Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices in United States

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter has a range of experience in the life sciences sector, handling major product liability litigation, as well as advising on the development and marketing of new products. New York-based Anand Agneshwar represents pharmaceutical and consumer product companies as national, strategic, trial and appellate counsel. He co-leads the team with Daphne O’Connor, who works from the firm’s DC office and is known for defending pharma and tobacco companies. In a recent highlight, the practice is acting as lead counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals in the opioid litigation, coordinating national defense in the high-profile set of actions. The team is also handling standout cases for Bayer, Sanofi, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Pfizer, among others.

Key clients

Bayer Corporation

Endo Pharmaceuticals

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Novartis

AstraZeneca

Pfizer

Sanofi US

Hologic

Work highlights

  • Obtained a final summary judgment victory on behalf of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi, ending the personal injury product liability litigation regarding their blood thinner drug, Plavix.
  • Defending Sanofi in product liability litigation alleging that the medication Zantac caused various cancers.
  • Serves as national counsel to Pfizer in a series of product liability cases alleging cerebellar atrophy arising from the use of Dilantin and/or its generic versions.
  • Serves as national counsel and trial counsel to Endo Pharmaceuticals and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals in product liability litigation involving multiple Testosterone Replacement Therapy products.
  • Served as national defense counsel for Bayer in one of the largest pharmaceutical mass torts in the country, involving the anticoagulant prescription medicine Xarelto.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) is known for its success in pre-emptive strategies, though the firm has a strong track record in litigation when it does occur. In particular, the firm has shown its value in highly complex disputes, using scientific information to win litigation. The practice is co-led by Christopher Campbell in Atlanta, who acts for pharmaceutical, automotive and insurance companies; San Diego-based Brooke Kim, who focuses on disputes in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields; and Gail Rodgers in New York, who has expertise in compliance matters. Also notable are Loren Brown in New York, who specializes in multi-district litigation involving large-scale mass tort and class action matters, as well as parallel regulatory and government enforcement proceedings; Cara Edwards in New York, who has experience serving as national counsel in multi-jurisdictional product liability suits in state and federal courts; and associate Katie Insogna in Boston, who represents pharmaceutical, life science and medical device companies.

Testimonials

‘DLA has a comprehensive reach which makes them an ideal partner for global companies’

‘Steve Matthews has been a wonderful member of the team.  He takes the time to understand the client and works tirelessly’

Key clients

Pfizer

Medtronic

Medtronic

Novo Nordisk

Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Chattem

Sanofi

Work highlights

  • National counsel for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Pfizer in multi-district and state court litigation involving their blockbuster anticoagulant medication Eliquis.
  • Obtained a series of successful dismissals of product liability claims involving allegations that Medtronic’s hernia mesh products, implanted to reinforce hernia repair surgeries, are defective
  • Provide advice and counsel to Medtronic on presentations and appearance before FDA advisory committee on surgical staplers.
  • Serves as national counsel for Novo Nordisk in federal and state court litigation involving allegations that Victoza, as well as other incretin-based therapies approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, causes pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis.
  • Serves as National Counsel representing Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in product liability litigation involving two proton-pump inhibitor products: Nexium 24HR (an over the counter product) and Protonix (a prescription product).

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP’s multi-disciplinary team of lawyers, scientists and consultants specialize in representing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and life sciences companies in nationwide product liability litigation. The firm has particular experience in mass tort litigation, and has developed unique expertise in pelvic mesh matters and women’s health issues. Houston-based Bruce Hurley heads the practice and defends drug and device manufacturers in tort litigation. Also notable are senior counsel Chilton Varner, who is an experienced trial lawyer, representing clients in mass tort litigation, class actions and multi-district litigation; Andy Bayman, who specializes in the life sciences sector; and Geoffrey Drake, who acts for companies in the life sciences, automotive, energy and technology sectors. The team was boosted in 2020 by the arrivals from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP of: Morton Dubin II, a first chair trial lawyer known for high stakes product liability matters; John Ewald, who is a trial lawyer focused on product liability and toxic tort cases; Kristen Fournier, an experienced mass tort and product liability litigator; and Kathy O’Connor, who represents pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and consumer product companies. All named lawyers are based in Atlanta unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Hurley

Key clients

Allergan

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Avanos (formerly Halyard Health)

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Eli Lilly & Co.

GlaxoSmithKline

Johnson & Johnson

Merck & Co.

Work highlights

  • Actring for Johnson & Johnson in relation to thousands of claims alleging its talc-based powder products have caused mesothelioma, facing unrelenting media coverage and multiple large plaintiff’s verdicts.
  • Retained as co-coordinating counsel by GlaxoSmithKline in the Zofran (Ondansetron) products liability litigation involving claims that Zofran, when taken during pregnancy, causes congenital birth defects and that the medication’s labeling was inadequate in warning of this alleged risk.

