Products Liability and Torts
Tort law provides a private means for individuals and businesses to be compensated—or “made whole”—for damages that they suffer as a result of a wrongful act committed by another individual or business. Generally speaking, tort law operates to compensate a party that has sustained bodily injury, property damage or damage to their reputation.
Meissner and Tierney has a long history of successfully representing businesses and individuals in a wide array of tort cases. Instead of specializing in any one area of tort law, we pride ourselves in our ability to handle all types of complex cases. From litigating multi-million dollar actions involving environmental pollution to defending local politicians against defamation lawsuits, our well-rounded approach gives us the unique ability to analyze cases from all angles. Most importantly, this strategy adds substantial value to the representation that we provide our clients because our diverse experience allows us to thoroughly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each case. By advising our clients of all potential outcomes, we can confidently and efficiently find solutions to the difficult legal challenges that our clients regularly encounter.
Negligence occurs when a business or person fails to take reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm to another. Common examples include industrial accidents, construction-site accidents and medical malpractice. Our attorneys have successfully defended individuals and businesses against a variety of negligence claims. Most recently, we were awarded summary judgment on behalf of a client that was sued for negligent installation of an underground natural gas pipeline after the pipeline exploded and caused damage to bystanders and nearby buildings.
Meissner & Tierney has substantial experience in representing owners, operators and possessors of real property who face claims seeking compensation for bodily injuries allegedly caused by the condition of their premises. Wisconsin’s Safe Place Statute, which is frequently the basis on which premises liability lawsuits are filed, is a particular area of premises liability law in which we have extensive familiarity. Our attorneys strive to help minimize a client’s exposure to potential liability in premises liability cases.
Products liability is a subset of tort law that permits a buyer, user or other person injured by a defective product to recover from the manufacturer, supplier, distributor or others that are involved making the products available to the public. We have handled numerous products liability lawsuits, which typically include allegations that a product was defectively manufactured or designed, or that the defendant failed to properly warn the plaintiff of the potential harm.
Mullins Whey, Inc. v. McShares, et al.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Green Bay Division (2004-2005). A product liability action in which a whey protein producer sought substantial damages against our client, among other defendants, related to our client’s development and sale of a bleaching agent for the whey protein. The producer alleged that our client’s bleaching product caused the whey to contain levels of a dangerous toxin. Following the filing of a motion for partial summary judgment to eliminate all of the tort claims against our client under the economic loss doctrine, our client successfully settled the case.
Toxic tort litigation typically arises out of state and federal environmental regulation such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and many other state and local environmental laws. Our attorneys are experienced in defending civil and criminal enforcement actions and citizen suits involving all major state and federal environmental statutes. We have represented manufacturers and users of a variety of chemicals and other substances in state and federal court in defense against individual claims and purported class actions for both bodily injury and loss of property value due to exposure or proximity to hazardous materials, including hazardous waste sites. In addition, we can provide effective counseling related to product warranty issues and liability disclaimers.