Back to United States

Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort in United States

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter combines environmental regulatory expertise with litigation prowess, drawing on scientific expertise and long-standing relationships with government regulators and the DOJ. This makes it a top choice for industry-leading companies facing large-scale, high-stakes toxic tort litigations across the country. The firm take on a wide range of issues, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to claims surrounding lead paint exposure or the Roundup product. It also has one of California's largest and most experienced Proposition 65 practices. The firm stands out with its collaboration across practice groups, and its efficient use of legal tech such as the ediscovery service model eData. New York based Anand Agneshwar leads the practice together with Daphne O’Connor in New York and Brian Israel in Washington DC, who focuses broadly on environmental litigation and counseling. Litigator Diana Reiter and Elisabeth Theodore, who has appellate expertise, have both recently been promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Anand Agneshwar; Daphne O’Connor; Brian Israel

Other key lawyers:

Michael Daneker, Sean Morris; Trent Norris; Elissa Preheim

Key clients

Altria Group and affiliates, including Philip Morris USA Inc.

Atlantic Richfield Company

Bayer and Bayer CropScience

BP

Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., 7-Eleven, BP West Coast Products, and Yum Donuts

Honeywell International

Mosaic

The Chemours Company

Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Serving as lead environmental counsel on a range of regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
  • Serving as lead toxic tort litigation counsel to Honeywell in the defense of a consolidated class action and approximately 52 individual toxic tort suits in federal and state court arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York.
  • Won a major victory on behalf of Atlantic Richfield in the Illinois Supreme Court affirming summary judgment on plaintiffs’ claims for lack of injury in a statewide certified class action involving lead paint. This decision has potentially broad application in product liability class actions asserting claims for economic injury rather than personal injury.

King & Spalding LLP

With its deep and experienced bench of trial lawyers King & Spalding LLP is a leading firm in the toxic torts area. It takes on key roles in some of the most high-profile matters in the country, and defends against claims by state attorneys general, municipalities, and class actions involving tens of thousands of plaintiffs. The team has grown considerably, most recently with two new hires from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in May 2020, Michael Leslie and Quyen Ta. In addition, a large group from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP joined the firm in February 2020, which contributes tremendous experience and longstanding relationships with clients in the chemical and petrochemical industries. The new hires are Shaila Diwan, Morty Dubin, John Ewald, Alvin Lee, Kathy O’Connor and Kristen Fournier, who is now a co-head of the practice group, based in New York. San Francisco-based Matthew Blaschke, who represents Chevron USA in several different matters, and Elizabeth Taber in Houston, who acts for energy and oilfield services clients in high-stakes environmental litigation, are also practice leaders.

Practice head(s):

Kristen Fournier; Matthew Blaschke; Elizabeth Taber

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Renfroe; Charles Correll; Nick Kayhan; Robert Meadows

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Chevron Corporation

BASF Corporation

Mine Safety Appliances

The Dow Chemical Company

International Paper Co.

Becton, Dickinson (BD Bard)

Forestar/DR Horton

The Renco Group, Inc.

Shell Oil Company

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Baker Hughes Company

Lumber Liquidators

Work highlights

  • 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.
  • Represented Chevron U.S.A. Inc.in 40+ lawsuits brought by more than 30,000+ individually named persons who claimed personal injuries, lost wages, property damage, and punitive damages arising from an August 2012 fire at Chevron U.S.A.’s Richmond, California Refinery.  Secured the dismissal of a number of the claimants’ causes of action, including under California’s Unfair Competition Law and for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, insurance bad faith, and product liability, as well as the dismissal of over 10,000 individual plaintiffs who failed to answer written discovery.
  • Representing Union Carbide Corporation in a series of putative class actions alleging exposure to air emissions of ethylene oxide. Plaintiffs assert medical monitoring claims based on allegations that they face an increased risk of contracting cancer due to emissions of ethylene oxide from multiple industrial facilities in West Virginia. Potential class members number in the thousands.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has attained a significant presence in the toxic torts space with a focus on clients in the energy and manufacturing sectors. The practice's strengths lie in major toxic torts disasters. In its defense of SoCalGas and Sempra Energy in matters arising from a natural gas leak the firm has recently defeated plaintiffs’ claims alleging that the existence of the client’s gas storage facility itself constituted a permanent nuisance. The team also focuses on insurance recovery; this is an area of expertise for Paul Zevnik, one of the leads of the practice based in Washington DC. Deputy leader Yardena Zwang-Weissman in L.A. is a name to watch in the toxic torts space.

Practice head(s):

Paul Zevnik; Yardena Zwang-Weissman

Other key lawyers:

Brady Edwards; Nagwa Hultquist; David Schrader; Daniel Chefitz

Key clients

Southern California Gas Company

Covil Corporation

NiSource, Inc.