Williams & Connolly LLP

Washington DC-based Williams & Connolly LLP is experienced at all stages of the product liability cycle, from trials to appeals, and in all strategic counseling surrounding litigation. The firm represents pharmaceutical companies and device makers as lead or co-lead national counsel in a range of multi-district litigations (MDLs) and mass torts. Expert trial lawyer Heidi Hubbard tries cases in state and federal courts throughout the US. She co-leads the practice with Joseph Petrosinelli, who is ‘one of the best lawyers in the country', particularly in MDLs, coordinated proceedings and class actions. Also notable are Douglas Marvin, who represents companies in mass tort litigation and as national coordinating counsel; and Paul Boehm, who specializes in healthcare and science-related industries.

Testimonials

‘Williams and Connelly is one of the best firms in this area’

‘They are smart, careful, and effective before Judges and juries’

‘Joe Petrosinelli is one of the best strategists in the industry and has a great manner with courts and opposing counsel’

‘John Joiner is the best writer with whom I have ever worked and is a pleasure to work with’

Key clients

Pfizer

Hospira

Medtronic

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Stryker Corp.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Johnson & Johnson

Cardinal Health

GlaxoSmithKline

Work highlights

  • Serves as trial and national counsel for Pfizer in connection with a federal MDL in the Northern District of California established on April 7, 2016, involving cases alleging that Pfizer’s Viagra caused the exacerbation of plaintiffs’ melanoma.
  • Retained by Pfizer/Hospira as trial counsel and co-lead MDL counsel in the Taxotere (Docetaxel) products liability litigation pending in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • Represented Pfizer as lead trial counsel in a products liability case set for trial in state court in Los Angeles in February 2019.
  • Acting as co-national counsel for Medtronic in connection with nationwide lawsuits alleging personal injuries from the use of the company’s various hernia mesh products.
  • Serves as lead national counsel for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in state and federal cases alleging that Januvia and Janumet, Merck’s popular treatments for type 2 diabetes, cause pancreatic cancer and other injuries.

Bartlit Beck LLP

Bartlit Beck LLP specializes in individual and consolidated personal-injury litigation, federal multi-district litigation and coordinated state-court proceedings. The firm also has expertise in class actions, notably those based on environmental torts and consumer fraud. Practice head Jason Peltz has experience in a range of commercial litigation, including breach of contract, patent infringement, product liability, fraud and securities. Also recommended are Kaspar Stoffelmayr, whose experience includes single-plaintiff catastrophic injury cases, MDLs and nationwide class actions; and Philip Beck  , a renowned trial lawyer with a focus on mass tort, product liability, commercial and financial cases. All named practitioners are based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Jason Peltz

Key clients

Bayer Corporation

ConocoPhillips Co.

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon

Trinity Industries, Trinity Highway Products

Walgreens

Arconic

Merck

Work highlights

  • Defending Bayer against product liability actions involving the pharmaceutical Xarelto, including over 25,000 individual claims.
  • National counsel and lead trial counsel for Bayer product liability litigation including approximately 20,000 lawsuits and claims alleging that the oral contraceptives YAZ and Yasmin carry an excessive risk of blood clots (including deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attacks, and strokes) and other injuries.
  • Trial counsel for Johnson and Johnson in lawsuits related to pelvic mesh devices.
  • Lead counsel and trial counsel for Walgreens in nationwide litigation relating to the distribution and sale of prescription opioids.

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Bowman and Brooke LLP has a range of expertise in this area, but specializes in opioid litigation, where it represents medical device and pharmaceutical clients in individual and mass torts, and has particular experience in large MDLs in federal courts and state coordinated actions. Executive managing partner Kim Schmid, in Minneapolis, has industry experience defending against claims involving various drug and medical device products, including transvaginal mesh, IVC filters, pain pumps and breast implants. Schmid co-leads the team with managing partner Randall Christian in Austin, who is known for his work involving diabetes, anti-seizure and birth control medications, as well as diet drugs and vaccines.

Practice head(s):

Kim Schmid; Randall Christian

Testimonials

‘The firm is dedicated to trial work. They have concentrated on this for the entire firm and therefore are prepared to take cases to trial, are a credible trial threat and litigate product liability matters efficiently’

