Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort in United States
Arnold & Porter acts in a range of environmental and toxic cases, benefiting from its long-standing relationships with government regulators and the DOJ. The firm represents businesses with operations or legacy liabilities involving diverse chemicals and contaminating materials, including chromium, arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium. The practice is also experienced in matters related to uranium, radium, gamma radiation, NORM and x-rays, as well as hazardous air pollutants. Key figure sin the team include New York-based Anand Agneshwar, who represents pharmaceutical and consumer product companies; Daphne O’Connor in Washington DC, who has experience managing product liability cases in-house, in addition to her private practice work; and environmental specialist Brian Israel, who is also base din the DC office Also notable is Philip Curtis in New York, who represents plaintiffs in class actions and complex aggregate liability matters. In a recent highlight, the group secured a jury verdict of no liability for Atlantic Richfield, in a trial against former producers of lead pigments.
Other key lawyers:
Altria Group and affiliates, including Philip Morris USA
Atlantic Richfield Company
The Chemours Company
- Assisting Bayer Crop Science to resolve legacy liabilities associated with a former arsenic based pesticide manufacturing operation in central New Jersey.
- Representing BP in relation to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Representing Chemours in litigation relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
- Serving as national counsel for the ongoing litigation involving the legacy Monsanto product Roundup.
- Lead toxic tort litigation counsel for Honeywell in the defense of a consolidated class action and individual toxic tort suits arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York.
Jones Day acts in class action and multidistrict litigation across a range of sectors, notably construction, consumer fraud, toxic tort, and federal false claims defense. Of counsel Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh is active in this area and has extensive trial and appellate experience.
Other key lawyers:
King & Spalding LLP is known for its class action work, acting for a range of manufacturers, including in the chemical, petroleum, agricultural, automotive, mining, and waste disposal industries. The firm also serves as national coordinating counsel for product liability and mass tort litigation. Carol Wood in Houston focuses on environmental issues arising in the energy industry, oil, gas, and mining. She co-leads the team with San Francisco-based Matt Blaschke, who represents clients in the chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries, particularly in the defense of complex litigation involving scientific or technical issues. Also notable are Houston-based Robert Meadows who is an experienced trial lawyer and commercial litigator, and Elizabeth Taber who has expertise in environmental litigation, notably groundwater contamination matters, mass tort, and wrongful death cases. The practice was further strengthened in 2019 by the arrivals of Douglas Henderson who joined the Atlanta office from Troutman Sanders and brings experience in environmental litigation, toxic and mass torts litigation, and property rights disputes, Chicago-based Karl Heisler who arrived from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and is an environmental lawyer specializing in enforcement defense and incident response, energy specialist Marcella Burke who joined in Washington from the Department of the Interior, and experienced litigator Adam Spicer who joined in Atlanta from Butler Snow LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Deep knowledge, great contacts, experience with a wide variety of companies and industries ensures great sharing of best practices and experiences’
‘Shannon Kasley provides excellent client support. He is always available, knowledgeable about all aspects of a case and the people handling it and goes out of his way to ensure to leverage the firm’s capabilities for his clients’
‘All members of the King & Spalding team – from file clerks, IT personnel, secretaries, paralegal, associates and partners – work hard to ensure that the clients’ needs are met’
‘They all work hard and are willing to go the extra mile’
‘In my decades in practice, I have worked with numerous law firms and I find King & Spalding to be one of the best’
‘Tracie Renfroe is an excellent trial lawyer and a great advocate. She works harder than anyone I know, delegates where appropriate, and is a pleasure to work with’
‘Megan Nishikawa is intelligent, very well organized, manages others well, and also a hard worker’
Johnson & Johnson Consumer
Dow Chemical Company
Becton, Dickinson (BD Bard)
The Renco Group
- California coordinating and trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson which has been confronted with thousands of claims related to allegations its talc-based powder products have caused mesothelioma, facing unrelenting media coverage and multiple large plaintiff’s verdicts. Since 2017 have secured two complete defense verdicts, two mistrials, a summary judgment win, and two voluntary dismissals
- Represents ConocoPhillips in a spate of climate change tort litigation brought by local governments seeking to hold fossil-fuel companies responsible for global climate change.
- Represents Chevron USA in 40+ lawsuits brought by more than 30,000 individually named persons who claim personal injuries, lost wages, property damage, and punitive damages arising from a fire at Chevron USA’s Richmond, California Refinery.
- Represents Chevron as lead national trial counsel in numerous cases in which municipalities, water purveyors, State Attorneys General, and individuals claim that water has been contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.
