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Joseph G. Blute

Member / Co-chair, Product Liability Practice

[email protected]



Joe is a versatile litigator with extensive trial and appellate experience. He handles a broad range of complex matters, including product liability defense, insurance coverage disputes, and complex commercial and bankruptcy-associated litigation. Joe is particularly known for his experience representing pharmaceutical and biotechnology product manufacturers in product liability cases filed throughout the United States, and in related litigation management and counseling. He co-chairs the firm’s Product Liability & Complex Tort Litigation Practice, as well as an interdisciplinary working group focused on the legal and policy implications of emerging artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies.

Joe has extensive experience in complex civil litigation and he has tried numerous disputes to jury verdict or judicial decision. Over the course of a career that spans more than three decades, Joe has tried cases on behalf of Johnson & Johnson, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Eagle-Picher Industries, Fisher-Price Toys, Cummins Engines, Hollingsworth and Vose Co., and Exxon Corporation, among others. He has represented Georgia-Pacific Corp., General Electric Co., and Johnson & Johnson, among others. Joe has served in the role of both national and regional counsel for products liability matters and recently obtained a series of important, precedent-setting summary judgment rulings in multi-state litigation involving the multiple sclerosis medication Tysabri® (natalizumab). Joe also conducts products liability risk assessments for pharmaceutical, life sciences and industrial companies on new and existing products, including reviewing potential risk factors arising out of the use of new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), AI-influenced robotics and software as a medical device.

His trial experience in insurance coverage litigation includes winning each of the three cases that he has tried to verdict in multimillion-dollar comprehensive coverage actions. In addition to his trial experience, Joe has extensive experience representing clients in ADR proceedings, including numerous mediations and arbitrations.

Joe has also argued numerous appeals in both state and federal courts. He has appeared on behalf of clients pro hac vice in many states. He is a member of the bars of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the United States District Court (Massachusetts), and the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, and Third Circuits.

Joe has testified before the Massachusetts Legislature on important pieces of legislation impacting product manufacturers and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

While at the George Washington University School of Law, Joe was an editor of the law review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.


  • George Washington University (JD)
  • Boston College (BA)


  • National counsel to a major bio-pharmaceutical corporation on national products liability litigation involving its biologic pharmaceutical products.
  • Provided a retrospective product liability evaluation and recommendations for a multinational industrial company.
  • Represented a European-based publicly traded pharmaceutical company as coordinating counsel in multi-jurisdictional product liability disputes involving an FDA-regulated pharmaceutical drug.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in wrongful death and personal injury actions involving participants in phase III clinical trials.
  • Defended a dental product manufacturer in a products liability action involving the alleged failure of its products and resulting injuries. Obtained defense verdict after trial on the merits.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in a wrongful death action brought by the estate of a person who died while participating in a company-sponsored phase III clinical trial.
  • Represented a large diversified manufacturing, mining and electronics defense and space industries company supporting the construction, in a comprehensive asbestos insurance coverage dispute involving the company’s historic asbestos related liabilities and hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Represented a designer and erector of electric power plants in a comprehensive insurance coverage action, including excess insurance issues, relating to thousands of asbestos related liability claims arising out of the company’s operations over many decades.
  • Advised a biotechnology diagnostics company in connection with the discovery of errors in certain marketed generic tests.
  • Represented a specialty paper manufacturer in a comprehensive insurance coverage action, including excess insurance issues, involving coverage for asbestos related liabilities arising out of the company’s sale in the early 1950’s of asbestos containing paper used in certain cigarette filters.
  • Advised a private equity firm with respect to a target medical device company's product liability exposure and associated liability insurance program.
  • Assist the firm’s transactional lawyers in due diligence involving product liability risk.

Recognition & Awards

  • Benchmark Litigation: Litigation Star (2020 – 2022)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Personal Injury - Products: Defense (2004 – 2021)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2012 – 2022)
  • International Law Office and Lexology: “Client Choice Award” – Product Regulation & Liability, Massachusetts (2013 – 2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent, AV Preeminent-Judicial Edition
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • Member, Board of Directors, New England Legal Foundation (NELF) (2016-present)
  • Member, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Fellows of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association (ABA) Products Liability Committee
  • Member, ABA Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Subcommittee
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Member, Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Faculty member, 2010 IADC Trial Academy
  • Member, Boston Chapter of the American Inns of Court
  • Past Vice chair, Board of Directors, New England Legal Foundation (NELF)
  • Past co-chair, Law and Policy Committee of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Council
  • Past Board member, George Washington University Law Alumni Association

Recent Insights

News & Press


Consumer Product Safety Viewpoints Thumbnail
Over the past several weeks, the Firm has received a number inquiries from clients (on both coasts) who are interested in manufacturing or selling test kits, respirators, masks, and other PPE in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with respect to potential liability risks associated with such activities.
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Legal Implications of AI

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Joe Blute

Joe Blute talks about the inevitable legal implications of the transformative artificial intelligence technology and how the legal system will need to continuously evolve to keep up with new developments.
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Viewpoint Thumbnail
Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made an important ruling concerning innovator liability with respect to pharmaceuticals. Though precluding negligence and traditional product liability claims against brand-name manufacturers, Chief Justice Gants held that claims alleging intentional, reckless conduct are permitted.
Read more

News & Press

News Thumbnail
Mintz Member and Co-chair of the firm’s Product Liability Practice Joseph G. Blute was quoted in an article published by Law360 that provided analysis on a recent ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granting summary judgment to pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in a lawsuit alleging that its anti-nausea medication Zofran causes birth defects. Mr. Blute was among legal sources to comment on how the preemption ruling provides a "roadmap" for fending off multidistrict litigation with the help of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Merck v. Albrecht.
This article profiles Mintz as one of the 2018 Law360 Massachusetts Powerhouse law firms. Mike Fantozzi, Managing Member of the firm’s Boston office and the Corporate, Tax, Private Client and Immigration Division Head, is quoted providing commentary throughout the piece.
Member Joe Blute provides commentary in this feature article discussing who may be responsible for harm caused to generic drug users in light of state decisions on the matter. Many note, however, that this decision ultimately may rise to the federal level.
Litigation Members Joe Blute, Ralph Campillo and Yalonda Howze are featured in this piece, along with four in-house counsel, discussing the current state of product liability exposures and related litigation. The piece further discusses strategies for manufacturers to minimize product liability exposure, how best to handle discovery, the role testimony from company witnesses plays, among other hot topics.
Press Release Thumbnail
Best Lawyers named 85 Mintz attorneys to its 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mintz attorneys Matthew J. Gardella and Samuel M. Tony Starr were named “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas.
Fifty-three Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2016 and thirty-one have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars. The findings will be published in the November 2016 issue of Boston Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New England Super Lawyers. 
Best Lawyers named 73 Mintz attorneys to its 2017 list of The Best Lawyers in America. Mintz attorneys selected for inclusion in this year’s list span 44 practice areas. 



ACI's Drug & Medical Device Litigation Boot Camp

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