O’Melveny helps clients across a wide range of industries defend against product liability and consumer claims in mass tort proceedings, class actions, and government enforcement actions. Our clients have achieved victories in cases involving billions of dollars in damages, challenges to established business practices, or the threat of irreparable reputational harm.

Over the past 30 years, we have successfully defended hundreds of individual suits and consumer class actions in almost all 50 states and across a broad array of subject areas, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, food and beverages, consumer electronics, automobiles, and industrial equipment. 

We have served as lead or co-lead national counsel in dozens of multidistrict litigation proceedings involving allegedly defective products, and we have defended numerous clients in “bet the company cases,” as well as in investigations and aggregated litigation brought by federal agencies and state attorneys general, including liability claims stemming from plane crashes, fires, and oil spills. Depending on our clients’ needs, our role has run the gamut from developing and coordinating overall defense strategy to acting as trial counsel in individual cases—often in tandem with lawyers from our nationally renowned appellate practice who ensure cases are best positioned on appeal.

And when product liability threats escalate, our lawyers have extensive experience helping organizations and their senior executive officers successfully navigate multi-front onslaughts from criminal, regulatory, and administrative agencies; civil litigants; Congressional committees; and the media. We also draw upon our litigation experience to counsel clients on risk mitigation before any kind of litigation arises. 

Clients appreciate our ability to:

    • Quickly develop a creative and uniform approach to the overarching legal issues, drawing on our nationally recognized appellate expertise to ensure important issues are preserved for appeal
    • Field an experienced and creative science team that includes lawyers who have advanced science degrees, including MDs and PhDs
    • Advocate groundbreaking punitive damages strategies that have reduced our clients’ exposure dramatically
    • Bring deep, successful experience to help our clients handle attorney general, congressional, and other proceedings

Case Study: Johnson & Johnson

In what The New York Times calls “one of the most complicated and gargantuan legal battles in American history,” O’Melveny is lead litigation counsel for Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals as the companies confront thousands of claims seeking to hold them liable for the country’s opioid-abuse epidemic. Read


O’Melveny has handled a number of important matters for ExxonMobil, including persuading the US Supreme Court that the US$2.5 billion in punitive damages awarded to victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was excessive as a matter of maritime common law. Read

Ford Motor Company

Our team has served as national class action counsel for Ford Motor Company for many years. In that capacity, we have successfully defended Ford against dozens of putative class actions. Read

General Mills

We successfully defended General Mills against a class action alleging that the packaging of the company’s “Total Blueberry Pomegranate” flavored cereal could lead consumers to believe the product contains real blueberries and pomegranates, even though the cereal in fact is naturally and artificially flavored. Read

Litigation Stemming from Fires

We have significant experience representing clients in litigation and investigations stemming from fires, an aerospace company in litigation arising out of a fatal fire aboard an aircraft; an oil refining company in criminal enforcement and civil litigation arising out of a series of fires at its refinery; a utility company in an appeal of a case brought after downed electric power lines were believed to have started a fire that consumed homes; and a home remodeling retailer in an government investigation of alleged violations of fire code, hazardous waste, and hazardous materials laws. Read

Major Pharmaceutical Company

O’Melveny obtained several important rulings defending claims brought against a Fortune 50 pharmaceutical company involving its sunscreen products, opioid painkillers, and pelvic mesh devices. Read


O’Melveny served as one of Merck’s national counsel in the Vioxx litigation, with responsibility for key aspects of the company’s defense at every stage, including the overall legal strategy, class certification briefing, trial briefing, appeals, and settlements. Read
    • Bausch & Lomb, Inc.
    • Exxon Mobil Corporation
    • Ford Motor Company
    • General Mills
    • Johnson & Johnson 
    • The Lincoln Electric Company
    • Merck & Co., Inc.
    • Southern California Edison Co.
    • Toyota Motor Sales
    • Trane Inc.
    • Verizon