ThemeVision LLC - Trial Consultants
 
       
 
 
         
     
   

  Product Liability

   Representative Experience

ThemeVision's trial consultants work with Fortune 500 product manufacturers and their national product counsel teams in defending product liability claims across the nation. In product liability defense, the importance of motions to exclude opposing experts cannot be overstated. Accordingly, ThemeVision's trial consultants sometimes use hearing simulation studies to empirically assess the effectiveness of Daubert hearing strategies.

In preparing for jury trials, ThemeVision's trial consultants recognize that product liability cases often hinge on causation and the complex expert testimony that typically surrounds the issue of causation. Therefore, one of ThemeVision's trial consultants' points of focus is understanding how jurors make causation determinations in particular cases and on developing strategies for overcoming problematic "common-sense causation" notions. ThemeVision's trial consultants employ a variety of social science methodologies (including focus groups, mock trials, jury simulation studies, telephone surveys, internet surveys, and other methods) to assist trial teams with developing effective product liability defense themes, arguments, demonstrative evidence, and jury selection strategies.

 
Medical Device: Orthopedic Implant Case- Maryland
Conducted a ThemeTesting® focus group study on behalf of the defendant medical device manufacturer in a state court case in Baltimore City, Maryland. The plaintiff claimed the manufacturer failed to warn about risks associated with its orthopedic implants. The results of the jury research helped the trial team develop and refine case themes, assess witness credibility, and improve strategies for the presentation of scientific evidence. It also contributed to the development of a juror profile and jury selection strategies. Result: Summary judgment was granted in favor of our client the day before jury selection was scheduled to begin.
Medical Device & Sports Injury Case- California
Assisted with theme development, opening statement strategies, trial graphics, and jury selection strategies on behalf of the defense in preparation for a jury trial in Los Angeles County.  A professional baseball player alleged that a medical device manufactured by our client and used during the player’s shoulder surgery was defective and led to the demise of his career.  We assisted the trial team with opening statement themes and graphics to communicate the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s original injury that necessitated the surgery, as well as the lack of causal connection between the alleged defect and the player’s declining career.  Result: The case settled favorably for our client the morning of the scheduled jury selection.
Product Liability: Pharmaceutical- Pennsylvania
Assisted with theme development, jury selection strategies, and opening statement strategies on behalf of the defense in preparation for a jury trial in Philadelphia County. Plaintiffs alleged that a prescription drug taken by a pregnant mother caused her child to be born with a birth defect. We assisted the trial team with the development of voir dire and jury selection strategies, as well as opening statement graphics that were focused on causation themes.  Result: The case settled favorably for our client after the first week of trial.
Meta-analysis of Asbestos Litigation Jury Research- Georgia
Reviewed and statistically analyzed information from jury research studies and post-trial juror interviews associated with numerous asbestos cases across the United States over an 11-year period. The total data set included information from more than 600 jurors and mock jurors across 13 states. Our analysis identified the strongest and weakest evidence and witnesses for our client in ongoing litigation pending in multiple venues across the country. We also provided our client with empirically-based strategy recommendations for future asbestos trials involving our client's particular product.
Pesticide Exposure: Child Injury- Texas
Conducted ThemeTesting® focus groups and mock trial work on behalf of the defense in preparation for a jury trial in Hidalgo County. A family alleged that the mother's exposure to insecticide while she was pregnant caused her children to develop autism. Our efforts included theme development, juror profile development, and development of demonstratives. We also worked with the trial team to present complex scientific testimony in a way that would be understandable to jurors. The case was ultimately settled before trial.
Product Liability Suit Involving Plant Fire- Indiana
Conducted a ThemeTesting® focus group study for a defendant in a product liability action in Lake County, Indiana. The case involved a large fire at a steel mill. The plaintiff alleged that a machinery component manufactured by our client was defective and failed, leading to the failure of a large piece of equipment and the related fire. We assisted the trial team with theme development, case valuation, jury selection strategies, and demonstrative exhibits. Our client prevailed on summary judgment just prior to the scheduled jury trial.
Fire Litigation (Kitchen Appliance)- New Jersey
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study for the defense in a case involving a residential fire alleged to have been caused by a defective kitchen appliance. A young man and his father were home at the time of the fire. The fire caused catastrophic burn injuries to the young man, who was intoxicated at the time of the fire. The jury research helped the trial team to assess the extent to which they should focus on the young man’s intoxication at trial and also to assess jurors’ perceptions of the father’s separate claims of psychological and emotional distress. A confidential settlement was reached just prior to the scheduled jury trial in Monmouth, County, New Jersey.