LTI Holdings, Inc./Boyd Corporation

Santa Fe Braun, Inc./The Braun Trust

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc./MMGL, LLC

PepsiCo, Inc./Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company, Inc.

Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Serving as coordinating and litigation counsel for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Sempra Energy on various matters arising from the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP continues to be engaged in matters at the forefront of cutting-edge issues, such as its defense of Marathon Oil in unprecedented climate change claims. With its strong appellate practice and emphasis on innovation, the firm offers clients a team of diverse expertise and skillsets, notwithstanding the recent moves of attorneys Morton Dubin, Kristen Fournier and John Ewald to King & Spalding LLP in February 2020. The team has gained a new first chair trial lawyer with Christina Maccio from DLA Piper LLP (US), while Gregory Beaman, Jennifer Lee and Marc Shapiro were promoted to partners in February 2020. Peter Bicks in New York is active for some of the firms biggest clients and a name to note. Elyse Echtman in New York, who has 25 years of product liability experience and Darren Teshima in San Francisco, who specializes in the technology and finance sectors, lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Elyse Echtman; Darren Teshima

Other key lawyers:

James Stengel; Lisa Simpson; Peter Bicks; Will Stute

Key clients

China National Building Material Company (CNBM)

Johnson & Johnson

Marathon Oil

Microsoft

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Renco

Solvay

Union Carbide Corporation

Work highlights

  • Succeeded on multiple fronts for Johnson & Johnson, with billions at stake: winning dismissals, very favorable settlements and judgements, all with a national strategy to minimize follow-on risk.
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for Marathon Oil on unprecedented climate change claims, currently one the most controversial and hot button issues globally.
  • Work for the NCAA involves progressive, emerging legal strategies due to the NFL’s early settlement of its concussion litigation. Representing the NCAA in headlining player health and safety matters, worth tens of millions per case and with state and regional legal implications, fighting for the future of college football, a billion-dollar industry.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The toxic tort client roster at Baker Botts L.L.P. is focused on the energy sector, including oil and chemical companies as well as electric and water utilities. The team handles a broad array of matters, such as industrial accidents, day-to-day exposure or climate change. Tynan Buthod in Houston, whose key clients include some of the largest companies in the energy sector, leads the practice together with Washington-based Joshua Frank, who has experience in complex environmental litigation, and Kent Mayo in Washington, who also helps clients navigate challenges arising from environmental incidents.

Practice head(s):

Tynan Buthod; Joshua Frank; Kent Mayo

Other key lawyers:

Russell Lewis; Kevin Jacobs

Key clients

Assertio Therapeutics

BASF Corporation

CenterPoint Energy

Dixie Chemical Company

ExxonMobil

Intercontinental Terminals Company

Orlando Utilities Commission

Tenaris Global Services USA

TPC Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC (ITC) in a variety of matters arising out of a multi-day fire at ITC’s Deer Park terminal in March 2019. Defending ITC in multiple governmental enforcement cases related to the fire and over 60 private party lawsuits, including three class actions.
  • Representing TPC Group, Inc. and TPC Group, LLC (TPC) in a variety of matters arising out of two November 2019 explosions at its chemical plant in Port Neches, TX. Defending TPC in an enforcement action brought by the State of Texas, in addition to over 20 private party cases brought by individuals and businesses that have been consolidated into an MDL proceeding in Orange County, Texas.
  • Representing ExxonMobil and related entities in various chemical products cases throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico. Defending ExxonMobil in over a dozen cases arising out of alleged exposure to natural gas and various chemical compounds as neighbors to a gas gathering and transmission facility. Succeeded in getting a preliminary order requiring plaintiffs to identify specific exposure routes and allegedly attributable injuries or face dismissal.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP stands out with its involvement in complex class actions and multi-plaintiff toxic torts, many of which involve household name clients. The team handles litigation in the United States as well as cross-border and international disputes. In a recent win the firm obtained a summary judgement for representing major players in the coffee industry in a long-running Proposition 65 enforcement action. The environmental litigation and mass torts practice group is led by Dan Nelson and Stacie Fletcher in Washington DC. Ted Boutrous in California, who has a strong federal and state appellate practice, and Randy Mastro in New York are also recommended in the litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Dan Nelson; Stacie Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Dupree; Perlette Jura; Andrea Neuman; Peter Modlin; Ted Boutrous; Randy Mastro

Key clients

Kimberly-Clark

Chevron

Major players in the coffee industry, including Nestlé USA,

J.M. Smucker, Kraft Heinz, Starbucks, Gavina, and Keurig Dr.

