Product liability, mass tort and class action - plaintiff in United States

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a ‘formidable adversary’ of defendant firms and provides robust representation of both private individuals and public clients bringing product liability, environmental and consumer protection claims throughout the country.  ‘An excellent lawyer and an effective advocate for his clients’, Florida-based Theodore Leopold has been at the heart of many of the most significant victories for the firm. Notably, after five years of litigation over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Leopold co-led a legal team that recently obtained a $626.25m settlement for residents and businesses. Washington DC-based partner Andrew Friedman is also a seasoned plaintiff-side class action lawyer, who as part of his wide-ranging consumer-related disputes practice, has developed niche expertise in relation to data privacy/breach class actions. Washington-DC-based partner Victoria Nugent  remains at the forefront of consumer protection litigation plaintiff matters, including for public bodies, with recent notably success in the opioid litigation, as well as having a current focus on cases challenging Big Tech relating to consumers’ rights, including in the context of alleged unfair competition violations. In Florida, Leslie Kroeger has a superb reputation for handling major product liability matters, including those within the automotive sector. Leopold co-heads the consumer protection and complex torts teams alongside Nugent and Kroeger, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Theodore Leopold; Leslie Kroeger; Victoria Nugent; Andrew Friedman

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Graber; Douglas McNamara; Eric Kafka


The firm is a formidable adversary.’ 

Theodore Leopold is an excellent lawyer and an effective advocate for his clients.’

Work highlights

  • Helped secure final approval of a landmark $626.25m settlement resulting from the class action and individual lawsuits brought on behalf of more than 90,000 Flint residents and businesses against multiple governmental defendants.
  • Represented the state Attorneys General of Indiana, New Jersey, and Vermont in securing historic settlement agreements, totaling $704.8m as a part of a $26bn national agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, and opioids manufacturer Johnson & Johnson for their roles in promulgating the opioid epidemic in each of their states.
  • Representing the Committee Chair in a consumer protection class action against General Motors in relation to breach of warranty and deceptive and fraudulent business practices related to the manufacture and sale of defective eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Appreciated for its ‘high levels of integrity and high-quality work product’,  Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP has long been considered a leader in plaintiffs’ litigation as a result of its key involvement in high-profile cases, brought directly on behalf of private citizens, as well as for governmental entities. ‘A truly great strategist‘, San Francisco-based name partner Elizabeth Cabraser has ‘a blazing intellectual curiosity and an uncanny ability to expertly analyze complex legal situations and advocate her clients’ positions clearly and persuasively’. A ‘wonderful class action lawyer’, Cabraser continues to take the lead on resource intensive and high-stakes matters, including her work for various affected parties in the opioids litigation. New York-based partner Annika Martin  continues to thrive, with her broad-based class action work including environmental/toxic tort actions, as well as a core focus on seeking justice for victims of sexual assault. San Francisco-based partner Lexi Hazam is chair of the firm’s mass tort practice group, with a diverse practice that includes environmental and toxic tort actions, as well as her current role representing a class of teens and families in an MDL brought against major social media platforms alleging that their platforms cause addiction and mental health problems in young users.

Practice head(s):

Lexi Hazam

Other key lawyers:

Robert Nelson; Elizabeth Cabraser; Annika Martin; Mark Chalos


The firm displays high levels of integrity and a high quality work product.’

A truly great strategist, Elizabeth Cabraser is a wonderful class action lawyer.’ 

Elizabeth Cabraser has a blazing intellectual curiosity and an uncanny ability to expertly analyze complex legal situations and advocate her clients’ positions clearly and persuasively. ‘

Work highlights

  • Representing cities, counties, native American tribes, and medical organizations across the country in relation to nationwide opioid litigation.
  • Representing individuals, families, cities, school districts and  tribal organizations as plaintiffs in Juul vaping products cases.
  • Representing families, individuals, and the class of injured users in litigation brought against major social media platforms.

