34th Annual Product Liability Conference

Upcoming dates (1)

Oct. 11-13, 2022

Madison, WI or Live Online

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

UW-Madison 2022 Annual Product Liability Conference

Continuous Improvement of a Product Safety Program-Identifying and Acting on Lessons Learned

  • Shock and Awe: Grabbing the Attention of the Product Development Community 
  • Jedi Counsel: Creating a Persuasive Product Safety Team
  • Animal House: The “College” of Product Safety

Nathan A. Boyd, P.E.
Legal - Principal Engineer
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Product Liability Concerns from a Plaintiff Lawyer’s Perspective

Plaintiff Attorney Mark Guenin uses his professional experiences to address the need to maintain physical evidence and corporate records when a product causes harm. He will also address how experts in litigation need to establish protocols and procedures to ensure that manufacturers make their products in a safe and non-defective manner.  

Mark Guenin
Guenin Law
Wabash, Indiana

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

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 session will include discussion on the most recent updates to the standards and warnings considerations related to digitalization and automation, as well as a ‘label workshop’ to analyze real-world scenarios.

Angela Lambert, Head of Standards Compliance
Clarion Safety Systems
Milford, Pennsylvania

Chair, ANSI Z535.1 Safety Colors
Member, ANSI Z535 Committee
Member, U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 145
Member, U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 283

A Holistic Approach to Product Safety Management in the post pandemic world:  A Carrier’s Perspective.  

Karine Narr brings her over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry as a Product Liability Risk Specialist and Certified Safety Professional to discuss processes, systems and training which promote product safety. 

Karine Narr, CSP, ARM, MBA
Risk Specialist
Risk Engineering Services Chubb

Modern Product Safety Management– Lessons Learned

Manufacturers face countless challenges when starting and sustaining a modern product safety program.  With over 25 years of industry experience in product design, product safety engineering, and product compliance, Mr. Dux will share his insights and best practices in managing a comprehensive product safety and compliance program across multiple industries and global markets.

Darin Dux
Senior Consultant
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Des Moines, IA

How the Changing Workforce and Supply Chain Issues May Impact Product Safety and Liability

Mr. Walker of Hanover Insurance Group will address how employee changes in the labor market may impact corporate institutional knowledge and thus present product liability issues for a manufacturer.  Mr. Walker will also address how supply chain challenges may impact manufacturers from safety standpoint. 

Marshall Walker
Risk Solutions Technical
Director The Hanover Insurance Group

Don’t Let This Happen to You: Case Studies in Engineering Errors

Dr. Scheibe will present a series of case studies examining real-world errors in product design and manufacture that will provide perspective on what to do – and not to do – to engineer safe products and help avoid failures, claims, and product liability woes. 

Robert R. Scheibe, Ph.D., P.E., CFI
Senior Managing Engineer
Exponent  
Bellevue, WA

Optional Product Safety Features

When product manufacturers provide optional features can reduce accidents or decrease injury risks there are frequent challenges in design documentation, marketing, and product.  Drawing from lessons learned across industries Mr. Burhans will address common concerns, pitfalls, and problems that may be encountered.  Additionally, he will help identify best practices in product communications to clarify the goal and purpose of optional features. 

Charles Burhans, M.S.E.
Senior Consultant
Applied Safety & Ergonomics
Madison Wisconsin 

Why is the Rep From Our Insurance Company in the Lobby?

Your company has never had a product claim, lawsuit, or recall, but your insurance carrier wants a meeting to discuss your products and operations.  Why?  The common reasons these meetings occur will be addressed along with how to prepare, what to expect, and who should attend.  How your company may benefit from these meetings will also be presented.

Philip Kass, CSP
Risk Control Product Consulting Director - Liability
Risk Control

Who Should Write Your Warnings?

  • No one yet—do a hazard analysis first!
  • Does the left hand know what the right hand knows?
  • Writing warnings is a team sport

Patricia A. Robinson, Ph.D.
Coronado Consulting Services, LLC
Sonoita, AZ

Personal Responsibility and the Polarized Juror in Products Cases

Jurors have always carried disparate views on the foundational attitudes that underlie their reaction to many products cases, including views on safety, responsibility, and individual autonomy. In the wake of the pandemic, some of these views have subtly shifted. Persuading today’s products juror requires knowledge, adaptation, and strategy. 

Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D.
Senior Litigation Consultant
Persuasion Strategies
Denver, Colorado

Views from the Bench

Judge Chappell will offer her prospective on the role of federal courts in resolving civil disputes, what the court expects of lawyers and their clients throughout litigation, trial preparation strategies, tips on testifying as an expert or lay witness at trial, and modern juries.”   

Judge Sheri Polster Chappell
United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida

Hot Topics in Product Liability

Attorney Cal 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
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Instructors

Cal Burnton

Over a 30-year career, Cal Burnton tried and won numerous complex toxic tort and product liability cases, earning a national reputation for his ability to coordinate, manage, and defend product liability and mass toxic tort cases.  His national clients have included leading manufacturers and sellers of products such as chemicals, pesticides, health care appliances, medical devices, electrical equipment, firearms, printing presses, industrial machinery, and power tools. He has also served as national counsel for a well-known toy company on safety and regulatory issues.  Throughout the years, he has represented manufacturing and chemical clients in both federal and state courts in almost every state across the country.