- Lead trial counsel for BASF in high-profile lawsuits brought by water purveyors Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District and Sacramento Suburban Water District against the federal government, and manufacturers and suppliers of products alleged to contain the chemical.
Recognized for its involvement in high-stakes disputes, Kirkland & Ellis LLP routinely acts for pharmaceutical and manufacturing clients in multi-district litigation, class actions, defect investigations, and environmental issues. Key figures in the Chicago office include Andrew McGaan, who has particular experience representing chemical manufacturers, and Richard Godfrey, who focuses on class actions, mass torts, and multi-district commercial and product liability disputes. Also recommended is Washington DC-based Mike Brock, who is currently acting for BP in ongoing multi-district litigation arising out of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, fire, and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Dow Chemical Company
- Serves as lead trial counsel on behalf of BASF Catalysts in a series of asbestos-related product liability and fraud cases arising from the sale of talc by the defunct talc-mining operations of Engelhard Corporation, which BASF acquired in 2006.
- Defending Rio Tinto, Total E&P USA, and Total Specialties USA in consolidated actions brought against multiple fossil fuel companies alleging that the companies are significantly contributing to climate change through the extraction of fossil fuels that cause greenhouse gas emissions.
- Won an important jury trial victory for BP concerning allegations that the company wrongly collected multiple payments related to leaking gasoline tank cleanup.
- Representing The Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiary, Dow Agrosciences, in a consolidated groundwater contamination case concerning trichloropropane (TCP).
- Represents The Dow Chemical Company in a drinking water contamination action brought by the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA), a drinking water provider serving approximately 1.2 million Long Island residents and businesses.
As well as acting in international disputes, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is experienced representing clients as national and trial counsel in multidistrict litigations. The firm assists chemical, pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive, and manufacturing companies in a range of product liability issues. Darren Teshima leads the complex litigation and dispute resolution practice from San Fransisco and specializes in the technology and finance sectors. His team includes New York-based Peter Bicks, who is prominent in representing Johnson & Johnson as national trial, appellate, and coordinating counsel in the company’s colossal docket of nationwide talc litigation.
Johnson & Johnson
The Dow Chemical Company
Union Carbide Corporation – asbestos litigation
Union Carbide Corporation – contamination case
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials
China National Building Material Company (CNBM)
- Representing Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as national trial, appellate, and coordinating counsel in J&J’s nationwide talc litigation.
- Represent Union Carbide Corporation in contentious litigation filed in the Federal District Court in the Western District of New York, brought by numerous upstate New York home and business owners alleging radioactive contamination of their property byUnion Carbide Corporation and two co-defendants.
- Served as national coordination and litigation counsel to Union Carbide Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, with respect to its substantial asbestos personal injury docket.
- Serve as national trial counsel for the NCAA in its student-athlete concussion litigation, coordinating and executing strategy, and successfully defending the NCAA in courts across the country, including in California, Indiana, Oregon, Hawaii, and Washington DC.
- Representing the China National Building Material Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, the China National Building Material Company (CNBM), Beijing New Building Materials (BNBM), and Beijing New Building Material Group (BNBM Group) in a series of class actions stemming from allegedly defective gypsum-based drywall.
Baker Botts L.L.P. is experienced in product liability and toxic tort litigation in the pharmaceutical, energy, utility, and chemical industries. The firm’s work ranges from occupational exposure and residential contamination of dwellings, to claims involving superfund sites. The practice is particularly known for energy sector expertise, bringing multidisciplinary skills to mass tort and environmental matters. Houston-based Tynan Buthod acts in chemical product cases as well as defending manufacturers of oilfield equipment. He co-leads the team with Washington DC partners Joshua Frank, who specializes in complex environmental litigation including mass tort class actions concerning environmental property damage, and Kent Mayo, who focuses on companies facing environmental, toxic tort, and class action litigation.
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation
Shell Oil Company
Tenaris Global Services USA
Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions
Intercontinental Terminals Company
- Serve as national counsel for Assertio Therapeutics which is a defendant in approximately 190 cases spread across the federal MDL and courts in Arizona, Utah, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware in opioid litigation.
- Defending ITC against environmental, toxic tort, and business claims arising from chemical fire and environmental release on the Houston Ship Channel. This was a significant event for the City of Houston.
- Represents ExxonMobil and related entities in various chemical products cases throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico.
- Assisted Ergon in its initial crisis response to a matter arising out of an alleged backflow event that resulted in the City of Corpus Christi implementing a water use ban for four days in December 2016. The firm continues to represent the company in defending claims made by governmental enforcement agencies and private party litigants.
