Article By: Leigh Stuart, Citi Business
Edward Downing has been representing plaintiffs for more than 20 years and is well known in the field of products liability. As a litigator, Downing has spent the better part of his career arguing for safer products and manufacturer accountability.
Downing argued against motorbike manufacturer Baja Motorsports Mini Bikes and Go-Carts in regard to leaking gas caps that had seriously injured several people, including a very young child. The essential matter involves a leaky gas cap that didn't keep gasoline from splashing out of the tank. Though the case is still pending, about 308,000 mini-bikes have been recalled.
Downing has also worked to improve the safety of gaspowered water heaters. He spent more than 15 years working with manufacturers, gas companies and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to correct a design flaw that resulted in flammable vapors exploding and seriously burning individuals.
Downing served an integral role in collecting data and evidence, analyzing product safety and even engineering as it pertained to the product.
"I'd say I've been involved in about 50 of those cases around the country," he said.
The first water heaters manufactured to the new, more strenuous standards hit the market more than 10 years after Downing first approached the matter. Today, all water heaters manufactured in the United States now are flammable vapor resistant.
Downing considers it his biggest career accomplishment.
"It was a hard fight against a powerful lobby, but we were able to get them to change the product. We're just motivated to protect these kids, so it was easy to keep going. Lucky for us, we won a whole lot more than we lost."
Downing is also working on a number of hurricane-related claims and personal injury matters in Louisiana and Texas.
"I just have a tendency to think I can win most cases. It doesn't happen all the time, but I have a tendency to think I can find a way it can be done," he said.
Outside of the office, Downing volunteers as a consulting attorney for the National Doberman Pincher Club of America.
"I love going to dog shows, and I love dog people."