Pepper

Daimler AG / Mercedes-Benz USA

Toyota

Fiat Chrysler

General Electric

PepsiCo and Nestlé

Dole

International Paper

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP not only tries cases involving alleged soil, water and air pollution but also advises clients on creative defense strategies and utilizes its appellate capabilities. The firm represents companies in mass torts and class actions, regulatory enforcement and citizen suits. In one of nation’s largest environmental MDLs, the firm is defending National Foam Inc and other entities in litigation surrounding aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a high-profile and high potential exposure case. Tampa-based David Weinstein, an acclaimed lawyer in the environmental and toxic tort space, leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Weinstein

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Torres; Francis Citera; Ryan Hopper; David Mandelbaum

Key clients

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Twin Hill Acquisition Company, Inc.

National Foam, Inc

Ovivo USA LLC

Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC

Orlando Utilities Commission

PSEG Long Island and the Long Island Power Authority

Work highlights

  • Representing Lockheed Martin on several toxic tort matters.
  • Representing Twin Hill Acquisition Company, Inc. in putative class actions.
  • Representing Ovivo USA LLC in multiple litigation matters involving product liability, trade secret misappropriation and general commercial litigation matters.

Jones Day

With its broad jury trial experience and integrated first-rate appellate practice, the team at Jones Day is expertly equipped to defend clients in cutting-edge issues, such as its representation of Daikin America and Daikin Industries in nationwide litigation involving PFAS chemicals. The firm defends clients in large-scale litigation related to personal injury, medical monitoring and property damage and has expertise in investigations by State Attorneys General and agency enforcement actions. Atlanta-based Stephanie Parker leads the product liability litigation practice; she has extensive experience trying and leading 'bet-the-company' disputes. Of counsel Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh continues to be an acclaimed lawyer in the toxic tort area. As of January 2021, Jennifer Weizenecker, Michael Quinlan and Jackie Paisty have become partners.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Parker

Other key lawyers:

Theodore Grossman; Sharyl Reisman; Leon DeJulius Jr; Paul Pohl

Key clients

Daikin America/Daikin Industries

The Sherwin-Williams Company

Steris Corporation

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP takes on a leading role in a wide array of product liability and mass tort matters, for example serving as national counsel and lead trial counsel on behalf of BASF Catalysts LLC in a series of asbestos-related product liability cases. The team is experienced in mass tort matters, including multidistrict litigations, class actions and defect or recall investigations. Richard Godfrey, who has four decades of experience, and nationally recognized trial attorney Andrew McGaan are key lawyers in the Chicago office, while Mike Brock in Washington has served as trial counsel for a variety of industry leading clients.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Godfrey; Andrew McGann; Mike Brock

Key clients

Alere Inc.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals

BASF Catalysts

City of Chicago

JUUL Labs

Huntsman International LLC

Syngenta Corporation

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has been active in some of the most cutting-edge issues in the toxic tort area, defending clients in plaintiffs’ novel applications of public nuisance law and challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 65 compelled warning regime. Gwyn Williams in Boston, who leads the practice, has handled complex, multi-defendant, and class action cases in nearly every combination of venues. Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is a name to note in the toxic torts space, with strengths in multi-state and multi-forum environmental and toxic tort litigation. Robert Collins III was promoted to partner in January 2020, adding to the firm's 'deep bench of talent'.

Practice head(s):

Gwyn Williams

Other key lawyers:

Mary Rose Alexander

Testimonials

The Latham team is strategic, has a deep bench of talent, takes a practical approach, delivers extremely responsive client service and excels across all facets of a case.

‘Mark Mester has been lead partner on multiple matters for us. He’s brilliant, brings a wealth of experience, is highly strategic, acts as a true partner to the client, looking out for our best interests at all times. And he’s consistently achieved excellent results.’

Key clients

Chevron

Clorox

Dow Chemical

Endo International plc

Monsanto

Work highlights

  • Representing Clorox in the recent and novel shift of public nuisance cases to plastics manufacturers. The case is the first of its kind in the country and follows the lead of the PCB and the climate change cases.
  • Defending The Dow Chemical Company in a public nuisance and products liability litigation filed by the City of Modesto, California in San Francisco Superior Court. This is a substantial chemicals regulation matter that could set new precedents in California public nuisance and causation law.
  • Secured a major victory on behalf of Monsanto and a large coalition of agricultural farming interests, challenging the constitutionality of California’s so-called ‘Proposition 65’ compelled warning regime.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP places great importance on its longstanding relationships with clients, many of which are household names such as ExxonMobil or Motorola. It is described as 'very strong in the toxic tort area'. The firm handles several high-profile mass torts and MDLs, drawing on its robust, nationwide team of litigators and experienced trial lawyers as it defends clients against a wide array of claims, from groundwater contamination to glyphosate and asbestos exposure. Anthony Upshaw in Miami, who is involved in many of the practice’s high-profile matters, leads the practice together with experienced first chair litigator Terrence Dee in Chicago. New York-based James Pardo, who has a broad range of experience in this space, is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Upshaw; Terrence Dee

Other key lawyers:

James Pardo; Ellen Tenenbaum

Testimonials

‘Breadth of experience and strength of bench is particularly important to to success now and success in the future. Succession planning, specifically when facing long tail exposures, is key to longer term strategies.’