- Lead counsel for American Chemistry Council and National Association of Manufacturers challenging a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulation prohibiting the use of certain chemical compounds – known as phthalates – in children’s toys and childcare articles.
Experienced in complex civil and criminal environmental matters, Greenberg Traurig, LLP focuses on representing clients in mass torts, class actions, multidistrict litigation, regulatory enforcement, and citizen suits. The firm acts for a range of industrial and commercial clients in matters related to air, water, and land contamination, as well as national resources and workplace exposures. Florida-based David Weinstein is a seasoned trial lawyer and chair of the environmental and toxic tort practice. He can call on the expertise of Jillian Kirn in Philadelphia, who was promoted to partner in 2019 and has litigation and transactional experience. Also notable in the team is Libretta Stennes, who joined the Minneapolis office in 2019 from Steptoe & Johnson LLP and specializes in complex disputes, representing clients in environmental defense, mass tort, product liability, and commercial disputes.
Mosaic Fertilizer and The Mosaic Company
Orlando Utilities Commission
- National counsel in PFAS litigation for National Foam, and related entities in defense of more than 100 class actions, mass tort actions (with over 8,000 plaintiffs), multidistrict litigation (In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation), state or municipal lawsuits, and individual tort claims.
- Represents global chemical company Univar in lawsuits brought on behalf of two municipalities seeking in excess of $1bn due to alleged contamination of groundwater sources.
- Represents aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin in two matters: a groundwater contamination matter that pits 43 plaintiffs against five defendants, seeking damages in the unincorporated town of Wedron, Illinois; and assisting Lockheed Martin in cooperating with Illinois EPA to remediate the limited contamination pursuant to Illinois Leaking Underground Storage Tank regulations.
- After a 28-year dispute, the US lodged a consent decree under the federal Superfund statute (CERCLA) to resolve its claims and the State of Wisconsin’s claims against paper manufacturer and client, Glatfelter, concerning cleanup of PCB contamination in the sediment of the Fox River in northeast Wisconsin.
- Representing Mosaic Fertilizer & The Mosaic Company (Mosaic) in Curd v Mosaic Fertilizer. The firm recently decertified a large putative class action alleging damages resulting from a release of more than 65 million gallons of acidic process water into the Tampa Bay estuary.
Particularly known for acting as lead counsel to tobacco industry players, Latham & Watkins LLP also has expertise in the global life sciences, energy, and natural resources sectors. Co-leading the team are Gwyn Williams in Boston and Thomas Heiden in Chicago. Notable in their team is the Washington DC-based Christine Rolph, who is ‘very collegiate while also defending her client's interests’ and provides experience in litigating consumer class actions, toxic torts, product liability, and multi-plaintiff matters. In a recent highlight, the group is advising Chevron Corporation in a series of multidistrict class actions, in the high-profile hot fuels litigation. Mary Rose Alexander is active in this matter from the firm’s Chicago office.
‘They are top of the field when it comes to defense work on the North American tobacco litigation’
‘They are collaborative in their approach’
‘They are managing shared experts in litigation very effectively’
‘Christine Rolph is the partner with day-to-day responsibility for many of the experts. She is brilliant at managing them, and super smart’
Philip Morris International
Philip Morris USA
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges
Southern California Edison Company
- Advising Chevron Corporation in a series of multidistrict class actions in the high-profile hot fuels litigation.
- Representing Chevron Corporation in high-stakes tort litigation involving an alleged C-137 release due to a generator that broke during flow-loop testing on the Tulsa, Oklahoma campus.
- Representing Covanta Essex, General Electric, Sequa and PPG Industries, in connection with the Lower Passaic River in New Jersey. The US Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) and the Natural Resource Damages Trustees have commenced proceedings seeking the investigation and remediation of the Newark Bay watershed, including the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River.
- Representing Dometic Corporation, a US manufacturer of component parts for recreational vehicles, in products liability consumer class actions in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and the US District Court for the Central District of California, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
- In a substantial new chemicals regulation matter that could set new precedents in California public nuisance and causation law, the firm is defending new client Dow Chemical in a public nuisance litigation filed by the City of Modesto, California.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP has noted strengths in key industries, including telecoms, asbestos, oil and gas, healthcare, life sciences, and pharmaceuticals. The practice group 'collectively has excellent knowledge of the factual and legal issues’ in a huge variety of cases, involving matters ranging from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and glyphosate-based products, to groundwater contamination and renewable fuels. Miami-based Anthony Upshaw specializes in glyphosate and PCB matters, and is also experienced in the area of pharmaceuticals. Upshaw jointly leads the practice with Terrence Dee in Chicago, who has experience of class actions, antitrust claims and other types of litigation, including MDLs.
