The Legal 500

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

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is valued by clients for providing the ‘highest level of service’ of ‘law firms representing consumers in the US’. Department head and founding partner Michael Burg is ‘a superb practitioner’ and leads a team of 36 attorneys across offices in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and Ohio. The firm was instrumental in the discovery phase of the Yaz/Yasmin birth control pill litigation and Michael Burg served as co-lead counsel in the case, with Seth Katz and Janet Abaray appointed heads of discovery and science, respectively. In 2012, the defendant, Bayer, entered into settlement negotiations with thousands of plaintiffs in relation to blood clot claims. Seth Katz was recently appointed as co-lead counsel in the multi-district litigation, In re: Pradaxa (Dabigatan Etexilate) products liability litigation. Janet Abaray served on the plaintiff steering committee in In re Heparin products litigation, which concluded in 2012. Michael Burg, Peter Burg, managing partner Kerry Jardine and Seth Katz have a ‘high level of experience and competence’. Associate Stephen Burg is also recommended.

The ‘brilliantHerman, Herman & Katz LLCranks with a small cadre of the best class and multi-district litigation plaintiffs’ litigators in the United States’, and is not only valued for its legal ability but also its ‘integrity and ethics’. The firm is recognized by fellow counsel as a ‘"go-to" firm for cases litigated in New Orleans’. The firm handles cases including pharmaceuticals product liability, claims involving failure to diagnose spinal injury resulting in quadriplegia, defective medical products, and medical liability cases. The firm is part of the executive committee in the Vioxx multi-district litigation (MDL) against Merck & Co for alleged defects, and is also heading the negotiating team in the ‘Group 10’ cases against several defendants for alleged defects in Rezulin. Soren Gisleson is on the leadership committee in In re Budeprion XL marketing & sales practices litigation, a consumer protection claim against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA for allaged defects with the Budeprion product. Senior partner Russ Herman is recognized for his ‘strength in trial and appellate advocacy’, and Leonard Davis’ ‘strength is in managerial skills as liaison counsel for plaintiffs’ steering committees in multi-district litigation’.

The ‘top-notch’ practice at Pensacola-based Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. has represented clients in litigation involving Actos, Fosamax, NuvaRing and transvaginal mesh products. This ‘excellent’ firm has a long history of handling defective orthopedic device cases and of counsel Ben Gordon is serving as co-chair of plaintiffs’ science and expert committee in In re: DePuy hip implant litigation. Troy Rafferty ‘performed extraordinarily well’ on the committee for Vioxx and is serving as co-lead counsel in In re Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agent litigation, currently pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. ‘Excellent trial lawyer’ Mike Papantonio is ‘a great leader for litigation’.

The Lanier Law Firm has four offices across Texas, California and New York. Recent instructions include litigation regarding DePuy hip replacements, Yaz/Yasmin, Chantix, Paxil and Levaquin. ‘Excellent’ founding partner W Mark Lanier, has represented numerous clients in the Vioxx MDL. Richard Meadow, managing attorney of the firm’s New York office and chair of the pharmaceutical litigation division, is a ‘renowned’ trial attorney and has served on the plaintiffs’ steering committee of several national litigation cases. Meadow is currently serving as co-litigation counsel for the Levaquin litigation in New Jersey.

Philadelphia-based Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman is ‘out in front’ and has experience in coordinating parallel state and federal cases for individuals, class actions and multi-district litigation. The firm is currently representing plaintiffs in GranuFlo, Tyenol and transvaginal mesh litigation. Arnold Levin enjoys a ‘significant reputation’ for his work for plaintiffs in diet pills litigation and the ‘excellent’ Michael Fishbein is serving as lead counsel and liaison counsel in the diet drug (fen-phen) class action with 600,000 members nationwide. Arnold Levin is ‘heavily involved’ in Vioxx litigation and was appointed to plaintiffs’ negotiating counsel committee. Frederick Longer is also recommended.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is commended for its ‘good work’ and represents purchasers of drugs in alleged economic loss claims and patients who have taken drug products and suffered adverse effects. The firm is currently active on litigation concerning DePuy ASR artificial hip implants; Wendy Fleishman has been appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee in litigation in the federal court and Robert Nelson is serving on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in coordinated proceedings in California state court. The firm is also active in cases including Yaz/Yasmin litigation, Medtronic Infuse bone graft litigation and Actos bladder cancer treatment litigation. The firm is representing plaintiffs in proceedings against the New England Compounding Center for an alleged nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak, a case that was recently referred back to the Massachusetts state court by a federal judge. Department head Elizabeth Cabraser, who is based in San Francisco, has a ‘national reputation’ and the team works from offices in San Francisco, Nashville and New York. Donald Arbitblit is ‘very strong’ on science issues and is known for heading science committees in litigation. Lexi Hazam and Paulina do Amaral are also recommended.

The ‘very goodSeeger Weiss LLP has offices in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Co-founder Christopher Seeger is experienced in representing large classes of plaintiffs and individuals and was appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Actos MDL. Seeger is also leading the firm in its position as co-lead counsel in a concussion lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL), filed by eleven former professional players alleging that the NFL failed to take the necessary precautions to protect players from long-term brain injuries and highlights the use of Toradol, which, it is alleged, can mask symptoms of serious head injury while inducing dangerous cerebral bleeding. David Buchanan is ‘excellent’ on discovery and the preservation of electronic information.

Ashcraft & Gerel LLP has seven offices across Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Michelle Parfitt, head of the mass tort practice, has represented individuals in various state and federal courts against pharmaceuticals and medical devices manufacturers and continues to act on the plaintiffs’ steering committee, science, discovery and expert committees in the gadolinium-based contrast agent litigation. James Green is recommended.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. is based in Montgomery, Alabama, and advises on defective drugs, unsafe medications, malpractice, surgically implanted medical devices, retail or prescribed devices, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and surgically or clinically administered drugs. Of counsel Ted Meadows is currently handling hormone replacement therapy (HRT) cases and is serving on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Prempro MDL. The firm recently acted on behalf of a plaintiff awarded $5.1m in an HRT case alleging a link between hormone replacement drugs and breast cancer in a case before a federal jury in Utah, in conjunction with James Esparza Law Firm. In April 2012, P Leigh O’Dell was appointed as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee for four cases in the consolidated transvaginal mesh MDL. Andy Birchfield heads the mass tort department and is recommended.

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