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How to Start and Grow Your Own Plaintiffs' Firm
In 2007, Greg Coleman launched Greg Coleman Law PC, a plaintiffs’ class action, mass tort and personal injury practice located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Greg Coleman has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America, was recognized as one of Knoxville’s top attorneys in the metropolitan area’s Cityview Magazine and has received accolades for his legal advocacy through the Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Advocates Forum and Super Lawyers. Since inception, his firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for its clients, including a $178.6 million ERISA class-action settlement that required AK Steel Corp. to provide health and life insurance benefits to a group of over 3,000 workers and their spouses.
Are you interested in growing your firm? Creating a firm that is tailored to its strengths
Darren Penn, a trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience, founded the plaintiffs’ firm of Harris Penn Lowry LLP alongside Jeff Harris and Steve Lowry in 2006. The Georgia-based practice set itself apart by achieving the largest verdicts in the state over the past ten years in five separate categories: products liability, business torts, premises liability, nursing home and medical negligence. Further, the firm has secured over $750 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of its clients—establishing it as one of the leading plaintiffs’ civil litigation practices in the Southeast.
The DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup Liner is a metal liner designed for use with the Pinnacle Acetabular Shells and the matching femoral head. The implant system was constructed with a proprietary alloy containing cobalt, chromium, and molybdenum, and was created to increase mobility and last longer than other hip implant devices.
INFUSE® Bone Graft/Interbody Fusion Devise (“INFUSE”) is used for spinal fusion procedures in skeletally mature patients with conditions such as degenerative disc disease (DDD). The FDA first approved the use of INFUSE in 2002, and it has since been approved for the following three indications: (1) fusion of the lumbar spine; (2) healing acute, open tibial shaft fractures; and (3) oral and maxillofacial uses. Medtronic generates about $900 million annually from the use of INFUSE, which is used in about 432,000 spinal fusions each year.
A power morcellator is a medical device used in laparoscopic surgeries, such as splenectomy, gall bladder removal, and hysterectomies. The device is inserted into the body through a small incision and then is used to remove large tissue sections by dividing the sections into smaller pieces or fractions. The surgical tool is designed to facilitate the removal of tissue through small incision sites and is an alternative to a traditional abdominal incision surgery. A traditional abdominal incision surgery is a much more invasive surgery, with a longer recovery time and more complications, and would leave a large scar.
Lipitor is the brand name of the drug atorvastatin. It is part of the statin class of hypolipidemic drugs, which are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals used to treat abnormally elevated levels of any or all lipids and/or lipoproteins in the blood. Statins, in particular, lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which produces about 70 percent of cholesterol in the body.
DEPAKOTE Depakote is part of a class of drugs called anticonvulsants that help to manage brain activity. The drug, which was first introduced into the U.S. market in 1983, is indicated for the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and to prevent migraine headaches. Depakote comes in different dosage forms. Depakote tablets are used to treat bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches, whereas Depakote Sprinkle Capsules are used to treat epileptic seizures.
COOK IVC FILTER
COOK IVC FILTER An inferior vena cava (“IVC”) filter is a small, cage-like device that is implanted in the IVC, which is the main vein that returns blood from the lower half of the body to the heart and lungs. The filter is designed to capture migrating blood clots that have broken loose from the arterial wall in an individual’s legs and that is moving toward the heart and lungs, allowing blood to continue to flow around the trapped blood clot.
BENICAR The FDA approved Benicar (olmesartan) in 2002 for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). A member of the angiotensin receptor blocker (“ARB”) family of drugs, Benicar operates by blocking the chemicals in the body that cause the muscles around blood vessels to contract, thus promoting the blood vessel dilation critical to lowering a patient's blood pressure.
BARD IVC FILTER
BARD IVC FILTER An inferior vena cava (“IVC”) filter is a small, cage-like device that is implanted in the IVC, which is the main vein that returns blood from the lower half of the body to the heart and lungs. The filter is designed to capture migrating blood clots that have broken loose from the arterial wall in an individual’s legs and that is moving toward the heart and lungs, allowing blood to continue to flow around the trapped blood clot.
