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Jones Day introduces product response team

October 2007

Jones Day's newly formed interdisciplinary Product Response Team assists clients who have questions, concerns or problems related to the recent, and highly publicized recalls of products, including those manufactured abroad and sold or otherwise distributed in the United States. With more than 2,200 lawyers in 30 offices around the world - including approximately 600 lawyers outside of the United States - and with 7 offices in Asia, Jones Day is ideally situated to assist clients with questions concerning the safety of imported products. Our Product Response Team is designed to allow the Firm to act on behalf of clients in an expeditious and coordinated fashion, and includes lawyers from a variety of disciplines who are experienced in issues including:

  • What obligations does your company have to test products manufactured elsewhere?
  • What protective provisions should your company have in contracts with foreign suppliers or domestic suppliers of goods manufactured abroad?
  • What regulatory or voluntary industry standards must be observed?
  • If your company must deal with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on a specific problem, how and when do you do that and how do you deal with corresponding entities in the U.K., in Europe, and elsewhere? What other reporting requirements might you have? What are the testing requirements to comply with American, UK, and European product safety rules?
  • How should your company handle the details of a recall and what media relations and recall specialists can you rely upon?
  • What insurance issues are implicated with respect to coverage for product liability, public nuisance, medical monitoring, recall, and directors and officers? Is there enough coverage for the cost of product liability, class action, and shareholder derivative litigation after a recall? What are the notice requirements to insurers? Are litigation positions consistent with obtaining insurance coverage? How are rights preserved against responsible third parties? 
  • How should your company respond to class action and aggregative litigation as compared to the defense of individual actions?
  • What e-discovery, document search, and product retention issues must be handled at the outset?
  • How should your company deal with SEC and related reporting requirements in a product crisis?
  • How should your company handle inquiries and communications from Congress, regulators, states, and other public bodies? How should your company handle claims and demands from major retail and individual customers, while preserving legal positions?

Jones Day is aware of the great public concern about the safety of imported products, especially those manufactured in China and elsewhere in Asia. The focus of the public’s concern will likely go far beyond pet food and toys that contain lead, and will expand to many other categories of consumer and commercial products. Congress is already investigating American and Chinese manufacturers, and this situation is likely to mushroom into a free trade issue. Some State Attorneys General, consumer groups, labor unions, and plaintiffs’ contingent fee trial lawyers are also likely to pursue their own interests in the name of protecting the public health and product safety.

If you need assistance from the Product Response Team, the following lawyers have been designated to act as "dispatchers" to connect you with the most appropriate member(s) of the Team:



Diane Flannery



Jim Johnson



Johnson Tan



Luc Houben



Carrie Hogan



Ted Grossman



Liza Kessler



Tom Fennell



Juergen Reemers

Hong Kong


Robert Thomson



Hugh Whiting



Richard Grabowski



Russell Carmedy

Los Angeles


David DiMeglio



Mercedes Fernandez



Marco Lombardi



Vladimir Lechtman



Tom Mahlich

New York


Sharyl Reisman



Laurent Martinet



Chuck Moellenberg

San Diego


Steve Geise

San Francisco


Peter Larson



Peter Wang

Silicon Valley


John Edwards



David Longstaff



Chris Ahern



Jack Huang



Tad Sano



Peter Biersteker