Motley Rice LLC

One of the largest plaintiff firms in the country, South Carolina-based outfit Motley Rice LLC has the resources and depth of expertise to handle a significant volume and range of mass tort and class actions, including in the context of product liability, toxic tort and environmental litigation. Noted for his aptitude at negotiating complex civil litigation settlements, Joseph Rice remains an integral member of the team, recently negotiating agreements-in-principle totaling nearly $14bn with CVS, Walgreens and Walmart to resolve their role in the opioid epidemic. A determined advocate for consumer’s rights, Jodi Westbrook Flowers  regularly represents plaintiffs in product liability toxic tort-related matters, including her work for county and municipal governments in holding opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their role in fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic. In addition, Flowers has also developed a market-leading practice regarding state-sponsorship of international terrorism, as well as in relation to violations of international law and human rights abuses. Other recommended partners include Carmen Scott, who excels in handling litigation involving women’s health issues; Kevin Dean, who regularly represents affected by hazardous consumer products, occupational and industrial accidents, fires, premise injures and other acts of corporate negligence; and Washington DC-based partner, Previn Warren, who joined the firm in June 2022 from Jenner & Block LLP and is focused on protecting the rights of individuals against unfair and abusive conduct by tech and media companies. All named practitioners are based out of the firm’s South Carolina headquarters, unless otherwise noted.

Other key lawyers:

John Baden; Kimberly Barone Baden; Esther Berezofsky; Kevin Dean; Michael Elsner; Fidelma Fitzpatrick; Jodi Westbrook Flowers; Vincent Greene; Kristen Hermiz; John Herrick; John Hurst; Mathew Jasinski; Anne McGinness Kearse; Daniel Lapinski; Donald Migliori; Jonathan Orent; Michael Pendell; Joseph Rice; Carmen Scott; Linda Singer; Fred Thompson; Previn Warren

Work highlights

  • Representing plaintiffs in negotiating agreements-in-principle totalling nearly $14bn with CVS, Walgreens and Walmart to resolve their role in the opioid epidemic.
  • Representing the State of Washington in negotiating a settlement worth more than $500m with the nation’s “Big Three” opioid distributors.
  • Representing the State of Rhode Island in negotiating an opioid settlement with manufacturers Allergan and Teva worth $107m.

Seeger Weiss LLP

New York-based firm Seeger Weiss LLP is ‘pragmatically oriented toward getting the best result for their clients’ across a range of mass tort and class action litigation. ‘One of the absolute best in the country at getting the parties to the negotiating table and getting a deal done’, Christopher Seeger is frequently appointed to plaintiffs’ leadership, steering and executive committees in a variety of MDLs throughout the country. Notably, he recently had a leadership role in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation MDL, which among a number of headline resolutions led to the $26bn global settlement agreement reached with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the “Big Three” drug distributors. An ‘excellent litigator’ who is ‘tenacious, skilled and very smart’, David Buchanan excels in handling large-scale consolidated cases often involving very complex scientific and technical issues. His litigation prowess is not only in evidence at a trial phase but also in relation to discovery; he currently heads the discovery committee in the 3M earplugs litigation. Stephen Weiss co-heads the team alongside Seeger and has a varied practice which includes qui tam and whistleblower matters, as well as an increasing focus on assisting sexual abuse victims.



Practice head(s):

Christopher Seeger; Stephen Weiss

Other key lawyers:

David Buchanan; Parvin Aminolroaya; Christopher Ayers; Caleb Seeley; Max Kelly


‘Seeger Weiss is one of the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country. What sets them apart from others is a combination of litigation skills and a keen sense of how to get a deal done when there is a chance to settle mass tort litigation.’

‘They fight for their clients, are unafraid of trial, and are unusually good on the legal issues that often derail otherwise talented plaintiffs’ lawyers. They are pragmatically oriented toward getting the best result for their clients and are leaders of the plaintiffs’ bar, commanding respect on all sides.’

‘Christopher Seeger – one of the absolute best in the country at getting the parties to the negotiating table and getting a deal done.’

