Personal Injury Defense

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell represents defendants in all types of personal injury matters. Our trial-tested lawyers can handle any size of personal injury case, large or small. We have particular experience with high-exposure cases in which the plaintiffs are seeking damage awards, including punitive or exemplary damages, in the range of multimillions to billions of dollars. Our lawyers are often retained on the eve of trial to try difficult cases, especially those with serious injuries in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions, when settlement negotiations being handled by other law firms have been unsuccessful.

WTO lawyers have represented numerous large corporations, healthcare providers, professional services firms, property owners and managers, insurance companies, small businesses, and individual professionals in disputes involving injury to the plaintiff.

We help our clients handle:

  • emergency response to critical incidents;
  • early resolution of claims and cases;
  • coordination with related or pattern litigations;
  • media relations;
  • supervision of local counsel;
  • retention of expert witnesses;
  • investigation and formal discovery;
  • settlement negotiation;
  • mediation and arbitration;
  • class actions and multidistrict litigation; and
  •  trials and appeals.

We have successfully executed a variety of defense strategies to minimize or avoid any loss to our clients in lawsuits alleging injuries from:

  • defective products;
  • engineering and design failure;
  • exposure to chemicals and toxic materials;
  • industrial accidents;
  • motor vehicle and aircraft accidents;
  • unsafe premises;
  • intentional torts; and
  • negligent professional representation and medical care.

Several WTO lawyers have prior work experience and/or formal education in non-legal fields, such as scientific disciplines, engineering, and technology, that may be relevant to particular personal injury claims.

WTO lawyers stay abreast of statutory changes and other legal developments and are recognized leaders in developing case law favorable to defendants in areas that include product safety, federal preemption, punitive damages, and the use and admissibility of expert evidence.

Emergency Response
Catastrophic accidents with injuries, critical incidents involving mass injuries, and product recalls demand an immediate and knowledgeable response. Clients often require legal assistance at the onset of a crisis in anticipation of tort claims. WTO lawyers are prepared to respond immediately to client emergencies to help avoid or mitigate legal liability.

WTO lawyers have represented manufacturing and other industrial companies, energy producers, construction and other contractors, transportation operators, and insurance companies in numerous personal injury lawsuits following accidents involving equipment, vehicles, aircraft, chemicals, and premises.

Product Liability
The firm's lawyers have served as lead trial counsel and prevailed in numerous product safety cases nationwide. WTO lawyers have successfully defended companies against claims of liability for injuries involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, asbestos, automobiles, industrial equipment, chemicals, and consumer products.

WTO lawyers also provide strategic planning services to help companies avoid future product liability litigation, including advising about:

  • appropriate warnings for product users;
  • the placement of warnings;
  • appropriate content for operating or usage instruction;
  • the timing of design and formulary changes;
  • advice regarding pre-suit inspections and testing;
  • compliance with statutes and regulations; and
  • the implementation of recall or retrofit programs.

Chambers USA consistently ranks WTO among the top 20 product-liability litigation firms nationwide. Another rankings directory, The Legal 500, includes WTO among the top product-liability and mass-tort firms for consumer products, automotive/transport, and pharmaceutical and medical device matters.

Professional Liability
WTO lawyers have defended a wide array of institutions and professionals against tort claims involving physical, financial, and emotional injuries. Our clients have included:

  • healthcare facilities, including hospital, long-term care, and mental health facilities;
  • physicians and other healthcare professionals;
  • lawyers and law firms;
  • sports professionals;
  • accountants and accounting firms;
  • bankers, securities broker-dealers, and financial institutions;
  • construction contractors, architects, engineers and related firms; and
  • insurance brokers, agents, and insurance companies.

Several WTO lawyers are recognized among the best lawyers nationally for their professional liability practices, particularly for their extensive medical and legal malpractice experience. In addition, we have nurse-paralegals on staff who assist with medical malpractice cases.

Premises Liability
WTO has represented property owners and managers, manufacturing and other industrial companies, energy producers, construction and other contractors, and insurance companies against allegations of liability for injuries suffered by plaintiffs on their premises.

Toxic Torts
WTO has defended clients faced with industrial chemical issues in both federal and state courts, and before regulatory agencies, including tort claims, property damage claims, and Superfund and hazardous waste claims. WTO lawyers have particularly strong experience with asbestos matters, having taken more than 35 asbestos cases to verdict, including cases in the toughest jurisdictions in the United States.