Mesothelioma Case- New York
Conducted a ThemeTesting® focus group study in a case in Erie County, New York. The plaintiff claimed asbestos exposure resulting from his work with coke ovens at a steel plant. The ThemeTesting study helped the trial team evaluate how jurors would evaluate causation evidence and the responsibility of other parties who would not be at trial. We also created demonstrative exhibits and animations illustrating the parts and operation of coke oven batteries for use at trial. The ThemeTesting study contributed to a strategically favorable settlement for our client. 
Wrongful Death Case (Product Liability)- North Carolina
Conducted a jury research project on behalf of the defense in a product liability matter in the Western District of North Carolina. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant’s product was defective and unreasonably dangerous and caused the death of their family member, who was 18 years old at the time of the incident. The research contributed to an assessment of the risks of taking the case to trial.
Fire Litigation: Wrongful Deaths of Three Children- Alabama
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study on behalf of the defense in a fire case that was pending in federal court in Mobile. The case involved a house fire that resulted in the deaths of three children. The plaintiffs alleged that a defect in our client’s product had caused the fire. The focus group research helped the trial team to identify themes that were likely to resonate with jurors and to assess the case risks. The focus group research also provided data used in the development of a juror profile and the development of voir dire questions and strategies. Result: The case settled favorably the evening prior to jury selection.
Wrongful Death Case (Product Liability)- Colorado
Conducted a jury research project on behalf of the defense in a product liability matter in the District of Colorado. The plaintiffs alleged that our client’s product was unreasonably dangerous, had defective warnings, and had caused the death of their family member, who was 23 years old at the time of the incident. The research contributed to case valuation, an assessment of a likely distribution of comparative negligence, and, ultimately, to a strategically favorable settlement for our client.
Pesticide Exposure: Child Injury- Pennsylvania
Provided extensive consulting on behalf of the defense in preparation for a jury trial in state court in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs alleged that an insecticide they applied in their home caused their child to develop a seizure disorder. Our efforts included mock trial work, ThemeTesting® focus groups, development of demonstrative exhibits, theme development, and jury selection. A favorable settlement for our client was reached during the jury selection phase of the trial.
Child Brain Injury Case- Florida
Conducted a ThemeTesting® focus group study on behalf of the defense in a product liability case involving a large appliance. The plaintiffs alleged that our client’s product was defective and caused a two-year-old child to suffer a permanent brain injury. The jury research helped the trial team evaluate how a jury would perceive the critical causation issues in the case, which facilitated a valuation of the case and ultimately contributed to a successful settlement.
Fire & Explosion Case (FEMA Trailer)- Mississippi
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study on behalf of the defense in a case involving a plaintiff who suffered massive burn injuries and disfigurement as a result of a flash fire in a FEMA trailer. The plaintiffs alleged that our client's product had caused the fire. The jury research helped the trial team evaluate the risks of trial and value the case, ultimately contributing to a successful settlement.
Product Liability Case Involving FEMA Trailer- Louisiana
Conducted a community attitude survey in New Orleans on behalf of the defense in a case involving a serious injury that occurred in a FEMA trailer following Hurricane Katrina. The survey helped the trial team evaluate the importance and prevalence of certain pre-existing beliefs and attitudes within the New Orleans community and assess the potential impact those beliefs and attitudes may have on juror perceptions of key defense arguments.
Products Liability: Wrongful Death- California
Conducted both a ThemeTesting study and a Mock Opening Statement Study on behalf of the defense in a product liability matter in San Jose. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant’s product was unreasonably dangerous and had caused or substantially contributed to their family member’s death. The background facts of the case involved politically- and socially-charged issues, such as suggestions of drug abuse and racial discrimination.  The studies provided the trial team with key information regarding theme development, risk assessment, case presentation strategies, and jury selection.  Summary judgment was granted in favor of our client after the study and on the eve of the federal jury trial.
E-Brief Submitted to the Supreme Court of Texas- Texas
Developed e-briefs submitted to the Supreme Court of Texas in a wrongful death case.  The e-briefs included links to all case law and record citations, as well as links to videos, illustrations, and animations.
Chemical Exposure Case: Punitive Damages Study- South Carolina