Key clients

Counties and municipalities affected by opioid abuse

Military users of 3M earplugs

Adult survivors of child sexual abuse

Former NFL players and families

People with Allergan breast implants

Various qui tam matters

Members of the military and their families exposed to contaminated Camp LeJeune water

Parents of adolescents harmed by social media

Users of Elmiron

Users of recalled Philips breathing assistance devices

Consumers of Intel products

Family of Henrietta Lacks

State and local governments dealing with PFAS contamination

Governments seeking to remediate PCB contamination

Work highlights

  • Secured numerous notable victories for plaintiffs in the high-profile 3M hearing loss litigation.
  • Represented in product liability litigation brought against various social media companies alleging that they have intentionally designed their products to promote addictive and self-destructive behaviour and failed to provide protections to minor-aged users on their platforms.

DiCello Levitt

DiCello Levitt continues to gain traction among individuals, businesses and government entities seeking justice against civil wrongs committed by big business. The firm’s trial-ready approach is particularly effective, ensuring that it is not only extremely adept at presenting a compelling narrative to jurors, but also that it frequently gains leverage when negotiating for a potential settlement with defense lawyers. Many of the mandates relate to class actions and MDLs in the product liability and toxic torts and environmental space, an area that co-founder Adam Levitt has developed particular strength, including within the automotive sector. The firm has also developed and nurtured a lot of young talent at the firm, including cybersecurity and privacy expert Amy Keller , who was the youngest woman to lead a nationwide MDL. Cleveland-based co-founder Marc DiCello co-heads the practice alongside Levitt and is noted for his aptitude at handing major personal injury and mass tort actions, including those within the pharmaceuticals and medical device space. All named practitioners are based in Chicago, unless otherwise noted.

Practice head(s):

Adam Levitt; Mark DiCello

Other key lawyers:

Diandra Zimmermann; John Tangren; Robert DiCello; Amy Keller; Daniel Flynn; Daniel Ferri; Adam Prom; Justin Hawal

Key clients

Arctic Aviation Assets DAC

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

State of Illinois, Office of the Attorney General

State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General

State of New Mexico, Office of the Attorney General

State of Oregon, Department of Justice

Clutch City Sports & Entertainment, L.P. (d/b/a Toyota Center)

Rocket Ball, Ltd.

Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, LLC; Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC; and Atlanta United Football Club, LLC

Buffalo Bills, LLC

Miami Dolphins, Ltd.; South Florida Stadium LLC; County Line South Properties LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing the State of New Mexico in litigation asserting New Mexico’s consumer protection laws against AbbVie, Abbott Laboratories, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
  • Representing a class of current owners and lessees of certain General Motors trucks and SUVs following a two-week jury trial in a product liability case relating to defective engines.
  • Representing consumers who purchased “fa!rlife” milk products and alleged deceptive labelling and marketing practices stemming from animal abuse.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Often working closely with medical consultants and experts, Delaware-based firm Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. has developed a particularly strong reputation representing plaintiffs who have been significantly injured by defective drugs and medical devices. Although the firm is recognized by defendant lawyers as being ‘formidable adversaries’ and has a number of excellent trial lawyers in its ranks, it is also ‘practical about resolving cases’ and consequently picks up lead roles in MDLs and class actions. The ‘very practical’ Elizabeth Grahamunderstands key leverage points, while remaining focused on how to resolve a case when necessary’. Graham’s insight gained from her previous experience as a defense lawyer is also a strong advantage in securing favorable results for clients. Sindhu Daniel and Adam Gomez are also central to the firm’s work in the sector, with Gomez also noted for his environmental litigation prowess.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Graham; Sindhu Daniel; Adam Gomez

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Mertz; Paige Alderson


They are formidable adversaries, but they also are practical about resolving cases.’

Elizabeth Graham is very practical and understands key leverage points while remaining focused on how to resolve a case when necessary.’

