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risk management


Risk Management

Product Design and Manufacturing Evaluations

  • We review and audit product designs from a legal perspective during the development stage and after products are in the field. We also evaluate, in consultation with engineers, the risks, utility, and safety of products, and whether they comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  • We provide checklists for designing or redesigning products. We counsel on design changes and additional safety features to help limit liability.
  • We conduct manufacturing audits and implement quality control and recordkeeping practices during manufacturing. This demonstrates that products passed internal inspections and met intended specifications.
  • We train and educate design and manufacturing personnel on best practices to limit product liability exposure.
  • We counsel clients on potential liability when their products are used with other components or products.
  • We advise on machine guarding, lockout/tagout and OSHA issues, and electrical, mechanical, fire safety, and shock hazards.
  • We have significant relationships with world-renowned experts and industry organizations. We monitor the state of the art and competing products constantly to improve the safety of our clients’ products.

Product Literature, Web Site and Marketing Materials Review

  • We review and draft product warnings, instruction manuals, and service bulletins to ensure that they provide legal protection and comply with standards and regulations.
  • We review and draft product warranties, disclaimers, shipping documents, and other contractual provisions to limit or transfer liability where appropriate and as permitted by law.
  • We review and create advertising, sales, and marketing materials and web sites and other electronic communications so that our clients’ products are marketed and sold in a manner that limits liability.
  • We train sales and management personnel so that they do not oversell products or make unintended representations or warranties that expose the company to liability.
  • We draft forms for the repair and service of products. We also train service technicians on proper documentation of repairs and service and on reporting safety issues with products in the field.

Contract Review and Risk Transfer Options

  • We draft contract language to protect clients from product liability and warranty claims and to transfer risks to third parties. This includes limited warranties, disclaimers, indemnity provisions, and outsourcing, licensing, supplier, and distribution agreements.
  • We audit our clients’ contracts and procedures to determine the extent to which they have effectively limited their contractual liability.
  • We train sales and purchasing personnel on “battle of the forms” issues and provide practical advice on steps to ensure that the company’s contractual and legal interests are protected.
  • We advise our clients about contractual risks and liability during the due diligence process in purchasing or selling a business and in mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.

Insurance Coverage and Policy Review

  • We audit our clients’ insurance programs from top to bottom. We counsel them on their uninsured or underinsured risks and work with them, their broker, and the insurance market to procure comprehensive coverage for product liability, property damage, bodily injury, and loss of income claims.
  • We counsel clients on their deductibles or self-insured retentions, and on the levels and types of coverage that are necessary, including completed operations, product liability, and recall coverage. We also help clients understand the terms and conditions of their insurance policies.
  • We assist clients with insurance claims. We make sure that insurers respond to claims promptly. We help our clients obtain defense and indemnification coverage and allocate claims to appropriate policy periods.
  • We develop risk management programs for our clients’ products and operations. Our clients present these programs to the insurance market to reduce their premiums and obtain the best possible coverage.
  • We review our clients’ insurance policies and contracts with contractors, vendors, and suppliers to ensure that our clients are named as additional insureds and that all contracting parties have adequate insurance and sufficient financial assets to cover claims.

Recordkeeping, Document Management and Discovery Planning

  • We help our clients document the safety of their design and manufacturing processes. If a claim or lawsuit arises, this documentation may be used to prove that they properly designed and manufactured their products.
  • We develop document organization, management, and retention plans, including plans for electronic communications and e-mails. We also develop procedures to track and respond to customer complaints.
  • We conduct employee training sessions on smart writing, proper use of e-mails, how to avoid creating “smoking gun” documents, and deposition preparation. We also train employees to be prepared for issues that may arise in litigation.
  • We have extensive experience with electronic discovery. We work with IT departments to identify electronic data that must be preserved and methods for retrieving it quickly and easily in the event of litigation.

Crisis Response and Accident Investigation

  • We handle accident investigations, product recalls, CPSC reporting and corrective action plans, OSHA citations and enforcement actions, product retrof its and post-sale warnings, and responses to customer complaints.
  • We have emergency response teams in place to serve our clients. Our teams are on call 24 hours a day and can be dispatched to an accident site immediately. We help bring situations under control and establish productive working relationships with investigatory agencies, insurance companies, legal claimants, and employees.
  • We develop crisis response and accident investigation procedures and checklists to prepare companies to respond to emergencies promptly and appropriately. We ensure that proper personnel are directing investigations and that communications are protected by the attorney-client privilege where appropriate.
  • We offer strategic support in dealing with the media in high-profile cases so that clients can avoid adverse publicity and corporate crisis.
  • We train employees on best practices to follow when conducting internal investigations or responding to a catastrophic accident in order to limit exposure to liability.