Nathan Boyd

Legal, Principal Engineer

Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Nathan Boyd is a Principal Engineer at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in the Products Legal Department.  Nathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky (1993) and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin. Nathan has over 29 years of engineering experience in motorcycle platform leadership, product design, testing, quality/ reliability and product safety/ risk prevention.

 

As a Principal Engineer, Nathan reports to the Director of Product Integrity and has the primary responsibility of reviewing all potential product safety and/or regulatory non-compliance issues on motorcycles in the field. This work entails data mining and analysis of data from several different inputs, looking for potential issues.  As issues are discovered, Nathan leads the team through root cause analysis and remedy ideation. Additionally, he presents potential issues, based on frequency and severity, to the Field Action Committee and the Executive Decision Authority Committee, as appropriate.

 

Nathan is an avid motorcyclist who rides about 5,000 miles per year between his personal bike and company bikes.  He is a highly trained motorcyclist with multiple training classes in high-speed cornering, police-based training for low speed maneuverability and threshold braking.  Nathan has competed at the national level in motorcycle skills competitions throughout the U.S. 

Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D.

Senior Litigation Consultant

Persuasion Strategies

Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D., is a Senior Litigation Consultant with Persuasion Strategies, a service of Holland & Hart LLP, based in Denver. Dr. Broda-Bahm has provided research and strategic advice on several hundred cases across the country for the past 28 years, applying a doctorate in communication emphasizing the areas of legal persuasion and rhetoric. As a tenured Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Dr. Broda-Bahm has taught courses including legal communication, argumentation, persuasion, and research methods. He has trained and consulted in 35 states and 19 countries around the world and is a past President of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

 

Charles Burhans

Mr. Burhans is a Senior Consultant. His recent professional activities include development and evaluation of warnings and instructions and product literature, analysis of standards, accident investigation, and the development of safety training materials and product safety/integrity documentation. While at the University of Michigan, he was an Instructional Assistant for Product and Occupational Safety Management courses in the Industrial and Operations Engineering Department. Mr. Burhans is a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z535.6 Subcommittee on Product Safety Information in Product Manuals, Instructions, and Other Collateral Materials. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Industrial and Operations Engineering.

Sheri Polster Chappell

United States District Judge 

Middle District of Florida 

The Honorable Sheri Polster Chappell has served the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida for almost twenty years: first as a magistrate judge and now as a district judge. She became a federal district judge in 2013 after the United States Senate unanimously voted for her confirmation. As a trial judge, Judge Chappell has tried dozens of cases including products liability suits. In addition to balancing her full caseload, Judge Chappell serves as the administrative judge for the Middle District’s Fort Myers Division and chairs the Automation and Technology Committee. 

Before taking the federal bench, Judge Chappell worked as a state prosecutor where she tried hundreds of criminal felony cases.¿ Judge Chappell is a Wisconsin-native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and thus she is a zealous Packers and Badgers fan.

Darin Dux

Senior Consultant
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.

With over 30 years in product engineering and manufacturing, Mr. Dux has experience across many industries including agriculture, construction, earth-moving, mining, and utility infrastructure.  He led a comprehensive product safety and product compliance program at a major equipment manufacturer, and has extensive experience in setting up safety and compliance programs, training personnel, and organizing data and work flow.  He has contributed to various national and international standards, worked with government and non-government entities around the globe, and managed safety and compliance in multiple engineering, manufacturing, and distribution facilities and markets across North and South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Pacific Rim.  Mr. Dux is currently a Senior Consultant with Rimkus Consulting Group.  

Mark Guenin

Guenin Law Offices, PC 

Mark Guenin has practiced law for over 40 years. Mark and his daughter, Emily Guenin-Hodson's, office is in Wabash, Indiana.  They have tried multiple jury trials from Indiana to Idaho. Their practice focuses on personal injury cases involving motor vehicle crashes and products liability; however, they also litigate cases involving commercial business transactions, real estate disputes and estates.   They have handled cases in State and Federal court, as well as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

They have obtained multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements.  They work with national experts throughout the country when preparing, conducting, and presenting their cases. 

Mark is a graduate of Wabash College and Indiana University - Michael Maurer School of Law.  Emily is a graduate of Butler University and Indiana University - Michael Maurer School of Law, where she graduated with honors.  Mark has presented at multiple Seminars, Institutes, and Inns of Court.  Both are active Board Members of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. They have authored articles for The Verdict magazine and co-presented at an international webinar (US and Canada).  Emily is a member of the Order of the Coif- national legal honorary, the President-elect of ITLA, a member of the American Association of Justice, and a multiple recipient of the Super Lawyer designation.

Steven Hall

Mr. Hall is a Senior Consultant who also serves as Director of Hazard Communication Consultations and Director of Research and Development. His professional activities include design and evaluation of hazard communications, analyzing and reconstructing product and occupational accidents, analysis of standards and regulations, and providing general safety and human factors engineering consultation. He also provides training in the development of product warnings and instructions.

