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

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Leveraging the expertise of ‘talented and extremely knowledgeable lawyers’, principally from its Washington DC and Florida offices, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC‘s complex tort litigation and consumer protection practice utilizes its strength-in-depth, trial and court-appointed class leadership expertise to be able to ‘confront the most complicated cases and obtain success’. Florida-based co-head Theodore Leopold recently secured final court approval of a landmark $626m settlement for the plaintiff class in the Flint water litigation, one of many high-profile environmental/toxic tort matters which Leopold has had leadership roles in. Washington DC-based consumer protection co-chair Victoria Nugent continues to represent State Attorneys General of Indiana, New Jersey, and Vermont in the opioid litigation, playing a central role in shaping the $26bn national settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three companies that distributed opioid painkillers. Florida-based co-chair Leslie Kroeger has a superb reputation for handling major product liability matters, including those within the automotive sector, while former Washington DC-based consumer protection co-chair Andrew Friedman continues to spearhead the firm’s efforts in the data privacy arena.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Friedman


‘The firm has amassed talented and extremely knowledgeable lawyers that can confront the most complicated cases and obtain success.’

‘They have the dedication, focus and the work ethic to undertake the most difficult tasks and obtain success.’


Work highlights

  • Represented plaintiffs as court-appointed interim co-lead class counsel, securing the $626m settlement for plaintiffs in the high-profile Flint Water toxic tort dispute.
  • Represented (on behalf of the states of Indiana, New Jersey, and Vermont) in a $26bn settlement resolving claims that the three largest US drug distributors and drug maker Johnson & Johnson helped fuel a deadly nationwide opioid epidemic.
  • Represented LLE One in securing final approval of a $40m settlement, on behalf of LLE One and all other advertisers in a significant consumer class action against Facebook.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

A heavyweight of the plaintiff bar, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP has had and continues to play a leading role in many of highest-profile and significant mass tort/personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in the country caused by negligent conduct and defective products. The team is able to deploy attorneys with significant trial experience from its California headquarters and beyond, as well as drawing upon the complementary knowledge of non-lawyers, including investigators and registered nurses. Elizabeth Cabraser is recognized as a ‘great strategist’ and serves in court-appointed leadership roles in many high-profile civil disputes, including in relation to the opioids litigation and diesel emissions scandal. Other key practitioners include Robert Nelson, who is noted in particular for his environmental class action prowess; Lexi Hazam, who specializes in developing regulatory and epidemiological evidence and scientific experts in pharmaceutical and device cases; and New York-based ‘rock star’ Annika Martin, who is a ‘fierce advocate for victims of sexual abuse’ – as underscored by her involvement as co-lead class counsel representing women who were sexually abused at the University of Southern California. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco unless otherwise indicated.

Other key lawyers:

Annika Martin; Sarah London


Elizabeth Cabraser is a great strategist.’ 

‘Elizabeth Cabraser is a dean of the class action bar.’

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.’

Annika Martin is an absolute rock star and is a fierce advocate for victims of sexual abuse.’

Key clients

Cities, Counties, States, School Districts, Tribes, Third Party Payors, Health Organizations, and Native American Services-administered (NAS) Children harmed by the nationwide opioid crisis

Victims of fraudulent, deceptive and dangerous opioid drug marketing across the U.S., including cities, counties, native tribes and medical organizations

City of San Francisco, California

Owners of VW/Audi/Porsche/Bentley vehicles with fraudulently overstated fuel economy and fraudulent emissions certifications

Class of approx. 20,000 female students at USC subjected to sexual abuse by University gynaecologist George Tyndall

Native tribes, school districts, and a nationwide class of teens defrauded and injured by deceptive and dangerous youth-targeted e-cigarette marketing by Juul and Altria

HIV patients injured by inferior drugs forced on to the market by Gilead Sciences to maximize profits

Work highlights

  • Represented owners and lessees (of approximately 98,000 gasoline-powered Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Bentley vehicles sold and/or leased in the US) to resolve claims that the affected vehicles were equipped with software that, as calibrated, caused the vehicles to emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) and obtain worse fuel economy than was originally represented.
  • Representing as co-lead class counsel in groundbreaking student victim sexual abuse case against USC and Dr. George Tyndall over two decades of sexually abusive conduct under a cloak of gynaecological services.

