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Joseph G. Blute

Member / Co-chair, Product Liability Practice

[email protected]

+1.617.348.3073

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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 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 specializes in complex commercial and business litigation, products liability, and insurance coverage matters. He chairs the firm’s Product Liability & Complex Tort Litigation Practice.

Joe has extensive experience in complex civil litigation. He 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, in class action litigation. Joe has served in the role of both national and regional counsel for products liability matters.

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 planned, chaired, and spoken at numerous ACI Drug and Medical Device Litigation conferences, a major annual meeting of attorneys who defend pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies in products liability litigation. 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, he was an editor of the law review.

Education

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

Experience

  • National counsel to a major bio-pharmaceutical corporation on national products liability litigation involving its biologic pharmaceutical products.
  • Currently representing 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.

Recognition & Awards

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Personal Injury - Products: Defense (2004 – 2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Product Liability Litigation (2012 – 2019)
  • International Law Office and Lexology: “Client Choice Award” – Product Regulation & Liability, Massachusetts (2013 – 2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Involvement

  • Chair, Board of Directors, New England Legal Foundation (NELF)
  • 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

Viewpoints

Viewpoint

Legal Implications of AI

August 27, 2018| Video

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.
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.

News & Press

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. Mike discusses the Boston office’s history; current strengths including corporate, health care, intellectual property, life sciences and litigation; and describes some examples of client successes. Additionally, litigation Members Joe Blute and Yalonda Howze are quoted in Law360’s profile on Mintz. Joe and Yalonda led a team that successfully represented Biogen in a significant matter. Member Alec Zadek is also quoted in the piece discussing his efforts, along with the firm, outside the office in terms of commitment to serving the community. Alec specifically discusses efforts related to protecting the victims of sex trafficking and their individual rights.
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.
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. 

Events

Speaker
Jul
31
2018

ACI's Drug & Medical Device Litigation Boot Camp

American Conference Institute

The Bellevue Hotel Philadelphia, PA