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

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is one of the leading addresses in personal injury and product liability lawsuits, and is regularly involved in high-stakes litigation in the automotive, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and medicals devices sectors. Jointly led by ‘formidable’ founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser, Robert Nelson and Lexi Hazam, the team is serving on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the national litigation against Takata Corporation regarding the manufacturing of defective airbags, and is also representing women from across the US, whose ovarian cancer was allegedly caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. In addition, the team is defending former professional football players and their spouses in a class action lawsuit seeking damages for the repetitive head traumas suffered during their careers. In New York, Wendy Fleishman acted for the plaintiff’s side in the DePuy ASR Hip Implant MDL. Named partners are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

Motley Rice LLC

Motley Rice LLC represents plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits, class actions and mass torts across a wide range of areas, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, automotive and environmental litigation. Notably, founding partner Joseph Rice has been appointed co-lead counsel in the prescription opioid MDL relating to the alleged deceptive marketing of highly addictive prescription painkillers to treat common chronic pain conditions. He is also serving in the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the General Motors ignition litigation. Together with John Herrick, toxic tort exposure specialist Anne Kearse is regularly involved in asbestos-related litigation; automotive and aviation group head Mary Schiavo in New York is also recommended. All partners are based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina unless otherwise indicated.

The Lanier Law Firm

The Lanier Law Firm has outstanding expertise in pharmaceuticals and medical devices litigation and is regularly involved in product liability, personal injury and medical malpractice claims. In a landmark decision, the team led by the highly regarded Mark Lanier in Houston obtained a $4.7bn verdict against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of 22 women alleging the use of talc-based products containing asbestos caused them to develop ovarian cancer. In other work, the team is acting as lead trial counsel in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy relating to defective hip implants, and is also involved in lawsuits regarding opioids, diabetes medication Actos and hernia mesh. Mass tort practice head Richard Meadow in Houston is another name to note.

Baron & Budd, P.C.

Headquartered in Dallas, Baron & Budd, P.C. is well known for handling high-profile toxic tort lawsuits and for representing plaintiffs in class actions in the automotive sector. Head of the water contamination litigation group Scott Summy is representing several municipalities and the State of Washington in an environmental lawsuit filed against Monsanto alleging contamination of water due to the manufacturing of toxic chemical PCB; he is also serving on the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the Gulf oil spill MDL. Los Angeles-based Roland Tellis, who leads the class action practice group, is taking a leading role in Takata airbag litigation, the Volkswagen clean diesel class action and the opioid MDL. Other key figures in the practice are and Russell Budd and Steve Baron, who heads the asbestos and mesothelioma law practice.

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

Dispute resolution boutique Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. in Montgomery provides comprehensive support in product liability and mass tort litigation involving wrongful death, personal injury, and failure to warn claims. Active in the automotive, aviation, consumer products, and medical drugs and devices sectors, the team is serving as co-lead counsel in the talc products MDL against Johnson & Johnson, and is representing the State the of Louisiana, the State of Alabama and the State of Georgia in the nationwide opioid litigation. Mass tort group head Andy Birchfield, toxic exposure litigation expert Rhon Jones and Leigh O’Dell are the key members of the practice.

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. has vast experience representing plaintiffs in nationwide product liability litigation related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and is also recognized for its mass tort and MDL expertise. In recent highlights, Janet Abaray acted as lead counsel in the mass action involving claims that the medication Depakote caused birth defects when taken during pregnancy, and Seth Katz is acting for the plaintiffs’ executive committee in several testosterone replacement therapy lawsuits filed against AbbVie and Auxilium. In other work, Peter Burg is representing the plaintiffs in the Wright Medical MDL alleging that the Conserve hip implant increases the risk of hip failure, while practice head Michael Burg is representing plaintiffs injured in the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion caused by excessive pressure in worn natural gas lines. Kerry Jardine and Meghan Quinlivan are other key members of the Denver-based firm.

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

Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. in Pensacola stands out for its litigation expertise in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors. Jeff Gaddy is acting as counsel for the plaintiff in litigation against manufacturers and distributors of opioids, while Troy Rafferty is representing Jesse Mitchell against AbbVie in a lawsuit alleging misrepresentation of the potential risks of testosterone replacement medication AndroGel. Rafferty is also serving on the plaintiff’s executive committee in the Abilify product liability litigation. Founding partner Mike Papantonio is another key contact in the practice.

