Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: consumer products (including tobacco) in United States

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter has an experienced Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) practice, as well as a strong California Proposition 65 practice. The team is noted for its expertise in class actions, multi-district litigation and individual cases involving personal injury claims and property damage. Another particular strength is representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies in mass tort litigations. Names to note in this space include California law expert Trent Norris; Washington DC-based Eric Rubel, who focuses on product safety matters; and counsel Sarah Esmaili in San Fransisco, who focuses on litigation, defending clients in California Prop65, consumer protection and class action cases. New York-based Anand Agneshwar jointly leads the team alongside Daphne O’Connor in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Anand Agneshwar; Daphne O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Esmaili; William Hoffman; Trent Norris; John Massaro; Eric Rubel; Geoffrey Michael; Keri Arnold; Lori Leskin; Pamela Yates

Key clients

Altria Group and affiliates, including Philip Morris USA Inc.

Samsung

Bayer (Monsanto) Company

Pfizer

J.M. Smucker Company; Post Holdings/Golden Boy, Ltd.; Krema/Crazy Richard’s; Pinnacle Foods/Boulder Brands; Bell Carter Foods; Hain Celestial; Safeway; Trader Joe’s; Whole Foods; Wonderful Company; PepsiCo; TreeHouse Brands; 7-Eleven

Dow AgroSciences, LLC (aka Corteva)

Britax

ISI North America

Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., 7-Eleven, BP West Coast Products (which operates convenience stores), and Yum Donuts

Grocery Manufacturers Association

National Coffee Association

Work highlights

  • Representing Phillip Morris USA in the “Engle progeny” litigation.
  • National counsel for Altria and Philip Morris USA in class action and individual suits that have been filed across the country based on an evapor product manufactured and sold by Juul Labs Inc.
  • Advising companies with compliance with CPSC regulations, as well as in litigation that can arise from product safety matters
  • Defending Samsung in a consumer class action litigation arising out of the recall of the Galaxy Note7 phone due to the issues associated with its lithium ion battery.
  • Secured jury verdict for Atlantic Richfield in personal injury trial involving lead pigment.

Jones Day

Full-service firm Jones Day is known for its trial and appellate expertise, particularly mass tort. The firm represents clients in matters related to collegiate institutions, medical devices, consumer goods and tobacco, as well as being increasingly active in consumer fraud cases and pharmaceutical litigation. Practice head Stephanie Parker led for Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp. in its unanimous win before the Supreme Court in a products-liability case involving Merck's prescription medicine Fosamax®. Also notable are of counsel Theodore Grossman, an experienced trial and appellate lawyer; and Frank Bayuk, who played a key role in the firm's recent work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Parker

Other key lawyers:

Frank Bayuk; Theodore Grossman; Paul Pohl; Leon DeJulius

Key clients

Goodman Global Corporation

Merck & Co.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

The Sherwin-Williams Company

Walmart Stores, Inc.

Work highlights

  • After years of litigation brought by leading plaintiffs’ lawyers throughout the country in 18 separate purported class actions, the firm has achieved a total and definitive victory on behalf of Daikin subsidiaries.  These companies were alleged to have manufactured more than 6 million central air conditioners with a purported propensity to fail prematurely.
  • Representing Walmart in all facets of opioid litigation nationwide, including approximately two thousand cases which make up the In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation Multi District Litigation, hundreds of state cases and other related litigation.
  • Represents R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in over 2,000 “Engle progeny” lawsuits in Florida state courts.
  • Acting for Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (Santa Fe) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT), following the FDA’s August 2015, warning letter to Santa Fe concerning its use of the phrases “natural” and “additive-free” to describe the tobacco in Natural American Spirit (NAS) cigarettes, plaintiffs filed 15 nationwide and/or state-specific putative class actions against Santa Fe and RJRT in nine U.S. District Courts.
  • Represented Sherwin-Williams nationwide in lead paint litigation since it began in 1987, and is currently representing Sherwin-Williams in more than 100 personal injury cases pending in Milwaukee federal court.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP specializes in defending class actions and multi-party serial tort litigation, providing a one-stop shop for product manufacturers and resellers. The firm is experienced in pre- and post-market regulatory compliance, product labeling and litigation risk assessment. Additional areas of expertise include product recalls, crisis management, and insurance and indemnification issues. Splitting her time between San Diego and San Francisco, Erin Bosman acts as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases and multi-district proceedings. Bosman jointly leads the team with Tiffany Cheung, who has experience defending clients in consumer class actions, particularly in relation to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) disputes, as well as in matters involving unfair business practices and consumer fraud laws. Also notable is Julie Park, who focuses on multi-jurisdictional litigation in state and federal court for pharmaceutical and consumer product giants. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; Tiffany Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park; James Schurz; Penelope Preovolos; Robert Falk

Key clients

The Hershey Company, the National Confectioners Association and Barry Callebaut USA, Inc.

