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

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter  is frequently at the helm in litigation that raises cutting-edge issues, serving as national counsel or lead counsel to defend class actions, mass tort actions, MDLs and state court proceedings. The firm’s skilled team of litigators works closely with its FDA and healthcare regulatory practice. It can draw on decades of experience addressing the major issues companies face in pharmaceutical product liability litigation, including electronic discovery, consumer fraud or federal pre-emption defenses, and innovative settlement strategies. New York-based Anand Agneshwar, who leads the firm’s relationships with major pharmaceutical clients, co-heads the practice together with Daphne O’Connor in Washington DC. Daniel Pariser, also in Washington DC, who has over 20 years of relevant experience, plays a major role in several of the firm's highlight matters. Product liability practitioner Diana Sterk was promoted to partner in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Anand Agneshwar; Daphne O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Pariser; Pamela Yates; Paige Sharp; Jeffrey Horowitz

Key clients

Bayer Corporation

Endo Pharmaceuticals

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Novartis

AstraZeneca

Pfizer Inc.

Sanofi US, Inc.

Hologic

Work highlights

  • Supported Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi in ending 12 years of Plavix® litigation without a single trial and or a settlement payment. The firm was a pioneer in urging cutting-edge personal jurisdiction objections to state court “mini-MDLs.” The litigation spurred the US Supreme Court’s review of critical specific jurisdiction issues and resulted in the Court’s landmark decision in BMS v. Superior Court of California, which is helping put an end to unchecked plaintiff forum shopping.
  • Acting for Sanofi in product liability litigation involving allegations that the over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac causes cancer.
  • Acting for Endo Pharmaceuticals as national counsel and lead trial counsel for a series of cases in the opioid litigation, including an MDL and coordinated and single state court proceedings.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)  has an exceptional track record of bringing mass torts to an early end and has achieved outstanding pre-emption and Daubert victories in MDLs. The team combines litigation strategy with a background in science and has been described as ‘excellent at crisis management’ with a ‘very deep bench’. Atlanta-based Christopher Campbell, who is described as ‘excelling the clients' expectations’ leads the practice together with Loren Brown in New York who specializes in multi-district litigation and James Brogan in Philadelphia. The team has been bolstered with the arrival of David Jaroslaw, Keelin Kavanaugh and Arthur Hoffmann from Greenspoon Marder LLP in February 2020. John Phillips also joined the firm from Paul Hastings LLP  in March 2020. ‘Thorough and proactiveKatie Insogna, now a partner, is a name to note, as is Matthew Holian, described as a standout lawyer, with 'a gift for articulating complex concepts clearly and concisely'.

Practice head(s):

Chris Campbell; Loren Brown; James Brogan

Other key lawyers:

Matt Holian; Katie Insogna; Gail Rodgers

Testimonials

‘The team is excellent at crisis management. They are experts at defusing situations that have the potential to be very problematic for a litigation if left unchecked. The team also has a very deep bench. They seem to have the right person for each part of a complex litigation, including strategists who oversee the entire litigation, appellate experts, and an army of MD/JDs and PhD/JDs who can address technical aspects.’

‘Katie Insogna is thorough and proactive. When you ask her to address an issue, she looks at it from every possible angle and is able to see past corners and anticipate problems and concerns that are not readily apparent.

‘Matt Holian has a gift for articulating complex concepts clearly and concisely.’

‘I was very impressed with the way the team penetrated and summarized the product’s properties, the science behind it, as well as the marketing and regulatory aspects as soon as they came on board while product liability cases were already pending. They are also good at providing key aspects and helpful material to colleagues outside the US tailored to the respective countries’ needs (not just data dump).’

The excellent preparation for an outstanding cooperation and collaboration of the involved law firms (accross borders) is to be emphasized. Also, the development and coordination of the defense strategy and related activities while keeping the appeal record and a resolution scenario in mind through staffing with best qualified attorneys and ensuring information flow and consultation as needed is mature compared to my experience with other firms.

‘The way how one of the partners, Christopher G. Campbell, fills out the role as coordinating counsel is extraordinary. This is a substantial support for inhouse counsel even beyond the US matters. He makes sure to keep the relevant people in the business and across countries appraised of important developments that require action and is very well accepted and appreciated by the business.’

This team is not only adept at managing complex, multi-district litigation, they also provide invaluable guidance in crisis management. Even before the first lawsuit is filed, there may be reason to believe there is significant litigation risk. The DLA team can play a critical role in navigating crises that may be intertwined with litigation (e.g., product recalls). Of course they are responsive, professional, and provide expert legal counsel. But that is not what distinguishes them from other law firms. What is unique about this team at DLA is their pragmatism and ability to engage directly with the commercial colleagues and balance the ongoing needs of the business with the litigation landscape.’

‘DLA has been incredibly open and flexible on billing, aligning to a alternative fee arrangement and working closely to coordinate on costs and avoid double-billing with another law firm we use for the same set of matters.’

‘Again, what has stood out most to me is the DLA teams ability to engage directly with business colleagues – whether they be from a commercial or technical function – and put them at ease (not an easy thing when there is active litigation!). I so appreciate their ability to provide usable, pragmatic counsel, rather than give the most conservative opinion possible with no recognition of the potential business impact.’

‘Standouts include Katie Insogna, Matt Holian, and Danny Toby, all of whom played a critical role in crisis management. Without their expert support, I would have drowned. They enabled me to survive a period of intense activity, helped our company prepare for ongoing and future litigation matters, and, crucially, the business to go on.’

‘The support provided by DLA Piper LLP (US) has been unique as they have been adapting so fast to the clients needs, delivered all their advice in a very thoughtful and structured manner for extremely complex issues. The quality of the work has been outstanding. It has been a pleasure to work with DLA on international topics.’

‘Christopher Campbell has done outstanding work, leading many international topics in the last few years. It’s has been such a pleasure to work with him on many international topics. He has always delivered his work excelling the clients expectations, working on numerous complex projects in such an efficient way. He has been available at all times for calls across the globe and has shown tremendous engagement for all questions we were seeking advice on.’

‘Mary Gately has done such fantastic work in analyzing complex medical topics from a legal perspective. She is an expert of “translating” medial issues into the legal framework.’

Key clients

Pfizer

Bayer

Medtronic

Sanofi

Magnolia Medical Technologies, Inc.

Biogen, Inc.

Novo Nordisk

Work highlights

  • Achieved a significant victory for Pfizer Inc., effectively ending the more than 800-plaintiff product liability MDL in which plaintiffs claimed that erectile dysfunction medications, including Viagra, is associated with the progression of melanoma
  • Global coordinating counsel in mass tort litigation involving Essure, a permanently implantable contraceptive device for women that Bayer discontinued in 2018.
  • Obtained successful dismissals of product liability claims involving allegations that Medtronic’s hernia mesh products, implanted to reinforce hernia repair surgeries, are defective.

King & Spalding LLP

With its deep bench of experts based in offices throughout the country King & Spalding LLP is adept at coordinating large scale litigation while routinely taking disputes to trial. Product liability lawyers cooperate closely with litigators, legal issue or appellate specialists and FDA or life sciences lawyers. The firm serves as national and regional coordinating counsel for prominent pharmaceutical and medical device companies in several high-stakes mass torts. Geoffrey Drake in Atlanta and Bruce Hurley in Houston lead the practice. Senior counsel Chilton Varner in Atlanta continues to benefit the practice with her 30 years of trial experience while life science expert Andy Bayman is very active in the practice. The team has recently grown considerably, bolstering its geographical coverage in New York and Atlanta. Morton Dubin, Kristen Fournier, John Ewald, Kathy O`Connor, Shaila Rahman Diwan and Alvin Lee joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in February 2020. Eva Canaan from Phillips Lytle joined the firm in April 2020 and trial lawyer Adam Spicer from Butler Snow LLP in November 2019.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Drake; Bruce Hurley

Other key lawyers:

Chilton Varner; Andy Bayman; Adam Spicer

Key clients

Allergan

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP

Avanos (formerly Halyard Health, Inc.)

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Boehringer Ingelheim

Eisai, Inc

Eli Lilly & Co.

GlaxoSmithKline LLC

Johnson & Johnson

Merck & Co., Inc.

Work highlights

  • Securing a monumental victory in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of clients Halyard Health, Inc. and Kimberly-Clark Corporation involving allegations that the companies’surgical gowns were unsafe and falsely advertised during the Ebola crisis, erasing what was once a $454 million verdict.
  • Serving as national coordinating and trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in connection with claims alleging the plaintiffs developed mesothelioma as a result of using talcum-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder.
  • Serving as national counsel to Boehringer Ingelheim in all litigation arising from allegations that Zantac is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP regularly takes on leading roles as national counsel in litigation involving thousands of plaintiffs for leading pharmaceutical and device companies, drawing on its broad national coverage and extensive experience. The firm is heavily involved in the ongoing pelvic and hernia mesh litigations as well as in the opioid litigation. It is known for being able to negotiate confidential settlements in sensitive matters. Michael Brown, at the forefront of the practice for many years, has shaped its reputation as well as its successes in federal pre-emption matters. Princeton-based Melissa Geist leads the practice and has a wide range of experience in the product liability mass tort area. Barbara Binis, a recognized trial lawyer, is an additional name to note.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Geist

Other key lawyers:

Michael Brown; Sonja Weissman; Barbara Binis

Williams & Connolly LLP

The practice at Williams & Connolly LLP is exceptionally diverse, expertly equipped to handle every aspect and stage of a case. The firm is sought out  by leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies, it represents its clients as national strategic, trial, and appellate counsel as well as in a legal strategy/motions role. The firm is particularly active in federal or state MDLs and plays a key role in many of the most high-profile and complex product liability litigation currently facing companies in this space. Recent wins include achieving a dismissal of an MDL in litigation surrounding Viagra and an appellate victory upholding a defense verdict in an MDL related to the Mirena litigation. Acclaimed trial lawyer Heidi Hubbard leads the practice together with Joseph Petrosinelli, who is praised for his ‘strategic judgement’. Senior counsel Douglas Marvin is a name of  renown in the defense of pharmaceutical companies. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Heidi Hubbard; Joseph Petrosinelli

Other key lawyers:

Neelum J. Wadhwani; Paul Boehm; Douglas Marvin

Testimonials

‘Williams & Connolly is unique in its ability to lead national litigations while working well with lawyers from other firms and being able to try cases.’

‘Joe Petrosinelli is probably the best lawyer I know at negotiating discovery issues in a way that avoids disputes without hurting the strategic position of his clients. His strategic judgment about where to litigate and where to agree is unparalleled. He’s also a genuinely good guy that people really enjoy working with.’

‘Outstanding trial lawyers–not just litigators–who prepare every case as though it’s going to trial, but without a boil the ocean approach. They leanly staff their cases. Pre-covid, we’d show up to a hearing and see our co-counsel across the table with more than double the number of lawyers. Their rates are less than NY firms but their results, which speak for themselves, are better than some of those firms (which we have used). They don’t compromise on quality and they’re not leveraged like so many of the mega-firms these days who need to sustain their business model by throwing a mass of associates on a case.’

‘The firm has been quite flexible with us on alternate fee arrangements, including flat fees under an MOU with a collar, capped fees, etc. They also avoid the nickel and dime approach that many of their peer firms employ; they offer tons of CLE and other training to both our lawyers and the business without cost, and the relationship partner often gives me free legal advice. It feels like a real partnership. They installed a chief diversity partner (Malachi Jones) whose sole job is to promote, retain, and sponsor diverse attorneys within the firm. He bills no hours but is an equity partner (the only partners they have). The firm has made it clear that this is a key priority for them-as it is for our company-and they’ve made strides in the last year alone.’

Key clients

Pfizer Inc.

GlaxoSmithKline LLC

Medtronic plc

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Stryker Corp.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

Cardinal Health Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Work highlights

  • Achieved a complete victory as national counsel for Pfizer in connection with a federal MDL in the Northern District of California, involving almost 1,000 cases alleging that Pfizer’s Viagra® caused the exacerbation of plaintiffs’ melanoma. In January 2020, the MDL court issued an order excluding plaintiffs’ general causation experts under Daubert, finding the experts’ opinions unreliable and inadmissible. This decision made it impossible for plaintiffs to proceed on their claims, and on April 8, 2020, by stipulation of the parties, the court granted summary judgment in favor of Pfizer and its co-defendant Eli Lilly, dismissing all cases in the MDL.
  • Trial counsel, and co-national counsel for Pfizer’s subsidiary Hospira in an MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana concerning the chemotherapy medicine, Docetaxel. The matter includes over 4,800 cases against Hospira.
  • Represents GlaxoSmithKline LLC as appellate, legal writing, and legal strategy counsel in the Zofran MDL proceeding in which plaintiffs attempt to attribute various birth defects to the use of Zofran, an anti-nausea medication.

Bartlit Beck LLP

Bartlit Beck LLP acts for clients in individual and consolidated personal-injury litigation as well as class actions, coordinated state-court proceedings and federal multi-district litigation. It has been involved in high-profile disputes such as the pelvic mesh and opioid litigations. Notable names from the Chicago office are Jason Peltz, who has a national litigation practice, Kaspar Stoffelmayr, who is experienced in major litigation matters for pharmaceutical companies, and renowned trial lawyer Philip Beck, who has been lead counsel in several federal MDLs.

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Boutique product liability firm Bowman and Brooke LLP stands out with its broad focus, acting not only for pharmaceutical and medical device clients, but also for leading insurers in the life sciences industry and most recently for clinical trial companies. The team regularly takes on roles as national product liability counsel, national counsel, discovery counsel and trial counsel and is highly involved in a high-profile MDL with the potential to be the largest in the country. Kim M. Schmid in Minneapolis, who has a wealth of medical device trial and appellate experience, and established trial attorney Randall L. Christian in Austin co-head the pharmaceutical & medical device product liability practice.

Practice head(s):

Kim M. Schmid; Randall L. Christian

Other key lawyers:

Alana Bassin; Damon Brinson

Key clients

Daiichi-Sankyo, Inc.

Boston Scientific Corporation

Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.

Patheon Manufacturing Services Inc.

3M

Endologix Inc.

Conformis, Inc.

Spineology

Chubb: Mass tort, Trial Counsel for Medical Device and Drug litigation

Orthofix Medical Inc.

Ossur

Exactech Inc.

Phillips Medical

ZOLL Medical

Tokio Marine Claims Service, Inc.: Life Sciences Panel

Work highlights

  • Acting as National Product Liability Counsel for the major medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific Corporation.
  • Serving as National Coordinating Counsel to Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. in its Injectafer litigation. The litigation involves allegations of injuries following intravenous administration of Injectafer, all of which are consolidated and pending in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania.
  • Retained by national pharmaceutical company Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in several highly charged cases involving the generic drug allopurinol. The company was faced with the prospect of compensatory damages in the high eight figures for each of the cases. The firm developed an aggressive defense strategy and swiftly resolved the cases in a compressed six-month time frame.

Butler Snow LLP

The team at Butler Snow LLP is regularly sought out by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to take on lead roles in complex product liability litigation. It is currently acting for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in the pelvic mesh MDL and has defended clients in several state Attorneys General consumer protection actions. Practice head Alyson Bustamante Jones draws on considerable MDL experience, as does well-known trial attorney William Gage. Both named lawyers are based in Ridgeland. Adam Spicer joined King & Spalding LLP in October 2019 and Ashley Nader Stubbs left for Horne LLP in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Alyson Bustamante Jones

Other key lawyers:

William Gage; Rod Richmond; Paul Cassisa; Eric Hudson

Key clients

AbbVie Inc.

Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

Merck & Co., Inc.

Sunrise Medical (US) LLC

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

Work highlights

  • Serving as national counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in the pelvic mesh MDL, one of the largest litigations in history.  In January 2020 obtained a defense verdict in a pelvic mesh trial in Salinero et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-23643, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Serving as co-national counsel and coordinating counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in nationwide product liability claims involving Pradaxa®. Obtained several key victories in this litigation over the last year, including summary judgments in Georgia federal courts (September 2020) and California state court (November 2019) on the basis of pre-emption.
  • Serving as national counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in the pelvic mesh litigation. In 2020 alone obtained summary judgment or dismissals in approximately 44 cases.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP has led the defense of clients in large MDLs and state court litigation, playing a key role in high profile disputes. As national defense counsel for Purdue Pharma, the firm spearheaded the first proposed comprehensive global resolution of all state and federal cases against a defendant in opioid litigation. Nationally respected New York-based litigators Sheila L. Birnbaum and Mark S. Cheffo lead the practice. The team has undergone some changes: While William W Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly left for Baker & Hostetler LLP, trial team Jay Bhimani, Kimberly Branscome and counsel Benjamin Sadun joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sheila L. Birnbaum; Mark S. Cheffo

Other key lawyers:

Kimberly Branscome; Mara Cusker Gonzalez

Key clients

AbbVie Inc.

GlaxoSmithKline

Johnson & Johnson

Pfizer

Purdue Pharma

Saint-Gobain Corporation

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

The 3M Company

Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP

Trial and litigation boutique Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP frequently serves as national lead and coordinating counsel for product liability litigation, taking on high-stakes matters for large pharmaceutical and medical device corporations. The firm is known for its command of complex scientific issues and the team has achieved notable successes, most recently in litigation involving Mirena®, an intrauterine contraceptive system. Founding partner Tarek Ismail, who leads the firm’s litigation practice, is a recognized trial lawyer. Shayna Cook has considerable expertise in leading MDLs and jury trials. Jennifer Greenblatt is another name to note, as is Allyson Julien. All named attorneys are based in Chicago, though the firm has a national presence with additional offices in Dallas and Santa Monica.

Practice head(s):

Tarek Ismail

Other key lawyers:

Shayna Cook; Ken Baum; Jennifer Greenblatt; Allyson Julien

Key clients

Merck & Co., Inc.; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.; Schering-Plough Corp.; Schering Corp.; and MSP Singapore Co. LLC

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Bayer HealthCare LLC; Bayer Corp.; Bayer Pharma AG; Bayer AG, Bayer OY; and Bayer Essure Inc.

3M

Johnson & Johnson; Ethicon, Inc.; and Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Medtronic, Inc.

UCB, Inc.

AbbVie, Inc.

Work highlights

  • 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 primarily related to uterine perforation and migration of the device, as well as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Successfully defended two mass tort products liability litigations brought against an important women’s health product without a single case going to trial, resulting in two highly influential, oft-cited Daubert opinions.
  • Acting as trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. 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. Won several trials as lead or co-lead counsel, including most recently in a jury trial ending January 2020.
  • Acting as lead counsel for Bayer in products liability cases pending nationwide in state and federal court relating to the radiology imaging drug, Magnevist, where plaintiffs claim that retention of the product caused Gadolinium Deposition Disease and other medical problems. Successfully opposed the formation of an MDL and then proceeded to win dozens of dismissals on preemption, lack of admissible general causation proof, statute of limitations, and several other grounds.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

The trial-ready team at Greenberg Traurig LLP regularly handles bet-the-company mass tort and individual cases throughout the country. It is involved in many major drug and device MDLs and has acted as national counsel or national trial counsel for clients in pelvic mesh, hernia mesh, Amiodarone, Taxotere and opioid litigation among others. Lori G. Cohen, renowned in the product liability space, is at the helm of the practice. Sara K. Thompson, who represents many leading pharmaceutical and device clients in high-profile litigation, takes on a leading role within the team. Both are based in Atlanta. The Miami office has been expanded with new hires Enjoliqué Aytch Lett from Akerman LLP in November 2020 and Alexandra Bach Lagos from Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Lori G. Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Greg Ostfeld; Sara K. Thompson; Victoria Davis Lockard; Ginger Pigott

Key clients

Becton, Dickinson and Company (“BD”); C. R. Bard, Inc.

Sandoz Inc.; Eon Labs, Inc.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Bausch Health Companies, Inc.

Medtronic, Inc.

B. Braun Interventional Systems Inc; B. Braun Medical Inc.

Alcon Vision LLC

Albertsons Companies, Inc.

CryoLife, Inc.

AAP Implante AG

Berkley Life Sciences

Danaher Corp.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson / Janssen

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd

Sterigenics U.S., LLC; Sotera Health

TherapeuticsMD, Inc.

Univar

Work highlights

  • Represented the generic pharmaceuticals company Sandoz Inc. and subsidiary Eon Labs, Inc. in a series of recent victories that virtually shut down the national amiodarone litigation.  Successfully extricated the client from a three-year battle in a California state coordinated proceeding (JCCP) with more than 480 plaintiffs.
  • Secured the complete dismissal of all products liability claims directed to the Trulign® Toric intraocular lens for Bausch & Lomb, Inc. This win was another crucial battle in the ongoing war over the scope of federal preemption for product liability claims involving Class III, PMA-approved medical device. This important ruling is in the early stages of appeal. A favorable decision in the Second Circuit would bolster case law across the country rejecting attempts to circumvent preemption through allegations relating to adverse event reporting.
  • Scored four-in-a-row wins in the long-running pelvic mesh litigation for Becton, Dickinson and Company (“BD”); C. R. Bard, Inc., widely considered one of the most complex mass torts in history.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP stands out with its international capabilities, coordinating pharmaceutical companies’ defense in products litigation across the globe. The firm acts for clients in domestic MDLs related to the Proton-Pump Inhibitor and Fosamax litigations, in class actions and in international vaccine-related litigation. Co-heads of the practice are the experienced litigator Robb Patryk and James C. Fitzpatrick, whose expertise involves working closely with scientific experts and company scientists.  Both are based in New York. Charles W. Cohen, who focuses on complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation, is a prominent lawyer and and key member of the team. Former practice head Diane Lifton left the firm in August 2020 for a role at Sumitovant Biopharma.

Practice head(s):

Robb Patryk; James C. Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Charles W. Cohen; Bill Beausoleil; Ted Mayer

Key clients

New York Blood Center, Inc.

Eisai Pharmaceuticals

Merck – Fosamax

Intervet Inc. (d/b/a Merck Animal Health)

Work highlights

  • Representing Merck & Co. Inc. in federal and state court litigation for Fosamax.
  • Serving as primary litigation counsel for New York Blood Center in its personal injury litigation.
  • Defending Merck Animal Health concerning its most popular and successful product Bravecto® in a putative nationwide class action.

Norton Rose Fulbright

In its activity for pharmaceutical and medical device companies in product liability disputes, Norton Rose Fulbright has gained experience defending against personal injury as well as economic loss claims. The team also has specific expertise in the pharmacovigilance space. Kevin Mayer, a trial lawyer with considerable OSHA knowledge, joined the firm from Crowell & Moring LLP in January 2020. D’Lesli Davis in Dallas represents clients in mass tort cases, MDLs and consolidated proceedings. She leads the practice together with Houston-based Brett Young. Associate  Ellie Norris in Dallas is highly involved in the most complex matters for pharmaceutical companies.

Practice head(s):

Brett Young; D’Lesli Davis

Other key lawyers:

Doug Wabner; Jonathan Skidmore

Work highlights

  • Advising a pharmaceutical distributor in an MDL which involves personal injury cases, a medical monitoring national class action and an economic loss class action.
  • Advising a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the PPI personal injury MDL as part of a virtual law firm.
  • Representing 3M Company in a price-gouging lawsuit in federal court over counterfeiting and price-gouging on N95 masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

The team at O'Melveny & Myers LLP stands out with its strong appellate practice, which informs defence strategy from the outset, and with its expertise in defending litigation and investigations brought by state attorneys general. The team defends clients in class actions, mass tort and MDL proceedings while integrating a comprehensive media strategy. Steve Brody in Washington DC and Matt Powers in San Francisco lead the practice together with Sabrina Strong in Los Angeles. Jonathan Schneller in Los Angeles was promoted to partner in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Steve Brody; Matt Powers; Sabrina Strong

Other key lawyers:

Richard Goetz

Testimonials

‘The team has deep expertise in the subject matter. They take the time to intimately learn the business. They are easy to deal with and sensitive with respect to fees.’

‘Experienced, responsive and easy to get along with.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Advanced Micro Devices

Endo Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Serving as lead litigation counsel for Johnson & Johnson as it confronts more than 3,000 opioid lawsuits around the country.
  • Serving as national appellate counsel for Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary in the massive pelvic mesh product liability litigation, one of the largest mass torts in U.S. history.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP maintains long-term client relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies such as Bayer Corporation and serves as lead counsel in both individual and mass tort litigation. San-Francisco based Alicia Donahue, who has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of drug and device manufacturers, leads the practice together with Denver-based Paul Williams and Robert Adams from Kansas City, who chairs the firm's general liability practice. The firm expanded its trial bench in 2020 with Bob Limbacher, who joined from Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP and brings extensive pharmaceutical MDL experience.

Practice head(s):

Alicia Donahue; Paul Williams; Robert Adams

Other key lawyers:

Jon Strongman; Hildy Sastre; Bob Limbacher

Key clients

Bayer

Roche/Genentech

Sanofi US

Stryker

Johnson & Johnson

Troutman Pepper

Following Pepper Hamilton's merger with Troutman Sanders in July 2020, the firm was renamed Troutman Pepper and has expanded its capabilities and geographic reach. The team litigates individual cases and has particular expertise in mass torts. It defends pharmaceutical and medical device companies as national or regional trial counsel, takes on key roles in MDLs, as well as acting as counsel in multistate attorney general investigations. Practice head Sean Fahey is based in Philadelphia, as is 'trailblazer' Nina Gussack, a widely recognized expert of the pharmaceutical and medical device defense bar.

Practice head(s):

Sean Fahey

Other key lawyers:

Nina Gussack; Barry Boise; Eric Rumanek

Testimonials

‘The team is very focused on understanding client business and legal needs. Deep expertise in pharma. Experienced with the key plaintiff’s lawyers.’

‘The best in the business are Nina Gussack, Tom Gallagher, Barry Boise, Andy Kantra and Sean Fahey.’

‘The strength of the team stems from the Pepper Hamilton merger and adding the Troutman team will add to and enhance that team. ‘

‘They very much have a unique approach to looking at the resolution of a large litigation at the very beginning when planning the strategy. They have been at the forefront of document review through “predictive coding”. They produce high quality work product.’

‘I have worked with many Pepper Hamilton attorneys over the years. Nina Gussack has been a trailblazer. She is stepping back a bit but the group is in great hands with Sean Fahey as the group’s head. Sean is a strategic thinker, a zealous advocate (when strategically it’s called for) and an extremely practical lawyer looking for solutions, not reasons to fight. Barry Boise is a very high quality lawyer who excels at science issues, strategy and being a tough negotiator. Ronnie Fuchs is very good at working with experts and mastering the science.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Eli Lilly and Company

Medtronic

Johnson & Johnson

Becton Dickinson

Collegium Pharmaceuticals

LivaNova

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries

Sanofi

Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP’s client list includes some of the top pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the US. The firm takes on leading national roles for its clients in product liability litigation across the country as well as acting as trial counsel and handling successful appellate work. Notable lawyers include trial lawyer Sherry Knutson, counsel and rising star Charissa Walker and practice head Mollie Benedict, who is based in Los Angeles. The firm recently expanded its commitment to equity and inclusion by joining Mansfield Rule 4.0.

Practice head(s):

Mollie Benedict

Other key lawyers:

Sherry Knutson; Charissa Walker; Dustin Rawlin; Michael Zellers

Testimonials

‘Tucker Ellis has some very strong products liability attorneys with national reputations on whom we rely no matter where the case is located.’

‘Tucker Ellis has an excellent trial college where attorneys serve as counselors and clients as judges.’

‘Mollie Benedict is an excellent products liability attorney in Los Angeles, who is reliable, detailed, and knows her stuff. Great advocacy skills. Mike Zellers is an unflappable, focused, first chair trial attorney who can try a case in any court and demands the respect of judges, juries, and opposing counsel. Dustin Rawlin is an incredibly smart advocate who collected a string of great wins in state and federal courts throughout the United States for his client Mentor. Great brief-writing and advocacy skills.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson (including subsidiaries and franchises)

Venable LLP

Venable LLP’s trial-ready team represents pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device manufacturers in a variety of product liability and mass tort litigation. The firm is currently acting as national or co-national counsel in three MDLs. It is representing Merck both in disputes involving the shingles vaccine Zostavax® and in long-running litigation related to the osteoporosis drug Fosamax®. The firm also plays a lead role for Takeda in litigation surrounding proton-pump inhibitor medications. Baltimore-based Kathleen Hardway and Jason Rose, an experienced litigator, co-chair the group. Craig Thompson, an assertive trial lawyer and legal counsellor, is a name to note in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Hardway; Jason Rose

Other key lawyers:

Dino Sangiamo; Sally Bryan; Craig Thompson; John McCauley

Key clients

Merck & Co.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

Covington & Burling LLP

The mass tort and product liability practice group at Covington & Burling LLP is widely respected. The firm acts as trial and appellate counsel and advises clients on a national and multi-state level. Noteworthy lawyers in the Washington DC office include Mike Imbroscio, who defends clients in the life sciences and other industries facing complex litigation challenges and Phyllis Jones, who represents clients in state and federal courts as well as before arbitral panels and regulatory bodies.

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

The team at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP is headed up by Joseph Tanner in the firm's Indianapolis office. Other key figures include Florham Park-based deputy chair Michael Zogby, whose expertise includes medical device claims, class actions, mass tort and multi-district proceedings; Daniel Carroll in New York, who has defended against claims related to latex gloves, cough and cold medications, antibiotics and anticoagulants; and Melissa Merk in Philadelphia, a point of call for pharmaceutical and medical device companies in civil litigation.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Tanner

Other key lawyers:

Michael Zogby; Daniel Carroll; Melissa Merk; Alan Lazarus; Susan Sharko

Goodwin

Goodwin’s products litigation & counselling group, recently renamed to reflect an increased focus on pre-litigation, has a national presence and expertise in complex mass torts. Glenn Kerner in New York, who serves as national counsel for high-profile pharmaceutical and medical device companies, leads the practice. Recent successes include obtaining a dismissal of 433 plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction in California for the amiodarone dispute. Boston-based Sarah Frederick continues to be a lawyer to watch.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Kerner

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Frederick; Nilda Isidro

Key clients

Barr Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Barr Laboratories, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Work highlights

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

Jones Day

The team at Jones Day puts its wide range of expertise in pre-litigation counselling, discovery, jury trials and appeals to significant use, not only in various personal injury and wrongful death cases but also in larger class actions and mass torts across jurisdictions. Stephanie Parker, who has extensive experience trying and leading 'bet-the-company' litigation, heads the practice from Atlanta. Toni-Ann Citera has rejoined the firm in New York in March 2020 after several years at Celgene Corporation.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Parker

Other key lawyers:

David Alden; José A. Isasi II; Toni-Ann Citera

Key clients

Merck & Co.

Walmart Stores, Inc.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP acts as national or regional counsel in cases involving serious personal injuries and product-threatening claims, including high-profile class actions and MDLs. The firm is also active in disputes related to recalls and the alleged misrepresentations of risk for third party payers. The team includes New York-based Jay Lefkowitz, who is known as a go-to trial and appellate lawyer in the life sciences industry, and renowned lawyer Mike Brock.

Other key lawyers:

Jay Lefkowitz; Mike Brock

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is at the forefront of defending pharmaceutical companies against innovator liability claims, most recently with notable successes in its defense of UCB Inc. and its subsidiary Schwarz Pharma in cases arising from the use of the pharmaceutical product Reglan. Recognized product liability lawyer Henninger Bullock in New York leads the practice together with 'great trial lawyer' Michael Olsen and 'excellent legal strategist' Daniel Ring, who are  both based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Henninger Bullock; Michael Olsen; Daniel Ring

Testimonials

‘Mayer Brown does a good job incorporating the firm’s superior legal and appellate firepower into their product liability work. The firm is a thought leader in shaping the legal framework for product liability defense.’

‘Michael Olsen — great trial lawyer; connects well with juries with a reassuring, credible demeanor.’

‘Dan Ring — excellent legal strategist; helps clients guide the procedural and legal morass of mass tort litigation.’

‘Craig Woods — terrific at developing a science theory of the case and working with expert witnesses.’

Key clients

3M

Abbott Laboratories

Medtronic, Inc.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

GlaxoSmithKline

Cook Medical

St. Jude Medical Inc.

Eli Lilly

UCB, Inc.

Terumo Medical Corp.

Work highlights

  • Representing 3M in two of the most closely-watched and highly-publicized suits aimed to fight price-gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-office, multidisciplinary litigation and intellectual property team is assisting 3M’s efforts to curb price-gouging, false advertising, and other improper business practices with respect to 3M’s masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment.
  • Representing GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in innovator-liability claims relating to Lamictal/lamotrigine, working particularly on early-case assessments, research, discovery, motion practice, trial, and appellate preservation.
  • Serving as counsel to Blue Flame Medical LLC in congressional investigations probing alleged misconduct relating to the purchase and sale of ventilators and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

McGuireWoods LLP

Attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP assist pharmaceutical and medical device companies in product liability matters at various stages, whether in pre-suit investigation and patent analysis or acting as special counsel in high profile, complex litigation. Practice chair Diane Flannery, who has extensive experience coordinating and managing large-scale defense efforts, is based in Richmond. Raleigh-based Mark Anderson is an additional noteworthy team member.

Practice head(s):

Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Mark Anderson

Key clients

Olympus Corp.

Work highlights

  • Defending Olympus Corporation against a nationwide docket of cases involving superbug infections allegedly linked to endoscopes made by the Japanese manufacturer of optics and reprography products. Dismissals and settlements have whittled more than 50 such actions to just two remaining, an enormous accomplishment given that each case can represent millions in potential exposure.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

With a wide geographic reach across almost all jurisdictions in the country, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’ strengths in the pharmaceutical product liability area are evidenced by the fact that it is acting for two different clients in the opioid litigation as national counsel and as trial counsel. Paul Zevnik in Washington DC, who has considerable experience of insurance and reinsurance disputes, and Yardena Zwang-Weissman in Los Angeles, who focuses on complex toxic torts, are practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Paul Zevnik; Yardena Zwang-Weissman

Other key lawyers:

Wendy West Feinstein; John P. Lavelle; Nancy Patterson

Key clients

Rite Aid Corp.

Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Rite Aid in various opioids-related litigation matters, including federal multidistrict litigation consolidating more than 1,500 cases filed by various government entities.
  • Representing Zimmer in recovering hundreds of millions of insurance proceeds for the defense and settlement costs arising out of product liability litigation surrounding the Durom Cup, a metal-on-metal artificial hip product manufactured by Zimmer.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP demonstrate its crisis management and trial capabilities in a wide range of product liability cases including consolidated federal class actions and MDLs. 'Exceptional strategistErin Bosman based in San Diego and San Francisco and David Fioccola in New York both lead the practice. Next generation lawyer Julie Park is also recommended. David Walsh left for Paul Hastings LLP in October 2020, however the team was reinforced by recognized trial lawyer Jessica Grant from Venable LLP in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park; Jessica Grant

Testimonials

‘This team has strong complementary expertise and works in a collaborative and efficient manner. The depth of experience and solid mix of strategic thinking with tactical execution makes this team exceptional. As a team, they execute at a very high level. Rather than a single stand out star this is a team of stars who play off of each others strengths. It is truly a great team.’

The team is a great mix of people and backgrounds. I appreciate the female leadership and the diversity of the team in general. They are one of the most collaborative teams I have worked with. I think the back office is well run and use of technology is appropriate.’

Erin Bosman is truly outstanding in all ways. She has outstanding personal attributes (integrity, strong values, interpersonal skills, intelligence) with real leadership competencies and an ability to manage highly complex situations. She is an exceptional strategist with highly effective negotiation skills. She reads situations quickly and adjusts her strategies and tactics accordingly. She has the respect and admiration of her team and her clients.’

Key clients

Prelude Fertility, Inc.

MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.

McKesson Corporation

Fitbit

Work highlights

  • Acting for Prelude Fertility, Inc. and its subsidiary, Pacific MSO regarding  the failure of  a cryostorage tank at one of the clinics in Prelude’s network in March 2018, potentially affecting thousands of eggs and embryos. Led the investigation and coordinated the legal team, scientific experts, and crisis management teams. Lead litigation counsel in the consolidated federal class action and 60 individual cases filed thus far in California state courts over this incident.
  • Lead product liability counsel for MicroPort in more than two dozen product liability cases alleging injuries from hip replacement implants pending around the country. Plaintiffs allege MicroPort’s cobalt chrome modular hip implants either corroded or fractured. The cases are at different stages of litigation, with the first of them scheduled for trial in late 2020. Also coordinating all international product liability matters for MicroPort.
  • Lead counsel for McKesson in multidistrict litigation and state court proceedings comprising thousands of cases arising out of plaintiffs’ allegations that they experienced permanent hair loss after being treated for breast cancer with Taxotere.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s product liability practice acts for clients across the country, representing several high-profile companies in the pharmaceutical and medical device space. In a recent large-scale matter the firm acted as national counsel in multi-district litigation involving thousands of personal injury cases as a part of its long-running representation of medical technology company C.R. Bard. Mark Jones and David Dukes, a recognized litigator, lead the 'diverse, talented' team from Columbia.

Practice head(s):

Mark Jones; David Dukes

Other key lawyers:

Michael Brown; Richard North

Testimonials

‘David Dukes, Mark Jones, Michael Hogue and their colleagues are excellent at putting together a winning trial strategy (and David is one of the most likeable, decent lawyers alive in the courtroom).’

‘I’ve never worked with such a diverse, talented, and genuinely personable group of attorneys. Product liability lawyers must know their products and the science behind them, and these attorneys excel on all fronts. They are talented trial lawyers and masters of the subject matter. I have been their local counsel for more than 10 years and I truly enjoy working with them.’

‘Most firms talk up diversity, but Nelson Mullins exemplifies it. The teams I work with have women, people of color, and other ethnicities represented in their ranks. The firm is committed to attracting and developing diverse talent from the ground up. This commitment has led to the firm putting together an incredible national practice for the IVC filter defense. They also collaborate effectively and efficiently across their offices. They quickly and seamlessly leverage favorable outcomes in one jurisdiction to maximize the value and benefits to the client in all other jurisdictions.’

Key clients

C.R. Bard

Johnson & Johnson

Bayer

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Acclaimed product liability lawyer John Beisner, who is based in Washington DC, leads Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s mass torts, insurance and consumer litigation group. The group represents pharmaceutical and medical device clients in various product liability claims including as lead MDL counsel defending DePuy Orthopaedics. The team draws on considerable appellate expertise. Moreover the firm helps drive change in the practice area by representing the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform on a number of matters related to litigation-reform initiatives.

Practice head(s):

John Beisner

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Wyatt; Allison Brown

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP continues to demonstrate its ability to take on a leading role in mass torts with its defence of pharmaceutical companies in opioid litigation as well as in the Abilify litigation, an MDL related to antipsychotic medication. The team, which is notable for its trial expertise, includes acclaimed product liability lawyer Dan Webb and is co-chaired by Washington DC-based Matthew Campbell and Sandra Edwards, who is located in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Matt Campbell; Sandra Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Bryce Cooper; Chris Essig; Dan Webb

Key clients

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical

Abbott Laboratories

Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Representing Hikma in the national opiate litigation – totalling more than 500 separate cases, which includes a sprawling multi-district proceeding consolidated in Ohio federal court and various state court actions, and is active in joint defence groups for In re National Prescriptions Opiate Litigation. Claims include negligence, fraud, and violations of consumer protection laws, among others.
  • Serving as lead national counsel for OAPI and OPC in an MDL in the Northern District of Florida and various state court actions, involving allegations by more than 4,000 plaintiffs that Abilify®, an atypical antipsychotic medication, causes impulse-control disorders.
  • Obtained a significant jury verdict win on behalf of Abbott at trial in a matter involving allegations that a cardiac stenting device was misused and seeking $36 million in damages, after taking over the case two months before trial. The firm argued that the doctor misused the device; the jury found the doctor and hospital were 90% responsible for the plaintiff’s injury and allocated only $500,000 to Abbott.