Practice & Industry Expertise

Material Handling

In addition to the firm’s decades long and comprehensive work with world’s motor vehicle manufacturers, the firm represents the leading manufacturers of material handling equipment in products liability and commercial warranty actions in state and federal courts across much of the Northeast. Two of the firm’s shareholders serve as national trial counsel for Narrow aisle lift truck manufacturers and an aerial lift manufacturer.  

Material handling products liability litigation often involves state of the art technology and complex questions of science, engineering, and medicine. The nature of the claims made include machine and load stability, tipover resistance, roof structures and rollover protective devices, operator restraints, machine control features, visibility and accident avoidance,. Technical disciplines span mechanical engineering, metallurgy, physics, dynamics, fuel systems, combustion engineering, fluid dynamics, hydraulics, electronics and electrical engineering, ergonomics, biomechanics, and injury mechanisms and require detailed knowledge of industry standards promulgated by associations like ANSI, ASTM, and SAE. Legal issues involve federal statutes and regulations promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, federal statutory and decisional law on preemption and the Class Action Fairness Act, and numerous state common and statutory laws applicable to strict liability, warranty, unfair and deceptive practices, and negligence. Legal and engineering issues also involve European Union Directives and foreign industry associations such as the Japan Society of Automotive Engineers.


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