Key clients

Daiichi-Sankyo

Boston Scientific Corporation

Siemens Medical Solutions USA

Endologix

Conformis

Exactech

Ossur Americas

Work highlights

  • Lead counsel for global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo in Injectafer litigation
  • Newly assigned as national product liability counsel to Boston Scientific Corporation.
  • Serves as national product liability counsel in US litigation for Siemens. In this role, the firm is defending a wide variety of product and general liability cases, including those for the client’s healthcare division, Siemens Medical Solutions.
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel and national discovery counsel for Gainesville, Florida-based manufacturer Exactech, representing the company in connection with product liability claims and lawsuits involving its bone and joint restoration products including implants used in hip, knee, and shoulder arthroplasties.
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel, national discovery counsel and lead trial counsel for medical device manufacturer Conformis, representing the company in connection with product liability claims and lawsuits involving its patient-specific joint implants.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP handles a range of mass tort, multi-district litigation and class actions, having recently handled disputes covering opioids and birth control devices. Sheila Birnbaum is known for product liability defense, serving as national counsel and lead defense counsel in tort cases across the US. She co-leads the practice with Mark Cheffo, who has expertise acting for corporates and individuals in the pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, bioengineering and industrial products industries. In a recent highlight, the team is continuing its representation of Purdue Pharma, acting as national defense and lead trial counsel in over 2000 cases connected to highly publicized opioid litigation. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Sheila Birnbaum; Mark Cheffo

Key clients

Purdue Pharma

AbbVie

Johnson & Johnson

State Farm

Pfizer

Bayer

Saint-Gobain

Work highlights

  • Represented Bayer in the mass tort litigation in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas concerning Xarelto, a prescription anti-coagulant medication.
  • Achieved a significant victory for client State Farm in the Second Circuit in a case where plaintiffs alleged that their home was built with defective concrete, which was now causing their foundation to crumble.
  • Represents Saint-Gobain Corporation (SGC) in litigation in connection with the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire.
  • Represents AbbVie in national product liability litigation related to AndroGel, a prescription testosterone replacement therapy product.
  • Represents Bayer in lawsuits concerning its intrauterine permanent birth control device Essure.

Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP

Trial and litigation boutique Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP handles products liability, mass tort, class action and high-stakes commercial cases. The firm acts for US and multinational companies and specializes in complex scientific and technical issues. Founding partner Tarek Ismail leads the litigation practice, often acting in conjunction with Jennifer Greenblatt, who defends complex and multi-district commercial litigation. Also notable in the team is associate Allyson Julien, who is experienced representing pharmaceutical and medical device companies in product liability and mass tort litigation. Of recent note, the group is representing Bayer in litigation involving Mirena, an FDA-approved intrauterine contraceptive system, where plaintiffs filed over 5,000 cases nationwide alleging a variety of injuries. All named lawyers are based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Tarek Ismail

Key clients

Merck & Co.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Schering-Plough Corp.

Schering Corp.

MSP Singapore Co.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

Bayer HealthCare

Bayer Corp.

Bayer Pharma

Bayer

Monsanto Company

Johnson & Johnson

Ethicon

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Medtronic

UCB

AbbVie

3M

Work highlights

  • Served as lead trial counsel for AbbVie defending its medicine, AndroGel, in a bellwether trial and serves as AbbVie’s national litigation counsel for the MDL and related AndroGel cases.
  • Acting for Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon in the transvaginal mesh products liability litigation, currently involving tens of thousands of cases nationwide with hundreds of millions of US dollars claimed in damages.
  • Hired by Bayer to represent Monsanto in Roundup products liability litigation (MDL No. 2741), and in pending Roundup litigation in various other jurisdictions.
  • Hired by Merck & Co. to serve as strategic counsel in defending against over a dozen putative antitrust class actions and opt-out actions all claiming that Merck’s settlement of a Zetia Hatch-Waxman patent case in 2010 violated federal and/or state antitrust laws.
  • Serves as lead counsel for Bayer in numerous cases pending in state and federal court relating to the radiology pharmaceutical drug, Magnevist, where plaintiffs claim that retention of the product caused Gadolinium Deposition Disease and other medical problems.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP has a diverse litigation practice, both in in terms of skill sets in the team and geographic spread. The firm serves as national and regional coordinating counsel to global pharmaceutical and medical device companies in mass torts and high-stakes single-plaintiff product liability actions. The practice has expertise in putative class action, multi-district litigation, consolidated state court proceedings and mass tort cases. Specialities for the practice include, pelvic mesh, opioids and proton pump inhibitors. The team is co-led by Lori Cohen, who is known for defending global pharmaceutical and medical device companies; Sara Thompson, whose expertise ranges from spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal pain pumps, to spinal fixation devices and sales representative negligence allegations; Victoria Davis Lockard, who focuses on high-stakes, single-plaintiff cases; Los Angeles-based Ginger Pigott, a contact for MDLs, coordinated state actions and class actions; and Marcella Ducca, who has experience in medical device litigation. All named lawyers are based in Atlanta unless stated otherwise.