‘MWE attorneys exhibit a level of responsiveness and commitment I have not experienced with any other firm. They invest in understanding the company’s goals and objectives in order to be proactive in developing strategies and, more importantly, mitigation strategies from lessons learned. They work to give junior partner the experience they need, at no cost to the client, to ensure the bench is being developed. The Litigation team including Peter Sacripanti, Ellen Tenenbaum, Craig Zimmerman, and John Calandra are top notch strategists and trial attorneys.’

‘McDermott is very strong in the toxic tort area. They, more than some firms, have developed good working relationships with most opposing counsel in this space and can bring a wide range of experience and creativity to mass torts. They are one of the few large firms I have worked with that can properly staff and work up all levels of a mass tort, including discovery, plaintiff discovery, expert work, and the strategy/major motions practice.’

‘Tony Upshaw, Lisa Gerson, Jim Pardo and team have concentrated their practice on mass torts. They are great teammates, combine their practice well with a team made up of different firms, and can bring a unique perspective to the team.’

Key clients

American Petroleum Association

Motorola

Chemical Manufacturers Association

ExxonMobil

Gavilon Group

Honeywell International Inc.

IKO Manufacturing

Monsanto

National Standard Company, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Motorola Mobility in more than 70 cases pending in D.C. Superior Court in which individual plaintiffs claim that wireless telephone use caused their brain tumors.
  • Has represented ExxonMobil in state and federal courts across the country in mass tort product liability cases involving the industry’s use of methyl-tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The following state sovereign cases all remain active:  State of New Jersey, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Rhode Island, State of Maryland.
  • Representing Monsanto in two key matters:  Numerous claims brought in state and federal courts by some 21,000+ plaintiffs located across the US, but chiefly located in San Francisco and Saint Louis, in respect to Roundup, the client’s family of glyphosate-based herbicides. Numerous multiple-venue products liability mass tort actions related to the manufacture, sale and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).  

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright stands out with its expertise in litigation surrounding disasters and its deep institutional experience. The firm has recently expanded its focus on OSHA compliance and other health and safety concerns, a move instigated by new hire Kevin Mayer who joined from Crowell & Moring LLP in January 2020. Many of the clients in the toxic torts space are from the chemical manufacturing and energy industries. Houston-based practice leader Brett Young continues to be a name of note who directs the defense of the firm's most significant tort matters, including classic toxic tort defense and industrial accidents.

Practice head(s):

Brett Young

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Yankowsky; Kevin Mayer

Key clients

Illinois Tool Works (ITW)

KMCO LLC

Vulcan Materials Company

CenterPoint energy

Work highlights

  • Has been advising ITW for several years as trial counsel in a matter involving claims brought by Albertson’s bakery workers operating ITW machinery.
  • Advising KMCO, LLC in relation to an explosion and subsequent fire on April 2, 2019 at its Crosby, Texas chemical plant.
  • A broad and longstanding client relationship with Vulcan Materials Company, the largest aggregates company in the United States and one of the largest in the world, advising them on litigation matters.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

The team at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP stands out with its broad expertise in environmental law, including regulatory compliance, transactional work and all types of governmental and private litigation matters. The firm defends clients in personal injury and exposure cases, public nuisance cases, Superfund lawsuits and enforcement actions brought by government entities, with a particular strength in defending against water contamination claims. It advises clients in a wide variety of industry sectors from chemical manufacturers and agribusiness to the mining industry. Widely recognized lawyers in the environmental space Mark Anstoetter and David Erickson based in Kansas City lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Anstoetter; Dave Erickson

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Thompson; Tom Grever

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

While experienced in handling a wide range of disputes from class or mass actions, community claims to injunctive actions, Steptoe & Johnson LLP also provides risk mitigation advice and counselling. With scientific experts on staff the firm is equipped to handle a wide array of environmental contamination litigation. It has been at the forefront of recent trends, defending against claims related to PFAS chemicals. Dennis Raglin who joined the team from Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger in January 2020 has strengthened its California presence. Robert Shuftan in Chicago, who has over 30 years of experience in this space, leads the practice together with Seth Goldberg in Washington DC. Of counsel Jennifer Bonneville is a lawyer to note, skillfully managing different aspects of litigation in federal and state courts across the country.

Practice head(s):

Robert Shuftan; Seth Goldberg

Other key lawyers:

Jason Levin; Derek Smith; Anthony Hopp; Cal Burnton; Jennifer Bonneville

Key clients

Koppers Inc.