‘They have a very strong team of partners in their Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco offices that coordinate the national defense in asbestos/brake products liability/toxic tort litigation’
‘What makes them unique is their commitment to diversity, their willingness to think outside of the box, commitment to follow the science, including advocating sponsorship of science research, and (for some of the team) trial experience in the courtroom’
‘I have served on a number of national trial teams in my 40 plus years of legal practice, but none of the caliber of this team’
‘Obviously the bottom line is measured by actual results and their track record for success is outstanding’
American Petroleum Association
Chemical Manufacturers Association
National Standard Company
- Defended Motorola in a series of cases challenging the safety of cell phones.
- Represented ExxonMobil, since 2001, 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).
- Represents Monsanto, a publicly traded, multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, in relation to multiple venue products liability mass tort actions related to the manufacture, sale, and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).
- Rrecently joined the defense of Monsanto/Bayer against numerous claims brought in state and federal courts by some 21,000+ plaintiffs located across the US, but chiefly located in San Francisco and St. Louis.
- Represent the NCAA in the defense of a series of concussion cases, in which student athletes in several sports are alleging that the NCAA, along with various universities, coaches, trainers, doctors, and medical practices, are responsible for concussion-related injuries suffered while they were engaged in inter-collegiate sports.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an experienced toxic tort practice, acting for clients in the energy and manufacturing sectors, particularly in cases related to asbestos, chemical, and environmental exposure. The firm’s work also encompasses consumer products, notably automotive, technology, construction and food, as well as significant expertise in the medical device and pharmaceutical arenas. Paul Zevnik in Washington DC is well-regarded for global product liability, tort, and insurance. He co-leads the team with Los Angeles-based Yardena Zwang-Weissman, who focuses on environmental and energy litigation. In a recent highlight, the group represented ITT in a $1.65bn insurance coverage and product liability case.
Southern California Gas Company
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Ward Manufacturing and Hitachi Metals
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
ITT and Goulds Pumps
Johnson Controls / Greenleeds / GSF Management / Green Meadow Insurance Corporation / Scott Figgie
PepsiCo / Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company
Ansul / Chemguard
- Represents Cotter Corporation and Exelon Corporation in a toxic tort action.
- Representing Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy on the Aliso Canyon storage facility natural gas leak.
- Represent NiSource in a product liability and insurance matter.
- Represent Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in a product liability and insurance matter.
- Represent NIBCO in a products liability matter.
Known as a trial practice, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP covers the spectrum of disciplines related to nationwide disasters, from offices in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. The firm is particularly experienced in acting for energy and chemical industry clients. San Antonio-based Steven Jansma leads the national team and has expertise in the defense of complex product liability and mass torts. Also notable are Brett Young in Houston, who focuses on catastrophic event response, personal injury, premises defense, product liability, and environmental litigation, and ‘hands down one of the country's most capable toxic tort defense lawyers’ Stephen Dillard, also in Houston, whose specialities include claims arising from commercial operations, hydraulic fracturing, natural resource damages, landfills, pipelines, and hazardous waste sites.
‘The team is highly experienced in a nuanced field that is oftentimes filled with too much clutter’
‘They can cut through the science and get to the root of the matter’
‘They are very efficient and deliver a quality work product’
‘Steve Dillard has decades of experience not only in law, but in the science. He can describe complex issues of law and science to both the judiciary and the jury in a way that can only be described as gifted. And the icing on the cake is he is very efficient in doing so’
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
American International Group (AIG)
Sunoco Marketing & Terminals
Energy Transfer Partners
- Representing Vulcan in over two dozen separate cases brought in the Eastern District of New York and New York State by various water districts and municipalities over the alleged contamination of groundwater by the chemical compound 1,4-Dioxane.
- Representing Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips Company in cases brought by multiple US states generally asserting product liability claims against major petroleum products manufacturers arising from use of the gasoline additive methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE) as well as allegations of contamination of drinking water resources.
- Representing CenterPoint Energy, after winning a substantial portion of their tort docket, in personal injury and property damage lawsuits equating to about 40 cases per year.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP covers the spectrum of product liability issues, with particular strength in major toxic tort cases. The firm is active in the industrial machinery, manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Melissa Geist in Princeton focuses on litigation in pharmaceutical product liability, medical device liability, commercial litigation, and e-discovery related issues. She co-leads the practice with Robert Roth in Chicago, who is known for commercial and product liability matters.
