Photo of Thomas M. DeMicco

Thomas M. DeMicco defends domestic and foreign manufacturers in product liability lawsuits on a national basis, with a focus on claims arising from fires and explosions. Tom’s extensive fire investigation experience is particularly valuable to the firm’s clients, many of which manufacture and distribute household kitchen appliances and consumer electronics.

Green EnergyManufacturers and Installers of Solar Panels Face Unique Risks from Residential House Fires 

House fires have always been a major source of product liability litigation in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of house fires occur each year, resulting in billions of dollars in insurance claims. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 487,500 structure fires in 2013 that resulted in $9.5 billion in property damage. As a result, insurance carriers and their fire investigation experts are well equipped to identify those fires that may present an opportunity for subrogation; i.e., those fires that could have been caused by a defective product or an improper installation of electrical wiring in the home.

At Wilson Elser, the Product Liability practice has attorneys who specialize in the field of fire investigation and in particular the investigation of electrical fires. We are paying close attention to the rapid increase in the use of solar panels to supply energy to homes.  According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, more than 500,000 homes and businesses nationwide are equipped with solar panels. Experts forecast this market to grow exponentially in the future.

Continue Reading Here Comes the Sun…

Contract-Signing_TS-137044060Anyone with experience defending product liability claims has experience settling cases at mediation. Typically, a mediator will require the parties to sign a written mediation agreement prior to the mediation. Usually, the proposed agreement will state that the mediation is confidential. Some agreements are more detailed than others. Some go on to prohibit any attempts to call the mediator as a witness. Other agreements state that the mediator is not expressing any opinion about the merits of the case or providing any specific legal advice.  In addition to the agreements that are signed before the start of a mediation, mediators also have form agreements that they ask the parties to sign after the parties agree to a settlement during the mediation.

Continue Reading It’s the Mediator’s Form Agreement—Not Yours

Computer key blue - LikeI recently read an article titled “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue,” written by Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, that reported an interesting change in the way manufacturers are dealing with consumers and using social media as a risk management tool. In the past I have written on this blog about consumers using social media and social networking sites to publicize their product liability claim or general dissatisfaction with a particular product. Now it appears manufacturers are turning the tables.
Continue Reading Social Media as a Risk Management Tool?

computer-monitor-keyboard-mouseRecent technological advances made over the past ten years in social media combined with the explosion in popularity of social networking sites on the Internet have created a new source for potential evidence in litigation. Within the context of product liability litigation, the ability for consumers to use Social Media to publicize their opinion of a product or, their opinion of a company that sells that product, is a new source for risk to manufacturers and their insurance carriers. This is the direct result of Social Media becoming the preferred form for consumers to voice their complaints.
Continue Reading Social Networking: From Chat Room to Court Room?

Our goal is to share the insights of our more than 100 experienced product liability defense attorneys from 24 strategically-located offices throughout the United States. We will identify topics that are relevant to the substantive and procedural aspects of product liability defense. We will invite discussion among product liability claims handlers and defense counsel.
Continue Reading Welcome to Wilson Elser’s Product Liability Blog