish community. The “18 Difference Makers” awards were created to recognize...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Associate Michael Davis Hoenig has joined the Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Cleveland regional office, which serves Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. The ADL is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and threats to our democracy, including cyber hate, bullying, bias in...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that Associate Michelle M. Thompson has been selected to the 2019 class of Forty Under 40 by the Dayton Business Journal. The individuals recognized in this select group are considered the region’s brightest young business leaders who are making a difference in their professions...

Ulmer & Berne LLP continues to grow its Product Liability Practice Group with the addition of four talented associates – Elaine M. Stoll, Michelle M. Thompson, Kaeanna K. Wood, and Mengxue Xie. Stoll, Thompson, and Wood join the group in the firm’s Cincinnati office, while Xie is based in the firm’s Cleveland office. “We’re...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that 11 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized by Cincy Magazine as Cincy Leading Lawyers. Attorneys selected as Cincy Leading Lawyers are considered to be the best in the Tristate area. Members of Greater Cincinnati’s legal community nominate their colleagues each...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that Partner Joseph P. Thomas will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 from the Chase Alumni Association of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. “Joe has an incredible ability to defend our clients in matters that are complex...

Paul Harris and Joshua Klarfeld Recognized Among Nation’s Best Up-And-Coming Litigators  Ulmer & Berne LLP proudly announces that two of its partners, Paul R. Harris and Joshua A. Klarfeld, have been named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List 2018.” This marks the second year in a row that...

Ulmer & Berne LLP congratulates Associate Georgia Hatzis, who was recently named as a Greek America Foundation “Forty Under 40” honoree. The distinction is bestowed biannually to accomplished North Americans of Greek descent, age 40 and under, who have both excelled in their professional endeavors and demonstrated care and concern for...

Ulmer & Berne LLP partner Frances Floriano Goins was named to the Benchmark Top 250 Women in Litigation. Ulmer partners Paul R. Harris and Joshua A. Klarfeld were included in Benchmark’s Under 40 Hot List 2017. Individual recognition for Goins, Harris, and Klarfeld comes on the heels of Ulmer’s department-wide...

Cincinnati-based counsel Nathan A. Schachtman co-authored an article focusing the science behind successfully defending clients in talcum powder trials. An excerpt from the article, along with links to the full Law360 piece, appear below. Presenting The Science Is Key In Talc Trials From Law360 By Nathan Schachtman and David Schwartz “Establishing a rigorous...

Ulmer & Berne is ranked in 39 categories in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 16 categories. Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law...

Ulmer & Berne announces that six of the firm’s partners have been recognized in the 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation as “State Litigation Stars,” a designation given to those individuals who were recommended consistently as reputable and effective litigators by clients and peers. The following Ulmer & Berne attorneys were...

Ulmer & Berne announces that Megan B. Gramke, a partner based in the firm’s Cincinnati office, has been appointed to the Advisory Board for Portaluca. She will serve a three-year term. Portaluca (formerly 4th Street Boutique) is a sophisticated resale boutique that sells women’s new and gently used clothing, and...

Ulmer & Berne LLP announces that four of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation as “State Litigation Stars.” The following Ulmer & Berne attorneys were selected in their jurisdictions: Frances Floriano Goins – State Litigation Star-Cleveland Jeffrey F. Peck – State Litigation Star-Cincinnati...

“Michael Nathan Ungar | Ulmer & Berne LLP” Cleveland Jewish News January 15, 2015 Perennial Super Lawyer Michael Nathan Ungar considers settlement of a dispute embroiling Case Western University among his most memorable cases of 2014. Read the full article »

Ulmer & Berne LLP is ranked in 40 categories in the 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ highest ranking in 23 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 17 categories. Ulmer & Berne achieved a “Metropolitan Tier...

Ulmer & Berne LLP has been ranked within the top 10 percent of all law firms by The BTI Consulting Group, one of the nation’s leading legal industry research firms, in their recently published 2015 BTI Litigation Outlook report. The firm was selected as a “Litigation Powerhouse” and is named...

Ulmer & Berne LLP was named 2014 Ohio Firm of the Year by Benchmark Litigation at the second annual Benchmark Litigation US Awards held at the Essex Hotel in New York City on January 29, 2014. The US Benchmark Awards were based on a six-month research period involving extensive interviews...

Representative Experience

  • Secured reversal in Ohio Supreme Court of trial court’s certification of class action in OxyContin litigation.
  • Secured dismissal of several product liability lawsuits involving asbestos containing products in Madison County, Illinois.
  • Currently serving as national counsel for four companies in multidistrict litigation involving dietary supplements containing ephedra currently pending in the Southern District of New York. Appointed to Defendants’ Steering Committee for MDL and have primary responsibility for Daubert hearing and coordination of defense effort relative to experts and causation issues.
  • Serving as national counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in multidistrict litigation pending in the District of Arkansas and state coordinated proceedings involving claims arising from use of hormone replacement therapy products. Appointed to Defendants Steering Committee for MDL.
  • Served as national counsel for welding rod distributor in welding rod product liability litigation. To date, have succeeded in having company summarily dismissed from more than 17,000 cases in nearly two dozen states, including the multi-district litigation pending in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Secured dismissal of welding rod product liability claim brought by more than 3,200 plaintiffs in state court in West Virginia.
  • Secured dismissal of $40 million product liability action arising out of an explosion at a data center in Salt Lake City, allegedly caused by onsite computer systems.
  • Successfully defended product liability action involving heat wraps for one of the world’s largest consumer products manufacturers.
  • Secured summary judgment in trial court in case involving allegations that ingestion of prescription drug caused father to murder two-year-old son. The trial court’s decision was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. This case attracted national attention, including a story on the CBS News program “48 Hours”.
  • National counsel for multiple pharmaceutical companies for their cases involving claims arising from use of anti-depressant drugs. Secured dismissal of claims against clients on a number of occasions during early part of proceedings as a result of thorough fact investigation and technical expertise.