Active in environmental and toxic tort matters, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s experience includes class actions and personal injury claims related to chemical exposure and contamination. David Erickson and Mark Anstoetter co-chair the firm’s Kansas-based environmental and toxic tort litigation practice group.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP handles environmental, products liability, toxic tort, and chemical exposures. The firm is experienced representing clients in a range of putative class actions, mass actions, community claims, common law and injunctive actions. The practice has particular expertise in environmental contamination claims and investigation, as well as due diligence prior to the purchase or sale of affected properties. Chicago-based Robert Shuftan specializes in representing manufacturers and chemical companies in environmental, complex commercial, and product liability litigation. His skills include class actions and mass tort matters that pose industry-wide implications.
Shell Oil Company
Lonza (formerly Arch Chemicals)
Koppers Performance Chemicals (formerly Osmose)
Beazer East (formerly Koppers Company)
- Retained by Koppers and Beazer East in a series of lawsuits in Minnesota Federal District Court brought by 11 municipalities in the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro region.
- Represents Portland Harbor/Time Oil in claims related to the Portland Harbor Superfund site.
- Represent GROWMARK in Billings v GROWMARK Inc et al. involving a claim by an individual that he developed cancer as a result of an exposure to a glyphosate containing herbicide distributed by GROWMARK.
- Achieved a significant victory for Beazer East, Koppers, Honeywell International, and Vertellus Specialties in six toxic tort cases currently pending in state court in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- Represent GROWMARK in Hoffmann v GROWMARK et al. which involves 12 plaintiffs. Seven men claim that their occupational exposure to paraquat-containing herbicides caused them to develop Parkinson’s disease. The remaining five plaintiffs are spouses who claim loss of consortium.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a strong reputation in class action litigation and appeals. The firm combines trial expertise with regulatory knowledge, in matters including consumer fraud class actions, environmental tort claims, mass tort, and personal injury litigation. New York-based Arvin Maskin leads the practice and specializes in acting as counsel in large mass tort and product liability litigation. Also recommended is Diane Sullivan in New Jersey, who is leading mass tort litigation for a varied roster of household name clients, such as Johnson & Johnson, Repsol, and Procter & Gamble, among others. Allison Brown left the firm for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Johnson & Johnson
Procter & Gamble
- Serving as 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 counsel to Johnson & Johnson in the Daubert hearings in the federal talc MDL.
- Defending Repsol in multi-billion dollar fraudulent conveyance/environmental litigation in New Jersey state court.
- Serving as lead defense counsel to ExxonMobil in a multi-front fight in state and federal courts around the country relating to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline.
- Won a victory for Panasonic Corporation of North America and two of its now defunct Sanyo subsidiaries by securing the dismissal of all claims in a nationwide consumer class action in California federal court arising out of allegedly defective solar panels manufactured by Sanyo.
Bartlit Beck LLP has expertise in products liability and mass tort litigation in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The firm acts in individual and consolidated personal injury litigation, as well as federal multidistrict litigation and coordinated state court proceedings. In terms of class actions, the practice’s experience includes environmental torts, consumer fraud, and economic injuries. Managing partner Jason Peltz heads the team from Chicago and is an expert litigator. Brian Prestes is leading the team that is representing Monsanto in thousands of cases pending in courts across the country alleging that Roundup herbicides cause cancer.
Hewlett Packard Enterprises
Ernst and Young
- Serves as national counsel for ConocoPhillips and ConocoPhillips Company in litigation across the United States related to climate change from the sale and marketing of petroleum products.
- Co-counsel for ConocoPhillips in 22 cases alleging that various oil and gas companies violated Louisiana’s coastal use permitting statute and, by doing so, caused land loss in six of Louisiana’s coastal parishes.
- Representing Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018, in thousands of cases pending in courts across the country alleging that Roundup herbicides cause cancer.
- Lead trial counsel for Pratt & Whitney in environmental tort cases involving more than $1bn in alleged property damage and personal injury claims arising out of the declaration of a ‘cancer cluster’ by the Florida Department of Health in a neighborhood near Pratt & Whitney’s West Palm Beach facility.
- Acting for NL Industries which was sued by several California municipalities for public nuisance related to lead paint in private homes.
Bowman and Brooke LLP
Bowman and Brooke LLP’s experience includes chemical exposure, soil, and water contamination. The firm acts in product liability and mass tort claims nationwide for leading manufacturers of institutional cleaning and sanitizing products, pesticides, adhesives, sealants, and coatings. Jon Hernan is a well-regarded trial lawyer in the Orlando office and has particular experience in the toxic exposure realm. He co-leads the team with Minneapolis-based David Lutz, who focuses on defending toxic tort matters, notably asbestos, MTBE ground water contamination, mold, and silica litigation.