In Re: Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation
Abilify is an antipsychotic medication that functions by either increasing or decreasing dopamine or serotonin when an imbalance is present. It is part of a class of drugs known as partial dopamine receptor agonists that imitate the effects of dopamine to the brain. The dopamine system keeps humans alive by ensuring that we continue to eat and maintain other basic needs. The dopamine system works by sending a signal of pleasure to the brain in response to certain activities, which plays an important role in addiction. People with mental illnesses often have imbalanced dopamine systems that are either overly stimulated or not stimulated enough.
Bristol-Myers-Squibb v. Superior Court, No. S221038 (Cal. 2016)
FACTS: Bristol-Myers-Squibb (“BMS”) manufactures Plavix, a prescription drug used to inhibit blood clotting. In the eight amended complaints filed in the San Francisco Superior Court, 86 California residents and 592 residents of 33 other states sued BMS and McKesson Corporation, a pharmaceutical distributor headquartered in California, for injuries allegedly arising out of their use of Plavix. Outside of California, the largest number of plaintiffs resided in Texas, with 92 plaintiffs, followed by Ohio, with 71 plaintiffs.
Mastering Mass Torts
Prominent defective drug and device attorney talks about the skillset, fortitude and passion required for building a nationally respected mass tort practice. After practicing law for over 20 years and having tried many civil jury trials, Glenn Phillips ventured into the world of mass torts with the Vioxx litigation in the mid-2000s. Since then, he has established himself and his law firms—Phillips Law Firm, PLLC and Sanders Phillips Grossman, LLC—as leaders in the industry. He has been appointed to numerous positions of leadership on plaintiffs’ steering committees, served on science and discovery committees and obtained settlements against drug and device manufacturers in excess of $300 million.
Interested in building a mass tort practice?
We can show you the way (with a little help from the experts). Case aggregation is a critical component of the mass tort business. It refers to the practice of attorneys acquiring a group of clients with similar injuries caused by the same product, then co-counseling with a member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC). The Plaintiff Steering Committee is a small group of lawyers that are impaneled to manage and conduct the litigation. However, it is impossible for just members of the PSC—
Ramping Up a Mass Tort Practice
Ex-prosecutor and leader of rapidly expanding plaintiffs’ mass tort firm talks on overcoming fear, taking risks and making the choice to achieve fast-paced growth for his practice. Fred Olinde, an ex-prosecutor for the New Orleans District Attorney's office, started and quickly built up a thriving plaintiffs' mass tort practice. Recently, I was able to have a conversation with Fred where he uncovered some of his law firm's secrets to success in the mass tort arena and how he was able to achieve rapid growth despite being new to the field. Read what he had to say...
Judge Sends Sega Arcade Game Settlement Back for Reprogramming
For those unfamiliar, Key Master is a modern variant of the claw crane game for winning prizes. Instead of a claw, there is a key that must be guided via joystick through a lock shaped hole. Behind each hole is a prize. The complaint alleges that Sega’s arcade game falsely and deceptively misleads consumers because the game’s programming does not permit prizes to be awarded, even if the user wins the game, until a certain amount of money is deposited into the game. As can be seen from the vid
Is Lumber Liquidators the New Chinese Drywall?