Lonza (formerly Arch Chemicals)

Koppers Performance Chemicals (formerly Osmose, Inc.)

Beazer East, Inc. (formerly Koppers Company, Inc.)

GROWMARK

Honeywell International, Inc.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Work highlights

  • Retained by Koppers Inc. and Beazer East, Inc. in a series of lawsuits in Minnesota federal district court brought by eleven cities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro region. Plaintiffs claim that they have incurred and will continue to incur significant costs to address contamination of their municipal storm water ponds from sealants containing refined tar manufactured and sold by Koppers, Beazer East and several other companies. The court has granted motions to dismiss in favor of Koppers and Beazer East Inc., together with several defendants.
  • Continuing to act as lead counsel in multiple portfolios of agricultural product exposure cases for clients including Chevron and GROWMARK.
  • Obtained a summary judgment victory for Valvoline when a judge disqualified the plaintiffs’ medical causation theory.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP combines broad industry coverage with extensive first chair trial experience and regulatory expertise to defend clients in a wide range of product liability and toxic tort disputes. This includes litigation commenced by states and municipalities, state attorney actions and nationwide consumer class actions. The team acts for clients in high-profile issues such as the talcum powder litigation, or disputes related to plastic pollution. Arvin Maskin, long at the helm of the firm’s practice, retired in December 2020. New Jersey-based Diane Sullivan, a star in the product liability and toxic torts space, now leads the practice together with recognized litigator David Singh in California. Bambo Obaro, who is involved in a wide array of product liability matters, was promoted to partner in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Diane Sullivan; David Singh

Other key lawyers:

Theodore Tsekeredis

Testimonials

‘Communicative and supportive. Great outcomes.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Procter & Gamble

Exxon Mobil

Repsol, S.A.

Tarkett Sports

PG&E Corporation

Panasonic Corporation of North America

Starbucks

Core-Mark

Dometic Corporation

PetroChina International (America)

Work highlights

  • Serving as one of the primary nationwide lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in the mass tort alleging that personal hygiene products containing talcum powder cause certain types of cancer.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel to Exxon Mobil in a multi-front fight in state and federal courts around the country relating to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline.
  • Secured the dismissal of a highly-publicized consumer class action in New York federal court for Starbucks alleging the company widely used a toxic pesticide in their Manhattan store locations.

Bartlit Beck LLP

Bartlit Beck LLP acts for clients in individual and consolidated personal injury litigation, coordinated state court proceedings and federal MDLs. The firm has defended against both private and government litigants, and has expertise in cases arising under federal and state environmental laws, as well as under state tort and public nuisance theories. Chicago-based Jason Peltz has a national litigation practice, regularly handling cases before state and federal courts, arbitrators, and mediators. Brian Prestes, who has experience leading multi-firm defense teams in mass litigations, is another notable lawyer in the Chicago office.

Other key lawyers:

Jason Peltz; Brian Prestes

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Boutique product liability firm Bowman and Brooke LLP serves in lead and national counsel roles involving a wide range of toxic torts, including chemical exposure,  groundwater contamination and asbestos. It acts for leading manufacturers of household cleaning and sanitizing products, transportation and heavy equipment among others. Orlando-based Jon Hernan co-leads the practice together with William Auther in Phoenix and Roshan N. Rajkumar in Minneapolis, who has experience as national coordinating or lead trial counsel  in toxic torts. David Lutz left the firm in March 2020, having been appointed as judge in Dakota County. Experienced trial lawyer Tori Levine joined the team from Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jon Hernan; William Auther; Roshan N. Rajkumar

Other key lawyers:

Jon Hernan; William Author

Testimonials

‘It is based on historical knowledge and legacy issues. Bowman and Brooke team has been involved with us for several years and completed extensive research to amass a lot of data to defend the cases. Another key factor is their knowledge of our product range, market and sales history.’

‘Bowman Brooke has always been looking at innovative ideas to improve the overall effectiveness of the relationship. They have suggested various ideas over time to increase the value add.’

‘Apart from their knowledge and experience in the subject, the individuals involved with us are very friendly, down to earth and explain the situation in simple and straightforward language for our understanding.’

‘Jennifer Coates and Roshan Rajkumar deserve special recommendation for their professional knowledge and work ethics.’

Key clients

W.M. Barr & Company, Inc.

Daikin Applied Americas Inc.

Ford Motor Company

Nissan North America Inc.

Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing (Euclid Hitachi)

Mack Trucks, Inc.

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Daimler Trucks North America LLC

Navistar International

Ecolab Inc.