Testimonials

‘The Greenberg team is focused from day 1 on winning the trial’

‘Every step taken throughout discovery and at all points along the way is designed to help deliver the win’

‘Lori Cohen is truly remarkable’

‘Lori Cohen is highly skilled at quickly distilling a complex set of facts into a compelling, understandable trial theme’

‘Lori Cohen is also a master at being highly relatable (and ultimately persuasive) to a wide variety of audiences from jurors to judges’

Key clients

Novartis

Sandoz

Alcon Laboratories

Medtronic

Becton, Dickinson and Company

C.R. Bard

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

Bausch Health Companies

Johnson & Johnson / Janssen

CryoLife

Danaher Corp.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Albertsons Companies

Work highlights

  • National counsel for Sandoz (and its subsidiary Eon Labs) in California amiodarone JCCP, securing dismissal of 450 non-residents plaintiffs on personal jurisdiction grounds. This ruling effectively shut down loopholes for litigation tourism in California after Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court.
  • National counsel for Sandoz in litigation related to the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel), including the 11,500+ case federal MDL, New Jersey multi-county litigation, and an action by the Mississippi Attorney General.
  • Represents Sandoz in the opioids litigation, including in more than 500 cases in the Northern District of Ohio MDL and state court coordinated proceedings in Missouri, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
  • Represents Bausch Health Companies and its subsidiaries Salix and Santarus in the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) litigation, which includes an MDL in New Jersey involving thousands of cases and more than a dozen different manufacturers of PPI drugs.
  • National trial counsel and national coordinating counsel for all claims concerning pelvic mesh against Bard.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

The ‘legal skills, attention to details, responsiveness and experience’ at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is ‘invaluable’. Indeed, the firm has experience handling high profile products disputes in this space, the opioid litigation being just one recent example of the firm's involvement in headline-grabbing disputes. The team is co-led by Diane Lifton, who is known for high stakes cases in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, as well as toxic torts and asbestos exposure; Robb Patryk, recognized for his experience of trials and overall case strategy; and James Fitzpatrick, who combines ‘legal advice seasoned with excellent understanding of PR issues’ with 'cutting edge abilities on the scientific aspects’. Also recommended is Charles Cohen, a ‘responsive, productive and constructive’ litigator who acts in complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation, primarily in the area of life sciences. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Testimonials

‘Hughes, Hubbard & Reed is the place to go in case of complex product liability claims’

‘They have a vast experience not only from a local point of view, but also as regards how PL claims are in other jurisdictions, so providing a substantial added value to any clients willing to have the best possible strategy, and the best possible tactics, from a consistent point of view’

‘Charlie Cohen is a superb lawyer. Talented litigator, he is also a subtle and astute negotiator, able to achieve the best goals in every situation. He encompass the ability to know when to fight, with the ability to see when to avoid the fight, managing claimants’ expectations and detecting balance in every possible out of court settlement’

‘Exceptionally close client relationships’

‘Unusual level of expertise about product liability litigation around the world, not only in the US’

‘Jim Fitzpatrick makes complex scientific evidence understandable’

‘Steve Luger is the most detail-oriented drafter I have encountered’

‘This team stands out on the market as it has enormous experience, develops innovative strategies and is fun to work with’

‘Jim Fitzpatrick is a world-class rock star: charismatic, energetic and extremely smart. His presentation skills make him hypnotise the audience and make it feel being in the best hands at the same time’

‘Charles Cohen’s strategic thinking and dedication make his client relationships last for many years’

‘Clients are impressed by the quality of the work, grasp of legal issues and sense of business impact of litigaton issues’

‘I highly regard the firm’s capabilities and performance, as the firm has built a mosaic of capabilities in a wide range of activities that is designed to offer a multinational client a wall to wall service’

‘The firm is particularly well equipped in coordinating cross border litigation, particularly defending effectively class actions’

‘It fully deserves its reputation as a top notch litigation team’

‘Their ability to staff the case with as many capable team members as necessary, enables processing high volume of work and drafting excellent comprehensive documents, in a very short turnaround’

‘They provide highest standard of legal analysis, but on the same time practical advice’

‘They justify their reputation as one of  US’s leading international law firms in litigation’

‘Charles Cohen and James Fitzpatrick are both extremely capable and reputable in coordinating cross border litigation, namely pharmaceutical litigation. Their familiarity with the challenges and how best to cope with them is second to none. Both are extremely knowledgeable on many foreign jurisdictions and are truly instrumental in applying US clients’ strategy and needs overseas’

‘HHR is probably  #1 choice when it comes to cross border coordination for US clients. They know best this job and what it takes to cause a local external lawyer performs exactly as the client expects him, despite the distance and difference of cultures’

Key clients

UCB

New York Blood Center

Eisai Pharmaceuticals

Merck & Co.

Work highlights

  • Representing UCB, a Belgium-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, in connection with its involvement in the national opioid litigation.
  • Representing New York Blood Center in functionally all of the personal injury cases the client has faced.
  • Represents Eisai Company and Eisai in the Proton Pump Inhibitor (“PPI”) litigation.
  • Played a key role in the defense of the multi-district litigation and state court litigation in cases in which plaintiffs allege that the osteoporosis medicine FOSAMAX caused them to experience two discrete injuries.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has experience in class actions and multi-district litigation, including the early disposal of matters through denial of class certification and dispositive motions. The firm serves as national coordinating trial counsel, national discovery counsel and regional counsel in a range of cases across the US, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical product defense. San Antonio-based Steven Jansma is head of products, pharma, medical and mass tort. He co-leads the practice with D’Lesli Davis, who serves as lead trial counsel for pharmaceutical and medical device clients in mass tort cases, MDLs and consolidated proceedings in state and federal courts. Also notable in the team is associate Ellie Norris, who focuses on representing pharmaceutical companies in complex disputes. Named lawyers are based in Dallas unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Steve Jansma; D’Lesli Davis

Other key lawyers:

Brett Young; Ellie Norris

Troutman Pepper

Acting for pharmaceutical, medical device and health sciences companies, Troutman Pepper has broad-based expertise in litigation, with mass torts being a particular strength. The firm also provides counseling at every stage of the R&D process, including risk evaluation, and related fields of regulatory compliance, clinical trials, marketing and IP protection. Philadelphia-based Barry Boise has experience defending contested product liability litigation, state attorney general litigation, multi-state investigations and consumer fraud litigation. The New York team was strengthened in 2019 by the arrival of healthcare, science and IP specialists Michael Goldman, Gunnar Leinberg and Andrew Zappia from LeClairRyan. Additionally, the Detroit office was boosted by the arrival of Serene Katranji, who joined from Seyburn Kahn, P.C. in 2019.

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Eli Lilly and Company

Medtronic

National Football League

CertainTeed Corporation

Johnson & Johnson

C.R. Bard

Collegium Pharmaceutical

LivaNova

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

Work highlights

  • National coordinating counsel and trial counsel for several product lines for Medtronic. For just one product line, Infuse, thousands of cases have been filed across the country, as well as a putative RICO claim that was dismissed.
  • Representing the NFL in connection with the National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL 2323, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • National counsel to Eli Lilly in litigation involving claims that Byetta, a treatment for type 2 diabetes that Lilly produced with Amylin Laboratories, causes acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, renal failure or thyroid cancer.
  • Serves as counsel to Eli Lilly in litigation involving Jardiance, an SGLT2 inhibitor for treating Type 2 diabetes that Lilly co-promotes with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, which owns the NDA for the medication.
  • Counsel to Eli Lilly in a False Claims Act investigation by the US Department of Justice of the company’s treatment of inventory appreciation credits from wholesalers for purposes of reporting the average manufacturer price of its products.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP handles the full range of product liability issues for clients in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Areas of particular strength include pelvic mesh litigation and product liability issues in the wider life sciences field. The practice is co-led by Princeton-based Melissa Geist, who focuses on pharmaceutical, medical device and commercial litigation, as well as e-discovery related issues; and experienced trial lawyer Robert Roth in Chicago. Michael Brown in Los Angeles is also recommended; he has experience of a variety of class actions, multi-district litigation, and mass torts, as well as in claims involving unfair competition and false advertising.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Geist; Robert Roth

Other key lawyers:

Michael Brown

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP has experience in a range of complex product liability matters in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industries, including litigation around pelvic mesh products. Contacts in the product liability group include Kansas City-based Walter Cofer and Alicia Donahue in San Francisco.

Venable LLP

Venable LLP particularly well known for defending pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device manufacturers. In addition to handling MDLs and mass torts, the practice group advises on a variety of medical, scientific and regulatory issues that arise from life sciences product liability litigation. The team is jointly led by Baltimore-based duo Kathleen Hardway and Jason Rose. Hardway represents pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device manufacturers in state and federal courts, and Rose is an experienced litigator with core strengths in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, as well as in business torts and commercial contract disputes. Paul Strain and David Heubeck retired from the firm in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Hardway; Jason Rose

Testimonials

‘A lot of firms in this space have several high-end partners they can bring to deal with large and complex litigation. Venable brings a dozen or more, operating out of offices all over the country’

‘They work well together, with others, and with their clients’

‘Steve Marshall understands the science as well as anyone’

‘Celeste Brecht is a brilliant young strategist and developing trial attorney’

‘Michael Hecht, Chris Conoscenti and Kathleen Hardway, along with others, drive large, complex litigation effectively across the finish line’

Key clients

Merck & Co.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

Daiichi Sankyo

Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp)

Work highlights

  • Serving as national counsel in litigation related to Merck’s shingles vaccine, Zostavax.
  • Serving as national counsel for litigation related to Merck’s osteoporosis medication, Fosamax.
  • Serving as counsel to Merck in litigation related to the prescription medications Propecia and Proscar (i.e., “Finasteride”).
  • Serving as co-national counsel to Takeda for litigation related to its proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) medications, including Prevacid and Dexilant, which treat acid reflux and GERD.
  • Serving as LabCorp’s national counsel in cases in which plaintiffs allege errors in prenatal genetic testing, and phlebotomy and other testing procedures conducted by LabCorp.