WM Barr & Company
Nissan North America
Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing (Euclid Hitachi)
Daikin North America
Toyota Motor North America
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
- Serves as National Counsel and Lead Trial Counsel to WM Barr & Company defending product liability and toxic tort litigation nationwide.
- National Toxic Tort Counsel for Daikin, managing the company’s docket of asbestos litigation, which consists of approximately 50 active cases nationwide at any given time, with new cases being filed.
- Serves as National Coordinating Counsel to Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing (Euclid Hitachi), defending asbestos and toxic tort cases filed nationwide, with responsibility for overall strategy and trial counsel as necessary.
Specializing in pharma work, Dechert LLP acts in a range of toxic tort related matters, including insurance and building materials. New York-based Sheila Birnbaum focuses on complex product liability, mass torts, and insurance litigation. She co-leads the practice with Mark Cheffo, also in New York, who acts for corporates and individuals in the pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, bioengineering, and industrial products industries. In a recent highlight, the team represents Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in civil litigation and regulatory matters connected to its use of materials containing perfluorooctanoic acid. Kimberly Branscome joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in April 2020, and now acts as managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office.
Johnson & Johnson
- Represents Purdue as national counsel in lawsuits in federal MDL and in state courts concerning its prescription opioid pain medications, including OxyContin.
- Argued and achieved a significant victory for client State Farm in the Second Circuit in a case where plaintiffs alleged that their home was built with defective concrete, which was causing their foundation to crumble.
- Represents Saint-Gobain Corporation (SGC) in litigation in connection with the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire.
- Represents AbbVie in national product liability litigation related to AndroGel, a prescription testosterone replacement therapy product.
- Represents Bayer in lawsuits concerning its intrauterine permanent birth control device Essure.
Dentons has particular experience in asbestos litigation, representing a range of defendants including automotive, chemical, and equipment manufacturers, as well as suppliers, construction companies, and retailers. Los Angeles-based Lisa Oberg co-leads the team and has expertise in the management of mass tort litigation, overseeing cases pending in state and federal courts across the country. Fellow co-leads are Brad DeJardin who is head of the complex tort division of the Los Angeles office, along with Jayme Long, also in Los Angeles, who focuses on defending companies in product liability, mass tort, toxic tort, and premises liability suits.
Other key lawyers:
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Imerys Talc America / Cyprus Mines Corporation
C&H Sugar Company
JT Thorpe & Son
Morse TEC LLC
- Represents Exxon Mobil as premises defendant.
- Defended Johnson & Johnson in an asbestos claim.
- Defends Metalclad in an asbestos claim.
- Defended C&H Sugar for over two decades resolving cases so as to discourage frivolous claims, ando als trying cases.
- Representing JT Thorpe & Son in asbestos litigation, reducing the number of cases from over 450 to less than 100 cases.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Particularly experienced in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biological products cases, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP prides itself on acting in complex product liability litigation related to science and technology. The practice handles multi-plaintiff toxic tort matters across the United States, as well as those arising internationally. Los Angeles-based Theodore Boutrous is co-chair of the firm’s litigation group and is a crisis management strategist, as well as seasoned trial and appellate lawyer. In a recent highlight, the practice secured a victory on behalf of PepsiCo Beverages at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal of a class action challenging the name of Diet Pepsi.
Other key lawyers:
53 coffee companies, including Starbucks, Peet’s, Seattle’s Best, Winchell’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé, among others
Dole Food Company
International Paper Company
Daimler AG / Mercedes-Benz USA
Toyota Motor Services / Toyota Motor Corporation
Philip Morris USA
- Representing 53 coffee companies, including Starbucks, The Coca Cola Company, Keurig Green Mountain, Eight O’Clock Coffee Company, and Caribou Coffee Company in a matter relating to whether such companies should be required to sell their coffee products with now infamous Proposition 65 warnings.
- Representing Kimberly-Clark, who was facing an award of $350m in punitive damages to a class of surgical gown purchasers – almost 90 times the modest compensatory damages award of only $4m. The team ultimately convinced the court to reduce the punitive damages to less than $20m.
- Obtained summary judgment on substantially all of the tort claims asserted by more than 300 plaintiffs against International Paper, one of the world’s leading producers of fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper, leading to entry of final judgment in favor of International Paper in February 2019.
- Represents automotive clients Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA in a putative nationwide class action alleging that the defendants misrepresented the emissions characteristics of their diesel vehicles, causing plaintiffs to overpay for those vehicles.
- Represents Dole Food Company in Chavez v Dole Food Company et al, a consolidated action comprised of six cases filed in Delaware federal court.