Wayne Combustion Systems, a Scott-Fetzer Company

ViacomCBS

Tuthill Corporation

Work highlights

  • Served as lead counsel when W.M. Barr recently obtained not only summary judgment but also sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel in a high-exposure product liability matter filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Serves as National Toxic Tort Counsel for Daikin Applied Americas Inc., the largest air conditioning, heating, ventilating and refrigeration company in the world.
  • Serves as National Coordinating and Trial Counsel for Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing (Euclid Hitachi), defending asbestos and toxic tort cases filed nationwide, with responsibility for overall strategy and trial defense.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP represents several household names as national or co-national counsel in toxic tort matters ranging from asbestos to talcum powder litigation. The firm has defended the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics corporation in high-profile civil litigation and regulatory matters relating to perfluorooctanoic acid, and is representing Johnson & Johnson as trial counsel in connection with talcum powder products. New-York based Sheila L. Birnbaum and Mark S. Cheffo lead the practice. Kimberly Branscome  in Los Angeles, who regularly acts as trial counsel in complex litigation, is a name to note in the toxic torts space. She joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis LLP  together with Jay Bhimani, while William W Oxley  and Meghan Rohling Kelly departed for Baker & Hostetler LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sheila L. Birnbaum; Mark S. Cheffo

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Fleming; Kimberley Branscome; Hayden Coleman

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Saint-Gobain Corporation

Dentons

The trial-ready team at Dentons has considerable expertise in all aspects of asbestos litigation and has built on this experience to expand into other toxic tort areas, acting for clients in disputes related to talc or glyphosate. The firm is adept at trying cases in litigation hotbed California and two of the practice co-heads, experienced trial lawyers Jayme Long and Brad DeJardin, are in the Los Angeles office. Oakland-based Lisa Oberg, who is accomplished when it comes to managing mass tort litigation, also leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Oberg; Brad DeJardin; Jayme Long

Other key lawyers:

Frederic Norris; Jennifer Lee; Kelvin Wyles; Frank Berfield

Key clients

C&H Sugar Company

J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc.

Bayer AG

Work highlights

  • Representing Bayer since September 2019 in litigation alleging that exposure to glyphosate, a chemical in its herbicide product, causes Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Represented an international oil and gas company in a cross-border matter involving a worker from a refinery outside of the US where we successfully obtained summary judgment of our client.
  • Acting as national coordinating counsel for an insurance company in thousands of asbestos and environmental liability cases nationwide and also acts as local counsel throughout California, having assumed the local counsel work for Northern California in 2017, and for Southern California in 2020.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) represents manufacturers in a broad array of industries in toxic tort and chemical exposure litigation. The firm acts as trial counsel for companies facing asbestos-related losses, is currently handling an MDL surrounding a chemical used in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam and is engaged by clients in the defense of Prop 65 notice of violations. Christopher Campbell in Atlanta chairs the product liability and mass torts practice, while Loren Brown in New York and James Brogan in Philadelphia lead the global and US litigation practice. Experienced first-chair trial lawyer John Phillips joined from Paul Hastings LLP in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Campbell; Loren Brown; James Brogan

Other key lawyers:

Amy Rubenstein; George Gigounas

Key clients

BASF

Arconic

Inicia Ltd.

Helena Agri-Enterprises, Inc.

Sanofi

Wells Lamont

Work highlights

  • Obtained total dismissal for BASF just before trial in this Philadelphia asbestos case.
  • Obtained a dismissal for client Arconic Inc. (n/k/a Arconic Corp.)
  • Achieved a significant appellate victory in a toxic exposure matter in Pennsylvania Superior Court on behalf of Inicia Ltd.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

The team at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP defends clients in a broad range of class actions and single or multi-plaintiff toxic tort cases involving products liability, occupational injuries and public nuisance. The firm serves as national counsel for asbestos litigation to industrial companies, manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Most recently it has put its toxic tort know-how to use in one of the first Covid-19-related workplace exposure cases, obtaining a dismissal for its client. Experienced product liability lawyer Alexandra Cunningham in Richmond co-leads the practice together with Georgia Lucier in Houston.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Cunningham; Georgia Lucier

Other key lawyers:

Tom Taylor; Tom Waskom

Key clients

Alfa Laval Inc.

Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (“SEA”) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“SEC”)

Georgia-Pacific, LLC

Edgewell Personal Care Company

Balfour Beatty and related companies, including AMC West

Work highlights

  • Led successful defense and won dismissal of a high-profile federal lawsuit involving allegations of unsafe COVID-19 working conditions brought against one of the largest meat processing companies in the United States, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
  • Representing several defendants, including product manufacturers, power companies and large industrial companies, as national coordinating counsel, regional counsel and trial counsel in asbestos, benzene and silica personal injury and wrongful death claims around the country.
  • Serving as regional counsel for major oil company in toxic tort, chemical exposure, and personal injury litigation.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown continues to be highly active in the area of expansive tort liability and acts for high-profile companies in asbestos litigation and in matters that have received media attention, such its recent defense of the company Veolia which has been targeted with claims related to the Flint water crisis. Henninger Bullock in New York leads the practice together with Chicago-based Michael Olsen, a 'top notch trial lawyer' who defends several of the firms most high-profile clients as lead trial counsel, and 'master strategist' Daniel Ring, who has expertise in the toxic torts and life sciences area.