Conducted a six-panel, ThemeTesting® study in a toxic tort case involving an adolescent who alleged he suffered cognitive impairments as a result of a pesticide exposure. The study tested key facts, themes, and arguments relating to the issue of punitive damages. The study provided the trial team with important information regarding key documents and witnesses relating to damages issues. Overall, the study contributed to the client’s case assessment and case valuation.
Mesothelioma Case - California
Conducted a three-panel, ThemeTesting focus group study in Oakland, California. The plaintiff claimed asbestos exposure resulting from repair work performed on appliances manufactured by our client. The ThemeTesting study revealed which defense themes resonated with mock jurors and also revealed specific challenges likely to be encountered in a jury trial. The ThemeTesting study contributed to case valuation and, ultimately, to a strategically favorable settlement for our client. 
Benzene Litigation (Herbicide Exposure)- California
Conducted verdict research for the defense in a case pending in Los Angeles County involving an allegation that trace amounts of benzene allegedly contained in the defendant’s herbicide had caused the plaintiff’s cancer. The verdict research was used by the client in the case valuation process. The case was ultimately settled before trial.
Product Liability: Child Injury- New York
Conducted a ThemeTesting® focus group study in a case involving a child who was alleged to have been injured by an allegedly defective laundry appliance.
Wrongful Death Fire Litigation: Two Children- Missouri
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study in a case involving two children who died in a house fire alleged to have been started by a defective kitchen appliance.
Fire & Explosion Jury Trial- Michigan
ThemeVision was engaged by the defense following a significant jury award in a wrongful-death case involving an explosion and a resulting fire. The post-trial juror interviews revealed information important to the trial team regarding the jury’s reaction to specific evidence and the process and analysis the jury employed in determining damages. 
Fire & Explosion Litigation (Kitchen Appliance)- Iowa
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study in a case involving a residential fire and explosion alleged to have been caused by a defective kitchen appliance.  The explosion caused catastrophic burn injuries to a middle-aged man.  Result:  A confidential settlement was reached prior to the scheduled jury trial.
Fire & Explosion Case- Texas
Conducted a three-panel jury simulation project in a wrongful death case.  The case was pending in state court in Texas and involved a fatality suffered in a house fire.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant's product had caused the fire.  The study assisted the trial team with identifying risks associated with proceeding to trial.
Medical Device: Wrongful Death Case- Pennsylvania
Conducted a ThemeTesting focus group study on behalf of the defense in a case involving the claimed wrongful death of an infant child. The plaintiffs alleged that a medical device used by the child's father was defective, resulting in the father losing consciousness while holding the infant, in turn causing the father to fall upon and smother the infant. The ThemeTesting study allowed the trial team to test approaches to presenting a science-based defense in a case that otherwise involved heartbreaking facts. The study assisted the trial team with case valuation as well as with development of discovery strategies and settlement strategies.
Pesticide Exposure: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity- Florida
Conducted a three-panel mock jury project on behalf of a defendant in a toxic tort action in which the plaintiff claimed, among other things, to be suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as a result of exposure to the defendant's product.
Pesticide Exposure Case- California
Conducted a six-panel jury simulation study for the defense in Los Angeles, California. The plaintiffs claimed that a commercially-applied pesticide was defective and caused their two daughters, an infant and a toddler at the time, to suffer severe neurological injuries. The jury study evaluated two alternative defense themes and assisted the trial team with making key trial strategy decisions. The case was dismissed on motion practice shortly before trial.
Fire Litigation: Wrongful Death- Kansas
Analyzed results of a jury simulation study and developed trial themes and strategies in a case involving fatalities suffered in a house fire.
Fire Litigation Involving Multiple Deaths and Catastrophic Injuries to a Child- Alabama
Conducted community attitude surveys, ThemeTesting focus groups, and a mock jury study on behalf of the defense in a case involving multiple fire deaths and a severely disabled child.  The plaintiffs alleged that our client's product had caused the fire.  The empirical research helped the trial team to evaluate the risks of trial and value the case, ultimately contributing to a successful settlement.
   
  > Areas Of Law    
 
Appellate 4 Appellate
Class Action 5 Class Action
Commercial 6 Commercial
Environmental 7 Environmental
Governmental Services 8 Governmental Services
Insurance Coverage 9 Insurance Coverage
Intellectual Property 10 Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment 11 Labor & Employment
> Product Liability 12 Product Liability
Personal Injury Defense 35 Personal Injury Defense
Toxic Tort 13 Toxic Tort
White Collar Criminal Defense 14 White Collar Criminal Defense
Product Liability  
 
 
 
       
 
 
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