Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit Fall 2019

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  • Aerospace Product Liability Litigation: Are You Ready?


    Jack Harrington of SmithAmundsen LLC, a legal firm attending the marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2012, on being ready for product liability litigation.

    Interview with: Jack Harrington, Of Counsel, SmithAmundsen LLC


    The aerospace industry works so hard to build good products, but it needs to work just as hard to protect them for when litigation occurs, says Jack Harrington, Of Counsel, SmithAmundsen LLC.

    A masterclass presenter from a legal firm attending the upcoming marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 25-26, Harrington turns the spotlight on product liability litigation and what role electronic discovery (eDiscovery) can play in the aerospace product manufacturing industry.

    How can the aerospace industry better handle product liability litigation?

    In the past, defense lawyers used to deal with product liability litigation by bringing in experts, who would argue that the accident or incident was not caused by the product, while the plaintiff would bring specialists suggesting otherwise. With eDiscovery, there is now an entirely new element to product liability litigation.

    Most communication and correspondence today is through emails, and eDiscovery is making available a tremendous amount of information, including poorly written emails between colleagues, when no one thought that years later they would be in a witness stand trying to explain to the jury what they actually meant to say.

    What is the way around this issue?

    Many aircraft companies that want to protect the integrity of products are providing product integrity training, telling employees to be careful with emails as they can potentially come up in court decades later. 

    The second part of the training must focus on document retention, and keeping only the pieces of communication that may be required by the government or for the running of the business. Saving every email just opens up the company to enquiries that could lead to inaccurate theories in a lawsuit. People who are injured by faulty products should be protected and compensated, but at the same time the business should not have to worry that if a crash occurs counsel will present and convince a different case to the jury.

    We encourage companies to build the best products they can, make sure everyone realizes they are the best that they can be, but to address product issues that arise.

    What else do companies overlook?

    Besides having a proper document retention program in place, they need to take the time to run through emergency response simulation exercises, for everyone to know how to respond to crashes and incidents. This may take time away from the desk, but employees need to know what to do when they go to work and see TV crews.

    When companies do have that loss, even if it was not a fatal crash, it is a whole new world if they have not already run through the procedures with their people.

    Any final thoughts?

    So many companies make absolutely wonderful products in aerospace, to make aircrafts safe and successful, but they must be ready for a loss.

    It is a different world once the litigation process picks up and all of your hard work is in jeopardy. Companies must work just as hard at protecting products as they do at building them.

    Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2012

    This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 25-26, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on ITAR regulations, effective automation and exploring emerging technologies.

    For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

    marcus evans group - defense sector portal

    Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About SmithAmundsen LLC

    SmithAmundsen LLC is a law firm of 138 attorneys practicing from offices in Chicago, St. Charles, Rockford and Woodstock, Ill; Milwaukee, Wis.; and St. Louis, Mo. The firm represents entities engaged in commercial endeavors. Major practices include commercial litigation, labor and employment, financial services, insurance services, aerospace and commercial transportation, health care, products liability/manufacturing and corporate transactions.

    For more information, visit:

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit 


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