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Industrials

Industrial-strength solutions and coverage.

Industrial manufacturing is one of the largest and most competitive sectors of the global economy. Whether you manufacture agricultural machinery, construction and mining equipment, or fabricated and component products (including the raw materials that go into them), it’s paramount that your business has advisors who understand the high-risk environments in which you operate and can help you thrive amidst intense competition and market turbulence. Our industrials team provides business-savvy advice covering the full spectrum of strategic legal matters, with an eye toward helping manufacturers strike the right balance between innovation and risk.

Team Lead

Steven M. Crawford Profile Image
Steven M. Crawford

Partner

Louisville, KY

Industry-Focused Support

Serving as both national and regional litigation counsel, we help clients navigate the difficult terrain of product liability claims and product recalls, distressed supplier workouts, contract disputes and other complex litigation. We also work with clients to safeguard and grow their market share by leveraging strategic relationships and protecting their material, real property and intellectual property assets.

Additionally, we provide solution-minded counsel regarding labor and employment matters, environmental regulations, M&A and cross-border business transactions, tax incentives, government contracting and funding opportunities. Our insight into the regulatory overlay for industrial manufacturers (and their suppliers) helps clients maintain frictionless operations across a variety of markets.

Experience Highlights

Get a sense of who we are and what we’re capable of.

Labor & Employment

  • Lead trial counsel in a federal trial that resulted in a multimillion-dollar jury verdict against the United Steelworkers of America for misconduct that occurred in connection with a lockout at a steel mill.
  • Successful mediation of a case involving over 300 plaintiffs with exposure exceeding $500 million.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company before the United States Department of Labor in more than 40 wage and hour audits.
  • Served as lead negotiator and company spokesperson for Fortune 1000 corporations in collective bargaining negotiations for several industries and facilities involving international representatives of USW, UAW, UFCW, IBEW, and IAM. Negotiations included plant closings and relocation of work, modification in pay systems and fringe benefits programs and implementation of drug and alcohol testing programs.

Commercial Transactions

  • Represented public company in $17 million acquisition of specialty manufacturing business.
  • Represented consumer product company in $12 million venture capital financing.
  • Performed zoning-related due diligence work for multiple potential purchases of complex industrial properties.
  • Represented seller in partial recapitalization involving sale of 45% of equity in manufacturing parts and supplies distribution company to a PEG – enterprise value approximately $70M.
  • Represented machinery parts manufacturer in $20 million acquisition of metal component manufacturing company.

Product, Tort, and Insurance Litigation

  • National Fire Counsel for CNH Industrial (a global company specializing in equipment and services for Agriculture and Construction) – with successful defense trials in Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, Louisiana, and several other states. Multiple cases represented by Frost Brown Todd on behalf of CNH Industrial have resulted in new law.
  • Represented Rolls Royce (helicopter engine manufacturer) in a wrongful death case at trial court, Indiana Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. Writing for the first time on the issue of forum non conveniens, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order of dismissal in favor of the defendants.
  • Organized a cross-functional corrective action team and successfully guided the retrieval of hundreds of thousands of surge protectors in the field and throughout a complex distribution network involving dealers, franchisees, and retail service providers on behalf of a global energy and services company; then, recouping the costs from the upstream suppliers.
  • Serve as product safety counsel to Fortune 500 American manufacturer of industrial machinery with global sourcing and distribution.
  • Defense of medical device manufacturer in litigation stemming from the placement of mesh for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse

Environmental

  • Represent two separate large cap publicly-traded international manufacturing clients in management of numerous contaminated legacy sites and third-party sites throughout the United States. Project execution includes daily interaction with the clients, environmental consultants and regulatory agencies on the development and execution of eight-figure environmental investigations and remedial actions, use of state brownfield programs, citizen suits and Superfund litigation.

Global Services

  • Assisted defense article manufacturers with international trade compliance issues, including: (1) compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and registration hereunder; and (2) performing general export compliance audits and filing of Voluntary Disclosures for export violations.
  • Won on behalf of a United States seed producer, after two contested evidentiary hearings before an arbitration panel in Geneva, an award dismissing a 100 million euro claim by the client’s distributor in Greece.
  • Secured E-visas for employees of a Spanish manufacturer building factories in the U.S. during the pandemic by successfully arguing for and obtaining approvals of national interest waivers.

Supporting Evidence

Explore our latest insights on legal developments impacting your industry.

Closeup of unrecognizable mechanic replacing car brake pads. The car is lifted with hydraulic jack at eye level.
What Upcoming California ‘Lemon Law’ Rulings Could Mean for Manufacturers

January 25, 2024 | Publications

Decisions Could Impact Song-Beverly Act Claims Beyond the Auto Industry With California’s appellat...

Plastic Ocean Pollution and Microplastics
Stricter Microplastics Regulations Are on the Horizon. Here’s How California Manufacturers Should ...

December 4, 2023 | Publications

According to the American Chemical Association, the average American consumes up to 121,000 micropla...

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Manufacturers Beware: The Impact of Stricter 163(j) Deductibility Amid Rising Interest Rates

November 17, 2023 | Blogs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) introduced significant changes to the deduction of business...

What to Expect When the Chemical Safety Board Shows Up at Your Plant

October 30, 2023 | Publications

On January 28, 2021, a liquid nitrogen release at the Foundation Food Group’s Prepared Foods Divis...

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NLRB Publishes Final Rule on Determining Joint-Employer Status

October 27, 2023 | Publications

On October 27, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “Board”) published its anticipa...

NLRB Gives Historic Boost to Union Organizing

September 1, 2023 | Publications

The NLRB will force more employers to bargain with unions based upon signed union cards rather than ...

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