Seeger Weiss LLP

Seeger Weiss LLP regularly takes lead roles in high-profile toxic tort, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices lawsuits. In the technology sector, Stephen Weiss represented putative class members in a nationwide lawsuit against Intel claiming that the company’s processors suffer from inherent security flaws, while David Buchanan continues to act as lead trial counsel in a pharmaceutical MDL against AbbVie involving testosterone replacement therapy drug AndroGel. Other highlights included Christopher Seeger acting for the plaintiffs as co-lead counsel in the NFL concussion litigation, and the group representing the plaintiff’s side in the proton-pump inhibitor MDL and opioid litigation. Parvin Aminolroaya was made partner in January 2018. All named partners are based in New York.

Simmons Hanly Conroy

Jointly led by John Simmons and Michael Angelides in Alton, and Paul Hanly and Jayne Conroy in New York, the litigation team at Simmons Hanly Conroy handles class actions, MDLs and product liability litigation involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, environmental and toxic tort claims. Hanly was recently appointed by a federal judge to be co-lead counsel in all federal litigation relating to the marketing of prescription opioid painkillers, Conroy is part of the plaintiff’s executive committee of the Volkswagen clean diesel MDL, and Ted Gianaris in Alton is acting in the Roxana litigation filed against Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips following the contamination of groundwater emanating from the Wood River Refinery. Trent Miracle leads the firm’s pharmaceuticals team, which recently welcomed Justin Presnal and Luther Simmons from Fisher, Boyd, Johnson & Huguenard LLP and the Third Circuit Judicial Court, respectively. Five lawyers were recently made partner, including environmental expert Jo Anna Pollock.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Leveraging its extensive experience in class actions, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is regularly involved in environmental, automotive and consumer products litigation. Recent highlights include filing a putative nationwide class action against Apple alleging that iOS software operating system updates slow down the processing on iPhones, acting as co-lead class counsel in a toxic tort lawsuit brought against DuPont and its subsidiary Chemours by North Carolinians alleging exposure to toxic chemicals from water supply, and defending plaintiffs against hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators in a product liability litigation concerning the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring. Theodore Leopold and Leslie Kroeger in Palm Beach and Andrew Friedman in Washington DC jointly lead the practice group.

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC in New Orleans is especially active in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and toxic tort litigation. The team continues to be part of the plaintiffs’ steering committees of the Fosamax and Granuflo MDLs, and also acts as co-lead counsel in the Deepwater Horizon MDL filed against BP relating to the explosion of an oil rig and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Stephen Herman, Leonard Davis and Russ Herman are the key contacts in the practice group.

Levin Sedran & Berman

Philadelphia-based Levin Sedran & Berman specializes in class actions and mass torts as well as personal injury litigation in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector. The team continues to act for plaintiffs in the Xarelto MDL alleging that defendants Bayer and Janssen did not properly warn patients and doctors about the risks of uncontrolled bleeding from taking the blood thinning medication. Founding partners Laurence Berman and Arnold Levin are the main contacts in the practice.

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is headquartered in New York and handles product liability and mass tort lawsuits arising from defective medical devices, asbestos exposure, accidents and environmental contamination. In recent highlights, founding partner Marie Napoli and Nicholas Farnolo were appointed to the plaintiffs' steering committee in litigation involving a defective model of Zimmer hip prosthesis, while Hunter Shkolnik is acting as co-liaison counsel in personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death cases arising from the contamination of Flint’s water supply with corrosive lead and bacteria. Paul Napoli is another name to note.

Weitz & Luxenberg PC

Weitz & Luxenberg PC in New York regularly takes a leading role in high-profile lawsuits in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors, and also has experience of toxic tort matters. Ellen Relkin, who leads the pharmaceuticals and medical devices practice alongside Paul Pennock, is acting for plaintiffs in the DePuy and the Stryker hip implants lawsuits, as well as in the Xarelto and the Invokana product liability litigation. Head of the environmental, toxic tort and consumer protection group Robin Greenwald is acting on the plaintiff’s side in the consumer class action against General Motors concerning ignition switch defects that caused catastrophic injuries. Trial lawyer Robert Gordon and founding partner Perry Weitz are other key members of the practice.