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  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - plaintiff
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Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. has a strong track record representing plaintiffs in mass torts and MDLs in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector. The practice is jointly led by Kerry Jardine, Peter Burg and founding partner Michael Burg; Seth Katz and Cincinnati-based Janet Abaray co-head the firm’s mass tort group. Katz continues to act for the plaintiffs’ executive committee in several testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) lawsuits, involving high-profile TRT products, such as Testim and Axiron. Katz also defends the plaintiff side in proton pump inhibitor (PPI) cases, which were recently transferred to New Jersey and consolidated into an MDL. Other recent work includes acting for plaintiffs across the country in various hip implant product liability lawsuits. Meghan Quinlivan and Scott Eldredge are other key figures; all named partners are based in Denver, unless otherwise noted.

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Herman, Herman & Katz LLC regularly takes a leading role in the representation of plaintiffs in high-profile lawsuits in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors, and is ‘one of the most respected mass tort and class action plaintiff firms with a national representation’. In one recent highlight, Stephen Herman and Soren Gisleson obtained a $4.5m settlement in a consumer protection claim against Teva Pharmaceuticals, involving alleged defects in anti-depressant Budeprion. In other work, Leonard Davis, James Klick and of counsel Joseph Kott continue to represent plaintiffs in claims against numerous defendants, in connection with allegedly defectively designed hip implants. The team is also part of the plaintiffs’ steering committees of the Fosamax and Granuflo MDLs. Herman, Davis and Russ Herman are ‘knowledgeable advocates with superb leadership abilities’; all named partners are based in New Orleans.

Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. has vast experience with representing plaintiffs in nationwide product liability litigation related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Jeff Gaddy continues to act as counsel to the plaintiff side in litigation against manufacturers and distributors of opioids. In other work, the team acts as lead counsel for plaintiffs in a product liability lawsuit brought against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, involving claims that the labeling on blood thinner Xarelto is inadequate. The practice also handles hernia mesh lawsuits and claims brought against DePuy, which allege that the medical device Attune Knee is defectively designed. Key figures in the department include Troy Rafferty and Mike Papantonio; the practice is based in Pensacola, Florida.

The department at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is headed by Elizabeth Cabraser and regularly handles plaintiff-side work in high-profile pharmaceuticals and medical devices-related product liability litigation. In one highlight, Lexi Hazam acted for the plaintiffs’ steering committee in litigation against Daichii Sankyo and Forest Laboratories, involving injury claims related to the prescription blood pressure medication Benicar; a $300m settlement was reached in August 2017. Hazam also continues to represent plaintiffs in the ongoing Abilify personal injury lawsuits; Wendy Fleishman and Robert Nelson handle litigation related to DePuy’s ASR hip implants. All named partners are based in San Francisco, unless otherwise specified.

The Lanier Law Firm represents plaintiffs in pharmaceutical liability litigation and handles product liability, personal injury and medical malpractice claims. Led by W Mark Lanier in Houston, the team obtained a $247m verdict in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy, on behalf of six people who suffered serious medical complications caused by defectively designed hip implants. The firm also represents plaintiffs in other medical device litigation, such as hip replacement Stryker Rejuvenate, hernia mesh cases and DePuy’s Attune Knee. In the pharmaceuticals area, the team handles litigation related to testosterone therapy drugs, talc powder and blood thinner Xarelto. Richard Meadow in Houston is another key figure.

The ‘excellent and well-respected’ department at Seeger Weiss LLP represents plaintiffs in class actions and mass torts in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. David Buchanan continues to act as lead trial counsel in an ongoing class action against Roche, in which plaintiffs allege that acne medication Accutane caused them to develop Crohn’s disease; recently, Buchanan successfully revived more than 2,000 related cases. In another highlight, the team won a second bellwether trial as lead trial counsel for the plaintiff against AbbVie, involving testosterone replacement therapy drug AndroGel. Co-founders Stephen Weiss and ‘superb trial attorney’ Christopher Seeger are other key contacts in the department. All named partners are based in New York City.

The personal injury experts at Ashcraft & Gerel LLP handle medical product liability lawsuits related to unsafe drugs, implants and other devices. Michelle Parfitt continues to act as co-lead counsel in personal injury and wrongful death claims in In re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, against J&J and its primary talc supplier Imerys. Christopher Tisi and James Green are also active in the department, which is based in Washington DC.

Montgomery-based Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. handles medical devices and drug litigation. Leigh O’Dell continues to act as co-lead counsel in an MDL against Johnson & Johnson, in which plaintiffs allege that talc products cause ovarian cancer. Atlanta-based Navan Ward handles lawsuits related to defectively designed hip replacements and Andy Birchfield heads the firm’s mass tort department. Danielle Mason and Frank Woodson are other key figures.

Levin Sedran & Berman is headquartered in Philadelphia and regularly represents plaintiffs in pharmaceutical and medical devices-related lawsuits, arising from personal injury and defective product claims. In one recent highlight, Michael Weinkowitz and Frederick Longer successfully tried a Xarelto case to verdict, obtaining a total of nearly $28m in damages for plaintiff Lynn Hartman. Weinkowitz is also part of the plaintiff negotiation committee of the product liability litigation related to Bayer’s birth control pills Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, in which a $56.9m settlement was reached.

Simmons Hanly Conroy’s department is jointly headed by John Simmons and Michael Angelides in Alton, and Paul Hanly and Jayne Conroy in New York. Conroy is a member of the plaintiffs’ executive committee for the DePuy Pinnacle MDL, in which plaintiffs claim to have suffered serious injuries from the hip replacements manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. In other work, Conroy and Alton-based John Foley serve on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for several MDLs related to transvaginal mesh litigation. Led by Trent Miracle, also based in Alton, the team represents hundreds of men injured by testosterone replacement therapy products, as one of three co-lead counsels.

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