William J. Riina Of Counsel




William Riina is a seasoned trial lawyer with 35 years of experience. Bill focuses his practice on product liability, construction, professional liability and general liability matters in the New Jersey state and federal courts. Over the course of his career, Bill has taken numerous cases to verdict in a wide variety of substantive areas. He also has handled appeals in the Appellate Division and Supreme Court of New Jersey, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Additionally, Bill has served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching courses in product liability and New Jersey practice at Rutgers School of Law, Newark.

Bill values his close relationships with his clients. He knows that one of the keys to providing clients with the best possible representation is to fully understand their industry, philosophies and culture, and the business and operational challenges they face. Bill is successful in partnering with his clients to achieve this level of understanding. This enables him to provide his clients with practical, working knowledge of the legal issues and concepts required to effectively operate their businesses in this increasingly litigious environment. Accordingly, he frequently conducts in-depth client seminars on the most current legal issues facing companies today.

Areas of Focus

Product Liability
Bill has extensive trial experience in defending a wide variety of product manufacturers. Among the products he has defended are beverages, glass containers (cap blow-offs, breakage), vending machines, seat belts, assistive devices (canes, crutches, vehicle-mounted power lift chair), electrical appliances (coffeemaker, toaster), power tools (power miter saw, grinder), construction equipment (crane, pile driver), industrial machinery (press brake, injection molding machine, chemical mixer, slitter-rewinder, flex-folder-gluer, conveyor system, metal detector), vehicle-mounted trash compacter, toys and bicycles. He is experienced in defending against claims of negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, fraud, manufacturing defects, failure to warn and design defects.

Bill has represented project owners, general contractors, engineers and construction management firms in construction litigation matters, including defect claims, personal injuries and contract issues. His experience with the industry includes cases involving engineering and construction management standards, building codes, OSHA regulations and insurance and indemnity disputes.

Sports / Recreational Law
Bill has represented both professional sports teams and recreational organizations. He has tried and defended cases brought by professional athletes as well as spectators injured at professional and amateur venues, and he frequently defends claims brought by injured participants. Bill is well versed in all sports-related litigation issues, including safety at events, regulations governing participation and attendance, equipment standards and venue issues.

Representative Matters

Beverage manufacturer against claim by consumer that he ingested glass particles as a result of drinking the beverage, leading to permanent physical and psychological injuries. Established during trial that plaintiff had staged the incident in an attempt to defraud the manufacturer. Jury verdict in favor of the defense.

Manufacturer of compaction equipment in design defect and failure to warn case brought by employee of a sanitation company, who suffered severe, permanent injuries while operating the equipment. Obtained defense verdict in jury trial, upheld on appeal.

Manufacturer of computer-controlled lathe in case filed by machine shop owner, claiming commercial damages from loss of use and lost profits, allegedly resulting from design and manufacturing defects. Obtained defense verdict following trial.

General contractor and project owner in case filed by subcontractor’s employee, claiming permanent injuries resulting from failure of pile-driving equipment. Defense verdict returned by jury following trial.

Owner of professional sports team in case brought by former player, who alleged that team and team physician conspired to defraud him on the nature and extent of an injury, allegedly leading to the premature end of his career. Court-directed verdict in favor of client during trial.

Manufacturer of electrical component installed in hospital-style bed in a case brought by the estate of plaintiff, who died in fire allegedly resulting from design and manufacturing defects in the bed. Obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims.

Professional sports team and arena operator in case brought by game spectator seriously and permanently injured as a result of puck leaving the ice during play. Obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims against clients. Upheld on appeal.

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