Motley Rice LLC

A focused plaintiffs’ litigation firm, Motley Rice LLC  handles a wide range and volume of disputes, many of which relate to product liability matters. The firm regularly holds leadership positions in major MDLs, including its high-profile role as co-lead counsel and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the consolidated National Prescription Opiate MDL. Co-founder of the firm, Joseph Rice has negotiated many large civil claims, including in the product liability space his historic work on the landmark Tobacco Master Settlement, as well as his recent role on the $26bn preliminary settlement agreed with Johnson & Johnson and the “big three” opioid distributors. Other recommended practitioners include Donald Migliori, whose varied product liability practice includes tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, and Rhode Island/New York-based Fidelma Fitzpatrick, who as well as regularly handling major toxic tort and environmental matters, also has a niche representing women injured by medical devices. All named practitioners are based out of the firm’s South Carolina headquarters unless otherwise noted. 

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Orent ; Temitope Leyimu; Ann Ervin Kristen Hermiz ; John Baden; Kimberly Barone Baden; Esther Berezofsky; Kevin Dean; Vincent Greene; John Herrick; Anne Kearse; Daniel Lapinski; Carmen Scott; Linda Singer; Fred Thompson

Work highlights

  • Representing as co-lead counsel and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the National Prescription Opiate MDL, comprised of claims filed by more than 3,000 cities, counties, towns and other jurisdictions impacted by the opioid crisis.
  • Representing at the state and federal levels for thousands of patients who allege they’ve suffered complications caused by defective hernia mesh products.
  • Representing on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee that will lead the MDL litigation for women who allege they suffered severe complications after using the intrauterine contraceptive device Paragard®, manufactured by CooperSurgical.

Seeger Weiss LLP

New York-based plaintiff firm Seeger Weiss LLP has garnered a formidable reputation in the market as a result of its trial-led approach to handling mass tort and class action litigation. As well as the firm’s visibility in major personal injury-related product liability engagements – including representing military personnel users of allegedly defective earplugs manufactured by 3M – it has also been at the forefront of socially aware causes, including on behalf of adult survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Recognized as ‘extremely credible negotiating counterparties’, the firm is also appreciated by defendant lawyers for its ‘ability to negotiate settlements of large, complex litigation’. Founding partner Christopher Seeger  is a ‘true leader‘ and alongside David Buchanan , who is co-chair of the plaintiffs steering committee in the 3M litgation, and Stephen Weiss remains at the forefront of the most significant disputes handled by the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Parvin Aminolroaya


Seeger Weiss is the best in its business; energetic, tough, knowledgeable, and trustworthy’. 

One of their strengths is their ability to negotiate settlements of large, complex litigation. They are known to the defense side (of which I am a member) to be tough but true to their word, which makes them extremely credible negotiating counterparties.’

Chris Seeger is a true leader of the plaintiffs’ side.’

Chris Seeger is “in the room” for many significant national settlement negotiations and is a leading advocate for the plaintiffs’ bar on public policy issues.’


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

Victims of auto emissions scandal

Various qui tam matters

Users of Syngenta GMO corn

Users of Androgel testosterone replacement product

Municipal and school users of FieldTurf artificial turf

Consumers of Intel products

Family of Henrietta Lacks

Work highlights

  • Represented numerous counties and municipalities affected by opioid abuse in helping secure the $26bn global settlement agreement.
  • Advising military users of 3M earplugs in relation to earplugs product liability claims  – one of the largest mass torts ever.
  • Representing adult survivors of child sexual abuse in finding their way to justice, including in over 400 cases filed in New York alleging abuse by approximately 60 Catholic priests.