Work highlights

  • Representing military servicemembers and their families harmed by contaminated water while living or working on Camp Lejeune.
  • Representing members of the HIV community injured by Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s negligent design of tenofovir-based antiretroviral medications.
  • Representing individuals harmed by defective Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

With lawyers spread across many nationwide offices, including in Florida and California, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP has the strength-in-depth and expertise to handle complex class actions arising in consumer fraud, antitrust, privacy and securities fraud contexts. As well as having had successes for plaintiffs in both bench and jury trials in many of the firm’s core areas of focus, Florida-based managing partner Paul Geller is regularly appointed to leadership positions in large-scale MDLs, including his recent role in relation to the sprawling litigation concerning the nationwide prescription opioid epidemic. San Francisco-based partner Aelish Marie Baig has also been front and center of the firm’s efforts for cities and counties in the opiate MDL, as well as continuing to represent individual and institutional investors in relation to securities fraud cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Geller

Other key lawyers:

Aelish Marie Baig; Stuart Davidson; Mark Dearman

Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, LLC

With a well-established offering from Delaware and recently enhanced by the addition of two Maryland offices, Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, LLC now has one of the most comprehensive offerings for plaintiffs seeking recourse in relation to mass torts and class actions in the mid-Atlantic region of the country. The scope of the work is broad, including product liability, medical malpractice and toxic tort actions, both on behalf of private citizens as well as governmental entities. In one of the highest-profile cases it is currently undertaking, the firm is representing a putative class of approximately one million residents of North Carolina and South Carolina who claim they are being negatively affected by harmful emissions released by a local papermill. Chase Brockstedt and Philip Federico are leading the firm’s efforts in the aforementioned matter and co-head the overarching three-partner mass tort and class actions team that also includes Brent Ceryes, whose toxic tort expertise includes work relating to forever chemicals contamination.

Practice head(s):

Chase Brockstedt; Philip Federico

Other key lawyers:

Brent Ceryes; Matthew Legg; Catherine Cramer; Brian DeMott

Key clients

State governments across the United States

Nearly 50 US public school districts

Residents of Rock Hill, SC

Charleston County Aviation Authority

Veterans across the United States who served at Camp Lejeune

Work highlights

  • Representing in putative toxic tort class action brought against Indy regarding the emission of foul-smelling and harmful pollutants and contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and methanol into the air and discharging inadequately treated wastewater into the Catawba River.
  • Representing nearly 50 school boards across the country in litigation brought against JUUL regarding its alleged targeting of young consumers for its vaping products.
  • Representing state governments across the US in the high-profile opioid litigation.

Robins Kaplan LLP

Plaintiff-related mass tort work forms a key pillar of Minneapolis headquartered firm Robins Kaplan LLP‘s overarching litigation strength. In this context, the firm has particular expertise handling consolidated litigation brought by plaintiffs seeking redress as a result of personal injuries caused by harmful and defective drugs, and medical devices. Highly regarded Minneapolis-based partner Tara Sutton  has been pivotal to many of the firm’s highest profile mandates, including her recent role as lead negotiator on the Tribal Leadership Committee in the Opioid litigation, in which she helped secure an historic settlement of $589m on behalf of all federally recognized tribal nations. New York-based partner Rayna Kessler  is also recommended for her work in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices space, in addition to her representation of plaintiffs seeking recourse under the 2019 Child Victims Act’s new window for claims in sexual abuse litigation.

Practice head(s):

Tara Sutton

Other key lawyers:

Rayna Kessler; Holly Dolejsi; Kate Jaycox


They are a fine plaintiff’s litigation firm and I have high regard for Tara Sutton.’

Key clients

28 Tribal Nations located in the Great Plains, Upper Midwest, and West Coast

Special counsel to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Individuals who received Exactech hip, knee, and ankle total replacement devices that were recalled beginning in 2/2022.

Individuals who were sexually abused as a child within religious institutions, including the Catholic Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Individuals who took the breast cancer drug, Taxotere.

Work highlights

  • Lead negotiator and member of the Tribal Leadership Committee in the Opioid litigation.
  • Special counsel to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in a suit filed in December 2019 seeking to prevent JUUL from engaging in deceptive actions and to recover costs for the damage JUUL has inflicted on the State and its citizens.
  • Co-lead counsel in centralized New Jersey multi-county litigation consisting of more than 120 individual cases brought by women who claim they suffered permanent hair loss as a result of taking the breast cancer drug, Taxotere.