Peter Pliszka is a senior partner who acts as trial and appellate counsel in a broad range of product liability, class action, commercial and insurance litigation matters before all levels of court in Ontario and other Canadian provinces, and before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Peter is the National Chair of Fasken Martineau’s Product Liability and Insurance Practice Group, which has been named Canada’s Product Liability Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada in 2014, 2016 and 2017, and the LMG Life Sciences Canadian Product Liability Firm of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
Peter has substantial experience as defence counsel for manufacturing companies in private action and class action product liability proceedings.
Peter has served as lead national defence counsel for clients in multi-jurisdictional and national product liability class actions in Canada involving motor vehicles, medical devices, drugs and sports equipment. Further, Peter has extensive experience conducting the Canadian defence of cross-border legal proceedings that involve parallel claims on both sides of the Canada-US border. In this context, Peter regularly works in close collaboration with our clients’ outside counsel in the US in developing and executing defence plans for our clients in a strategic and cost-efficient manner.
Peter also regularly advises manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers on regulatory requirements of various products, risk management issues and corrective actions including product warnings and recalls. In addition, Peter is one of Ontario’s most experienced counsel in product liability-related Coroner’s Inquest proceedings.
Peter’s product liability experience covers the design, manufacture and operation of a wide range of products, including, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food products, motor vehicles, home electronics equipment, sports equipment, recreational products, power generators, aircraft, forklift truck mechanical braking systems, tractor-trailer wheel assemblies, fire-retardant fabrics, trains, elevator components, industrial machinery, industrial resins, and cellular telephones.
Peter regularly represents clients from the US, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean in legal matters in Canada. In this regard, Peter has substantial experience in the area of private international law. Peter has been counsel in the leading appellate decisions on the law of jurisdiction over foreign defendants, including the 2012 landmark S.C.C. decision of Club Resorts Limited v. Van Breda/Charron which reformulated the law in Canada for determining when a Canadian court is entitled to assume jurisdiction over a claim against a foreign defendant. Peter represented the foreign defendant, Club Resorts Limited. This decision substantially improved the jurisdiction law of Canada from a defence perspective. The decision eliminated subjective notions of fairness for the plaintiff as a factor which a court may consider in determining whether it may assume jurisdiction over a claim against a foreign defendant, and established a new test based on more objective factors for determining jurisdiction.
Peter is listed in various national and international directories of leading lawyers including: LMG Life Sciences Canadian Product Liability Attorney of the Year, 2016; Chambers Canada (2016) - Product Liability - Band 1 Lawyer (Peter is one of only four lawyers in Canada listed in Band 1); Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory’s List of the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada; Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory of recommended product liability lawyers in Canada; The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers - Product Liability Defence Lawyers (Peter is one of only two Canadian lawyers included within a group of 20 lawyers world-wide rated by WWL as “The Most Highly Regarded Individuals”); Who’s Who Legal - Canada - Product Liability; The International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers; Benchmark Canada - The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (National Star and Local Star in product liability); and Euromoney/Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Product Liability Lawyers. In addition, since 2010 Peter has been selected by in-house counsel and peers internationally for inclusion in Euromoney’s bi-annual "The Best of the Best" publication listing of the top 30 product liability lawyers in the world.