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


Congratulations to Gordon McKee of Blakes who was awarded the Canadian Product Liability Lawyer of the Year at the 7th Annual LMG Life Sciences Awards. These awards honor top-ranking firms and individuals for outstanding legal work in the life sciences sector. PLAC member firms, Fasken Martineau and Butler Snow were also honored as Product Liability Firms of the Year for Canada and the US.

PLAC congratulates all our sustaining member firms who were named by BTI as Litigation Powerhouses and Standouts for 2020! If you would like to learn more about the rankings, click here.

PLAC member, M.C. Sungaila of Haynes & Boone was one of the 27 U.S. lawyers included in the National Law Journal's 2019 Equality Trailblazers List. The list recognizes lawyers who have advanced the cause of equality, whether in the workplace or through initiatives outside the firm. Read more about this here.

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.

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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