Drawing upon comprehensive science and technical knowledge, as well as being able to effectively mobilize substantial litigation resources throughout the country, Arnold & Porter is at the forefront of many of the market’s most significant pharmaceutical and medical devices product liability disputes. Much of this work is of an aggregated nature, with the firm specializing in leading on high-stakes class actions and MDLs, including its continued role as national counsel for Sanofi in product liability litigation involving allegations that the over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac causes cancer. New York-based Anand Agneshwar is central to many of the pharmaceutical-related MDLs, including the Sanofi mandate, with clients benefiting from his successful record as a trial lawyer. Arthur Brown is also based in New York and is pivotal to developing overall strategy for major pharmaceutical companies subject to bet-the-company mass tort product liability actions, including as it pertains to the preparation of high-level executives for testimony. Other key practitioners include Los Angeles-based Pamela Yates , who is adept at using Daubert motions to exclude the presentation of unqualified evidence to the jury; Washington DC-based Daniel Pariser , whose involvement in many major pharmaceuticals-related disputes include his role for the defense steering committee in the aforementioned Sanofi litigation; and Diana Sterk in New York, who continues to excel since her promotion to partner in early 2021. Washington DC-based Daphne O’Connor co-heads the product liability team alongside Agneshwar.
Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices in United States
Other key lawyers:
- National counsel to Sanofi in product liability litigation involving allegations that the over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac causes cancer.
- The firm represents Eisai as national counsel and successfully opposed the creation of a federal MDL alleging multiples types of cancer following use of Belviq®.
- Serving as national counsel for AstraZeneca in litigation involving nearly 13,500 cases alleging that the company’s proton pump inhibitor medications–Nexium and Prilosec–cause kidney injuries.
The ‘extremely responsive and thoughtful’ team at DLA Piper LLP (US) provides an ‘excellent client service and medical device knowledge’ to a wide range of pharmaceuticals companies, including Sanofi and Bayer, across a range of major product liability mandates. While the firm has a growing profile in trying cases, it is particularly adept at achieving an early conclusion of cases, through its effective use of dispositive pre-emption motions and Daubert challenges. Loren Brown in New York regularly acts as national co-ordinating counsel and lead trial counsel in mass torts and MDLs throughout the country, as well as in the context of global litigation – including her work for Bayer in mass tort litigation involving Essure. Based out of Atlanta, product liability chair Christopher Campbell is noted for his high-level strategic advice to manufacturers across a range of products, including many within the pharmaceutical space, where he is appreciated for his ‘guidance on the big picture’, as well his aptitude at handling cross-border mandates. Boston-based global co-chair of the firm’s life sciences sector, Matthew Holian is ‘super smart and very strategic‘ throughout the product life cycle, from risk assessment, pre-litigation discovery, bellwether trials and, ultimately, resolution. ‘Highly-skilled‘ Boston-based Katie Insogna excels at handling high-stakes litigation and counselling. Based out New York, Lucas Przymusinski provides ‘thoughtful guidance‘ to pharma companies across an array of regulatory and litigation matters, including product liability disputes, where his medical and science background provides additional benefit.
Other key lawyers:
‘The lawyers are extremely responsive, thoughtful and comprehensive in their advice, and pleasant to work with.’
‘Excellent client service and medical device knowledge; flexible billing arrangements.’
‘One of Chris Campbell’s many great strengths is to advise on the strategy on complex cross-border cases and to give guidance on the “big picture”, while also keeping all the relevant details in mind.’
‘Lucas Przymusinski is responsive and thoughtful with his guidance.’
‘Katie Insogna is a highly skilled lawyer. Her area of expertise spans both high- stakes litigation and regulatory counseling, and she excels at both. She is great at providing guidance on a day-to-day basis, and is even better under pressure.’
Magnolia Medical Technologies
- Represented Sanofi in the In re Taxotere (docetaxel) Products Liability multi-district litigation (MDL)—a MDL with over 12,000 plaintiffs claiming Sanofi, the manufacturer of Taxotere, a life saving chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer, failed to adequately warn of the risk of persistent or permanent hair loss.
- Representing Bayer in mass tort litigation involving Essure, a permanently implantable contraceptive device for women that Bayer discontinued in 2018.
- Representing 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.
Able to draw upon vast product liability resources throughout the country, including many lawyers with substantial expertise in the defence of pharma companies, King & Spalding LLP has developed a strong reputation in the space, at trial and appellate level. Although the firm garners most plaudits for its trial capabilities– with many successes over the years in first impression and bellwether cases – it is also highly effective from a risk management, regulatory and advisory perspective, where it is able to deploy expertise from lawyers and scientists. Overarching head of the firm’s trial and global disputes practice group, Andy Bayman has a particular focus on handling big-ticket life-sciences-related product liability matters, including his current role as lead counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in litigation involving Zantac. Pharmaceuticals and life sciences trial lawyer Adam Spicer is recognized for his successful record in court. Geoffrey Drake and Robert Woo co-head the team. All named practitioners are based in Atlanta unless otherwise indicated.
Robert Woo; Geoffrey Drake
Other key lawyers:
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.
- Representing GSK in the In re: Zofran® (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation, securing a ruling dismissing all 400 lawsuits pending in the MDL 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.
- Representing 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.
