Legal Protection and Reasonable Treatment for
Corporations Throughout the Entire Product Life Cycle


Congratulations to PLAC Board Member, Michael Keating, Vice President of Litigation and Arbitration at Emerson who was recently awarded the 2019 Corporate Counsel Award from St. Louis Business Journal for over 30 years of helping guide Emerson’s legal strategy. Read more about this here.

Congratulations to Tom Vanderford and the Hyundai trial team for their defense verdict in Bexar County, TX in their long-running dispute with one of their dealers. The jury deliberated for 4 1/2 hours last Friday after a two-week trial before rendering the defense verdict. PLAC Sustaining Member, David Prichard, of Prichard Young in San Antonio represented Hyundai. Click here for the press release on the trial.

Congratulations to the following PLAC members who were recognized by Benchmark Litigation for being the top women in their field. The extensive research process used in the creation of Benchmark's Top 250 Women in Litigation 2019 involves months of investigation into individual litigators' professional activities as well as client feedback surveys and one-on-one interviews, and has culminated in the selection of the most distinguished women in the world of litigation.

  • Lori Cohen - Greenberg Traurig
  • Sandra Edwards - Farella, Braun & Martel
  • Nancy Erfle - Gordon & Rees
  • Martha Gaythwaite - Verrill Dana
  • Wendy Lumish - Bowman & Brooke
  • Bettina Strauss - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Illinois Federal Judge ruled on August 1st that Riddell Helmets won’t have to face class claims by a group of former football players who accused the company of selling defective helmets. Riddell is represented by PLAC member Paul Cereghini of Bowman & Brooke in Phoenix.

On July 29th, a jury returned a defense verdict for Yamaha in Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida in a design defect case involving personal watercraft. Yamaha was represented by PLAC members Scott Sarason from Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell in Miami and Rick Mueller from Thompson Coburn in St. Louis.

For more news, click here.

Our Mission

PLAC (formerly the Product Liability Advisory Council) is a specialty bar association focusing on complex litigation and regulatory issues in the area of product development and product liability. Our not-for-profit association of product manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and select regulatory, litigation and appellate professionals who work to shape the common law of product liability and complex regulation, provide guidance on changing regulations, and strategically help corporations manage risk throughout the entire product lifecycle. PLAC is a unique resource for companies who must defend their products’ integrity and their companies’ reputation.

Featured Amicus Brief

PLAC submitted an amicus brief in support of defendant's petition for certiorari in an aviation product liability preemption case.
For over two decades, the lower courts have wrestled with the question whether the Federal Aviation Act and regulations preempt the field as to aviation safety standards. In this case, the Third Circuit rejected field preemption but suggested that the District Court consider conflict preemption instead. The trial court granted summary judgment on conflict preemption, but a different panel reversed on appeal (with one judge dissenting). In so doing, the Third Circuit disregarded the Supreme Court's recent holdings in PLIVA v. Mensing, 564 U.S. 604 (2011) and Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett, 570 U.S. 472 (2013). Both cases held that [t]he question for 'impossibility' is whether the private party could independently do under federal law what state law requires of it." In the current matter, the applicable regulations require that any alteration to the design of the airplane, the engine, or the carburetor required prior approval of the FAA. Nevertheless, the Third Circuit held that compliance with state and federal law was not impossible because defendant "has made numerous changes to the type certificate . . ., which the FAA approved in short order").

PLAC's brief in support of the defendant supported cert on both field and conflict preemption. The National Association of Manufacturers joined PLAC's brief.


Featured Events

Fall Conference: PLAC's Fall Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois October 2-4.

Webinars: PLAC hosts a variety of webinars for members and friends of the association – to check out our event schedule, click here.
 September 24, 2019: Strategies for Using Statistical Support in Complex Litigation