Mass Tort

Fen-Phen Litigation: Represented individuals who suffered heart valve damage and/or a life-threatening condition known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) from ingestion of fenfluramine manufactured by American Home Products Corporation (AHP). In total, we represented eight individuals with PPH and 31 individuals who had heart valve damage or who were required to have their heart valve surgically replaced with a mechanical valve. We conducted discovery applicable to all of our cases in one lead PPH case and one lead heart valve case, both filed in State Court in Minnesota. The lead cases were both settled prior to trial, and shortly thereafter a global settlement was reached with AHP for the balance of our cases.

Gammagard Litigation: Represented approximately 29 individuals, most of them children, who contracted Hepatitis C from contaminated intravenous immune globulin, called Gammagard, manufactured by Baxter Healthcare, Inc. The firm was designated lead counsel in the Gammagard MDL (multi-district litigation) venued in Federal Court in Los Angeles. The firm also took the lead in conducting discovery in the MDL. The firm  negotiated a unique settlement agreement for its clients that provided immediate payment for damages resulting from living with Hepatitis C, an incurable chronic disease, and at the same time provided for future payments for complications that may arise from Hepatitis C. That settlement agreement became the model used to settle all individual Gammagard cases around the country as well as to settle a class action filed in Los Angeles.

American Honda Dealership Litigation: In 1999, we, as part of the plaintiffs' executive committee, concluded a settlement of the cases of members of the national automobile dealer network of Honda Motor Company. The cases settled for $329 million plus additional sums for certain cases and clients who opted out of the class settlement. The cases involved claims that the dealers were denied the fair allocation of and access to their product - new vehicles - as a result of a bribery scheme in which certain dealers were favored by Honda management over others in the allocation of new vehicles.

Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster - Bhopal, India: Represented the Government of India, on behalf of the victims, in the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster which claimed thousands of lives and injured hundreds of thousands of others in December 1984. The case against Union Carbide closed with a $470 million settlement.

Shiley Heart Valve Litigation: Represented individuals who had received defective artificial heart valves manufactured by Shiley Incorporated, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. We established a cause of action for emotional distress damages under California law for clients implanted with the defective valve who had not yet experienced valve failure. We negotiated a settlement for more than 300 prefracture claimants, domestic and foreign, preserving the right of these clients to bring a subsequent claim if the valve failed in the future. The firm has also represented more than 35 individual claimants in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of the failure of the heart valves.

Dalkon Shield Litigation: Represented over 500 women suing the manufacturer of an intrauterine birth control device. The firm was involved in four trials, two of which were settled during trial and two resulted in verdicts of both compensatory and punitive damages. The firm settled all of the cases.

Minnesota Tobacco Litigation: In May 1998, we reached an historic settlement in the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's lawsuit against the major cigarette manufacturers after 15 weeks of trial. The case was settled for $6.13 billion on behalf of the State of Minnesota and $469 million on behalf of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The discovery obtained by the firm is being used by other states, private litigants and foreign countries. Former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop has called the Minnesota case one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century.