Photo of H. Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and co-chair of the firm’s Product Liability and Class Action Defense practices. With more than 30 years of experience in product liability defense, Michael focuses on representing U.S.and Asia-based manufacturers and distributors as national counsel in litigation, pre-suit investigations and class actions. He also advises clients on reporting obligations to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and counsels them on voluntary recall issues.

O'brien_e-Cigs Blog PostE-cigarettes have gained widespread popularity as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes, with hundreds of millions of these devices expected to be imported into the United States in 2015. The majority of imported e-cigarettes are from China, where most of these devices are manufactured without any regulations or safety standards. E-cigarettes are marketed as a “safer alternative” to regular tobacco cigarettes, but new concerns about their safety are coming to light.

Recent news stories report the risk of fires caused by e-cigarettes, which use powerful lithium ion batteries, and off-market sales of cheap, inferior devices is a threat to reputable marketers of these products. As an attorney working on national subrogation defense programs for product manufacturers, I have been involved with several fire investigations in the past year where it was revealed that an e-cigarette device and charger were present in the area of origin of the fire and suspected as the likely cause.

Continue Reading E-Cigarettes: The Safer Alternative?

Internet of Things: The Inevitable Collision with Product Liability is the first of a five-part series written by Michael O’Brien. Links to the other blogs in this series can be found at the end of this article.

Internet connection

 The IoT – Internet of Things – is undergoing a rapid development that will continue to transform how we interact, conduct business and live our lives. The movement toward IoT’s ubiquitous application and use does not come without risk and, while some of the consequences can be easily predicted, many will not be fully understood for some time to come.

One area that will be impacted is product liability. The advent of smart devices will have far-reaching consequences for manufacturers and software developers to tech service companies, insurers and, most certainly, consumers. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report in January 2015 that highlights and forecasts these very concerns.

Continue Reading The Internet of Things: The Inevitable Collision with Product Liability