Fitbit

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Hershey Company, the National Confectioners Association and Barry Callebaut USA, Inc. lead the chocolate industry’s litigation defense, regulatory advocacy, and settlement negotiations on allowable levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate.
  • Represented Fitbit before the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 2014.
  • Represent Starbucks Corporation, The J.M. Smucker Company, The Kraft Heinz Company, Nestlé USA, Inc., Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., and 50 other coffee companies – essentially the entire coffee industry as we represent over 98% of coffee producers – against a Proposition 65 bounty-hunter.

Goodwin

Nationwide mass tort expert Goodwin is active in a broad range of industries, with a focus on high-stakes litigation, particularly for companies specializing in innovation technology within the pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer products sectors. The multi-disciplinary team of medical, scientific and regulatory experts is led by Glenn Kerner, who has expertise in complex mass torts and multi-district litigation. Other key fiugres include Nilda Isidro, who focuses on products liability law; Joanne Gray, who is known for acting in product liability and mass tort claims, as well as compliance and recall issues relating to FDA regulated companies; and counsel Carla Karp, who has experience acting for pharmaceutical manufacturers in state and federal courts, including appeals. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Kerner

Other key lawyers:

Nilda Isidro; Joanne Gray; Carla Karp; Richard Oetheimer

Key clients

Barr Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Boehringer Ingelheim

Garden of Life (a division of Nestle)

Herbalife International, Inc.

Kolmar Laboratories Inc.

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Goodwin is representing Kolmar Laboratories, Inc., a contract manufacturer of cosmetics products in connection with talc mass tort litigation alleging exposure to asbestos through various dry powders manufactured with talc.
  • Represented Herbalife International, Inc. for several years, and are responsible for developing and executing all products liability and mass tort litigation strategy for Herbalife International, Inc. in the U.S. and for global litigation strategy on international products liability lawsuits.
  • Successfully represented Garden of Life, a supplier of organic health food and supplement products and now a division of Nestle, in a contract dispute with a key manufacturer/supplier, Rhema Health Products.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

The trial law experts at Greenberg Traurig, LLP are known for handling mass tort and class action consumer product liability matters, with recent activity in cases involving pet products, apparel, electronics, industrial products and tobacco. Chicago-based Francis Citera handles multi-state consumer class actions and serves as national coordinating counsel for companies facing multi-district and class action proceedings. He co-leads the national practice with Gretchen Miller, also in Chicago, who focuses on toxic tort, product liability and class action litigation in state and federal courts; and Lori Cohen in Atlanta, who specializes in consumer products, general commercial disputes and international litigation.

Practice head(s):

Francis Citera; Gretchen Miller; Lori Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Robert Herrington; David Coulson; Sara Thompson

Key clients

Bird Rides, Inc.

Champion Petfoods LP

Bausch Health Companies, Inc.

Twin Hill Acquisition Company, Inc., a subsidiary of The Men’s Wearhouse

Underwriters Laboratories

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc.