Practice head(s):

Henninger Bullock; Michael Olsen; Daniel Ring

Testimonials

‘Mayer Brown offers the full range of relevant expertise including trial practice, experienced strategic guidance, and quality development of expert witnesses.’

‘Mike Olsen is a top notch trial lawyer with an excellent courtroom presence and communication style with jurors. Dan Ring is a master strategist who ably guides clients in these challenging cases. Craig Woods is particularly effective at developing science theories and working with expert witnesses.’

Key clients

3M

Veolia S.A.

Union Carbide

Weyerhaeuser Company

Whirlpool Corporation

Nicor Gas Company

The Dow Chemical Company

National Association of Manufacturers

American Petroleum Institute

American Farm Bureau Federation

Work highlights

  • Representing 3M in significant high-stakes litigation, which includes representing 3M Company in over 1,000 suits filed by individuals, water suppliers, and units of government at the state and local level.
  • Representing Veolia against unwarranted allegations of wrongdoing regarding the Flint, MI water crisis.

McGuireWoods LLP

Longstanding client relationships are an important aspect of work at McGuireWoods LLP; for example the team has been serving Du Pont de Nemours and Company as national and coordinating counsel for all lead paint litigation for over 15 years. The firm is also involved in cutting-edge crisis work, acting as strategic lead for Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as it faced litigation related to a large natural gas explosion. Diane Flannery , who has a broad range of experience in class action and multidistrict litigation matters, chairs the products, environmental and mass tort litigation department from the office in Richmond.

Practice head(s):

Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Davis Walsh; Sam Terry

Key clients

Ford Motor Company

Lumber Liquidators, Inc.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Work highlights

  • Represented Lumber Liquidators, an American retailer of flooring, as lead counsel in MDL litigation involving more than 140 class actions alleging excessive levels of formaldehyde in Chinese manufactured laminate flooring and false marketing and deceptive trade practices. After winning partial summary judgment and dismissal of half of the claims, and a partial motion to dismiss, the parties reached a favorable settlement in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • Served as the strategic outside counsel lead for Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in designing and implementing the successful resolution of complex, multimillion-dollar civil litigation after a series of natural gas explosions.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a track record of successfully defending multi-party serial tort litigation and mass tort litigation, handling claims related to hazardous materials, waste disposal, chemical release and reporting issues, among others. Skilled negotiator Erin Bosman, based in both San Diego and San Francisco, is at the helm of the practice together with David Fioccola in New York, who focuses on the defense of complex commercial disputes and consumer class actions. Trial lawyer Jessica Grant joined the team from Venable LLP in January 2020 while David Walsh departed for Paul Hastings LLP in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

William Tarantino; James Schurz

Key clients

Coffee Joint Defense Group

Work highlights

  • Representing more than 70 companies that roast, package, and distribute over 90% of coffee sold in the United States, including Starbucks Corporation, the J.M. Smucker Company, and other major players. The complaint claims that these companies—and the retailers who sell their products—are required under Prop 65 to provide cancer warnings on coffee based on the chemical acrylamide, which is created when coffee beans are roasted. Secured a summary judgement in August 2020, effectively ending a 10-year litigation battle involving 46 days of trial in a phased trial.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

The team at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP is instructed by its diverse client roster in the toxic torts space locally, regionally and nationally. In addition to defending against asbestos-related claims, the firm is also involved in talc, coal dust and other exposure allegations. Mark Jones leads the practice from Columbia with David Dukes, who regularly defends pharmaceutical clients.  Baltimore-based Michael Brown is a well-known first-chair trial attorney, recently obtaining a complete defense verdict in a single-plaintiff trial related to talcum powder.

Practice head(s):

Mark Jones; David Dukes

Other key lawyers:

Michael Brown; Melissa Foster Bird; Jack Slosson; William Starr

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Honeywell

American Optical

Montsanto

Tyco/Chemguard

Colgate-Palmolive

Kimberly Clark

Catepillar

Navistar

John Deere

Nixon Peabody LLP

Several lawyers in the  'extremely client-oriented' team at Nixon Peabody LLP have a science background, which they can draw on when representing clients in the food and beverage and pharmaceuitcal industries, among others. The firm handles exposure cases and is at the forefront of more recent trends surrounding fire retardant chemicals. At the head of the practice are recognized trial lawyer Joseph Ortego in New York and Buffalo-based Vivian Quinn, who is adept at creating early risk assessment models. The trial bench in Chicago was strengthened by the addition of Jonathan Lively from Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, Ltd. in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Ortego; Vivian Quinn

Other key lawyers:

Scott O’Connell; John Weinholtz; Tracey Scarpello; Santo Borruso

Testimonials

‘This team is extremely client-oriented, very business-savvy and excellent at developing and maintaining relationships. They just have a very good sense of how their corporate clients operate and what it means to support and work with them to resolve legal challenges. They work with us to get us where we need to go.’

