James H. Heller, chair of the firm’s Products Liability Practice Group and vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, joined the firm in August 1985. Jim is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Jim practices out of the Philadelphia office. Jim handles complex commercial disputes and catastrophic personal injury claims.
During his tenure at Cozen O’Connor, Jim has had extensive litigation experience, trying more than 50 cases to verdict or judgment in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Jim is the national coordinating attorney and national trial attorney for an international product manufacturer.
He has litigated hundreds of products’ liability matters throughout the United States, many of which involve serious personal injury or wrongful death claims from residential fires or neurological injuries from exposure to carbon monoxide. A number of these claims have been pursued on a class action basis.
Jim has also litigated numerous commercial disputes, including claims of fraud, complex breach of contract actions, shareholder derivative actions and litigation arising out of the sale or merger of publicly held companies. He has prosecuted fraud practices by health care providers, attorneys, and claimants.
He also has intellectual property litigation experience having prosecuted claims throughout the United States for patent, copyright, and trademark infringement. Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan in 1982, and his J.D. at the University of Miami in 1985. He is a member of Phi Alpha Delta.
- Successfully defended a product manufacturer in a products liability claim that involved multiple deaths, where plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for deaths they attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater manufactured by our client. The jury found for the defense on all issues.
- Won several defense verdicts in jury trials by utilizing advanced fire modeling software to quantify and illustrate the movement of flames, heat, smoke, and other products of combustion during a fire event.
- Successfully defended product manufacturers and obtained defense verdicts and judgments in a number of products liability claims that involved multiple injuries and deaths, where plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for deaths they attributed to the negligent manufacture and/or design of its products.
- Obtained dismissal of complaint/litigation for product manufacturer wherein 35-year-old woman suffered serious brain damage from a carbon monoxide exposure.
- Successfully defended a company and obtained a complete defense verdict in a suit filed by its former CEO seeking compensatory and punitive damages relating to his employment and his termination from the company.
- Obtained summary judgment for a product manufacturer whose product was alleged to have proximately caused five deaths. The court held that the plaintiffs failed to establish a product defect and/or that the alleged product defect was the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ deaths.
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1985
- University of Michigan, B.A., 1982
BAR ADMISSIONS : New Jersey; Pennsylvania
COURT ADMISSIONS :
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
- American Bar Association
- American Trial Lawyers Association
- Defense Research Institute
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc.
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