Energizer Holdings, Inc.; Energizing Manufacturing, Inc; Energizer, LLC

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Hyundai Motor America

Work highlights

  • National coordinating counsel for all product liability claims and lawsuits, as well as lead product liability counsel and trial counsel for significant claims, against Bird Rides, Inc. (“Bird”) concerning its popular e-Scooters.
  • Represents Champion Petfoods in national litigation alleging contamination of high-end pet food products. On October 30, GT won the denial of class certification in California (Reitman v. Champion), defeating a “predominance” argument that underlies plaintiffs’ multiple attempts to certify classes in courts around the country.
  • National and trial counsel for Bausch Health Companies Inc., f/k/a Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., in the Shower to Shower talcum powder litigation in which plaintiffs allege they developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum powder products.
  • Representing Twin Hill Acquisition Company, Inc. in a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Representing Underwriters Laboratories LLC in a case where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted motion to dismiss a lack of standing and failure to state a claim.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Highly strategic and analytical’, Latham & Watkins LLP is known for representing clients in matters related to the on ongoing opioid crisis, as well as in class actions arising from concussion-related injuries and baggage fees. The ‘extremely responsive' firm has particular experience acting as lead counsel to major players in the tobacco industry, but also has experience acting for global life sciences, energy and natural resources industry clients. The 'uniformly top-notch team’ is co-led by Boston-based Gwyn Williams, who has expertise defending a range of mass tort and product liability claims; and Thomas Heiden in Chicago, who focuses on toxic tort, high-stakes energy, utilities, resource and business contract disputes. Also recommended is Kenneth Parsigian in Boston, who is known for acting as national and global co-ordinating counsel for the tobacco industry.

Practice head(s):

Gwyn Williams; Thomas Heiden

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Parsigian; Christine Rolph; Kegan Brown; Mary Rose Alexander

Testimonials

‘They have a ton of experience across industries’

‘Ken Parsigian is probably the smartest lawyer I have ever worked with.  Clients justifiably come to him to make the hardest calls.  He only ever has one objective: to achieve the best possible result for the client.  He thinks harder and more deeply about strategy than just about anyone I know’

‘Christine Rolph is a master of extremely technical evidence, working with experts across scientific and social scientific fields. She’s also an absolutely delightful and kind person’

‘This firm has an elite team of hard working people who are also very smart and very practical’

‘They have a lot of experience in tobacco, but that experience is transferable to other consumer products, especially those that are highly regulated’

‘Kegan Brown is a young superstar.  He makes working long hours on often difficult matters as pleasurable as possible. He provides direct views, and yet is open to thoughts not his own. Collaborating with him always improves the overall product. I have told him that if I needed a US lawyer to act for me personally, I would want it to be him’

Key clients

American Airlines

Chevron Corporation

Dometic Corporation

Endo International plc

Land’s End, Inc.

Monsanto

Monsanto; the National Association of Wheat Growers, and others

Nalco Company

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Navistar

Philip Morris International

Philip Morris USA

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges

Toyota

Weyerhaeuser Company

Work highlights

  • Representing one of the largest airline companies in the world. Our product liability & mass torts team is advising this client in an ongoing class action lawsuit linked to the company’s handling of baggage fees.
  • Advising Chevron Corporation in a series of multi-district class actions in the high-profile hot fuels litigation.
  • Representing Chevron Corporation in high-stakes tort litigation involving an alleged C-137 release due to a generator that broke during flow-loop testing on the Tulsa, Oklahoma campus.
  • Representing Dometic Corporation, a US manufacturer of component parts for recreational vehicles in products liability consumer class actions in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and the US District Court for the Central District of California, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
  • Represents Endo in a series of incredibly high-stakes product liability lawsuits related to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP has a track record of representing clients in product liability matters arising from the food, beverage and tobacco industries. The practice is co-led by Kansas City-based Walter Cofer and Alicia Donahue in San Francisco. Other contacts include Kenneth Reilly in Miami and Frank Kelly, who splits his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Walter Cofer; Alicia Donahue

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Reilly; Frank Kelly

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

The ‘very efficient and experiencedteam at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is active across a full range of product-related disputes, including crisis response, consumer fraud class actions, environmental tort claims and personal injury litigation. The firm also has experience in government investigations and litigation arising out of alleged misconduct abroad; namely claims related to the False Claims Act or the Alien Tort Statute. New York-based Arvin Maskin leads the practice and is known for a ‘unique ability to see litigation clearly and to convey the unvarnished truth’. Notable in his team are Diane Sullivan in New Jersey, who is an acclaimed trial attorney with expertise representing companies facing high-profile product liability and mass tort claims; and David Singh in California, who focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on consumer class actions, product liability cases, breach of contract, fraud and trade secret misappropriation.

Practice head(s):

Arvin Maskin

Other key lawyers:

Diane Sullivan; David Singh

Testimonials

‘The team works well together in litigation or settlement mode’

‘The team has extraordinary depth of experience and strategic judgment’

‘Invaluable in assessing risk and managing complex and difficult matters’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Procter & Gamble

ExxonMobil

Repsol, S.A.

