Product Liability

Product liability litigation in Canada — and around the world — is in a constant state of development. In addition to defending our clients’ interests in active matters, Cassels’ Product Liability Group stays at the forefront of the industry through regular speaking engagements, leadership in defence organizations, and our product liability newsletter. We look for the most inventive, cost-effective, and time-efficient means of resolving each of our clients’ problems, minimizing the financial and reputational cost of product liability litigation and regulatory issues. Resolution may be achieved through negotiated settlements, regulatory proceedings, alternate dispute resolution, or vigorous litigation. When necessary we take our cases to trial to resolve our clients’ disputes. Distance is not a factor, as we easily work locally, nationally, and cross-border, in collaboration with local counsel where necessary.

Our team has advised and represented a variety of clients in virtually all industries, including:

  • Manufacturers and distributors of consumer, motor-vehicle, and recreational products
  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Brand-name pharmaceutical and medical device companies
  • Computer hardware and software manufacturers
  • Construction companies
  • Building material manufacturers
  • Elevator and escalator manufacturers
  • Insurance companies
  • Personal-care product manufacturers
  • Processed foods and beverages companies
  • Standards organizations
  • Municipal, provincial, and federal authorities

Clients turn to us for consistent help with their product liability issues. Our assistance includes:

Risk Management

  • Advising on or leading product recalls
  • Liaising with regulatory bodies and conducting regulatory procedures
  • Advising on label warnings and product literature
  • Creating or revising product liability procedures
  • Designing product warranties, supply, and distribution agreements
  • Advising on direct investigations
  • Drafting contractual provisions to reduce/transfer product liability risk
  • Providing insurance coverage opinions
  • Conducting risk management training seminars and risk management and due diligence audits
  • Suggesting pre-emptive measures to avoid or prepare for anticipated litigation

Product Litigation

Acting and advising on claims arising from and/or related to:

  • The automotive industry, including sport utility vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, and motorcycles; product warnings, recall, and regulatory issues related to motor vehicles, including airbags and unintended acceleration; and risks arising from car door latches
  • Consumer products
  • Adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals, including the duty to warn
  • Implanted medical devices, such as heart valves, pacemakers, and breast and jaw implants
  • The manufacture and design of aircrafts
  • The hazardous malfunction of household appliances and fixtures, including furnaces, refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and toilets
  • The design and manufacture of elevating devices
  • The use of industrial equipment

Class Action Lawsuits

  • Motor vehicles
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Consumer products
  • Home-heating systems
  • Contaminated water
  • Residential plumbing systems

Cross-Border Litigation

  • Working with or acting as lead counsel
  • Management of multi-jurisdictional litigation
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel


Our group has successfully represented clients in product liability claims, including acting for and/or representing:

  • A global healthcare consumer products manufacturer (as defence counsel) regarding allegations of negligent manufacture and design of consumer, beauty, and personal-care products
  • FCA Canada Inc. (as defence counsel) on various personal injury claims regarding allegations of defect in design, manufacture, and failure to warn
  • FCA Canada Inc./FCA US LLC/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (as National Counsel) on proposed class actions
  • Amgen Canada Inc. (as defence counsel) on various claims regarding allegations of negligent manufacture and distribution of prescription drugs and failure to warn
  • Two Meridian Brick entities, who are defendants in a claim regarding allegedly deficient bricks used in a large project in North Bay
  • Sherwin-Williams Canada Inc. (SW Canada) (as defence counsel) in two claims regarding peeling paint totalling over $500,000
  • Honda Canada Inc. (as defence counsel) in several product liability claims, including a $2.35 million personal injury claim, a $1.3 million wrongful death claim, and two parallel personal injury actions seeking a combined $3 million
  • Glass companies ACG and Pilkington in a number of related actions, including two class actions, all involving glass panels allegedly falling from condominium balcony enclosures
  • H&M in the defence of a complex product liability/construction action regarding the failure of a “spacer-damper” powerline transmission component