Simmons Hanly Conroy

Simmons Hanly Conroy has a core focus on representing plaintiffs who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, having successfully secured over $7bn in asbestos settlements and verdicts. While this work remains a cornerstone practice for the firm, its nationwide growth has also led to a greater breadth in the scope of its mass tort and product liability-related engagements to include opioid, medical devices and environmental-related litigation. Illinois-based founder of the firm John Simmons has been pivotal to its success for plaintiffs in asbestos-related litigation and his passion for aiding victims of mesothelioma has also extended to a significant amount of philanthropic work in the space. Based out of New York, Jayne Conroy oversees the firm’s complex litigation and excels in leading on MDLs, including as it relates to the opioid crisis, environmental litigation and automotive product liability. Illinois-based partner Trent Miracle co-heads the complex litigation group and is noted for his expertise at handling pharmaceutical injury litigation.

The Lanier Law Firm

The Lanier Law Firm has many high-profile leadership roles in a raft of well-publicized matters relating to, inter alia, asbestos exposure, pharmaceutical liability and automotive incidents. Much of the firm’s success in the area can be attributed to Houston-based founding partner Mark Lanier, who continues to achieve notable successes throughout the country, including in high-profile prescription drugs litigation.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lanier

Baron & Budd, P.C.

Based out of Texas, Baron & Budd, P.C. has a truly national practice which sees it representing plaintiffs in cases throughout the country, acting on its own, as well as in collaboration with an effective network of other regional law firms. While mesothelioma cases remain the centerpiece of the practice, it has successfully broadened the scope of its expertise to handle work relating to toxic tort water contamination, pharmaceutical/medical devices and automotive product liability claims. Dallas-based managing partner Russell Budd has a longstanding track record successfully pursuing claims throughout the country for plaintiffs in asbestos litigation. Scott Summy is also based out of the firm’s Dallas headquarters and leads its environmental litigation group, which continues to secure a raft of successes and in representing clients against corporates accused of environmental negligence.

Practice head(s):

Russell Budd

Other key lawyers:

Scott Summy

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

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has a strong track record representing plaintiffs seeking recourse across a range of product liability cases, in Georgia, as well as in state and federal courts on a national basis. The scope of the work is broad and includes personal injury claims arising from defects in the automotive, consumer product and pharmaceutical space. The firm has also been prominent in the e-cigarette space and has successfully represented plaintiffs in litigation brought against a major vaping manufacturer. Montgomery-based Andy Birchfield heads the firm’s mass tort section as well as specializing in drug and medical device litigation. Leigh O’Dell is another key member of the team in Montgomery and has played a key role leading litigation on behalf of thousands of women who were diagnosed with cancer after using a popular brand of talcum powder

Practice head(s):

Andy Birchfield

Other key lawyers:

Leigh O’Dell

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Able to draw upon resources from a number of offices and benefitting from strong collaborative ties with firms throughout the country, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is well-positioned to represent plaintiffs in individual and aggregated disputes (including MDLs and class actions) relating to a range of product liability matters. Areas of strength include claims relating to dangerous pharmaceutical products, and medical devices, an area that Colorado-based mass tort attorney Seth Katz  is particularly accomplished. Founding partner Michael Burg  is one of many strong trial lawyers within the firm and has, over the years, secured victories for clients seeking recourse against big pharma and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Seth Katz Michael Burg

DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC

With a growing profile and increasing national coverage outside of its core offering from Chicago, Cleveland and New York, DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC provides a ‘fairly unique combination of sophisticated class action lawyers combined with serious trial lawyers’. The firm’s trial capabilities are highlighted by clients in harness with a ‘legal knowledge and attention-to-detail that is second-to-none’, and has successfully tried cases to verdict and achieved many favorable settlements for plaintiffs across a range of product liability, mass torts and class actions. Cleveland-based founding partner Mark DiCello ‘has an encyclopedic knowledge of his brief but also never forgets his responsibility to his clients’ and has garnered a particularly strong reputation in relation to medical device and pharmaceutical litigation. As well as a historic list of successes in relation to agricultural biotechnology class actions, Chicago-based founding partner Adam Levitt has been at the forefront of the firm’s leading-edge work within the automotive sector. Based out of Chicago, Amy Kellerbrings deep substantive expertise and a collaborative approach to working with other firms to advance the interests of consumers in complex litigation‘.

Practice head(s):

Adam Levitt; Mark DiCello



Their legal knowledge and attention-to-detail is second-to-none. When choosing to partner with a national firm on class actions, this is our first choice. I can’t think of another firm better suited to lead the tough fight against the black hats of corporate malfeasance.’

The attorneys at the firm have dedicated their lives to their clients. No one works harder or smarter. They are supportive, co-operative and easily accessible at all hours.’

This is one of the most organized teams I have worked with. At the same time they are ethical and considered. They are efficient, up-to-date and considerate.’

A fairly unique combination of sophisticated class action lawyers with IVY league credentials combined with serious trial lawyers who have multiple seven eight figure verdict history.’

Abilities to try cases to impressive verdict, combined with very high level class attorneys.’

Mark DiCello has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his brief but also never forgets his responsibility to his clients.’

‘Amy Keller brings deep substantive expertise and a collaborative approach to working with other firms to advance the interests of consumers in complex litigation.’

Key clients

Arctic Aviation Assets DAC

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

The State of Illinois, Office of the Attorney General

The State of Michigan, Office of the Attorney General

The State of New Mexico, Office of the Attorney General

Clutch City Sports & Entertainment

Rocket Ball, Ltd.

Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, LLC

Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC

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 conjunction with the Attorney General in its cases against AbbVie for deceptively off-label marketing its testosterone supplement AndroGel in the state and against automotive manufacturers whose vehicles were equipped with dangerous Takata airbags.
  • Representing Norwegian Airlines in pursuing economic damages and equitable relief against The Boeing Company for the large number of airplanes Norwegian Airlines purchased that turned out to be defective.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Combining ‘deep experience, with a practical approach to large litigation’, Delaware-based firm Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.‘s mass torts team has a particular focus on complex pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. Aided by medical consultants and experts who provide invaluable scientific analysis, the firm is regularly chosen to lead national litigation, including on high-profile cases relating to hip resurfacing, hearing loss and talc litigation. The ‘very practical’ San Francisco-based Elizabeth Graham is ‘a fierce negotiator on behalf of her clients‘ and is a key member of the team that also includes Wilmington-based co-heads Sindhu Daniel and Adam Gomez.

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Mertz


‘Deep experience, with a practical approach to large litigation.’

‘Elizabeth Graham is very practical and understands how to get to the crux of an issue in a way that is sensible for both sides.’

‘Elizabeth Graham brings a broad range of experience to her matters that supports her as a fierce negotiator on behalf of her clients.’


Work highlights

  • Representing members of the HIV community injured by negligent design of tenofovir-based antiretroviral medications.
  • Representing plaintiffs that have allegedly suffered vision problems after taking bladder pain drug Elmiron.
  • Representing plaintiffs that have allegedly suffered injuries from defective metal-on-metal hip implants.