Tarkett Sports

Panasonic

Starbucks

PG&E Corporation

Dometic Corporation

Work highlights

  • Serving as primary nationwide lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in the mass tort alleging that certain personal hygiene products containing talcum powder cause certain types of cancer.
  • Serving as lead counsel to J&J in the Daubert hearings in the federal talc MDL.
  • Defending Repsol in multi-billion dollar fraudulent conveyance/environmental litigation in New Jersey state court.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel to ExxonMobil in a multi-front fight in state and federal courts around the country relating to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline.
  • Winning a victory for Panasonic Corporation of North America and two of its now defunct Sanyo subsidiaries by securing the dismissal of all claims in a nationwide consumer class action in California federal court arising out of allegedly defective solar panels manufactured by Sanyo.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP has represented clients from a range of industries, including food and beverage, tobacco, consumer products and toxic torts. The firm is particularly adept at mass tort cases and multi-district litigation. Washington DC-based Matthew Campbell chairs the product liability practice. George Lombardi in Chicago is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Campbell

Other key lawyers:

George Lombardi

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Bowman and Brooke LLP fields a ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ team that is experienced in defending routine consumer product claims, as well as catastrophic exposure cases, acting in lead and national counsel roles. Moreover, the firm is ‘committed to client relationships’ and is rated for its ‘good communication’. Paul Cereghini leads the team and is known for acting in product liability and mass torts litigation across the country. Also notable is senior associate Amanda Heitz, who focuses on civil defense litigation, including trial advocacy and advanced motion and appellate litigation. All named lawyers are based in Phoenix.

Practice head(s):

Paul Cereghini

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Heitz; Rob Wise; Jeff Warren; Chris Carton; Jennifer Bullard; Erika Mekles

Testimonials

‘Very effective in handling product liability matters from the claim stage through trial, if and when necessary’

‘Constant communication to stay aligned on strategy and most appropriate options, and to avoid surprises’

‘Demonstrated commitment to relationship by supporting client with secondment’

‘Rob Wise, Jeff Warren, Chris Carton, Jennifer Bullard and Erika Mekles have all provided great support’

Key clients

Riddell, Inc./BRG Sports

Cybex International, Inc.

Makita USA, Inc.

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA

Masco Corporation

The Husqvarna Group

Britax

Razor USA LLC

L’Oreal

Work highlights

  • Bowman and Brooke continues to serve as national counsel representing Riddell, Inc. in the much-publicized concussion litigation.
  • Frank Hosley of Bowman and Brooke serves as National Counsel to Yamaha in their propeller guard product liability litigation.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Highly reliable and responsive’, Herbert Smith Freehills is known for its ‘dedication to the industry’, acting for corporates and multinationals in US litigation, as well as in disputes and regulatory engagements around the world. The practice group also advises on risk and crisis management, notably product recall, insurance issues and damages valuation for clients and investors. Areas of strength include tobacco, food and beverage, automotive, industrials and energy. Gregory Loss leads the team and has been recognized by clients for his strategic thinking in mass tort claims. Also recommended is Benjamin Rubenstein, a ‘master at working with experts in a whole host of scientific and medical fields'. All named partners are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Loss

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Rubenstein; Danielle Langhof; Joe Falcone; Nick Booke

Testimonials

‘The depth of knowledge and close working relationship the team has with its clients is truly unique’

‘More than a trusted advisor, HSF acts as a key business partner for our industry’

‘The firms ability to engage at all levels of the organisation, and with competitors legal representation, enables them to ensure a holistic, global approach to defence litigation, that draws on prior experience and learnings from others’

‘Greg Loss, Philip Pfeffer, Ben Rubinstein and Joseph Falcone should all be credited with a stand out performance year on year’

‘The partners relaxed engagement style and approachability makes them all a pleasure to deal with’

‘They are doing a great job in managing experts on the Canadian tobacco litigation’

‘They are collaborative in approach and easy to get on with’

‘Ben Rubinstein is a great guy, super smart, and very easy to work with’

‘Danielle Langhof is excellent’

‘Greg Loss and Ben Rubenstein are extremely knowledgeable about products liability law in the US and elsewhere, and work together very effectively’

‘An experienced and high-performing team with decades of experience and trial practice’

‘Provide helpful and practical guidance some times on very short notice on complex issues’

‘Greg Loss, Joe Falcone and Ben Rubinstein are trusted advisors, always available also Senior Associate Nick Booke has scientific knowledge and experience’