- Representing Boehringer Ingelheim in all litigation arising from allegations that heartburn medication Zantac is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Reed Smith LLP
Tapping into substantial know-how and technical knowledge, established as a result of many years’ expertise in the field, Reed Smith LLP is a popular choice among leading medical device and pharma manufacturers as a result of its ability to provide very effective advice, both at an early stage from a risk management perspective, as well as during the course of litigation. The ‘incredibly experienced’ team, which is spread across the firm’s wide expanse of offices, has real world knowledge in many of the highest-profile product liability cases, including as it relates to mesh, anti-depressants and over-the-counter drugs, where it has seen success for defendants both at an early stage, as well as at trial. ‘The gold standard‘ for work in the space, Los Angeles-based trial lawyer Michael Brown has an excellent track record handling pharmaceuticals-related class actions, including MDLs, and has had great success over the years arguing federal pre-emption at both trial and appellate level. Co-chair of the firm’s life sciences health industry group, Princeton-based Melissa Geist combines strategic litigation expertise with deep technical mastery of the subject matter, ensuring that she is very effective in liaising with and preparing witnesses and with regard to Daubert challenges. Barbara Binis in Philadelphia is also recommended and leverages her excellent trial lawyer credentials to good effect on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, insurers and hospitals.
‘Reed Smith has been at the forefront of pharma and medical device work for more than 30 years. They are incredibly experienced, practical, successful and have a diverse team spread out across the country.’
‘They have the unique combination of trial attorneys, strategists, science-based attorneys and train their associates very well. Mike Brown is the gold standard.’
Leveraging the firm’s overarching litigation prowess, combined with knowledge of the underlying subject matter and scientific issues pertinent to pharma companies and device makers, the ‘exceptional‘ team at Washington DC-based firm Williams & Connolly LLP is frequently at the forefront of the most significant disputes in the country. As well as housing a multitude of experienced trial lawyers, the team also draws upon expertise throughout the litigation process, regularly acting as national counsel shaping the overarching strategy in major MDLs and class actions, as well as resolution counsel and at the appellate stage. Joseph Petrosinelli is ‘excellent at navigating disputes with opposing counsel’, particularly in the context of co-ordinated proceedings and class actions; he continues to represent Pfizer as one of the defendants in mass tort litigation relating to Zantac. The ‘very sharp’ Heidi Hubbard co-heads the products liability, torts and medicines group alongside Petrosinelli and is frequently brought in by major pharmaceutical companies to act as trial counsel in state and federal courts throughout the country. Paul Boehm is another name of note alongside Liam Montgomery, who ‘is excellent at building consensus among co-defendants’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is exceptional. Great on the substance but also very practical and easy to work with.’
‘Joe Petrosinelli is excellent at navigating disputes with opposing counsel.’
‘Liam Montgomery is very good at building consensus among co-defendants.’
‘Heidi Hubbard is very sharp.’
Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
- Representing Merck in the dismissal of claims by more than 2,500 plaintiffs related to Merck’s popular diabetes treatments, JANUVIA and JANUMET.
- Representing Pfizer in mass tort litigation against the Company and dozens of other defendants relating to the over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac®.
- Represented GlaxoSmithKline as appellate, legal writing, and legal strategy counsel in the Zofran MDL proceeding in which a group of more than 400 plaintiffs attempted to attribute various birth defects, including heart defects and cleft palate, to the use of Zofran, an anti-nausea medication.
Applying the expertise of a high proportion of practitioners with first-chair trial experience, many of who have a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, Bartlit Beck LLP is regularly engaged as national and trial counsel in major class actions in the space. The firm handles a broad range of work, including defending clients in the sector against personal injury allegations, as well as claims of economic loss. Recent high-profile mandates have included representing a major pharmacy chain, as one of the co-defendants in the sprawling opioid litigation. Formerly head of litigation in the US at Bayer, Kaspar Stoffelmayr has tremendous insight into the machinations of the pharmaceuticals industry and is a key member of the team that also includes seasoned trial lawyers Philip Beck and Jason Peltz , who as part of their wide-ranging litigation practices have tried numerous healthcare-related product liability cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. All named practitioners are based out of the firm’s Chicago headquarters.
Product liability defense work is a central driver of litigation boutique Bowman and Brooke LLP‘s work flow, with the life sciences industry one of the core areas of industry focus. Consequently, the firm is steeped in real world knowledge, based on trying cases throughout the country and ‘brings top-tier strategic thinking to mass tort management’. The team, which is led from Austin and Minneapolis, respectively, by ‘savvy litigator’ Randall Christian and Kim Schmid, is also appreciated by clients, which include both manufacturers and insurers, for its ability to resource matters ‘with sophisticated professionals on a lean and focused basis’. New Brunswick-based first chair trial attorney Chris Carton is also a key member of the team and has gained most visibility of late for his role as lead trial counsel and national co-ordinating counsel for Patheon Manufacturing Services in the federal Zantac MDL. In early 2022, several practitioners with a focus in the healthcare space departed the firm.
‘Bowman and Brooke provides outstanding legal services in the products space at moderate prices. They staff their teams with sophisticated professionals on a lean and focused basis.’
‘The team is highly responsive and transparent, and keenly attuned to our business needs.’
‘Bowman and Brooke stands out in the ways that the firm drives value and results. They’re flexible regarding flat fee arrangements, and they have never once complained about having to honor their end of a deal. They bring top-tier strategic thinking to mass tort management, and are appropriately aggressive with plaintiffs’ firms looking for a quick payout.’