Philip Kass

CNA Insurance

Risk Control Product Consulting Director - Liability

Risk Control

Philip Kass supports CNA’s Risk Control Department as the Product Consulting Director – Liability on the Home Office Casualty Team to implement strategies and provide technical expertise for General Liability including Products Liability, Premises-Operations, and AIPI.  Prior to joining CNA, Philip engaged clients at two other commercial insurance carriers as a Products Risk Specialist, Senior Risk Engineer, Field Underwriter, Commercial Underwriter, and Loss Control Consultant.  Designations: CSP, CXLT.

Angela Lambert

 Angela Lambert has over fifteen years of experience in product safety, warnings, and liability. In her role at Clarion Safety, she collaborates with manufacturers – as well as industry partners and advocates – on labels, signs and markings that can help reduce risk and protect people. That includes having a keen understanding of visual safety communication standards, as well as safety label content/design, color systems and print production. From a standards perspective, Ms. Lambert is actively involved at the leadership level in the ANSI and ISO standards for product safety. She is chair of the ANSI Z535.1 subcommittee, leading the standard that focuses on colors used in visual safety communication. She is also a delegate representative to the ANSI Z535 committee, to the ISO/TC 145 SC2 WG 1 committee (responsible for the library of ISO 7010 registered symbols and the ISO 3864 set of standards), and to ISO/TC 283 (responsible for the ISO 45001 standard). Additionally, she is the liaison for ISO/TC 145 to ISO/TC 283, acting as a bridge between the international safety label/sign standards and workplace health/safety standards.

Ms. Lambert is also an expert speaker on product safety and visual safety communication at universities and associations across the country. In addition to designing and producing best practice labels and signs, Clarion Safety specializes in guiding its clients through a streamlined process to implement cutting-edge visual safety communication systems in line with today's leading safety standards. The company also provides complementary services for comprehensive machine safety, compliance, and risk reduction. Clarion Safety is a member of the ANSI Z535 Committee for Safety Signs and Colors, the U.S. ANSI TAG to ISO/TC 145 and the U.S. ANSI TAG to ISO 45001.

 

Karine Narr

Chubb Risk Engineering Services

Risk Specialist

Karine Narr has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry as a Property & Casualty Risk Engineer.  Her specialty is evaluating products liability exposures and controls across all industries, assisting clients in developing product liability risk management programs, and providing education and training to clients.  She has also developed internal training programs to further promote product liability skills among the Risk Engineering department.  

Ms. Narr has a degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and has completed post graduate work in ergonomics at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  She also has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Ms. Narr is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and has a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation.

Patricia Robinson

Coronado Consulting Services LLC

Dr. Robinson brings a unique blend of skills and experience to her consulting. She began her work in instructions and warnings while serving on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. In addition to developing curriculum and teaching technical communication courses, Dr. Robinson helped develop and served as the first Director of the Technical Communication Certificate program and served as Program Director for continuing education courses in technical communication, including product documentation. She continues to teach regularly at product safety conferences and seminars.

Not satisfied with being just an ivory-tower academic, Dr. Robinson left the university in 1991 to become a police officer with the City of Madison, where she worked as a patrol officer and later full-time training officer until 2000 when she left the police department and became Law Enforcement Education Director for the State of Wisconsin. She was the principal architect of an innovative curriculum redesign for basic law enforcement training throughout the state.

While working in law enforcement, Dr. Robinson continued her consulting part time, but in 2002 she decided to focus on consulting full-time, leaving Wisconsin winters behind for Arizona sunshine. Five years later, she returned to Wisconsin to take a position at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. As Executive Dean for Public Safety, she led the design and development of a $34.5 million state-of-the-art comprehensive public safety training center, which was completed in 2014. After enduring three of the longest, coldest, and snowiest winters on record during her seven-year stint in Appleton, she promptly fled back to Arizona, where she continues to write and consult.

She is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the ANSI Z535.6 Subcommittee.

Robert Scheibe

For over 37 years, Dr. Scheibe has used his mechanical engineering background to investigate, reconstruct, analyze, and determine the cause for accidents, component failures, and fires involving industrial machinery, vehicles, heavy equipment, tools, appliances, recreational equipment, and consumer products. He specializes in the engineering analysis of product safety and performance from the standpoint of design, operation, manufacture, assembly, maintenance, instruction, guarding, and warning. He has evaluated machinery operation in numerous industries including power generation, transportation, agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, chemical processing, marine, and mining, for concerns that include machine design, hydraulics, lubrication, vibration, power transmission, materials handling, and occupational safety.

Marshall Walker

Risk Solutions Technical Director

The Hanover Insurance Group

Marshall Walker is the Risk Solutions Technical Director for General Liability and Product Liability at The Hanover Insurance Group.  He has over 12 years of Insurance Risk Management experience and specializes in product safety and liability. He holds a certification in Product Safety Management. In his role at Hanover, he oversees training and development in product liability principles; and collaborates with internal and external business partners to develop and execute strategic initiatives to address emerging issues or industry trends that impact product liability.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Susan Ottmann

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