Key clients

British American Tobacco

Eni SpA

Souza Cruz SA

Work highlights

  • Serve as counsel for several British American Tobacco subsidiaries in smoking and health lawsuits in the United States and around the world.
  • Advising British American Tobacco’s Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Tobacco Canada, in two product liability class actions in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Advising BAT Korea in connection with actions brought by the Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) seeking to recoup healthcare costs that NHIS alleges were expended to treat Korean citizens who developed certain smoking-related illnesses.
  • Advising BAT in connection with civil claims for the recovery of medical costs brought by several Nigerian state governments and the Nigerian federal government, through their respective attorneys-general.
  • Provide counsel in defense of numerous individual product liability suits filed against Souza Cruz, the largest Brazilian tobacco manufacturer

King & Spalding LLP

The well-regarded trial specialists at King & Spalding LLP have experience in a range of mass tort and class actions, particularly those relating to the tobacco industry. Acting for manufacturers and producers, the firm handles individual and group cases at the trial and appellate levels. Practice head Randy Bassett is based in Atlanta and specializes in high-exposure product liability cases. His team was boosted in 2019 by the arrival of Rachael Trummel, who joined the Chicago office from Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP.

Practice head(s):

Randy Bassett

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Trummel; Ursula Henninger; Jeff Furr; John Hooper

Key clients

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (client for more than 5 years)

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

The Home Depot, U.S.A.

Wurth Louis and Company

Sony Electronics, Inc.

Progressive Casualty Insurance Company

MSA  The Safety Company

Work highlights

  • Johnson & Johnson has been confronted with thousands of claims related to allegations its talc-based powder products have caused mesothelioma, facing unrelenting media coverage and multiple large plaintiff’s verdicts. We are J&J’s California coordinating and trial counsel in this litigation, and since 2017 have secured three complete defense verdicts, two mistrials, a summary judgment win, and two voluntary dismissals for J&J.
  • Represent R.J. Reynolds in “Engle Progeny” tobacco cases pending in Florida, in which former members of a decertified class action may bring individual lawsuits and rely upon certain factual findings.
  • Garnered a number of important victories for RJR in Florida state appellate courts,
  • Spalding represents Mine Safety Appliances (“MSA”), a global manufacturer of safety device equipment, as National Coordinating and Strategic Counsel in defense of its asbestos, silica and coal dust exposure toxic tort litigations.
  • Retained to represent Progressive Casualty Insurance Company in a putative class action recently filed in federal court in Ohio.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a strong bench of seasoned trial lawyers with experience in a range of multi-district litigation and class actions. The firm also acts as national or regional counsel in cases involving serious personal injuries and product-threatening claims. A key figure in the team is Chicago-based Andrew McGaan, who has particular experience defending tobacco companies in product liability matters.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew McGaan; Richard Godfrey; Mike Brock

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

JUUL Labs

United Technologies Corporation (UTC)

Work highlights

  • Represents Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, in two state actions where the plaintiffs are suing manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of talc and talc powder products for negligence and products liability.
  • Represents JUUL Labs in litigation involving alleged fraudulent marketing and products liability claims related to JUUL products.
  • Representing United Technologies Corporation and its subsidiary, Carrier Corp., in two putative nationwide class actions alleging a manufacturing defect in HVAC systems manufactured by Carrier in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and in violation of the unfair trade practices of California, Michigan and Massachusetts.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is particularly well known for its food and beverage consumer products practice. The firm defends clients in a range of litigation, including false advertising, distributor relations and trade practice cases. In addition to its class action work, the team also handles risk management, advising on labeling and marketing, to minimize exposure to future claims. The practice is jointly led by Keri Borders in Los Angeles, who has experience acting in state and federal courts; class actions specialist Dale Giali, also in Los Angeles; and Washington DC-based Carmine Zarlenga, who advises major food and beverage companies on crisis issues domestically and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Keri Borders; Dale Giali; Carmine Zarlenga

Testimonials

‘Dale Giali is absolutely exceptional for food false ad defense work’

Key clients

Nestlé USA

Chobani, LLC

Amy’s Kitchen, Inc.

Foster Poultry Farms

Campbell Soup Company

Gerber Products Co.

California Pizza Kitchen

3M Company

KIND LLC

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc.

Wells Enterprises, Inc.

