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

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP specializes in cases related to negligent conduct and defective products, from dangerous prescription drugs and faulty medical devices, to unsafe vehicles and consumer products. The firm also has expertise in individual injury and accident cases, and environmental harm class actions. In particular, the firm has been involved in multiple actions against California utilities concerning 2017 and 2018 wildfires caused by insufficiently maintained electrical equipment. Jointly leading the team from San Francisco are Elizabeth Cabraser, who acts in financial and consumer fraud, competition class actions, injuries from harmful drugs and products, and illegal employment practices; Robert Nelson, whose experience includes mass tort, automotive, aviation, defective product and tobacco; and Lexi Hazam, who represents clients in mass torts cases and qui tam actions. The team has also taken a leading role in the country's highly publicized opioid litigation, acting on behalf of a number of cities, counties, Native American tribes and health organizations.

Key clients

Cities, counties, municipalities, and Native American tribes and health organizations injured by opioid drug epidemic.

Aliona Brichkov, Tonatiuh Franco, and Tamara McMullan on behalf of minor child “K.B.” after injuries following use of JUUL electronic cigarettes

University of Southern California female students who were abused by gynecologist George Tyndall, M.D.

All persons with tort claims against PG&E

Individuals suffering from improperly manufactured HIV pharmaceuticals

Nationwide class of drivers and passengers injured by malfunctioning airbags.

Victims of the 2017 Northern California Wildfires

Victims of the 2017 Southern California fires and Montecito mudslides

Women and families who lost embryos and eggs in the cryogenic tank failure at Pacific Fertility Clinic in San Francisco in 2018.

The estate of Ernest Francis “Ernie” Foss, killed in the November 2018 Camp Fire

Students who attended The Hotchkiss School and experienced abuse

Abuse victims of Dr. Patrick Sutton and Huntington Hospital

Work highlights

  • Serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the national litigation against Takata Corporation. Nearly 34 million vehicles, mostly manufactured prior to 2009, have been recalled worldwide due to defective and dangerous airbags manufactured by Japanese-based Takata Corporation that can explode in an accident, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers.
  • Filed five separate injury and fraud lawsuits on behalf of teenagers from California and Illinois against JUUL Labs, Inc. in Federal and State Courts in California in September of 2019. The suits bring claims for a variety of lung and cardiovascular injuries as well as common claims for strict products liability, design defects, failure to warn, negligence, failure to recall, fraudulent concealment, intentional misrepresentation, and violations of California Unfair Competition Laws as well as violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
  • Announced that a $215 million settlement had been reached in the class action lawsuit filed earlier in 2018 on behalf of thousands of women who were sexually abused, harassed, and molested by gynecologist George Tyndall, M.D. while they were students at the University of Southern California.
  • In February 2019, Andrew R. Vara, the Acting United States Trustee for Region 3, appointed an official committee of tort claimants to represent the interests and act on behalf of all persons with tort claims against PG&E, including wildfire victims, in the bankruptcy proceedings. Lieff Cabraser represents Angela Foss Loo as a member of the Official Committee of Tort Claimants.
  • Represents individuals against pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, alleging they suffered ill effects from HIV drugs made and distributed by Gilead that were more harmful derivatives than other drugs the company had created, but would not sell until it had maximized profits by exhausting its stock of existing inferior drugs.

Motley Rice LLC

Plaintiff firm Motley Rice LLC is experienced in cases relating to asbestos, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, consumer fraud, automotives liability and environmental incidents. The key figure in this space is founding partner Joseph Rice, who is based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Rice

Simmons Hanly Conroy

Simmons Hanly Conroy has experience in mass tort, multi-district product liability and sexual abuse matters, but is particularly well known for asbestos product liability cases and opioid litigation. The team is co-led by expert trial lawyer John Simmons; New York-based Paul Hanly Jr, who focuses on mass tort and other complex civil cases; product liability specialist Jayne Conroy, also in New York; Trent Miracle, who leads the pharmaceutical litigation group; and Perry Browder, who heads the firm's asbestos department. The team's strength-in-depth was further boosted by the 2019 arrivals of asbestos experts Jennifer Alesio and Donald Blydenburgh, who joined in San Francisco and New York from Brayton Purchell LLP and Levy Konigsberg, respectively; and also by the arrival of Jason Barnes, who joined from the Missouri General Assembly in 2018. In a standout matter, the firm is acting for plaintiffs seeking reimbursement as part of the National Prescription Opiates MDL, which spans 34,000 US cities and counties. Named attorneys are based in Alton, Illinois unless otherwise stated.


