Tort & Product Liability

Practice Contacts

Jeffrey A. Swedo
Office Managing Partner

Patricia Lee-Gulley
Partner

Tort & Product Liability

As the law and technology constantly evolve, tort and product liability defense remains one of the most complex and challenging areas of litigation. Gordon & Rees's national Tort and Product Liability Practice Group has consistently met and exceeded these challenges with a passionate and experienced team of lawyers.

In representing our clients throughout the country, the Tort and Product Liability Practice Group manages a broad spectrum of cases including products liability, premises liability, and major trucking/transportation claims, security/law enforcement defense matters, food and beverage contamination litigation, construction site accidents and sports/recreational injuries. The group also routinely handles complex civil litigation involving catastrophic injury, multi-party litigation and class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals and businesses.

Our attorneys strive to provide the highest quality of legal representation in all matters in the most cost-efficient manner.

Client Counseling

An important service Gordon & Rees provides to its clients is counseling on a host of tort and product related issues. Additionally, we provide seminars to our clients on current trends in the law in an attempt to educate and protect our clients from potential lawsuits. We also provide evaluations of pre-litigation claims, inspect potentially dangerous conditions and render client-specific legal opinions on all issues of concern.

Early Assessment

For those matters that result in litigation, the diverse nature of the group's national practice allows us to tailor the scope of our representation to the nature and complexity of each case. The firm makes every effort to evaluate the potential exposure in each case as early as possible and to formulate an appropriate strategy so that we can achieve the best results possible. Gordon & Rees has successfully resolved many claims by early motion practice, including demurrers and motions for summary judgment. Our attorneys zealously advocate early settlement where advantageous to our clients, and utilize alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. The Tort and Product Liability Practice Group has extensive trial experience, with an impressive record of success. The firm also has significant appellate practice experience.

Cost Control Practices

The Tort and Product Liability Practice Group consists of proven trial attorneys who know how to achieve the best result in the most economical manner. Gordon & Rees employs strict cost control practices to keep our defense costs competitive. Our Law & Motion inter-office database and our task-based billing system permit us to provide excellent representation at minimal expense. The firm's commitment to providing clients with superior legal representation in a cost effective manner is the primary reason why Gordon & Rees has one of the fastest growing, and most highly regarded tort defense practices in the U.S.

Products Liability

Gordon & Rees's Products Liability Practice Group represents manufacturers nationwide in a variety of products liability cases. Our representation of companies in multiple industries in the field of products liability include defending chemical companies, automotive industry manufacturers, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, machine manufacturers, amusement park ride manufacturers, helicopter manufacturers and numerous other consumer product manufacturers.

A deep understanding of the technical and scientific theories upon which many of these products liability cases are based allows Gordon & Rees attorneys to develop the most effective defense. Our lawyers include engineers, toxicologists, epidemiologists and OSHA Inspectors. Such real world extensive skill allows us to focus and identify key information and allows for effective presentation to juries and judges alike. Our trial attorneys aggressively litigate claims locally, and in mass-tort litigation.

Our experience enables us to help clients avert litigation by providing effective counsel on the liability aspects of designing, testing, manufacturing and marketing new products, complete with appropriate warning material. We also assist our clients in the review of product warnings, pre-litigation claims, use instructions and owner's manuals.

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Premises Liability Practice Group

Gordon & Rees is the counsel of choice for the largest and most sophisticated property owners and managers throughout the country. In representing our clients, Gordon & Rees defends a wide array of premises liability claims, ranging from slip and falls, to shootings, rapes and murders.

Gordon & Rees also does work for many of the largest and most respected private security companies. Our attorneys aggressively litigate the claims, and frequently succeed in obtaining the summary dismissal of such suits well in advance of trial.

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Catastrophic Injury Practice Group

Gordon & Rees Tort defense attorneys have significant experience representing businesses and individuals in wrongful death, brain injury, paralysis and other serious personal injury claims. Our lawyers have tried numerous cases to verdict and also have extensive appellate experience relative to these types of claims.

Gordon & Rees attorneys aggressively litigate catastrophic injury claims, and frequently succeed in obtaining the summary dismissal of such suits well in advance of trial. As with most litigation, our attorneys strive to locate and work with the most appropriate and qualified expert witnesses to address the complex issues involved in these cases.

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Private Security Industry Practice Group

Gordon & Rees has extensive experience in representing Security Companies over the past 20 years. Chuck Custer heads our Security Practice Group and is also the head of the Tort Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Custer, whose father was a Los Angeles County Sheriff for several decades, has a great deal of experience representing security companies and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Custer has an undergraduate degree in engineering from UCLA and obtained his Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law in 1986. He has extensive trial experience and also has successfully mediated and arbitrated literally hundreds of cases.

Gordon & Rees represents several of the most well-known private security companies who are on the front lines in insuring the safety of customers, tenants and guests, including Personal Protective Services, Inc., King Security, Inc., Monument Security & Investigations, Inc., Northstar Security, D.N. Security, and Elite Show Services, Inc. Due to the limited resources of our local governments, security and police protection is increasingly becoming a private undertaking, with a concomitant exposure to liability when unfortunate accidents or injuries occur. With this in mind, Gordon & Rees counsels its security clients on loss prevention in efforts to avoid litigation, and should a claim be filed, defending against such actions.

Gordon & Rees can provide services to security companies with regard to litigation needs, employment matters, business/contract matters and general corporate issues.

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Food and Beverage Product Liability Practice

Gordon & Rees has more than two decades of experience in food- and beverage-borne pathogen outbreaks and litigation, representing and advising food and beverage manufacturers, processors, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, hotels, and similar establishments. We have been retained as regional and national coordinating counsel (both trial and settlement), as well as local counsel, in multi-party litigation involving a wide range of FDA-regulated products, including food and beverage products, dietary supplements, appetite suppressants, orthopedic implants, breast implants, latex gloves, ophthalmic devices, and a comprehensive range of pharmaceutical products.

Gordon & Rees is one of 14 members, and the only law firm member, of the Executive Educational Advisory Committee of the Food Safety & Security Summit, which is a national cross-industry organization representing food and beverage safety, security and supply-chain disciplines. Our role includes creating and leading it's annual workshop on establishing successful food liability programs. In addition, two partners in the Food and Beverage Product Liability Practice were raised in agricultural communities in California's Central Valley and in the Kansas plains, and they lead the firm's representation of a wide range of local, regional, and national clients in the food, beverage, and agriculture industries.

The firm regularly defends domestic and foreign food and beverage companies in product liability and contamination litigation, as well as provides counseling on claims prevention, insurance, crisis management, regulatory compliance, and related issues. For example, in food and beverage contamination-related tort and product liability litigation, Gordon & Rees lawyers recently served as National Coordinating Counsel in litigation involving E. Coli outbreaks in spinach and juice, and Salmonella in spices, as well as serving as lead counsel for a global tomato processing company in government investigations and civil class actions. On behalf of this client, we handled specific cases venued in California as part of the MDL, and also served as National Coordinating Defense Counsel for product liability litigation and government investigations of the company's manufacturing, distribution and sales practices.

The firm's extensive skill goes well beyond representation in litigation and includes protecting client' vital business interests in response to an outbreak. Gordon & Rees has worked closely with media specialists, insurance professionals, trade organizations, federal and state regulatory agencies and legislative committees in representing food and beverage businesses facing national outbreaks.

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*Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct 7.4 and 7.4A prohibit a lawyer admitted to practice in Connecticut from stating or implying that he or she is a specialist in a particular field of law unless that lawyer is currently certified as a specialist in that particular field of law by a board or other entity which is approved by the Rules Committee of the Connecticut Superior Court. Therefore, to the extent that any content of this page states or implies that any of Gordon & Rees LLP's Connecticut lawyers have certain "expertise," unless a particular lawyer's biography indicates a particular certification, that word shall mean only that the lawyer has extensive experience in that area and/or focuses or concentrates his or her practice in that area.

Tort & Product Liability Fast Facts

  • 168 Attorneys
  • Complex civil litigation involving catastrophic injury, multi-party litigation, mass tort litigation, and class action lawsuits.
  • Successfully resolve claims by early motion practice, including demurrers and motions for summary judgment.
  • 24/7 Rapid Response Team
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