Altria Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented 3M Company, an American multinational corporation, in reaching an $850 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by the state of Minnesota seeking over $5 billion for alleged natural-resource damages and punitive damages related to certain chemicals that allegedly were released in the East Metro area of Minneapolis.
  • Wysong simultaneously filed six separate Lanham Act false advertising lawsuits against pet food companies; acting as lead counsel for Purina, Mayer Brown managed the team that drafted and successfully argued a motion to dismiss which resulted in a victory for numerous other co-defendants (e.g., APN, Inc.; Big Heart Pet Brands and J.M. Smucker Co. (as co-defendants); Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.; Mars Petcare US, Inc.; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.).
  • Mayer Brown litigators secured yet another victory for Campbell Soup when a federal judge in the Central District of California dismissed a false advertising consumer class action complaint alleging that labeling of less sodium and fat-free products on Campbell Soup’s iconic soup products was deceptive.
  • Mayer Brown litigators prevailed on two demurrers on behalf of Foster Farms (and retailer defendants) in a California consumer class action alleging that Foster Farms’ chicken products contain more than the amount of retained water declared on the label.
  • Mayer Brown defended 12 consumer class actions filed in the wake of an FDA Warning Letter relating to “healthy” labeling claims on snack bar products.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP is noted in particular for its experience of product recall matters, but also has deep experience in state and federal court cases ranging from lead pigment and nuisance litigation, to class actions involving asbestos, silica and foodborne illnesses. Richmond-based Diane Flannery chairs the products, environmental and mass tort litigation department. Among her recent highlights, Flannery acted for Lumber Liquidators in a series of highly publicized matters concerning the existence of carcinogens in the client's flooring materials. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of Courtney Shytle in the Charlotte office, who joined the team from Bowman and Brooke LLP.

Practice head(s):

Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Courtney Shytle; Perry Miles IV; Trent Taylor; Mark Anderson; Samuel Tarry; Tracy Walker; Stephen Busch; Terrence Bagley

Key clients

Ford Motor Company

Lumber Liquidators, Inc.

United Technologies Corporation

Universal Corp. and Universal Leaf Tobacco Company

Dollar General

Volkswagen

Olympus Corp.

Work highlights

  • After a “60 Minutes” investigation alleged that Lumber Liquidators’ (LL) laminate flooring contained excessive amounts of formaldehyde (a carcinogen), McGuireWoods devised an innovative strategy that transferred, consolidated and favorably resolved two MDLs that had threatened the company with bankruptcy — and possible extinction.
  • Successfully represented Universal Corp. as lead trial counsel and coordinating counsel in Hupan, et al. v. Alliance One International, Inc., and five related suits Chalanuk, et al.; DaSilva, et al.; Aranda, et al.; and Taborda, et al.; Biglia, et al. in the Supreme Court of New Castle County, Delaware filed by more than 406 plaintiffs including 153 children born in Argentina with birth defects, including spina bifida and other serious medical problems, as a result of exposure in utero and/or after their birth to hazardous herbicides and pesticides used in the cultivation of tobacco in Argentina.
  • Representing Dollar General Corp. that was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court accusing the retailer of selling obsolete motor oil that isn’t suitable for most modern vehicles.
  • McGuireWoods litigators have fought a multifront war that has significantly reduced a nationwide docket of cases involving superbug infections allegedly linked to endoscopes made by Tokyo-based Olympus Medical Systems Corp.
  • National counsel to Ford for consumer fraud class actions.  Since 2008, we have handled class actions filed against Ford in state and federal court in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has experience in risk management matters and consumer fraud class actions, acting in state and federal courts and arbitrations throughout the country. Notable in the area are Maja Eaton in Chicago, Alycia Degen in Los Angeles and New York-based Heidi Levine.

Other key lawyers:

Maja Eaton; Alycia Degen; Heidi Levine

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has core strengths in mass torts and multi-district litigation, and is also recognized for its track record in appeals. John Beisner leads the practice and has been leading class actions for Bayer, the NHL, and Johnson & Johnson (as well as for multiple of its subsidiaries). Another name to note is Jessica Miller, who has also played a key role in the Johnson & Johnson class actions. Other recent highlights included representing Sears, Roebuck and Company in the settlement of a class action case in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois concerning serious defects in the company's craftsman-brand riding lawn tractors; and successfully representing the NFL in multiple actions brought by retired players concerning long-terms injuries sustained sustained as a result of their playing careers. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

John Beisner

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Miller; Stephen Harburg; Richard Bernardo; Geoff Wyatt