The multi-disciplinary team of medical, scientific, and regulatory experts at Goodwin has experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, asbestos, building materials, manufacturing processes, and chemical exposures. The firm is recongnized for its trial experience, thought it also routinely advises clients on regulatory compliance, litigation avoidance, and risk reduction measures. New York-based Glenn Kerner leads the practice and is known for product liability litigation on a national scale, including cases involving drugs, medical devices, products with new technologies and food. He has particular expertise in complex mass torts and multi-district litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Garden of Life (a division of Nestle)
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
- Representing Kolmar Laboratories, a contract manufacturer of cosmetics products, in connection with talc mass tort litigation alleging exposure to asbestos through various dry powders manufactured with talc.
- Representing long-time client Northrop Grumman Corporation in defense of an asbestos wrongful death claim in Massachusetts state court.
- Serves as National Counsel to Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Barr Pharmaceuticals, and Barr Laboratories in the amiodarone litigation.
Specializing in complex tort litigation, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has experience in multi-plaintiff suits, multidistrict litigation, class actions, and individual plaintiff cases. The firm represents clients from a range of industries and has particular expertise defending large companies, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors in asbestos litigation. Richmond-based Alexandra Cunningham acts for corporate clients nationwide in product liability and catastrophic injury cases, with a focus on mass torts and toxic torts. She co-leads the team with Georgia Lucier, who practices from the Houston office and is known for commercial litigation matters and related issues, notably personal injury and fiduciary litigation.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)
Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Electronics
Edgewell Personal Care Company
- Represented Huntington Ingalls Incorporated in a take-home asbestos case filed on behalf of Wanda Quisenberry.
- Represented Huntington Ingalls Industries in a toxic tort matter that will have far-reaching impacts on personal jurisdiction jurisprudence.
- Represented Alfa Laval in a dispute with Arctic Cool Chillers.
- Serve as national strategic and trial counsel for Huntington Ingalls Industries’ asbestos cases arising out of the Newport News Shipyard.
- Representing Alfa Laval in all of its US-based product liability cases.
Mayer Brown is experienced dealing with expansive tort liability, an example being its expertise in resolving birth-defect claims arising out of the semiconductor industry. New York-based Henninger Bullock co-leads the team with Michael Olsen who acts from Chicago and is an expert trial lawyer, representing national and multinational corporations in commercial litigation. Daniel Ring also co-leads the practice from Chicago and specializes in toxic tort work, as well as the life sciences and medical device industries.
Nicor Gas Company
The Dow Chemical Company
National Association of Manufacturers
American Petroleum Institute
American Farm Bureau Federation
- Represented 3M Company, an American multinational corporation, in reaching an $850m settlement of a lawsuit brought by the state of Minnesota seeking over $5bn for alleged natural-resource damages and punitive damages related to certain chemicals that were allegedly released in the East Metro area of Minneapolis.
- Represents Union Carbide and Amchem Products (NKA Bayer CropScience) and continues to effectively manage, litigate, and resolve asbestos claims.
- Defended Nicor against claims by the City of Evanston that Nicor was liable for methane and other contaminants in and around James Park, a municipal park that was previously used as a landfill.
- Represents Joseph T Ryerson & Son in connection with its status as a Potentially Responsible Party at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.
- Represents The Big Ten Conference – the oldest Division 1 collegiate athletic conference in the United States – in several pending putative class actions seeking recovery on behalf of classes of former college football players for alleged concussion-related injuries.
The product liability and mass tort litigation practice at McGuireWoods LLP is known for expertise in state and federal district court litigation. The team’s recent work has ranged from lead pigment and automotive class actions, to asbestos and toxic tort claims involving chemical exposures. Richmond-based Diane Flannery leads the team and is experienced acting in environmental multi-district litigation. Also recommended are Samuel Tarry in Richmond and Mark Anderson in Raleigh, who are representing Olympus Corporation in a nationwide docket of cases involving superbug infections allegedly linked to endoscopes made by the client.
Ford Motor Company
United Technologies Corporation
Universal Corporation and Universal Leaf Tobacco Company
- Devised an innovative strategy that transferred, consolidated, and favorably resolved two MDLs that had threatened the company with bankruptcy after a ‘60 Minutes’ investigation alleged that Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring contained excessive amounts of formaldehyde.
- Successfully represented Universal Corporation as lead trial counsel and coordinating counsel in Hupan, et al v Alliance One International, and five related suits: Chalanuk, et al; DaSilva, et al; Aranda, et al; Taborda, et al; and Biglia, et al in the Supreme Court of New Castle County, Delaware filed by more than 406 plaintiffs including 153 children born in Argentina with birth defects.
