Pharmaceuticals - Products Liability

Venable attorneys have a successful history of handling product liability cases for pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Claims against our clients have included allegations of personal injury, defective product design, defective manufacturing and failure to warn. We have defended numerous cases involving the following products or services:

  • prescription drugs, such as cholesterol medications, oral contraceptives, pain medications and psychotropic drugs;
  • over the counter medications, such as diet drugs;
  • medical devices, such as Cu-7 IUD  (200 + cases), Dalkon Shield  (200 + cases), gastroesophageal implants, medication pumps and spinal imaging dye;
  • blood components;
  • breast implants  (100 + cases);
  • orthopedic implants; and
  • vaccines.

Venable litigators have briefed virtually every potential issue arising in product liability, including opposition to class certification, the preemptive effect of government regulation, sophisticated user and learned intermediary defenses, enterprise liability, statutes of limitation and repose, personal jurisdiction, venue and the reliability of expert testimony under Daubert.

Venable’s product liability attorneys have tried cases across the country. We have also led and served on national and international defense teams devoted to specific issues such as expert witness development, company witness preparation and the development of document databases.

Through our defense of claims against a broad range of medical products and devices, Venable litigators have developed a deep understanding of medical, engineering and scientific issues. Furthermore, our close proximity to world leaders in science and medicine has enabled us to build close working relationships with leading practitioners from The Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health, among others.

Recent representative engagements include:

  • defending Merck in a series of vaccine lawsuits alleging injury from thimerosal, a preservative component of multiple vaccines;
  • assisting Merck with a multitude of Measles, Mumps and Rubella cases pending in the United Kingdom;
  • representing Abbott as national counsel in OxyContin® litigation, which includes many cases asserting class claims; and
  • representing Allegiance Healthcare Corporation in national latex glove litigation.


  • Legal 500, Dispute Resolution – Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions – Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, 2016 – 2023