Work highlights

  • In late June 2019, Bayer AG announced that it had retained Skadden as legal advisor to the Company’s Supervisory Board on matters related to the Roundup weed killer litigation, including trial strategies and mediation.
  • Skadden was asked by Vale S.A. to retain a panel of independent engineering experts to assess relevant data and information and to determine the technical cause(s) of the January 25, 2019, collapse of Dam I of the Corrego de Feijão iron ore mine in Brumadinho, Brazil.
  • Skadden achieved an important victory in a purported class action arbitration on behalf of eClinicalWorks (eCW), an electronic medical records provider, against three medical practices who claim our client’s software applications were deficient in violation of their contracts and certain statutes.
  • Skadden took the lead in scoring a series of victories in multiple purported class actions alleging defects in roofing materials manufactured by TAMKO.
  • Skadden is representing A Corporation that Manufactures Instruments Used in Minimally Invasive Surgeries  in handling more than 200 products liability cases around the country relating to instruments used minimally invasive surgeries.

Dentons

The team at Dentons’ has wide-ranging experience in environmental, manufacturing, consumer products and electronics claims, but is rated in particular for is expertise in asbestos-related claims. Lisa Oberg represents clients nationally and regionally in tort litigation, and product and premises liability, as well as in claims of intentional torts and fraudulent conduct. Oberg jointly leads the practice with Brad DeJardin, a trial lawyer focused on complex tort matters; and Jayme Long, who acts for companies in the petrochemical, medical, manufacturing, maritime and automotive industries.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Oberg; Brad DeJardin; Jayme Long

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wood; Belinda May

Key clients

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Imerys Talc America Inc./Cyprus Mines Corporation

Metalclad Insulation LLC

C&H Sugar Company

J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc.

Bayer AG

Morse TEC LLC

Work highlights

  • Represent Exxon Mobil as premises defendant.
  • Defended Johnson & Johnson in asbestos claim.
  • Defend Metalclad in asbestos claim.
  • Dentons is representing Bayer in its litigation against claims that glyphosate, a chemical in its Roundup herbicide, leads to cancer.
  • Defend J.T. Thorpe in various asbestos claims.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has a ‘group of talented, experienced lawyers who genuinely love working together'. The firm is known for its defense and management of national product liability matters, mass disaster cases and toxic tort litigation. As well as being active in tobacco cases, the practice is at the forefront of the developing field of e-cigarette litigation and regulation. Clients range from pharmaceutical and tobacco companies, to manufacturers of railway, power generation equipment and dietary supplements. The team is co-led from New York by Diane Lifton, who acts for pharmaceutical and medical device industries in toxic torts, asbestos exposure and tobacco cases; Robb Patryk, who is handling multiple class actions for clients in the chemicals industry; and James Fitzpatrick, who focuses on domestic and international pharmaceutical and product liability litigation.

Practice head(s):

Diane Lifton; Robb Patryk; James Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Bill Beausoleil; Daniel Weiner; George Tsougarakis; Charlie Cohen; James Berger

Testimonials

‘The practice of Hughes Hubbard in this area is deep’

‘Robb Patryk is very experienced in this type of litigation and he is supported by high quality colleagues. He is very smart, experienced, thoughtful, dedicated and responsive’

‘They are at their best – as a team, drawing on each other’s skills and ensuring that you get the best advice and service possible’

‘You never have to doubt if you have the right person working on your file, because they are always telling you who that person is’

‘HHR has had a major role to play in dozens of significant products/mass tort industry matters’

‘They know the players, they know the law, and they can immediately help assess your case’

‘HHR doesn’t try to have lawyers in every practice, but where they do, they are top-notch, and the products/mass tort practice is among the best’

‘Bill Beausoleil: Outstanding client partner who has good instincts, deep experience, and is a master at leveraging the best of his colleagues to support the client’s needs’

‘George Tsougarakis: Practical, smart, and internationally-savvy litigator who will not overwork your matter but can give you important advice in an efficient manner’

‘Charlie Cohen: A discovery wizard.  Charlie has high standards for discovery practice, but when you’re dealing with the plaintiffs’ tort bar, his standard is the one you need to avoid shenanigans’

Key clients

Imerys Talc America

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

LG Electronics Mobilecomm USA, Inc.