Morrison & Foerster LLP is experienced defending multi-party serial tort and mass tort litigation. The firm acts for product manufacturers and resellers, providing advice on regulatory compliance, product labelling, and litigation risk assessment. The practice also has expertise in assisting clients with matters including product development, crisis management, insurance, and acquisitions involving ongoing product liability claims. Splitting her time between San Diego and San Francisco, Erin Bosman is known for expertise as national coordinating and trial counsel in class action cases, multijurisdictional, and multidistrict proceedings. She co-leads the team with San Francisco-based Tiffany Cheung, who focuses on defending clients in consumer class actions in a broad range of industries.
The Hershey Company, the National Confectioners Association, and Barry Callebaut USA
Coffee Joint Defense Group
Bimbo Bakeries USA
- Represents The Hershey Company, the National Confectioners Association, and Barry Callebaut USA in the chocolate industry’s litigation defense, regulatory advocacy, and settlement negotiations on allowable levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate.
- Represents Starbucks Corporation, The JM Smucker Company, The Kraft Heinz Company, Nestlé USA, Keurig Green Mountain, and 50 other coffee companies against a Proposition 65 bounty-hunter.
- Served as lead counsel for Bimbo Bakeries USA in defense of claims of failure to warn for acrylamide and other natural by-products of cooking in their baked goods products.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s trial expertise covers pharmaceutical and medical devices, chemical, construction, tech and industrial spaces, with particular experience defending clients in asbestos-related matters. The firm serves as national and regional product liability counsel, handling multidistrict litigation, mass torts, class actions, and catastrophic injury cases. The team is co-led from Columbia by Mark Jones, who focuses on the areas of pharmaceutical, business, IP and technology litigation, and David Dukes, who is known for the defense of pharmaceutical and technology companies.
Johnson & Johnson
- National counsel for defendants CR Bard and Bard Peripheral Vascular in a multidistrict litigation proceeding involving thousands of personal injury cases against Bard concerning inferior vena cava filters.
- Successfully defended several Johnson & Johnson jury trials.
- Member of the trial team for every Xarelto defense verdict, continuing to play a prominent role in Bayer’s defense against claims that the anticoagulant medication caused excessive bleeding.
- National trial counsel for American Optical in product liability matters involving underground mine respirators.
- Representing Honeywell International in a trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court – lead trial team in an asbestos related matter.
The experts in biological and pharmacological sciences at Nixon Peabody LLP represent product manufacturers in the aviation, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, medical device, petrochemical, and energy industries. Joseph Ortego in New York handles litigation, regulatory, and compliance issues, particularly in the aviation industry. He co-leads the team with Buffalo-based Vivian Quinn, who has experience in civil litigation, defending food, pharma, and medical device companies.
DaimlerTrucks North America
Brookhaven National Laboratories
- Serves as national counsel for PestSure in chemical and health effects litigation.
- Manages all New York-based litigation for global truck manufacturer Daimler and defended over 400 cases for them in the New York metropolitan area.
- Represents BNL in a contamination class action where hundreds of plaintiffs were seeking property and personal injury damages related to alleged migration of various chemicals and other toxic material from the lab.
- 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 has a range of expertise in mass tort and product liability litigation, including acting in claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent clean-up effort. The firm is also active in talc cases. The team is co-led by San Francisco-based Morgan Tovey who represents clients across multiple sectors in complex product liability, intellectual property, and commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, Sandra Bresnick in New York who focuses on patent infringement and product liability actions, with particular expertise in litigating pharmaceutical and medical device cases, and experienced trial lawyer Mike Lyle in Washington DC.
LG Chem and LG Chem Power
O’Brien’s Response Management
National Response Corporation
Tucker Ellis LLP
Tucker Ellis LLP represents clients in state and federal courts at trial and appellate levels. The firm focuses on product liability cases in a range of industrial, commercial, and consumer products. In addition, the practice provides toxic tort expertise including in asbestos, silica, coal mine dust, benzene, talc, lead, and mold. Laura Kingsley Hong leads the team from Cleveland and has experience in personal injury and property damage matters, as well as serving as national counsel for clients sued in product liability and mass torts.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Tucker Ellis team isn’t just our outside counsel. They are true team members, and we think of them as an extension of our own in-house group’
‘Laura Kingsley Hong is one of the most highly-skilled litigators I’ve encountered. She is diligent, fiercely intelligent, pragmatic, and professional. She makes every client feel like her top priority. She is also a pleasure to work with. We would be lost without her’
American Optical Corporation
Johnson & Johnson
Otis Elevator Company