‘Santo Borruso. Santo is a terrific lawyer and a real collaborator and thought partner. He is knowledgeable, thorough and responsive, providing reliable advice that addresses problems and drives solutions. Santo quickly and efficiently corrals the substantive legal issues and, as important, recognizes the business context in which they have emerged ’

 

Key clients

PestSure

Daimler Trucks North America LLC

Cummins

Brookhaven National Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Serving as national counsel for pest control companies in chemical and health effects litigation.
  • Managing all New York-based litigation for global truck manufacturer Daimler.
  • Representing Cummins in a putative class action with multiple alleged state-specific sub classes alleging unfair and deceptive trade practices concerning an EPA-mandated after-treatment system for a class of diesel engines.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s diverse toxic tort practice includes serving as trial counsel in talcum powder-related litigation, and most recently obtaining a dismissal of over 20,000 claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent clean-up effort. Morgan Tovey in San Francisco, who has over three decades of experience, leads the practice together with accomplished trial lawyer Michael Lyle in Washington DC and Sandra Bresnick, based in both New York and Boston, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and medical device space.

Practice head(s):

Morgan Tovey; Sandra Bresnick; Michael Lyle

Other key lawyers:

Meredith Shaw

Key clients

LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem Power, Inc.

Seacor Holdings Inc., O’Brien’s Response Management L.L.C, National Response Corporation

Colgate-Palmolive Inc.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP draws on its national coverage to represent clients from a broad range of industry sectors in single plaintiff personal injury claims or class action lawsuits. The practice is led by Melissa Geist based in Princeton, who focuses on pharmaceutical and medical device product liability, commercial litigation, and e-discovery. Robert Roth in Chicago, a highly experienced  trial lawyer, is co-leader. Ricky Raven in Houston defends clients against asbestos exposure and groundwater contamination claims. Stan Perry, who has a broad range of experience in product liability and toxic tort matters, is also active in exposure matters.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Geist; Robert Roth

Other key lawyers:

Ricky Raven; Stan Perry

Tucker Ellis LLP

Tucker Ellis LLP represents a diverse portfolio of companies at both trial and appellate levels in cases filed in state and federal courts nationwide. Practice head Laura Kingsley Hong in Cleveland draws on many years of first-chair trial experience and longstanding client relationships in the toxic tort area. The team has undergone some changes: Henry Billingsley and Mark McCarthy retired in December 2019, as did Sharla Frost in June 2020. Jeffrey Healy left the firm to join TRGP Investment Partners, LP in September 2020 and up-and-comer David Landever joined from Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, LLC in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Laura Kingsley Hong

Other key lawyers:

Monica Monroe

Key clients

AB Electrolux

Carrier Corporation

Otis Elevator Company

Rockwell Automation, Inc.

United Technologies Corporation

Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP has taken on key roles in some high-profile cases such as the defense of Monsanto company in the country’s first Roundup product liability jury trial. It is also involved in groundwater contamination and air quality cases. Recognised litigator George Lombardi co-chairs the litigation department from Chicago. San Francisco-based Sandra Edwards, who joined the firm from Farella Braun + Martel LLP in Fall 2019, co-chairs the product liability, mass and toxic torts practice. She has considerable experience in the product liability, pharmaceutical liability and toxic torts area. Michael Murphy joined the team from K&L Gates in March 2020 and contributes his expertise in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):

George Lombardi; Sandra Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Denise Scofield; Dan Webb

Key clients

Atlantic Richfield Company

Monsanto Company (now Bayer AG)

Philip Morris

Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Cameron International

Work highlights

  • Represented Monsanto Company in the first Roundup® product liability jury trial in the country defending against allegations that the herbicide causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Following an eight-week jury trial, the trial team successfully reduced a punitive damages award by $211 million, which was further reduced on appeal (D. Johnson v. Monsanto Co.).
  • Helped win a long-fought victory for client Atlantic Richfield Company, and a number of other defendants in a case involving potential lead poisoning when the Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in ARCO and its co-defendants’ favour. After almost 20 years, the Supreme Court of Illinois, held that plaintiffs who do not suffer any economic loss cannot maintain a tort action that is based on a claim that alleges solely an economic injury and no physical injury or property damage.
  • Secured dismissal of client Cameron International, a subsidiary of Schlumberger Technology Corporation, from a toxic tort suit in which plaintiffs claimed Cameron’s equipment, at an Encana site, emitted toxins that contaminated nearby properties and caused personal injuries.