Butler Snow LLP

Butler Snow LLP has notable experience acting as national, regional and local counsel for pharmaceutical and medical device companies across the country. The firm’s work also covers agricultural chemicals and equipment, as well as recreational equipment, industrial machinery and commercial equipment. In addition, the practice has expertise in defending mass tort and multi-district litigation involving pelvic mesh and hernia mesh-related claims. Ridgeland-based Alyson Bustamante Jones leads the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare practice group. Also recommended is William Gage in Mississippi, who specializes in drug and medical device litigation.

Practice head(s):

Alyson Bustamante Jones

Key clients

AbbVie

Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Hoffmann-La Roche

Merck & Co.

MicroPort

Sunrise Medical

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

Work highlights

  • Retained to defend Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in State of Washington v. Johnson & Johnson, Case No.16-12-12186-1, a pelvic mesh state AG action in Washington that settled on the eve of trial.
  • Retained to defend Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in The People of the State of California v. Johnson & Johnson, Case No. 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL, a pelvic mesh state attorney general action in which trial began on July 15, 2019 and concluded on September 26th.
  • Retained to defend Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in Hood v. Johnson & Johnson, et al, Case No. 25CH1:17-1528, filed by the Mississippi Attorney General alleging that the companies engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with the manufacture of pelvic surgical mesh devices in violation of the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.
  • Serves as national counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in pelvic mesh MDL, one of the largest litigations in history that at one point totaled over 62,000 active cases in multiple different MDLs.
  • Lead national counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in product liability litigation relating to all hernia mesh products manufactured by Ethicon.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP serves as defense trial and appellate counsel in product liability and mass tort matters, and also acts as strategic advisors for clients in national and multi-state liability actions. Contacts in this space include Mike Imbroscio and Phyllis Jones, who has represented clients in state and federal litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings. Both named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath has extensive experience in defending clients in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries in complex mass torts. The firm is also prominent in the developing area of medicaid and consumer fraud claims, where it acts on behalf of state governments. The team is co-led by Florham Park-based Michael Zogby, who has broad-base expertise in products liability, medical devices claims, class actions, mass tort and multi-district proceedings; Daniel Carroll in New York, who has been involved in claims relating to latex gloves, cough and cold medications, antibiotics and anticoagulants; and Melissa Merk in Philadelphia, a contact for pharmaceutical and medical device companies in civil litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Alan Lazarus; Susan Sharko

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Bayer HealthCare

GlaxoSmithKline

Daiichi Sankyo

DePuy Orthopaedics

Mitsubishi-Tanabe

Zicam and Matrixx Initiatives

Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)

Mentor Worldwide

McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Allergan

Work highlights

  • Represented Zicam (subsidiary) and Matrixx Initiatives (parent), the makers of Zicam Cold Remedy products, in a nationwide class action filed in California and a statewide class action in New York, both alleging that the defendants were liable to the classes for misrepresenting the benefits of the products and the results of the studies involving the over the counter products.
  • Represented the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) in an amicus capacity in several important engagements over the past year.  PLAC participates as an amicus in major cases before appellate courts around the country presenting issues of great significance to manufacturers.

Goodwin

From offices in Massachusetts, New York, Washington DC and California, Goodwin provides litigation support to clients across a range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, medical devices, asbestos and building materials. Practice head Glenn Kerner is based in New York and has experience in products liability litigation nationwide, with particular skills in complex mass torts and multi-district litigation. Also recommended is Sarah Frederick in Boston, who represents clients in product liability mass torts, antitrust-related MDLs and putative class actions, as well as in challenges to agency actions at the trial and appellate levels.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Kerner

Key clients

Barr Pharmaceuticals

Boehringer Ingelheim

Garden of Life (a division of Nestle)

Herbalife International

Kolmar Laboratories

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA

Work highlights

  • Serves as National Counsel to Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Barr Pharmaceuticals, and Barr Laboratories in the amiodarone litigation.
  • Serving as counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in a Pradaxa wrongful death lawsuit filed in Massachusetts state court.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP a reputation for representing pharmaceuticals and medical manufacturing companies in multi-district litigation and class actions. A key contact in this area is Lauren Colton in Baltimore.

Jones Day

Jones Day acts in multi-district litigation, coordinated state proceedings, product liability cases and class actions. Business and tort litigation practice head Stephanie Parker in Atlanta has represented clients in the tobacco, chemicals, gasoline, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and automotive industries.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has experience acting as primary counsel in product liability and mass tort matters, particularly multi-district litigation, defect and recall investigations, and environmental claims, both at trial and appeal. The firm also has expertise in high-stakes disputes for generic pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies, as well as in cases involving serious personal injuries and product-threatening claims. Mike Brock is a name to note in Washington DC; he focuses on product liability cases for automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies.

