Claims Advocacy and Litigation Over Coverage for Talc Ovarian Cancer Claims

We are representing $75B multinational mining company Rio Tinto in insurance coverage litigation in San Francisco Superior Court regarding coverage for the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation (Talc Ovarian Cancer Claims). The Talc Ovarian Cancer Claims involve approximately 14,000 personal injury claims filed across the country alleging that talc exposure caused the plaintiffs’ ovarian cancer. This litigation recently resulted in a $4B verdict against J&J, as well as a number of other large verdicts. Our firm’s work involves not only the coverage litigation, but advice to the client on numerous other insurance issues raised by the claims. 

Silicon Breast Implant Cases

As lead California counsel to a Fortune 100 company in consumer/product defect silicon breast implant cases, we obtained summary judgment in more than 700+ cases under the bulk distributor/component supplier doctrines, and successfully defended related product claims including those involving the dual capacity exception to exclusive remedy doctrine.


Serve as national coordinating counsel for products liability litigation relating to gas delivery system, and products liability counseling relating to Prop. 65.

Agriculture Chemicals

Represent agricultural chemical maker in litigation for alleged breach of contract and unfair business practices in research and development of agricultural chemicals.

Air Conditioning Units

Represent manufacturer in a product liability action involving air conditioning units for hundreds of apartments in Guam, and concerning passenger and freight elevators installed in a major hotel on Guam.

Concrete Foundations

Represent concrete company in product defect litigation involving susceptibility of concrete foundations to deterioration from sulfate in soil in condominium development.

DBCP Pesticide

Represented chemical company and its subsidiaries in personal injury, public health and property damage claims regarding the pesticide DBCP.

Defective Medical Devices

Successfully prosecuted claims on behalf of medical group for reimbursement of expenses incurred for revision surgeries resulting from defective hip and knee implants.

Dr. Bonner

We represented Dr. Bronner’s, a manufacturer of organic skin care products, in an action against several major cosmetic companies asserting that the skin care products of the defendants which were advertised and sold as “organic” were not in fact organic as understood by consumers in California. The critical issue in this action was determination of what constitutes “organic” ingredients in skin care products to justify advertising and presenting those products as “organic.” After several years of litigation in state and federal courts in San Francisco, the matter is currently pending before the USDA.

Dry Cleaning Chemicals

Defend commodity chemical manufacturer against design defect and failure to warn claims concerning soil and groundwater contamination from dry cleaners.

EPA Compliance

Represented pharmaceutical company in EPA administrative enforcement action for alleged failure to comply with TSCA reporting requirements concerning chemicals used in manufacturing.

Exercise Equipment

Represent manufacturer of exercise equipment in a product liability lawsuit and provide product stewardship advice.

Fire Sprinker Systems

Represent pipe and fitting companies in class action litigation for alleged design and manufacturing defects resulting in premature corrosion, and related claims concerning pipes and fittings used in fire sprinkler systems.

Fruit Crop Value

As lead counsel to agricultural chemical manufacturer in actions alleging pesticide product defects resulting in diminished value of fruit crop, obtained summary judgment and dismissals with prejudice.

Global Product Stewardship

Serve on the global product stewardship committee for international apparel company.  Developed a "do not use" list of chemicals which was implemented globally throughout all of the company's manufacturing facilities.

Leather and Fabric Care Products

Represented manufacturer in EPA investigation and enforcement action for alleged failure to comply with FIFRA in manufacturing and labeling leather and fabric care products, and in related CPSC investigation.

Outdoor Grills

As West Coast counsel for a manufacturer of outdoor goods, successfully defended claims of design and manufacturing defects relating to outdoor grills and other products, including obtaining defense verdicts in state and federal trials.

Pharmaceutical Liability

Represented pharmaceutical corporation in 53 separate pharmaceutical product liability lawsuits alleging personal injuries from the use of an FDA-approved cancer treatment. In the course of this representation, Farella developed successful pre-trial strategies that greatly reduced or limited the ability of certain plaintiffs to recover damages, and took the lead in the fact discovery and depositions in those cases. Those strategies resulted in several summary judgment orders as well as voluntary dismissals. Sandra Edwards also participated in a three-week jury trial in the Eastern District of California in which a directed verdict was returned for the client, followed by a unanimous defense verdict.

Plant Growth Regulator

Represent international agricultural chemical manufacturer in product liability claims to alleged crop damage resulting from the use of a plant growth regulator, and provide domestic product stewardship advice to the company.

Satellite Payload

Defended manufacturer of a satellite payload for alleged component defects.

Steele v. Nokia

Represented Nokia in a first-impression case in which the plaintiff has brought a products liability claim against Nokia arising out of the use of cellular technology in an automobile.  A successful dismissal was obtained.

TSCA Compliance - Life Sciences

Represent major life science company in product assessment and counseling, including compliance relating to TSCA.

Wastewater Districts and Municipalities

Represent water districts and municipalities in prosecution of lawsuits involving defective polybutylene pipe laterals.

Firm Highlights


North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

Read More

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

Read More

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

Read More

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

Read More

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

Read More

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

Read More

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

Read More

Judge Finds Grounds to Sue California Insurance Commissioner for Refusing to Investigate Industry Fraud in Recent Wildfire Claims

Lawsuit Alleges Insurance Industry Has Illegally Used Unlicensed Out-of-State Adjusters to Cheat Victims of 2017 and 2018 Wildfires SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2019: A judge is permitting a survivor of the 2017 Tubbs Fire...

Read More

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

Read More

Last Major SF Transbay Tower, Affordable Housing at Risk of Delays

Real Estate/Land Use and Development Partner Charles (C.J.) Higley shares his thoughts on why the 546 Howard St. tower project deserves priority for approval. Read the full article here .

Read More