Complex Litigation

Clients recognize Sedgwick’s long history of successfully defending mass tort and product liability cases. The firm enjoys a national reputation of prominence in complex litigation and is known for its vigorous advocacy in the defense of claims involving catastrophic injuries, large-scale property losses, “private attorney general” proceedings and class actions.

On any given day, in various courtrooms across the country, our attorneys represent manufacturers, distributors and others in cases concerning pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals, automobiles and automobile components, aircraft, tobacco products, electronics, consumer products, industrial equipment and more.

Our substantive areas of practice range from government regulation to the defense of mass tort claims and consumer advocate class actions. Our significant expertise in complex litigation procedure, such as class action practice, MDLs and statewide coordinated proceedings, is frequently called upon by clients for whom we serve as national, regional or statewide counsel.

Class Actions

Among the most significant litigation threats to corporations today are class actions and other multi-claimant proceedings -- cases in which there are thousands, or even millions, of plaintiffs. To meet that challenge, Sedgwick has pooled its considerable class action experience into a dedicated class action task force that provides our clients immediate, strategic counsel on the complex procedural issues attendant to class action proceedings.

Commercial/Property Damage

Sedgwick has handled thousands of general liability cases involving allegations of serious personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. Our lawyers successfully resolve cases involving claims ranging from assault to complex property damage and catastrophic personal injury. Our clients include corporations, retail chains, real estate developers, insurance companies, government agencies, contractors, small businesses and individuals.

Complex Case Resolution

Successful negotiated resolutions of complex, high profile liability matters require the leadership of a defense counsel that understands the client’s legal, regulatory, business and public relations objectives, and has experience crafting realistic, implementable settlement administration procedures.  As part of our role as national coordinating counsel and regional coordinating counsel in dozens of mass tort litigation matters, Sedgwick has created and managed numerous multi-plaintiff claim resolution agreements.  Our attorneys have either participated in or have studied most of the major mass tort settlements achieved over the past two decades. Our extensive experience in these cases has allowed us to develop resolution strategies that save our clients substantial expense, while also uniformly positioning cases in the best possible posture for trial.

Federal MDLs/Statewide Coordinated Proceedings

One of the first and most important decisions a defendant needs to make in a large-scale, multi-action litigation is how best to coordinate the defense. Sedgwick attorneys have extensive, hands-on experience navigating cases into, or away from, the federal MDL process or to state court coordinated proceedings. Our attorneys have been among the primary architects of significant MDLs and state coordinated proceedings, and have learned the systems’ advantages and disadvantages, as well as how best to leverage the pre-trial process to achieve cost-effective discovery and consistent law and motion strategies.

Intentional Torts 

Sedgwick represents business owners, business managers, and homeowners in actions involving all types of alleged intentional acts, including assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Our attorneys also defend and prosecute defamation cases involving libel and slander.

National/Regional Coordinating Counsel 

Large-scale, complex litigation requires a coordinating firm that has the extensive resources and unique experience necessary to effectively manage the actions. Sedgwick has served as national coordinating counsel and regional coordinating counsel in dozens of mass tort litigation matters. Our extensive experience in these cases has allowed us to develop pre-trial litigation strategies and efficient workflows that save our clients substantial expense, while also uniformly positioning cases in the best possible posture for trial and/or negotiated resolution. Over the years, we have built up a network of qualified local counsel in venues across the country.

Catastrophic Personal Injury and Property Damage 

Sedgwick defends service providers, property owners, public utilities, distributors, and other defendants against claims involving catastrophic injuries and multiple plaintiffs. These cases typically involve serious personal injuries and complex issues of causation.

Premises Liability 

Our attorneys represent many local and national property owners and managers in premises liability and negligence claims based on allegations of inadequate security and involving injuries suffered in common areas, elevators, lessee space, and elsewhere. We also represent residential landlords in cases involving injuries suffered by tenants and guests on premises, including carbon monoxide exposure and lead-based paint liability claims.

Product Liability 

Sedgwick’s renowned product liability team is made up of experienced trial attorneys and legal assistants, many of whom have a special interest in engineering and medicine, and educational backgrounds in nursing and pharmacology. Many of the Sedgwick attorneys who specialize in product liability have extensive trial experience throughout the nation and the world. We have fostered relationships with experts in biomechanics, mechanical engineering, automotive design, human factors, accident reconstruction, statistics, epidemiology, warnings, metallurgy, stress analysis, and jury selection. We use the latest demonstrative evidence at trial, including computer-generated graphics, models, video reconstructions and full-scale product mock-ups. An extensive library and computer access to national databases provide additional resources and support. In addition to these resources, our years of experience have given us a solid understanding of the industries in which our clients operate and the issues which confront them.

California’s Proposition 65 

Sedgwick defends cases brought under California’s Proposition 65 on behalf of retailers, manufacturers and distributors from across the nation. As a result of Sedgwick’s skilled representation, our clients have avoided civil penalties, the imposition of plaintiff attorney fee awards, and, in many cases, any liability whatsoever. We also counsel our clients on Proposition 65 compliance and evaluate the applicability of Proposition 65 to new consumer and industrial goods sold or distributed in California.