Richard L. Campbell - White and Williams LLP

Richard L. Campbell

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2016

Rich Campbell represents national and international corporations in high-stakes complex litigation. His experience includes complex commercial, class action, toxic tort, product liability and employment litigation. Rich has served as counsel and close adviser to clients in heavy equipment, aviation, arms and automotive manufacturing.

Rich has defended a diverse range of products in product liability litigation including construction equipment, heavy truck engines, friction products, industrial machinery and power generators. Rich has also defended toxic tort cases involving asbestos, PCBs and other industrial chemicals in the automotive, heavy truck and cement products industries.

Previous to his career in law, Rich worked in management consulting for companies including Accenture and Oracle. He led cross-functional teams in planning, executing and managing enterprise-wide initiatives. Rich's experience gives him insight into the business objectives of his clients and shapes his representation of them.


  • Represented retailer in 15-day wrongful-death jury trial to verdict in Hampden Superior Court. Estate of decedent who was killed by out of control vehicle sued client for failure to provide protective barriers between parking spaces and pedestrian walkways at site

  • Represented heavy equipment manufacturer in a product liability jury trial to a defense verdict in U.S District Court in Boston. Client manufactured an excavator that plaintiff alleged had a blind spot, which caused an accident where the plaintiff lost a leg

  • Defeated effort to certify a $4 billion class of all Massachusetts school districts having buildings with elevated airborne PCB levels. Case subsequently dismissed on summary judgment after three years of extensive litigation in federal court in Boston
  • Defeated certification of a class of inmates at the Worcester County Jail who had been shot by correctional officers with client’s “less-than-lethal” crowd control weapon. The case was subsequently dismissed by plaintiffs on the eve of trial
  • Defeated certification of a world-wide class of marine engine owners in a $50 million breach-of-warranty class action. The case was subsequently dismissed by the federal court in Michigan and costs assessed against the named plaintiff
  • Secured dismissal in front of The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts of all counts brought against an electric car manufacturer by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association's (MSADA) in bid to prohibit direct sales of Tesla motor vehicles to consumers in Massachusetts

Rich speaks across Massachusetts to parents and high schools students about social host laws and received the 2013 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Excellence in Pro Bono Award for his efforts.

Rich has been named to the 2015 "Best Lawyers in America" list for Product Liability Litigation Defense. He has been named, by a survey of his peers, as a Massachusetts "Super Lawyer" in 2013-2015 and a "Rising Star" in 2012.

Vanderbilt UniversityBS 1993Boston College Law School

Case History

The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealer Association v. Tesla Motors, Inc. and Tesla Motors MA, Inc.

In a decision of national reach and significance, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rejected the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association’s (“MSADA”) bid to prohibit direct sales of Tesla motor vehicles to consumers and thereby protected market choice for Massachusetts’ consumers. In its September 15, 2014 ruling, the Court examined the language, history, and purposes of the statute invoked by  the MSADA as a weapon against unaffiliated motor vehicle manufacturers like Tesla.  The Court held that  "the purpose of c. 93B historically [as protecting] motor vehicle dealers from a host of unfair acts and practices historically directed at them by their own brand manufacturers and distributors." The Court questioned whether Tesla's business model involves the operation of a "motor vehicle dealership" within the meaning of c. 93B, § 4 (c) (10), and therefore whether, by its literal terms, the proscription of § 4 (c) (10) applies to the defendants at all. The Supreme Judicial Court’s decision is both definitive and conclusive: 

View Full Opinion,
Campbell v. Worcester County House of Correction, et al.

On September 4, 2014, the Worcester County Superior Court decertified a class of present and future inmates of the Worcester County House of Correction forcibly extracted from their cells by Corrections Officers using pepper spray and FN 303 less lethal launchers. The inmates claim that the forcible cell extractions constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated their constitutional rights. The inmates also claim that the FN 303 less lethal launcher was defective and unreasonably dangerous and that its manufacturer and distributor and the outside consultant who trained the Corrections Officers in its use were negligent. 

After almost four years of litigation, the Court decertified the class leaving only individual claims for money damages by five former inmates.  In its decision, the Court “generally accept[ed] and adopt[ed] the positions advanced by the defendants in their joint memoranda of law.”   The Court held that the Rule 23 (b)(2) claims for injunctive relief were rendered moot by the release of all named plaintiffs from incarceration at the Worcester county House of Corrections.  The Court further held that the claims against each defendant required individualized proof and were not  susceptible to resolution as a Rule 23 (b)(3) class.

King v. Jet Blue Airways — The plaintiff's decedent was working within the scope of his employment with Maintech Acquisition, LLC, at Terminal C, Logan International Airport on premises leased from Massport by JetBlue Airways. He was electrocuted when he contacted live electricity while pulling wires associated with an air conditioning system.

The plaintiff alleged that JetBlue Airways breached common law duties as the entity in control of the premise, duties created by its lease agreement with Massport and as a result of its control over its subcontractor, Maintech Acquisition, LLC. The plaintiff alleged that Triangle Services, Inc. agreed to provide services to Maintech Acquisition, LLC for a fee including employee training, worksite safety assessments and the provision of personal protective equipment to employees. The plaintiff alleged that Triangle failed to deliver the promised services. The defendants denied all allegations of liability. They further alleged that Mr. King caused the accident through his own negligence.  The case was tried to an 1 person jury in Suffolk County Superior Court (and Judge Raymond Brassard) and was settled after 6 days of testimony, before the Campbell team even rested its case.

Office Location

101 Arch Street, Suite 1930
Boston, MA 02110
United States

Practice Areas

Product Liability Litigation - Defendants