Key clients

AbbVie

AbbVie Products

Abbott Laboratories

Allergan

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

GlaxoSmithKline

Johnson & Johnson

Ranbaxy

Work highlights

  • Retained by AbbVie just three months before trial began in the third bellwether case of a product liability MDL regarding its blockbuster testosterone replacement drug AndroGel in the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Represented Abbott Laboratories and its subsidiary, St. Jude Medical, in a nationwide class action seeking hundreds of millions of dollars, which arose out of a recall of certain models of St. Jude’s implantable cardiac defibrillators due to a defect in the devices’ lithium batteries.
  • Representing Allergan in governmental inquiries and civil suits in multiple courts related to its sale and marketing of opioid pain killers.
  • Defending Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical in multi-district products liability litigation alleging Abilify (aripiprazole), an anti-psychotic prescription drug, caused consumers to exhibit compulsive behaviors, including gambling.
  • Representing GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a consumer class action, and part of a multi-district litigation, alleging that GSK made misrepresentations about the risks of anti-diabetic drug Avandia and that these representations led the third party payor plaintiffs to purchase Avandia over less expensive alternatives.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown represents clients in a range of product-liability cases and is well-regarded for defending pharmaceutical companies against innovator liability claims. Noted for its ‘deep experience handling complex scientific issues’, the group has particular experience in matters in which plaintiffs assert that brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers are liable for injuries caused by generic substitutes sold by competing manufacturers. The team is co-led by life sciences expert Henninger Bullock in New York; Chicago-based Michael Olsen, a ‘very skilled trial attorney’; and ‘thoughtful litigation strategistDaniel Ring, also in Chicago.

Other key lawyers:

Craig Woods; Andrew Tauber

Testimonials

‘The Mayer Brown team is well adept at developing a compelling scientific theory of the case in addition to effectively combating experts on the other side’

‘Mike Olsen connects well with juries with his engaging and understandable personality in court’

‘Daniel Ring is always prepared and thinking several moves ahead’

‘Craig Woods is terrific with expert witnesses’

Key clients

Abbott Laboratories

Medtronic

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

GlaxoSmithKline

Cook Medical

St. Jude Medical

Eli Lilly

UCB

Terumo Medical Corp.

Work highlights

  • Defending numerous clients (including GlaxoSmithKline) against innovator liability claims.
  • Serving as national preemption counsel to Medtronic, engineering cutting-edge preemption victories resulting in the dismissal of hundreds of product-liability claims across the country, including the dismissal of two coordinated proceedings in different courts involving more than 400 individual plaintiffs.
  • Defended UCB and its subsidiary, Schwarz Pharma, in more than 8,000 product liability cases in dozens of state and federal courts arising from the use of the pharmaceutical product Reglan.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP acts in litigation across the US in the state and federal courts, serving as national counsel to major pharmaceutical companies, including in the well-known opioid litigation. Diane Flannery leads the practice from Richmond and has experience acting as lead counsel in MDLs. Other contacts in the team are Raleigh-based Mark Anderson, a name to note for medical product liability cases, and Samuel Tarry in Richmond, who specializes in coordinated national scientific defenses in mass tort litigation.

Practice head(s):

Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Mark Anderson; Samuel Tarry

Key clients

Olympus Corporation

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is known for acting in product-related class actions, individual lawsuits, multi-district matters and mass tort litigation. The firm has a strong reputation in pharmaceuticals cases, most notably in high-profile opioid litigation. Paul Zevnik is a name to note in Washington DC; he handles insurance and reinsurance disputes, as well as mass tort and environmental cases. Zevnik co-leads the practice with Los Angeles-based Yardena Zwang-Weissman, who focuses on complex environmental, tort and products related matters.

Key clients

Zimmer Biomet Holdings

Teva Pharmaceuticals/Cephalon

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Rite Aid Corp.

Connect America

Work highlights

  • Representing Teva Pharmaceuticals in defense of opioid sales and distribution.
  • Representing Rite Aid in the multidistrict litigation In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation (MDL No. 2804), pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Represents Rite Aid Corporation in defense of alleged distribution and sales of opioid drugs.
  • Represented Connect America in a putative class action litigation concerning the client’s health alert system.
  • Represents Zimmer Biomet Holding in recovering funds in a product liability matter surrounding the Durom Cup (artificial hip).

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a track record in defending clients in multi-party serial tort and mass tort litigation, serving as national counsel in federal courts and in various state jurisdictions throughout the US. Made up of experienced trial and appellate lawyers, the team has expertise includes representing pharmaceutical and medical device clients in mass tort litigation, labelling requirements, risk assessments, recalls and consumer fraud. The group is is co-led by Erin Bosman, who splits her time between San Diego and San Francisco and has experience acting as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases and multi-district proceedings; and consumer class actions specialist Tiffany Cheung in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; Tiffany Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park

Key clients

MicroPort Orthopedics

Prelude Fertility

McKesson Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting as MicroPort’s national product liability counsel and represents MicroPort in over a dozen product liability cases filed around the country alleging injuries from hip replacement implants.
  • Lead counsel for Prelude Fertility, a company that has invested in a network of fertility clinics across the country, and its subsidiary Pacific MSO.
  • Lead counsel for McKesson in MDL and state court proceedings comprising thousands of cases arising out of plaintiffs’ allegations that they suffered permanent hair loss after being treated for breast cancer with Taxotere.
  • Lead counsel representing McKesson in 24 cases in state and federal courts brought by plaintiffs alleging bleeding after being treated with Eliquis.
  • Defending McKesson against cases brought by plaintiffs in federal and California state courts, alleging injury and birth defects due to exposure to Zofran in utero.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP handles product liability and consumer claims in mass tort proceedings, class actions and government enforcement actions. The firm is experienced in lead and co-lead national counsel roles in multi-district litigation involving allegedly defective products. Washington DC-based Steven Brody focuses on cases related to pharmaceutical and medical devices, including research and development, regulatory compliance and consumer fraud. He co-leads the practice with Matt Powers in San Francisco, who has experience of class actions both in California and around the country; and Sabrina Strong in Los Angeles, who handles a range of  business litigation, including class actions and mass tort actions in the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Goetz

Testimonials

‘Responsiveness and depth of experience and expertise’

‘Availability and client service focus’

Key clients

Advanced Micro Devices

Amylin Pharmaceuticals

Bird Rides

Colgate-Palmolive Company

Exponent

Exxon Mobil

Ford Motor Company

Johnson & Johnson

Kia Motors America

Skechers USA

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.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a strong reputation in national counsel roles in mass tort litigation and multi-district litigation. The firm also stands out in this space for the strength of its appellate practice. Washington DC-based John Beisner heads the firm’s mass torts, insurance and consumer litigation group. Among its recent highlights, Beisner's team is acting as lead MDL counsel for DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in around 9,000 personal injury claims related to client's allegedly defective Pinnacle hip implants.

Practice head(s):

John Beisner

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Miller; Stephen Harburg

Work highlights

  • Achieved a victory in a purported class action arbitration on behalf of eClinicalWorks (eCW), an electronic medical records provider, against three medical practices which claim the client’s software applications were deficient in violation of their contracts and certain statutes.
  • Serves as counsel for Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, leading the discovery effort in the federal MDL proceeding and state-court suits across the country encompassing tens of thousands of personal-injury actions involving the company’s Gynecare pelvic mesh products.
  • Represents Merck & Co. in pending cases brought by various state attorneys general related to claims regarding the marketing of the painkiller Vioxx in Utah.
  • Acting for GSK Consumer Healthcare in a nationwide consumer class action involving allegations that the client misrepresented the contents of its Advil containers through “slack fill” space intended to mislead consumers as to the actual number of pills in each bottle.
  • Handling, or has resolved, more than 200 products liability cases around the country relating to instruments used minimally invasive surgeries.

Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP coordinates and defends medical device and pharmaceutical product liability cases nationwide at the trial and appellate levels, acting as lead national coordinating counsel in multi-district and state coordinated mass tort proceedings. The team regularly acts in litigation involving pelvic mesh, breast implants and birth control patches, and has also been engaged as regional counsel in opioid marketing litigation. Practice head Mollie Benedict in Los Angeles represents pharmaceutical and medical device clients in federal and state courts across the US.

Practice head(s):

Mollie Benedict

Key clients

Ethicon Endo-Surgery

Ethicon

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Johnson & Johnson

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead national counsel for Mentor Worldwide in breast implant litigation, personal injury claims from saline- or silicone gel-filled breast implants, including claims of “breast implant illness” and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP has expertise in a variety of multi-district litigation and mass torts, recent examples of which have involved opioid litigation and cases related to prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. The firm is also active in MDLs relating to testosterone therapy that allegedly causes heart attacks, strokes and other injuries. Washington DC-based Matthew Campbell leads the practice and represents clients in product liability and mass tort litigation across the country. The team was boosted in 2019 by the arrival of Sandra Edwards, who joined in San Francisco from Farella Braun + Martel LLP.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Campbell

Key clients

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

Abbott Laboratories

Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Panasonic Corporation

BRG Sports

Archer Daniels Midland

Work highlights

  • Representing Hikma in the national opiate litigation, which includes a sprawling multi-district proceeding consolidated in Ohio federal court and various state court actions. Hikma has been named in more than 550 cases.
  • Winston serves as lead national counsel for OAPI and OPC in litigation related to its blockbuster drug, Abilify.
  • Represent Abbott Laboratories in a several individual product liability suits each year related to Abbott’s cardiac guide wires.