34th Annual Product Liability Conference

Upcoming dates (1)

Sep. 20-22, 2022

Madison, WI

Course Overview

Learn current and emerging product liability prevention practices from experienced product safety management professionals including consulting engineers, product safety standards experts, and a defense attorney.

Who Should Attend?

Product safety and risk management professionals from industrial and commercial equipment manufacturers along with insurance providers will benefit the most. Past attendees stating they received valuable information include:

  • Product safety management managers
  • Risk management managers
  • Product development managers
  • Design engineers
  • Technical writers
  • Product liability underwriters
  • In-house attorneys who deal with product liability

Course Outline

The 2022 conference topics and schedule will be posted at a later date. We plan to return to an in-person conference!

Topics presented at the 2021 conference included:

Hot Topics in Product Liability
Mr. Burnton will provide an overview of recent product liability cases and verdicts, discuss lessons to be learned from those cases, and recommend what manufacturers might do to avoid similar situations.

Cal Burnton, Attorney
Chicago, Illinois

Persuasion Strategies for Trying Product Liability Cases in an Era of Nuclear Verdicts
Today’s product liability cases are tried in an environment of nuclear verdicts, characterized by juror polarization, politicization, and high distrust in science and expert witness testimony. The result? It is more challenging than ever to be a consumer product corporate defendant in front of jurors today. This session will share current public perceptions of various types of product manufacturers and discuss drivers of pro-plaintiff product liability verdicts. In addition, concrete strategies for getting jurors to see a case from the perspective of a defendant product manufacturer will be presented, including how to best present the 'Zone of Corporate Responsibility', which types of witnesses are most persuasive to product liability jurors, and tips for making product warnings more effective and persuasive.

Shelley C. Spiecker, PhD, Senior Litigation Consultant
Persuasion Strategies
Denver, Colorado

On-Product Warnings: ANSI Z535.4 and ISO 3864-2
“Failure to warn” and “inadequate warnings” continue to top today’s product liability allegations. Angela Lambert will provide an overview of the ANSI Z535.4 and ISO 3864-2 standards and how they can be used as the foundation for effective labels and instructions. The discussion will include the most recent updates to the standards, and those anticipated in 2021/2022, as well as warnings considerations for the pandemic and post-pandemic environment.

Angela Lambert, Head of Standards Compliance
Clarion Safety Systems
Milford, Pennsylvania
Chair, ANSI Z535.1 Safety Colors

The Current Requirements, Benchmarks and Liability Implications of Risk Assessment
Mr. Main will present an overview of the risk assessment process, highlights of current national and international requirements, and legal implications of documenting risks.

Bruce Main, President, PE, CSP
design safety engineering, inc.
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Selecting Safety Interventions
A common rule-of-thumb, often called "the safety hierarchy," suggests that deciding how to deal with hazards is very simple: First, try to design the hazard out. If that’s not possible, guard. And if that's not possible, warn.  Mr. Hall will explain how this approach fails to capture many important considerations in safety decision-making and will present more sophisticated approaches that can help practitioners make better choices.

Steven Hall, MSE, CPSM
Director, Human Factors Practice
Applied Safety and Ergonomics, Inc. a Rimkus Company
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Presentation title and description coming soon.

Charles Burhans, MSE, CPSM
Vice President, Human Factors
Applied Safety and Ergonomics, Inc. a Rimkus Company
Ann Arbor, Michigan

De-defecting Your Product from the Engineering Perspective
There is no “silver bullet” for identifying or eliminating defects.  Dr. Scheibe will present several case studies and review techniques used to identify manufacturing and design defects, and he will show examples of unanticipated consequences from design changes that led to product failures.

Robert R. Scheibe, PhD, PE, CFI
Senior Managing Engineer
Exponent, Inc.
Bellevue, Washington

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Jeff Oelke

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