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United States > Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - plaintiff > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - plaintiff
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Russell Budd - Baron & Budd, P.C.
    • Robert Gordon - Weitz & Luxenberg PC
    • Perry Weitz - Weitz & Luxenberg PC

The Los Angeles-based group at Baron & Budd, P.C. continues to represent plaintiffs in a number of high-profile environmental and asbestos lawsuits across the US, including the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental litigation practice head Scott Summy is currently representing a public school district in Massachusetts against Monsanto in a lawsuit alleging the company was aware of the dangers of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as early as the 1930s but failed to warn of the severe dangers associated with PCBs and their use in common building materials. Laura Baughman and Thomas Sims are leading the firm’s California Proposition 65 litigation team in representing the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) against numerous food companies in cases involving elevated levels of lead in food products marketed for children and babies. Steve Baron and Russell Budd are other key names.

Marc Bern and Alan Ripka head the team at Bern Ripka LLP, following the demerger of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP. The New York-based team is experienced in a wide range of toxic tort litigation, including asbestos exposure and carbon monoxide poisoning. Trial veteran Joseph Cappelli has particular expertise in identifying chemical-related workplace hazards in the rail industry. Edward Marcowitz has extensive experience of representing individuals who were exposed to toxic chemicals in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Paul Napoli (who is now of counsel) and Hunter Shkolnik founded Napoli Shkolnik PLLC following the demerger of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP. The firm’s strong environmental litigation team regularly handles litigation involving oil spills, water contamination, chemical explosions and pesticide use. It is currently representing individuals in high-profile litigation related to the ongoing Flint, Michigan Water Crisis (pertaining to lead in drinking water). New York-based Marie Napoli, Miami-based Louise Caro and Edwardsville-based Patrick Haines are also recommended.

At Weitz & Luxenberg PC, of counsel Robin Greenwald was recently appointed to a leadership role in the high-profile federal MDL against Volkswagen alleging that Volkswagen sold consumers diesel vehicles programmed to pass smog tests by cheating, which resulted in significant pollution and the substantial devaluation of the vehicles. Greenwald is also leading the firm in representing 25 families in a lawsuit against Southern California Gas co. (SoCalGas) and Sempra Energy before the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles following a gas leak at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which exposed residents in the community to noxious odors, gases, chemicals and numerous other pollutants and contaminants. Co-founder Perry Weitz and trial veteran Robert Gordon are also recommended. All partners listed are based in New York.

Motley Rice LLC has an impressive track record in a wide range of asbestos and toxic litigation, including hazardous chemical exposure, burn pit exposure and lead poisoning. Anne Kearse often represents employees diagnosed with mesothelioma following asbestos exposure in the chemicals, electric power generation and construction industries, as well as victims of residential exposure. Led by Jodi Flowers, the firm continues to file claims on behalf of first responders, clean-up workers and residents exposed to toxic chemicals following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Joseph Rice is one of the lawyers appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Volkswagen emissions fraud case in the Northern District of California. The team is based in Mount Pleasant.

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC has extensive experience in handling asbestos and environmental litigation, with particular expertise in representing plaintiffs who have suffered property damage arising from the removal of asbestos from their homes or places of business. Karl Novak has a strong track record of filing claims on behalf of workers who developed cancer and lung disease as a result of asbestos exposure. Environmental experts Jerry Evans and of counsel Gordon Rhea successfully assisted the Virgin Islands with negotiating settlements amounting to over $125m arising from groundwater contamination caused by oil refineries along the southern coast of St. Croix. Barnwell-based J David Butler, Gregory Lofstead and Charleston-based Michael Brickman are also recommended. All lawyers are based in Mount Pleasant unless otherwise stated.

Simmons Hanly Conroy often represents clients in high-stakes complex litigation across its offices in Illinois, New York, California and Missouri. The highly experienced Jayne Conroy in New York acted as co-chair of the Environmental Testing Committee in the MDL arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which recently concluded with a total national settlement of $20.9bn. Founder John Simmons, who is based in Alton, Illinois, has an impressive track record of obtaining significant verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs in asbestos litigation. Paul Hanly in New York and Michael Angelides in Alton are also recommended.

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