Keller Postman

Chicago-based firm Keller Postman has established a reputation as a formidable opponent on behalf of plaintiffs, including private citizens and public institutions, engaged in complex antitrust, product liability and consumer protection litigation at a trial and appellate level. The firm regularly acts in major nationwide class actions and has secured court-appointed leadership roles in prominent MDLs, including as it relates to the 3M Combat Arms hearing loss litigation and for former users of the heartburn medication Zantac who have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of consuming the drug. Ashley Keller and Travis Lenkner are at the forefront of the firm’s most noteworthy product liability mandates, including their role in leading the development of a new mass tort against infant formula manufacturers whose products caused a devastating condition in premature infants. In addition to his work handling complex claims relating to inter alia, consumer protection and antitrust, Washington DC-based partner Warren Postman has been at the forefront of developing the firm’s arbitration practice which has successfully pursued individual arbitrations for thousands of employees or consumers whose claims are subject to arbitration clauses with class-action waivers.

Other key lawyers:

Ben Whiting ; Seth Meyer ; Nicole Berg ; Ashley Barriere; Warren Postman

Key clients

8,000+ former users of the heartburn medication Zantac in the Zantac (Ranitidine) MDL

11,000+ servicemembers in the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs MDL

450+ individuals who were injured as a result of using the Paragard copper intrauterine product (IUD) in the Paragard UD MDL

Individuals who have experienced serious cardiac complications in the Onglyza & Kombiglyze MDL

5,000+ DoorDash couriers

15,000+ Postmates couriers

10,000+ CenturyLink customers

1,300 Pizza Hut delivery drivers

125,000+ Intuit customers

74,000+ Amazon Alexa users

Proposed class of Amazon customers in De Coster et al. v. Inc.

Proposed class of minor children in C.O., a minor, v. Inc. et al

Proposed class of Peloton customers in Fishon et al v. Peloton Interactive, Inc.

Putative class of LinkedIn advertisers in TopDevs, LLC et al v. LinkedIn Corporation

2,500+ individuals in Illinois who assert violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)

A proposed class of DuPage Medical Group patients in Hestrup & Peiss v. DuPage Medical Group. Ltd. d/b/a

A proposed class of real property owners in Richard A. Ross and Fieldstone Ventures, LLC v. EQT Corporation et al.

A proposed class of purchasers of certain Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens in Dominguez et al v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer

The State of Arizona; 18 municipalities across Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin; Insurance ratepayers in 31 ongoing class actions across 29 different states

The States of Texas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota in The State of Texas v. Google LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing military service members who used 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs.
  • Representing former users of the heartburn medication Zantac who have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of consuming the drug.
  • Representing in a new mass tort against Mead Johnson & Company LLC, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, and Abbott Laboratories related to their infant formula products.

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

Florida-based plaintiff litigation firm Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. handles local and national mandates across a range of mass torts and product liability matters. A trial lawyer of considerable repute, Mike Papantonio has over the years secured many notable jury verdicts for plaintiffs in major environmental class actions. Troy Rafferty is also a key member of the firm, particularly for his work handling pharmaceutical and mass tort cases. 

Other key lawyers:

Mike Papantonio; Troy Rafferty

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC

Based out of New York but also benefitting from lawyers in situ throughout the country, including Washington DC, Chicago, Ohio and Texas, Napoli Shkolnik PLLC represents plaintiffs engaged in a range of high-profile mass torts and litigations, including matters related to opioids, asbestos exposure, defective hip implants and 3M earplugs. Hunter Shkolnik leads the discovery and trial teams of various mass tort pharmaceutical and medical device litigations and is a pivotal member of the firm that also includes fellow New York-based partner Marie Napoli, whose broad-based expertise includes niche expertise representing women injured by pharmaceutical and other defective products.

Practice head(s):

Hunter Shkolnik

Other key lawyers:

Marie Napoli

Weitz & Luxenberg PC

Although it also handles a raft of other product liability matters, including a wide range medical device and consumer products disputes, New York-based plaintiff-side firm Weitz & Luxenberg PC has undoubtedly gained most acclaim for its success and vigorous representation of plaintiffs suffering mesothelioma/lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos. Charles Ferguson  is practice group leader of a team that includes seasoned trial lawyers Robert Gordon and Perry Weitz, who between them have amassed many jury verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs.