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United States > Litigation > Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – pharmaceuticals and medical devices

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  1. Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. maintains an enviable reputation in the class action space and continues to be at the forefront of pharmaceutical and hip implant litigation. Few teams are able to match its quality of resources, with multiple attorneys occupying leadership positions in mass tort cases. It has continued to play a leading role in the Yaz/Yasmin litigation, with team members serving as co-counsel and, separately, chairing MDL committees. In 2014 Seth Katz, who is based in the firm’s Denver office, was appointed to serve both on the plaintiffs’ executive committee and as co-chair of the discovery committee in In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation in the Northern District of Illinois. The team continues to be active in the Actos litigation; the plaintiffs allege a link between Actos and developing bladder cancer. Michael Burg and Peter Burg, who are based in the firm’s Denver office, and Cincinnati-based Janet Abaray are other standout names in the team.

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC enjoys an excellent standing in this area and is well-known for its appointment to leadership positions and its expertise in electronic discovery. Team members served on the plaintiffs’ discovery and pleadings subcommittee and plaintiffs’ executive committee in a claim, recently settled, against Teva that alleged defects with the drug Budeprion. It is currently involved in the high-profile NFL concussion litigation initiated by former players against multiple defendants; of counsel Joseph Kott serves on the plaintiffs’ science and medical committee. The New Orleans-based firm remains committed to developing new cases and is currently representing plaintiffs in pending MDL proceedings for the alleged injuries caused by the blood-thinner Xarelto. Stephen Herman is valued for his ‘strategic thinking and leadership skills’ and Russ Herman is recommended for his ‘trial skills’. Soren Gisleson, Leonard Davis, Maury Herman and James Klick are also highly regarded.

Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.’s team consists almost entirely of trial lawyers and the firm continues to excel in preparing cases for trial and participating in bellwether trials. The Florida-based team was particularly influential in the Yaz/Yasmin litigation; team members served on the plaintiffs’ steering committee, co-chaired the discovery committee and were part of the bellwether trial team. It is currently preparing for trial in both the trans-vaginal mesh and metal-on-metal hip replacement cases. In 2014 the firm negotiated a $27.7m settlement with Merck & Co on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered jaw injuries after taking Fosamax. The firm’s strong standing in conducting depositions was reinforced through its involvement in the Pradaxa litigation, with team members travelling to Europe to interview witnesses. Mike Papantonio heads the practice, Troy Rafferty is a key name on mass torts, Fredric Levin is noted for his trial expertise and Timothy O’Brien is also recommended.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP continues to be involved in defective hip litigation and is representing clients in MDL and Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). The firm is involved in settlement negotiations for DePuy’s ASR hip implants and is preparing for bellwether trials alleging that DePuy’s Pinnacle artificial hips prematurely failed. It continues to play a leading role in the Actos litigation, and Donald Arbitblit was part of the trial team that secured an award of $9bn in punitive damages following a case in Louisiana in 2014; the firm is currently preparing to serve as lead counsel in the first Actos case to be tried in California. Elizabeth Cabraser and Robert Nelson, along with Arbitblit, are key names in the San Francisco office and Wendy Fleishman is a strong presence in New York.

The Lanier Law Firm has an excellent reputation for its courtroom ability and is led by renowned trial lawyer W Mark Lanier. Name partner Lanier led the trial team in securing a $9bn verdict on behalf of plaintiffs who alleged there was a link between bladder cancer and diabetes drug Actos. The firm continues to be involved in litigation concerning DePuy’s artificial hip implants and represents plaintiffs both nationally and overseas. Robert Leone, who is dual-qualified as a psychologist, is well known for his pre-trial jury analysis and Alex Brown and Los Angeles-based Lee Cirsch are also recommended. All attorneys, except where stated otherwise, are based in the firm’s Houston office.

Philadelphia-based firm Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman continues to take on leadership positions in high-profile litigation and has an array of discovery experience. It has been appointed to serve on the executive committee, the Daubert committee and several sub-committees in the GranuFlo litigation currently pending in the federal court of Massachusetts. The firm continues its involvement in the long-running diet drug litigation and is actively assisting the settlement trust. Arnold Levin, Frederick Longer, Laurence Berman, Michael Fishbein and Michael Weinkowitz are key names in the team.

Seeger Weiss LLP enjoys an excellent reputation in this area and serves clients from its offices in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Co-founder Christopher Seeger, who is based in the firm’s New York office, was influential in the NFL concussion litigation, serving as co-lead counsel and chief negotiator; the litigation resulted in the establishment of funds providing for a comprehensive medical exam for former players and compensation for retired players who have suffered cognitive impairment. New Jersey-based David Buchanan continues to hold positions on a variety of discovery, expert and executive committees.

Ashcraft & Gerel LLP’s team operates from its offices in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. It has continued to represent plaintiffs in litigation concerning Tylenol, Yaz/ Yasmin and DePuy’s ASR and Pinnacle hip implants. Michelle Parfitt, who is experienced in preparing expert testimony, and James Green, who has served on MDL committees for litigation including Fosamax and Rezulin, are recommended. All attorneys named are based in the firm’s Washington DC office.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. represents clients from its single site office in Montgomery, Alabama. Frank Woodson continues to be involved in both the GranuFlo and shoulder pump litigation, Matthew Teague is active in the testosterone replacement therapy litigation and P Leigh O’Dell is leading the firm’s representation in the Gardasil litigation. Andy Birchfield heads the firm’s mass tort practice.

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