‘Randall Christian is a very savvy litigator.’
Boston Scientific Corporation
Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
Patheon Manufacturing Services Inc.
Chubb: Mass tort, Trial Counsel for Medical Device and Drug litigation
Orthofix Medical Inc.
Tokio Marine Claims Service, Inc.: Life Sciences Panel
- Representing Patheon Manufacturing Services LLC in proceedings involving the Zantac.
- Representing DaiichiSankyo, Inc. in its Injectafer litigation which involves allegations of injuries following intravenous administration of Injectafer.
- Advising Boston Scientific on product liability issues.
Butler Snow LLP
Drawing upon significant resources, primarily from offices spread across the firm’s Southeastern heartland, Butler Snow LLP provides an ‘exceptional‘ service to clients engaged in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. Although the firm is well-versed at handling cases before regional and local courts, its subject matter and strategic litigation expertise ensures that it is also regularly engaged as national co-ordinating and MDL counsel. Indeed, led by Ridgeland-based William Gage, the team continues to serve as national counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in the pelvic mesh MDL. Ridgeland-based team head Alyson Jones continues to impress as a result of her aptitude at handling co-ordinated proceedings and individual plaintiff cases, where clients receive not only her strategic litigation expertise but also her core understanding of the underlying business implications, as a result of her previous three-year secondment at a major pharmaceutical company.
Other key lawyers:
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.
Novo Nordisk, Inc.
- Representing Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in product liability litigation relating to all hernia mesh products manufactured by Ethicon.
With a strong East Coast presence and also continuing to strengthen its offering from California, the ‘engaging and responsive‘ team at Dechert LLP has the resources to handle a tremendous range and volume of major product liability disputes facing pharmaceutical/devices clients, irrespective of location. Much of the work the practice handles, however, is in the context of national counsel in large aggregated matters, where it adds real value, not only by dint of its strategic aptitude but also being ‘totally abreast of the underlying subject matter’. As well as their aptitude at trying cases, the attorneys are also very adept at securing excellent results for clients utilizing dispositive motions – including in the context of Daubert challenges. New York-based co-heads Mark S. Cheffo and Sheila L. Birnbaum have amassed a huge amount of experience and success in the area, often in the role as national co-ordinating counsel and trial counsel. Managing partner of the Los Angeles office Kimberly Branscome also handles life sciences-related matters as part of her broad-based product liability skillset. ‘Calm and knowledgeable’ New York-based Rachel Passaretti-Wu is also recommended and ‘gets great results’ for clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are engaging and responsive. I feel like I can count on them as my outside counsel and trust that they will go above and beyond to achieve the desired effort.’
‘I work closely with Rachel Passaretti-Wu. I enjoy her working style. She is calm and knowledgeable. She gets great results.’
The 3M Company
Atrium Medical Corporation, Getinge AB, Maquet Cardiovascular US Sales, LLC, and related entities
Johnson & Johnson
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Washington Legal Foundation
- Representing Moderna as US product liability counsel regarding its COVID-19 vaccine.
- Representing GSK Consumer Healthcare Holdings (US) LLC in a putative class action, filed in the Northern District of California, regarding allegations that 26 Chapstick products that are “natural” or “naturally sourced” are false and misleading.
- Representing GSK, as lead counsel, in connection with MDL and state-court litigation alleging that the heartburn medication Zantac causes cancer.
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
Drawing upon tremendous bench strength, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath has a large product liability and mass tort offering, and with practitioners spread throughout the length and breadth of the country is well-positioned to represent clients in litigation. Within this context, the team, which is led from Indianapolis by Joseph Tanner, has vast experience within the pharma and life sciences sector, and has seen many successes in jury trials, as well as through dispositive motions and on appeal, many which have been achieved through client-friendly alternative fee arrangements. Based out of the firm’s New Jersey office, deputy group leader Michael Zogby is recognized for his ‘very business savvy’ approach and his advocacy skills when defending clients in often very high-stakes disputes involving, inter alia, prescription medications, over-the-counter products, orthopaedic implants and other medical devices. New Jersey-based Susan Sharko is ‘very well-known‘ and has an excellent track record in her capacity as national co-ordinating counsel, local counsel and science counsel.
‘This team has always been the strength of the firm. That is shown by how many move on to be successful pharmaceutical in-house counsel and executives at major global companies.’
‘The stand out qualities include commitment to diversity, data analysis capabilities and strength of information systems.’
‘Mike Zogby is a hustler and very business savvy. He knows what clients want and how they want to see it.’
Arizant Healthcare, Inc.
Boston Scientific Corporation
CRF Frozen Foods LLC
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
Eli Lilly & Company
ICU Medical, Inc.
Intex Recreation Corp
Johnson & Johnson (and its family of companies)
Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC)
- Representing Cook Medical as national co-ordinating counsel and lead trial in multi-district litigation involving its inferior vena cava (IVC) filter products.
- Acting as national counsel to Zimmer Biomet in multiple mass tort actions and MDLs.
- Representing Boston Scientific in numerous lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh.
Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP
‘Highly sought after in the sector‘, litigation boutique Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP is ‘truly at the top of the field’ and combines detailed understanding of science with trial expertise. Consequently, the firm is often brought in the eve of a bellwether trial or towards the end of the discovery, in addition to receiving a regular flow of work where it is instructed at the onset of a dispute, often working collaboratively with other high-profile law firms. ‘Exceptionally smart’ team head Tarek Ismail is a ‘great trial lawyer‘ and is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile life sciences-related disputes handled by the firm, including his ongoing work for Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, in transvaginal mesh products liability litigation, currently involving tens of thousands of cases nationwide. Shayna Cook also has a superb reputation in the field and is equally as adept at handling large-scale MDLs as she is at trying cases before juries. Head of the firm’s Dallas office, Joe Tomaselli is a ‘master of the scientific and medical aspects of a case’, and is particularly effective working with expert witnesses. Jennifer Greenblatt‘s experience at handling high-profile cases is considerable and she continues to secure a litany of successes for clients, including on the grounds of pre-emption and statute of limitation. Allyson Julien and Emma Ross were both promoted to partner during 2021, with the latter, who is also a medical doctor, able to ‘use her medical knowledge to break down complicated medical and scientific issues for the team and the jury’. All named practitioners are based out of Chicago, unless otherwise indicated.
Other key lawyers:
‘This is an exceptional team that is highly sought after in this sector. They are truly at the top of the field.’
‘Tarek Ismail is exceptionally smart and a great trial lawyer.’
‘Joe Tomaselli is a master of the scientific and medical aspects of a case and amazing with expert witnesses.’
‘Emma Ross uses her medical knowledge to break down complicated medical and scientific issues for the team and the jury.’
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.
Johnson & Johnson; Ethicon, Inc.; and Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Rex Medical L.P.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
- Representing 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.
- Representing Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. as trial counsel 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.
- Representing 3M on thousands of environmental and products liability claims pending nationwide against 3M and other perfluorinated compound manufacturers and distributors in various state and federal courts (including an MDL and coordinated proceedings).
Led from Atlanta and Chicago by Sara Thompson and Gregory Ostfeld, respectively, and also able to draw upon product liability experts in the sector from across the firm’s vast network of domestic offices, Greenberg Traurig LLP handles a wide range and volume of cases, irrespective of geographical location. Drawing upon superb advocacy skills, excellent subject matter knowledge and strategic litigation smarts, the team is adept at attaining success at trials, as well as devising compelling dispositive motions and expert strategies involving litigation relating to pelvic mesh, opioids, Zantac and talc, among other issues. Recognized as a ‘natural born leader‘, Atlanta-based Lori Cohen typifies the group’s trial ready approach and has had a multitude of jury trial successes by dint of her ‘tough but charismatic approach‘. The arrival in November 2021 of both Glenn Kerner and Nilda Isidro to the firm’s New York office from Goodwin was a major coup for the firm, particularly in light of their pharmaceuticals-related product liability expertise, including their high-profile work for Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Other key lawyers:
Lori Cohen; Ginger Pigott ; Victoria Lockard ; Glenn Kerner ; Nilda Isidro Sabrina Gallo ; Marcella Ducca; Daniel Smulian ; Evan Holden; Sean Jessee; Enjoliqué Aytch Lett; Jacqueline Tambone deGrandpre; Brandon Cox ; Steven Harkins; Taryn Harper ; Allison Ng
‘They are particularly adept at taking depositions that matter. They understand how to work up a case with the end in mind.’
‘Lori Cohen is a natural leader. She inspires the team to do their very best work and to go the extra mile. She is tough but charismatic – with opposing counsel and the judge. She is also incredibly fun which humanizes her and makes her relatable to all. Juries love her.’
Becton, Dickinson and Company); C. R. Bard, Inc.
Sandoz Inc.; Eon Labs, Inc.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
Bausch Health Companies, Inc.
B. Braun Interventional Systems Inc; B. Braun Medical Inc.
Alcon Vision LLC
Albertsons Companies, Inc.
AAP Implante AG
Berkley Life Sciences
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson / Janssen
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd
Sterigenics U.S., LLC; Sotera Health
W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
- Representing Bard in all claims concerning pelvic mesh.
- Represented Sandoz in Stewart v. Sandoz which involved a 505(b)(2)defendant in the MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana in April 2021.
- Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in the In Re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation MDL (Southern District of Florida.
As well as regularly handling high-profile product liability disputes in venues throughout the US, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is ‘particularly well-equipped in co-ordinating cross-border litigation’, including for major multinational life sciences clients. In this context, the firm has ‘familiarity and expertise in pharma subject matter, including science experts, regulatory rules and practices in multiple countries’. ‘Always responsive, productive and constructive’, Charles W. Cohen is pivotal to the firm’s success at handling complex multi-jurisdictional pharmaceutical product liability and is ‘extremely capable at handling disclosure matters’. James C. Fitzpatrick has ‘cutting-edge abilities on the scientific aspects’, ensuring that he is particularly well-suited to developing effective evidence and themes through his work with medical and scientific experts, both in domestic and international litigation. A ‘standout litigator’, Robb Patryk co-heads the team with Fitzpatrick and as part of his broad product liability practice he regularly handles pharmaceutical-related disputes, where he is noted for his ‘ability to explain complex matters in understandable fashion with a view to strategy'. All lawyers mentioned are in New York.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm is particularly well-equipped in co-ordinating cross-border litigation, particularly defending effectively class actions. It fully deserves its reputation as a top-notch litigation team. When it comes to handling successfully complex cases, their legal skills, attention to details, responsiveness and experience is invaluable.’
‘They provide highest standard of legal analysis, but on the same time practical advice. Their close familiarity with multinationals’ culture and requirements as well as with foreign law firms, facilitates very efficient, smooth and productive communication and work.’
‘They justify their reputation as one of US’s leading international law firms in litigation. They are very sophisticated in strategic advice in both litigating and resolving cases around the world.’
‘Charles Cohen and James Fitzpatrick are both extremely capable and reputable in co-ordinating 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.’
‘Charles Cohen is extremely capable handling disclosure matters, always responsive, productive and constructive. Amazing combination of a professional, multi-discipline lawyer and a member you want on your team.’
‘James Fitzpatrick has cutting-edge abilities on the scientific aspects, including preparing very complex expert reports to trials. It is hard to tell he is a lawyer and not a top-notch scientist.’
‘Robb Patryk is a standout litigator. Decades of experience. Ability to explain complex matters in understandable fashion with a view to strategy.’
New York Blood Center
Organon & Co.
Intervet Inc. (d/b/a Merck Animal Health)
- Representing New York Blood Center on its personal injury litigation.
- Representing Merck & Co. Inc. in federal and state court litigation for Fosamax.
- Representing Merck Animal Health in a putative nationwide class action.
Combining strong overarching trial capabilities with underlying broad-based products liability strength, Mayer Brown continues to represents pharma and medical device clients across a range of high-profile matters. As well as its aptitude at advancing the doctrine of federal pre-emption for the benefit of its clients, the team also continues to be a market-leader defending pharmaceutical companies, including GSK, in “innovator liability” claims. Henninger Bullock in New York is regularly at the forefront of significant product liability-related mandates in the sector, as a function of his overarching life sciences litigation prowess. Michael Olsen and Daniel Ring, who are both based out of Chicago, co-head the team alongside Bullock.
St. Jude Medical Inc.
Terumo Medical Corp.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
- Representing Endo Pharmaceuticals against highly controversial and aggressive allegations of discovery violations related to the opioid litigation.
- Representing GSK in innovator-liability claims relating to Lamictal/lamotrigine, working particularly on early-case assessments, research, discovery, motion practice, trial, and appellate preservation.
Led from Washington DC and Los Angeles by Paul Zevnik and Yardena Zwang-Weissman and also able to call upon the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the country, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is well-positioned to handle product liability disputes. Many of the firm's healthcare-related product liability cases are of an aggregated nature, including class actions and MDLs, which the firm is well-positioned to handle due to its vast litigation resources and its aptitude at trying cases. A seasoned litigator with experience at both trial and appellate level, John Lavelle in Philadelphia is regularly at the forefront of the most significant healthcare-related product liability disputes, including representing Rite Aid in various opioid-related litigation matters.
Other key lawyers:
Rite Aid Corp.
Philips RS North America LLC
- Representing Rite Aid in various opioid-related litigation matters.
- Representing Philips as lead national and co-ordinating counsel in product liability and putative class action litigation arising from the recall in June 2021 of ventilation and sleep apnea medical devices.
- Representing Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals in litigation alleging plaintiffs developed cancer from exposure to the prescription drug Valsartan.
With an extensive team offering first chair trial experience, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP handles many simultaneous resource-intensive disputes, including as national and regional counsel. It is the firm’s trial-ready approach that is its strong suit, leading to early successes for client’s through dispositive motions including Daubert challenges, as well as trying cases, in many of the most challenging jurisdictions. Mark Jones and David Dukes co-head the products liability team from the firm’s Columbia headquarters, with Dukes particularly visible in the healthcare sector, including his work alongside West Virginia-based trial lawyer Marc Williams for Johnson & Johnson in the opiate litigation. The team was further strengthened in early 2022 by the arrival of a large group of litigation lawyers from Bowman and Brooke LLP, including pharmaceutical product liability experts Rachelle Anderson and Alana Bassin, who are based in the firm’s new Minneapolis office.
Other key lawyers:
Johnson & Johnson
Smith & Nephew, Inc
- Representing C. R. Bard, Inc. in its inferior vena cava litigation, and trying cases regarding the medical devices designed to prevent pulmonary emboli.
- Representing Smith & Nephew, Inc in a bellwether case relating to its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing.
- Representing Johnson & Johnson on Opioid matters in multiple states.
Deriving particular strength from the firm’s Texas offices, as well as leveraging broader expertise across both coasts, and internationally, Norton Rose Fulbright has strong credentials among multinational pharma companies, including Takeda and McKesson. As well as handling class actions relating to personal injury, the pharmaceutical product liability team, which is led from Dallas by D’Lesli M Davis , has also developed market-leading expertise representing clients in relation to economic loss claims brought by consumers and third party payers. Pharmacovigilance is also a core strength, an area that Dallas-based associate Ellie Norris combines, alongside her thriving litigation practice which includes a significant amount of MDL and class action work for pharmaceutical companies as defendants in product liability cases. Brett Young and Darryl Anderson in Houston are the other overarching co-heads of the US industry group.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP has established a ‘very strong reputation‘ in the market by dint of its ability to effectively guide high-profile companies through large-scale, resource intensive mass tort/class actions, involving personal injury and economic loss claims. The ‘superb‘ Steve Brody in Washington DC regularly leads on the firm’s most significant pharmaceutical product liability mandates, including for longstanding client Johnson & Johnson in both the opioid and the pelvic mesh consumer fraud litigation. Brody is one of many within the team that has former governmental experience, which is of great value to clients in light of the government investigations which frequently flow as a corollary of mass tort claims. Another strength is the firm’s ability at an appellate level, as was underscored by its victory for Johnson & Johnson before the Oklahoma Supreme Court which reversed a trial court’s 2019 ruling requiring the company to pay $465m for nuisance abatement in the nationwide opioid litigation. Los Angeles-based partner Sabrina Strong co-chairs the product liability and mass tort team alongside Brody; she is heavily involved in much of the work on behalf of Johnson & Johnson.
‘The team has a very strong reputation.’
‘Steve Brody is superb.’
AstraZeneca and Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Advanced Micro Devices
Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Represented Johnson & Johnson in opioids-related lawsuits.
- Representing Amylin, an AstraZeneca subsidiary, against claims by more than 1,000 plaintiffs in a federal Multi-District Litigation and California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding.
- Representing Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary in the massive pelvic mesh product liability litigation—one of the largest mass torts in US history.
Appreciated for its willingness to ‘seamlessly collaborate with other law firms‘, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP is a popular choice among pharmaceutical companies and medical devices manufacturers throughout the litigation continuum. Able to leverage significant in-house scientific strength and to tap into the expertise of product litigators spread throughout the country, the firm regularly takes on lead and co-ordinating counsel roles in MDLs and is particularly adept at trying cases, both at first instance and on appeal. With ‘a good sense of what is important and what is not‘, Jon Strongman in Kansas City is an ‘excellent trial lawyer‘, who offers strong advocacy skills and is able to effectively explain complex medical and scientific issues in a clear and understandable way to juries. San Francisco-based practitioner Alicia Donahue is a ‘zealous advocate‘ for healthcare clients and co-heads the team alongside Hildy Sastre in Miami.
Other key lawyers:
Madeleine McDonough ; Robert Adams ; Sean Wajert; Kenneth Reilly; Harley Ratliff; Jon Strongman; Jennifer Voss ; Patrick Oot ; Adrienne Byard ; James Shepherd ; Michelle Fujimoto; Eben Flaster ; Eric Anielak ; Alicia Donahue
‘They are real experts in managing discovery.’
‘They provide a cost-effective approach and are willing to seamlessly collaborate with other firms.’
‘Alicia Donohue is such a zealous advocate; she lives and breathes my cases. I really appreciate her dedication.’
‘Jon Strongman is an excellent trial lawyer, who has a good sense of what is important and what is not.‘
Roche / Genentech
Drawing upon deep life sciences and healthcare industry knowledge, allied with procedural litigation skills relating to discovery, expert witness preparation, pre-trial motions and trials, Troutman Pepper‘s geographically diverse product liability offering has significant visibility in the sector. The team, which is headed out of Philadelphia by Sean Fahey, has had a role, often as national co-ordinating counsel, in many high-profile individual cases, as well as in MDLs and class actions, including for Medtronic in cases involving several product lines, where Fahey has had considerable success implementing pre-emption arguments – resulting in the dismissal of hundreds of cases. Senior counsel Nina Gussack is also based in Philadelphia and provides litigation, regulatory and counselling advice to pharmaceutical and medical device companies regarding marketed products, investigational new drugs, medical devices and over-the-counter drug products.
Other key lawyers:
Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company
Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon
Ford Motor Co.
LL Flooring (Lumber Liquidators)
Sulzer Pumps (US) Inc./ Sulzer USA Inc.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
Tucker Ellis LLP
Litigation is a core strength of Tucker Ellis LLP and this extends to a considerable volume of product liability-related work within the life sciences space, one of the primary areas of industry focus for the firm as a whole. Drawing upon the expertise of numerous accomplished trial lawyers, the firm has seen success in litigation throughout the country, including in the context of MDLs and class actions. ‘Pure superstar material‘, Sherry Knutson in Chicago is a very effective trial lawyer, whose successes include numerous victories for clients to verdict. Cleveland-based Tariq Naeem co-heads the life sciences health care group, alongside Knutson, and effectively leverages his background in the biological sciences to good effect for clients defending single-plaintiff cases as well complex nationwide litigation alleging wrongful death and other serious injuries. In Los Angeles, Mollie Benedict ‘works well on virtual law teams’ and Michael Zellers ‘is a first-rate, first-chair trial attorney’, who has extensive experience defending high-profile individual and mass tort pharma and medical device litigation, while Cleveland-based counsel Charissa Walker regularly defends pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers before state and federal courts.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a great bench and strong attorneys. Their clients are diverse, they present well in court, and are great teammates on complex litigations.’
‘Sherry Knutson is pure superstar material.’
‘Mollie Benedict is an excellent leader in the Los Angeles office, and she works well on virtual law teams.’
‘Dustin Rawlin is an amazing strategist and teammate on national, complex cases.’
‘Mike Zellers is a first-rate, first-chair trial attorney whom we go to for any cases anywhere in the country.’
Johnson & Johnson (including subsidiaries and franchises, such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ethicon, Inc. and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC; Mentor Worldwide LLC; and DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. (nka DePuy Synthes))
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation
Smith & Nephew
- Representing Mentor Worldwide LLC (a J&J subsidiary) in breast implant litigation involving personal injury claims from saline- or silicone gel-filled breast implants.
The healthcare and life sciences sector is the centerpiece of Venable LLP‘s accomplished national product liability offering and sees the firm regularly engaged as national counsel overseeing the litigation strategy for many high-profile clients including Merck. The Baltimore-based team also has niche expertise defending vaccine manufacturers in litigation brought by plaintiffs following adverse reactions and side effects. Kathleen Hardway regularly serves on nationwide trial teams in complex pharmaceutical disputes and is particularly adept at working with expert witnesses. As part of his broad trial practice, Craig Thompson is regularly engaged in pharmaceutical product liability litigation, including his current role as co-national counsel to Takeda in litigation related to its proton-pump inhibitor medications. During his career, Bruce Parker has been lead trial counsel in four mass torts and as well as his advocacy skills, he is also recognized for his ‘fantastic expertise in epidemiology and science’. Jason Rose co-chairs the group alongside Hardway.
Other key lawyers:
‘Bruce Parker has fantastic expertise in epidemiology and science, and is a pleasure to work with.’
Merck & Co., Inc.
Organon & Co
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
Laboratory Corporation of America
- Representing Merck in litigation related to its shingles vaccine, Zostavax, in which plaintiffs allege that the vaccine causes patients to develop shingles and, in more limited instances, eye and neurologic injuries, and that Merck’s label did not adequately warn users of these risks.
- Representing Takeda in litigation related to their proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) medications, including Prevacid and Dexilant, which treat acid reflux and GERD. In this litigation, plaintiffs allege that Takeda’s PPI medications cause certain kidney injuries.
- Representing Organon as national counsel for litigation related to Organon’s osteoporosis medication, Fosamax, in which the plaintiffs allege that Fosamax contributes to atypical femur fractures (AFFs).
Covington & Burling LLP
Leveraging the firm’s overarching life sciences industry expertise, which includes a pre-eminent food, drug and device regulatory offering, Covington & Burling LLP is well-positioned to represent pharma and medical device clients throughout the product life cycle, including in the context of high-stakes product liability trials, at a state and federal level. Many of the firm’s instructions are in the context of large class actions, including in relation to the opioids crisis. 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.
Goodwin‘s geographically diverse product liability offering, which includes strong coverage on both coasts, regularly handles disputes for pharma and medical devices manufacturers. As well as acting as trial counsel in a multitude of individual actions, the firm often acts as national counsel, responsible for formulating nationwide defense strategies and developing large stables of medical, scientific and regulatory experts. New York-based team head Joanne Gray has niche expertise advising food and supplement companies on compliance, recall and litigation; she continues to represent Herbalife International in all product liability cases pending in state and federal courts throughout the US. Richard Oetheimer in Boston has a strong track record litigating product liability cases in the sector including before juries in federal and state courts, as well as at appellate level, where notably he served as lead counsel in the Supreme Court case that established federal pre-emption of generic drug failure to warn lawsuits. Glenn Kerner and Nilda Isidro left the firm in November 2021.
Confluent Medical/Cordis IVC Filter Litigation
Herbalife International, Inc.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.,
Barr Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Barr Laboratories, Inc.
- Representing Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Barr Pharmaceuticals, LLC, and Barr Laboratories, Inc. in the nationwide amiodarone litigation.
- Representing Boehringer Ingelheim in a Pradaxa wrongful death lawsuit filed in Massachusetts state court.
- Representing Kolmar Laboratories, Inc., a contract manufacturer of consumer cosmetic products in connection with talc mass tort litigation alleging exposure to asbestos through various loose powders manufactured with talc.
Adept at guiding clients through the entire life cycle of litigation claims – from pre-litigation counseling through discovery, jury trials, and appeals – Jones Day is a popular choice among life sciences and healthcare clients defending individual wrongful death and personal injury claims, as well as in large class actions. Atlanta-based team head Stephanie Parker has extensive experience trying and leading high-stakes litigation, including jury trials, for pharmaceutical companies in the defense of product liability claims, as well as patent infringements. José Isasi in Chicago is another key member of the team, particularly in light of his first-chair credentials, which have seen him secure notable victories for medical devices manufacturers in product liability-related federal and state jury and bench trials. The arrival in April 2021 of Los Angeles-based first-chair trial lawyer Celeste Brecht from Venable LLP strengthens the team, particularly in light of her pharma product liability-related expertise.
Bristol Myers Squibb
California Stem Cell Treatment Center, Inc.
Merck & Co.
Walmart Stores, Inc.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 's overarching litigation credentials and core ability to try bet-the-company disputes allows it to handle high-profile class actions/mass torts in the space. Indeed, it is this trial-ready-approach which is one of the firm’s main strengths, enabling it to secure early and successful settlement for clients through dispositive motions, as well as, should the need arise, in a jury trial. Mike Brock in Washington DC epitomizes the firm’s strength at trying cases, and is adept at representing pharma and life sciences companies, particularly in product liability and mass tort cases. New York-based Jay Lefkowitz is also a key member of the team and has secured notable high-profile victories in the space at both a trial and appellate level, including before the Supreme Court.
Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Torrent Private Limited and Torrent Pharma, Inc.
Led from Richmond by Diane Flannery and aided by practitioners spread throughout its nationwide offices, McGuireWoods LLP has a strong core overarching product liability practice, which frequently handles work for pharma companies and medical devices manufacturers. The scope of the work is broad and includes providing counselling from a risk management perspective, as well as representing clients during the litigation process, through to trial, if necessary. Richmond-based Samuel Tarry is an accomplished trial lawyer, whose many successes before state and federal courts have included work for clients in the healthcare sector. Mark Anderson in Raleigh heads up the firm’s national trial team and his versatile practice includes work within the healthcare product liability space.
Drawing upon deep knowledge within the life sciences sector, as well as fundamental overarching litigation strength, Morrison Foerster is a popular choice among established and early-stage companies throughout the product life cycle. Erin Bosman typifies this approach, combining expertise for clients when they are facing high-stakes litigation, including class actions, as well as a counselling service which sees her regularly advising clients on risk management procedures, including effective product labeling. Leveraging her in-house experience as a medicinal chemist at Pfizer, Julie Park is popular among clients as a result of her combined legal and technical knowledge; she regularly manages complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation, both in state and federal court, as well as guiding clients through product recalls. David Fioccola co-heads the class actions and mass torts team alongside Bosman. All named practitioners are based in San Diego unless otherwise indicated.
Prelude Fertility, Inc.
MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.
Premier Nutrition Corp.
Nature’s Path Foods, LLC
Suja Green Juice
- Represented Pacific MSO, LLC and Prelude Fertility, Inc. in The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled that the plaintiffs, patients of the fertility clinic who had tissue stored in the tank at the time of the incident, must arbitrate their claims against Prelude and Pacific MSO based on the arbitration provision in their agreements with Pacific Fertility Center.
- Represented MicroPort in dozens of international product liability matters.
- Representing McKesson in multidistrict litigation 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.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
With particularly strong coverage from its New York and Washington DC offices, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has excellent credentials on behalf of leading pharma and medical devices entities in high-stakes litigation throughout the country, where it regularly serves as lead counsel in MDL proceedings. The team, which is led from Washington DC by seasoned litigator John Beisner is well-versed in handling mandates at trial and appellate level, and helps drive change in the practice area by representing the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform on a number of matters related to litigation-reform initiatives. New York-based trial lawyer Allison Brown has ‘excellent‘ advocacy skills and continues to secure jury trial successes for a range of clients, including Johnson & Johnson, in relation to allegations that its baby powder causes ovarian cancer.
- Representing Endo Health Solutions Inc. in the numerous opioid-related lawsuits the company faces in a variety of forums.
- Representing Johnson & Johnson in cases alleging that its Baby Powder may cause ovarian cancer (including over 9,000 cases pending in an MDL proceeding in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey) and other cases alleging that the product may cause mesothelioma.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP combines broad-based product liability expertise with an overarching complex commercial litigation group, enabling it to effectively resource increasingly high-profile matters in the space. New Jersey-based Diane Sullivan is the most prominent figure in the group and by dint of her ‘exemplary trial skills‘ is regularly brought in at a late stage when a case is heading towards trial. This was recently exemplified by her representation of pharmacy retailer, Giant Eagle, as replacement lead trial counsel in a bellwether MDL opioid jury trial. Washington DC-based Chantale Fiebig was also involved in the aforementioned matter and her arrival in June 2021 from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP strengthens the firm’s offering, in light of her strong all-round advocacy skills and eclectic litigation offering.
Other key lawyers:
Johnson & Johnson
Greenstone Assurance Ltd.
- Represented Giant Eagle as replacement lead trial counsel in a bellwether MDL opioid jury trial, successfully securing dismissal of all charges.
- Represented Johnson & Johnson in thwarting the bankruptcy plan of Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, Inc., which would have potentially saddled Johnson & Johnson with billions of dollars on indemnity claims.
- Representing Sanofi against four separate actions in California federal court relating to alleged false and deceptive advertising of their ICYHOT and ASPERCREME patches.
Drawing upon its overarching litigation credentials, which includes several high-profile trial lawyers, including Chicago-based duo Dan Webb and George Lombardi, as well as increasingly developing a more specialized offering throughout the life cycle of product work in the healthcare and life sciences sector, Winston & Strawn LLP is well-placed to advise clients seeking robust defense from the discovery phase, dispositive motions, through to trial. Clients also benefit from access to appellate experts from an early stage, enabling them to lay the groundwork for future appeals by drafting motions in limine, proposed jury instructions, and motions for judgment as a matter of law. Based out of San Francisco, Sandra Edwards heads the product liability and mass tort group; while Matthew Campbell in Washington DC is particularly visible in the pharmaceutical space and continues to serve as lead national counsel for OAPI in its Abilify®-related product liability litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
- Representing Hikma in the national opiate litigation – totaling more than 700 separate cases, which includes a sprawling multi-district proceeding consolidated in Ohio federal court and various state court actions and are active in joint defence groups for In re National Prescriptions Opiate Litigation. Claims include negligence, fraud, and violations of consumer protection laws, among others.
- Representing 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.
- Representing Abbott Laboratories in a series of more than 36 product liability lawsuits, filed by over 100 plaintiffs and spanning more than ten jurisdictions, alleging that cow milk-based preterm infant formula products cause a naturally occurring gastrointestinal disorder in premature infants.