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Mass Tort/Toxic Tort

Gallagher Sharp provides full and complete representation and cost effective case management in defending mass tort claims. Our philosophy of case progression is as follows:

  1. We determine whether a plaintiff or groups of plaintiffs have sufficiently identified our clients’ products in the workplace;
  2. We determine whether, through informal information exchange and negotiation, the case can be dismissed at an early stage;
  3. We gather sufficient evidence to file a meritorious motion for summary judgment;
  4. If it is not practical to file a motion for summary judgment or the motion is denied, we then attempt to negotiate a reasonable and fair settlement; and
  5. If reasonable settlement is not reached, we are fully prepared to take a case to trial and have a successful trial record of defending mass tort claims.
  6. Throughout the pleading and discovery process, Gallagher Sharp is always positioned to try the case. In doing so, we can discuss settlement from a position of strength.
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Since the early 1980's Gallagher Sharp’s mass tort attorneys have defended many clients and insureds in asbestos litigation.  We appear in State and Federal Courts on behalf of the following entities: 

  • Manufacturers of Refractory Products, Pumps, Air Compressor Units, Boilers, Sealing Products, Industrial Clothing and Safety Equipment, Friction Products, HVAC and Talc
  • Installers
  • Electric/Utility Companies
  • Railroads

We also serve as National Coordinating Counsel for Tasco Insulations and F.D. Lawrence Electric Company, involved in thousands of asbestos claims in Ohio, New York, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Gallagher Sharp has developed strong working relationships with leading experts in asbestos defense. Our mass tort attorneys are skilled at developing and presenting medical and scientific expert testimony. We keep abreast of current epidemiological studies and judicial opinions important to mass tort litigation.

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Diesel Exhaust+

Most recently, the railroad industry has been faced with litigation arising from allegations of low-dose and cumulative exposures to diesel exhaust in shops and on-board locomotives.  Various studies have suggested that these exposures can cause COPD (obstructive lung disease), asthma or reactive airways disease (a.k.a. diesel asthma), cognitive dysfunction (a.k.a. diesel encephalopathy), and/or any number of cancers (lung, stomach, kidney, larynx, brain, or colon).  Additionally, some studies have proposed that diesel exhaust exposure can trigger cardiovascular disease.  As these lawsuits have increased, Gallagher Sharp’s attorneys have been at the forefront developing defense strategies and retaining expert witnesses to defend these allegations. Our attorneys are well-versed in peer-reviewed literature and can provide epidemiological and causation defenses on the failure of these studies to prove such relationships.  Gallagher Sharp defends and/or assists in the defense of diesel exhaust cases in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee.

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Maritime Multidistrict Litigation+

Gallagher Sharp represented over 20 manufacturing defendants in this large piece of litigation.  By having a working knowledge of each client’s products, use and exposure potential, Gallagher Sharp was able to negotiate a global dismissal for all of these manufacturing defendants.  In addition, we represented other equipment manufacturers through the discovery and motion stage and were able to effectuate nuisance value settlements to resolve the entire Federal MDL.

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Silica/Mixed Dust+

Our defense of the asbestos cases led to a growing list of clients who faced claims alleging exposure to crystalline silica and other industrial dusts. We have appeared on behalf of manufacturers of respirators, air compressors, and vacuum systems, along with suppliers of industrial and medical gases. We have analyzed clinical reports and scientific studies on exposure to industrial dusts and have prepared defense strategies in response to same. 

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Other Exposures+

The firm represents clients facing claims of environmental mass exposure to alleged toxins. In representing major paint and coatings manufacturers, we have considerable experience in defending various toxic tort claims including those asserting the right to class action status based on exposure or ingestion of lead based paint. We have appeared on behalf of clients in claims involving exposure to polyvinyl chloride and benzene.  In addition, Gallagher Sharp represented manufacturers of welding consumables, filler materials and inserts, electrodes, wires and stainless steel, nickel, and copper alloys in over 1,700 welding fume products liability cases filed or transferred to the Welding Fume Products Liability MDL and settled in 2012. 

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