News Media Seek Schwartz’s Opinion About Recalls

Public Policy Partner Victor Schwartz (D.C.) has been consulted by the media about aspects of Mattel's recent recall of millions of toys made in China and purportedly tainted with lead-based paint. He answered the call when a reporter with The Wall Street Journal's law blog sought commentary on a company's options when conducting a product recall. The law blog noted that Victor "and the rest of the public policy folks at Shook Hardy offer high-level strategic advice to companies going through product-liability meltdowns, much like Mattel is." Victor discussed the Iron Triangle Defense and the need for companies to address the litigation, public-relations and regulatory dimensions of these situations.

ABC News conducted a Q&A with Victor and a plaintiff's lawyer to discuss the merits of medical-monitoring lawsuits related to product recalls. Victor contended that companies like Mattel should not be held liable in the absence of an existing injury and warned about the specter of "dragnet" lawsuits where lawyers file mass claims before a doctor has even been consulted. The better practice, according to Victor, is for the legal system to handle each case on an individual basis after a diagnosis has been reached.