‘The group was so experienced in dealing with mesothelioma’

‘Any question we had was answered in detail’

‘It was obvious they were well informed with a long history of case experience’

‘They had quick access to court dates’

‘The people I deal with in the office are efficient and supportive’

‘The attorney we worked with on a regular basis was Ken Danzinger. He was a strong advocate for my family and for my husband, especially during depositions. His strength, knowledge and experience were evident during these difficult times’

Key clients

Arthur Putt, Norris Morgan, J. Walter Twidwell, Thomas McGlynn, the family of Pietro Macaluso and hundreds more individuals and their families in product liability litigation related to asbestos

New York City in prescription opioid litigation

Cook County, IL in prescription opioid litigation

Consolidated litigation on behalf of New York City and NY counties against opioid manufacturers for their role in causing the opioid epidemic, on-going in New York Supreme Court

More than 200 counties, cities and unions harmed by the opioid epidemic who have joined the Prescription Opioid MDL based in Ohio

St. Louis County, MO in prescription opioid litigation

More than two-thirds of Wisconsin counties in prescription opioid litigation

Thousands of clients injured by dangerous drugs and medical devices in pharmaceutical product liability litigation, including Transvaginal Mesh MDL, Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Actos, Yaz and more

More than 100 famers nationwide in the Syngenta MIR 162 Corn MDL

Owners of Volkswagen vehicles recalled as a result of the emissions scandal

Work highlights

  • Acting for plaintiffs as part of the National Prescription Opiates MDL and a negotiation class that includes 34,000 US cities and counties.
  • Secured a $34m verdict against Ford Motor Co. on behalf of Aurthur Putt, a former auto mechanic who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos as an auto mechanic.
  • As part of the Depuy Pinnacle MDL, the firm has secured nearly $1bn in verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs who have suffered serious injuries from metal-on-metal hip replacements manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
  • As part of the Testosterone Replacement MDL, Simmons Hanly Conroy has secured more than $300m in verdicts on behalf of hundreds of men injured by TRT.
  • The firm secured a $30m verdict on behalf of Norris and Lori Morgan against J-M Manufacturing Company.

The Lanier Law Firm

The Lanier Law Firm represents plaintiffs in a range of product liability matters, with particular expertise in asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, medical malpractice and pharmaceutical liability litigations. Mark Lanier in Houston is the key contact at the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lanier

Baron & Budd, P.C.

Baron & Budd, P.C. has represented plaintiffs in class actions across the US, including the high-profile opioid litigation. The firm has a particularly strong track record in toxic tort and asbestos claims, as well as in pharmaceuticals and automotive cases. Firm president and managing shareholder Russell Budd is a contact in the Dallas office.

Other key lawyers:

Russell Budd

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. acts in mass tort and class action matters for plantiffs. The firm’s areas of expertise include automotive, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Andy Birchfield heads the mass tort group from Montgomery.

Other key lawyers:

Andy Birchfield

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Multi-district litigation specialist Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is well regarded for mass tort cases, particularly in relation to dangerous pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Founding shareholder Michael Burg jointly leads the practice with Seth Katz. Both are based in Denver.

Practice head(s):

Michael Burg; Seth Katz

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is experienced in personal tort issues nationally and internationally. In particular, the firm has core strengths in representing consumers in environmental mass torts and product liability class actions, as well as in novel cases relating to data breach and guardrail safety. The practice group also is also rated for its personal injury work, including matters related to insurance fraud of injured persons. Florida-based mass tort specialist Theodore Leopold jointly heads the team alongside Leslie Kroeger, who focuses on high-profile products liability and wrongful death matters; and Andrew Friedman in Washington DC, who is known for expertise in class actions data privacy breaches.


‘The sophistication of their team stands out from others’

‘They have significant experience in these areas and the resources to handle anything’

‘They are willing to fight hard for their clients, but they are also practical and good to deal with’

‘Ted Leopold is the primary partner that I have been working with. He simply has a huge amount of experience in these areas. He has an excellent in-court presence and has always been fully prepared’

‘Emmy Levens has stood out from the mass of plaintiff lawyers we are dealing with for her intelligence and preparation.  Everybody on our side thinks she has been a star in the litigation’

Seeger Weiss LLP

Seeger Weiss LLP has acted for consumer classes, injured persons, defrauded investors and corporate whistleblowers in individual, mass tort, class action and qui tam litigation across the country. New York-based Christopher Seeger is particularly well known for multi-district litigation and class actions involving prescription drugs, toxic tort and personal injury.

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Seeger

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC

Personal injury specialist Herman, Herman & Katz LLC is based in New Orleans and has experience in truck accidents, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and toxic tort litigation. Senior partner Russ Herman in New Orleans also has experience in complex maritime litigation, and also maintains an active appellate practice.

Other key lawyers:

Russ Herman

Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.

Pensacola-based Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. specializes in representing plaintiffs in a range of matters related to prescription drugs, medical devices, defective products, and various other claims involving personal injury. Founding partner Mike Papantonio has a reputation for handling mass tort cases.

Other key lawyers:

Mike Papantonio

Levin Sedran & Berman

Specializing in class actions and mass torts, Levin Sedran & Berman is known for handling pharmaceutical and medical device lawsuits, as well as consumer products liability and personal injury litigation. Contacts in the team include founding partners Laurence Berman and Arnold Levin in Philadelphia.

Other key lawyers:

Laurence Berman; Arnold Levin

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC has represented plaintiffs in litigation and arbitration nationwide, including in workers compensation claims, product liability, medical malpractice, mesothelioma compensation claims and mass tort cases. New York-bard founding partners Marie Napoli and Hunter Shkolnik are contacts at the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Marie Napoli; Hunter Shkolnik 

Weitz & Luxenberg PC

New York-based Weitz & Luxenberg PC has a strong track record in asbestos exposure, pharmaceutical and medical devices litigation, as well as in toxic torts and environmental matters. Co-founding partners Robert Gordon and Perry Weitz are the key figures at the firm..

Other key lawyers:

Perry Weitz; Robert Gordon