Ferro

Work highlights

  • Retained by Imerys, a multi-billion dollar global mining company, to provide counselling related to ongoing toxic tort litigation and to perform an audit of existing counsel’s work.
  • National Coordinating Counsel (“NCC”) in the Kent filter litigation for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (“RJRT”).  In these cases, plaintiffs allege injuries stemming from exposure to asbestos in certain cigarette filter material that was manufactured in the 1950s.
  • Represented LG Electronics USA, Inc. (“LGEUS”), f/k/a LG Electronics Mobilecomm, in claims filed by individuals against mobile telecommunications manufacturers, service providers, and trade associations in which it is alleged that the plaintiff or decedent developed a brain tumor as a result of exposure to non-ionizing radiation emitted from mobile phone handsets.  As of 20 September 2019, LGEUs has been named in 30 of the more than 70 cases pending in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
  • Retained by  Ferro Corporation originally in 2017 to defend it in a product liability action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York brought by the Suffolk County Water Authority regarding alleged contamination of the water supply with 1,4 dioxane manufactured by Ferro and other defendants.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP's team of ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ practitioners are recognized by clients as ‘experts in their field’. The firm has experience defending companies across a range of industries, including technology, retail, entertainment, food and telecoms, acting in state and federal consumer class actions. In particular, the team has been active in matters relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. New Jersey-based Lauri Mazzuchetti jointly heads the practice group alongside civil litigator Jonathan Cooperman in New York. Jeffrey Jacobson left the firm for Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Lauri Mazzuchetti; Jonathan Cooperman

Other key lawyers:

Michael Lynch; Jeff Castello

Testimonials

‘They are able to provide very practical advice that works well for corporations’

‘The attorneys that I work with at KD are very experienced and can generally answer questions off of the top of their heads, which is great’

‘They are down to earth, can explain complex matters quickly and in a way that can be understood by internal business partners’

‘They are generally people that you want to be around and work with’

‘Bet the Company cases are what I have with them and they are all over everything – thorough, know the area cold, tactical, and responsive’

‘Lauri Mazzuchetti is one of the best lawyers I have worked with over a 40 year career’

Key clients

Kohl’s Department Stores

Quincy Bioscience

Walgreens

Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

StarKist Co.

Essendant

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc.

Take-Two Interactive Software

Endeavor

Work highlights

  • Represents Kohl’s Department Stores in both individual and consumer class action lawsuits concerning alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
  • Represents Quincy Bioscience, LLC in an ongoing dispute alleging that the company falsely advertised the memory boosting effectiveness of its Prevagen®-brand dietary supplement.
  • Represents well-known consumer brands and other companies in the defense of various website accessibility lawsuits and class actions brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other state laws.
  • Represented Walgreens in a consumer class action alleging that it violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) when it allegedly used deceptive shelf pricing for a 12-pack of seltzer.
  • Represents StarKist Co. in a proposed consumer class action in California federal court alleging that their products should not be labelled as “dolphin safe.”

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP  provides broad-base expertise in product liability and consumer claims, class actions and government enforcement. Active in a variety of industries, the firm specializes in multi-disciplinary matters, including economic loss and consumer fraud cases. Aggregated litigation and investigations expert Steven Brody is based in Washington DC and co-leads the national team alongside San Francisco-based Matt Powers, who focuses on product liability and class action defense; and Sabrina Strong in Los Angeles, who has experience in matters relating to the consumer goods, insurance and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Steve Brody; Matt Powers; Sabrina Strong

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Hacker

Key clients

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals

Bird Rides, Inc.

Colgate-Palmolive Company

Exponent Inc.

Exxon Mobil

Ford Motor Company

Johnson & Johnson

Kia Motors America

Skechers USA, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Johnson & Johnson as lead counsel in more than 2,400 opioid lawsuits pending across the country.
  • Defended Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon in the first transvaginal mesh trial brought by a state attorney general.
  • Secured a Third Circuit appellate victory for J&J in a nationwide putative class action over the company’s iconic Baby Powder.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of client AMD of a proposed consumer class action and a separate securities class action over the potential microprocessor security flaw Spectre.
  • Secured a victory for Ford in the Fourth Circuit, affirming a district court’s summary judgment rejecting a proposed class action alleging that Ford vehicles had a defective throttle system that caused unintended acceleration.

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

The Denver-based consumer products practice at Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP has experience in class actions and product liability litigation. Michael O’Donnell is a contact in this space; he has a track record of work in large-scale recalls and product liability litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Michael O’Donnell