Last Sunday night, 60 Minutes aired a story on wood flooring products retailer Lumber Liquidators and its laminate flooring products that purportedly contain formaldehyde levels that exceed acceptable standards for consumer products in the US. The laminate flooring products, manufactured in China, could cause debilitating diseases such as acute myelogenous leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer if allegations about the formaldehyde content are true. Lumber Liquidators is being investigated by the U
LinkedIn’s Launches New Marketing Solutions That Could Bolster Your Firm’s Brand
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, LinkedIn unveiled its newly enhanced platform of business-to-business lead generation products. The launch follows the $175 million acquisition of Bizo, a company devoted to helping advertisers reach businesses and professionals, in August of 2014. LinkedIn utilized Bizo’s team and technology, as well as partnered with AppNexus, to bring to life what the company promises is a suite of products that will provide “a faster way to reach, nurture, and convert high-qu
Fantasy Football Giant Hit With Potential Class Action for False Advertising
One of the most prominent players to emerge in the burgeoning “for profit” fantasy football industry has become the target of an action that seeks class certification for false advertising claims stemming from a promise to double users’ cash deposits. DraftKings, a platform that permits registrants to play fantasy sports and win cash prizes, is the defendant in Aguirre v. DraftKings, Inc., a case which seeks remedies for claims under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Florida
Value of Attorney Advertising On Display at Risperdal Trial
The pharmaceutical drug Risperdal, prescribed by physicians as an antipsychotic, has caused a particularly embarrassing and emotionally scarring side effect in thousands of its male users. The drug is alleged to have caused thousands of boys and grown men alike to develop breasts, a medical condition known as gynecomastia. Despite widespread claims of this side effect by Risperdal users, many injured parties may not know the causal relationship between use of the defective product and an inj
California Bar on Blogging 101: Mind the “Call to Action”
The pervasiveness of blogging and social media was bound to raise ethical questions over when an attorney’s public statements intertwined with the law cross the line from free speech to attorney marketing and, as a result, regulated speech. The California Bar Association recently weighed in to provide some guidance on when attorney blogging constitutes “commercial speech” and is subject to ethical restrictions. The opinion reiterates the U.S. Supreme Court authority that an economic interest al
NYC to Pay $5 Million to Relatives of “Mafia Cops” Victims to Resolve Municipal Liability Claims
schleslaw.com A $5 million settlement has been reached between victims seeking redress for wrongful death after their loved ones were murdered by rogue NYPD detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, acting as hitmen for the mafia in the 1980s. The settlement comes four months after a federal judge granted the city’s summary judgment motion on state law claims but denied with respect to federal municipal liability claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As reported by the New York Law Journal on t
Standard & Poor Settles Suit Over Inflated Ratings for $1.375 Billion
Having been in business for over 150 years and with 26 offices worldwide, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services touts that it provides “high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, research, and thought leadership.” Nevertheless, the company, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., became the adversary in a legal battle with the U.S. Department of Justice and 19 states and the District of Columbia, which resulted in a settlement of $1.375 billion. The lawsuit, filed nearly two
Facebook: A Decade Later Attorneys Still Have Cause for Concern
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard University roommates launched the social media website, Facebook. Although Facebook was initially limited to serving college students, the website now has an incredible variety of users, some of whom are professionals. Unlike most other occupations, the legal field is subject to certain ethical guidelines and professional standards, such as those enumerated in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Model Rules”), which can present
Plaintiffs’ Counsel in Zoloft MDL Obtain a “Daubert Do-Over”
On Thursday, January 8, 2015, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who is presiding over the multi-district litigation involving prescription antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride), granted the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee’s motion for leave to identify and present a new general causation expert. Previously, the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) offered four witnesses to testify as to whether Zoloft caused birth defects in babies born to mot
Popular Podcast Fuels New Trial After Man Served 16 Years of a Life Sentence
On June 30, 2016, Adnan Syed was given something that he wanted for 16 years—a new trial. Judge Martin Welch, from the Baltimore Circuit Court in Maryland, vacated Syed’s 2000 murder conviction based on cell phone tower evidence that was not introduced in the original trial. The murder itself sparked national attention via the popular podcast Serial. The first season of the show covers the story of Syed’s conviction following the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. On January 13, 1
Class Action Suit Filed After Refrigerator Fires
On June 24, 2016, owners of Dometic Corporation gas absorption refrigerators filed class-action claims against the company, claiming that the refrigerators leak flammable gas and cause fires. The lawsuit alleges that Dometic knew that the defective refrigerators, mostly found in boats and RVs, have caused more than 3,000 fires since 1997, resulting in over $100 million in property damage and personal injuries, but failed to address the defect and/or provide consumers with adequate warnings. Ho
Class Action Filed After Violence Erupts at Trump Rally
On July 14, 2016, fourteen supporters of Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against the San Jose police department, claiming that the police failed to protect them from violent protestors at a June 2, 2016 Trump campaign rally. The fourteen named plaintiffs are seeking class action status on behalf of all Trump supporters who were attacked at the rally. Around 300 to 400 anti-Trump protestors were outside the venue, allegedly pelting eggs and glass bottles at supporters. On the day of the event, San
Florida Residents Contemplate Class-Action Lawsuit After Algae Infestation
Residents of the waterfront community of Cape Coral, Florida are making it known to lawmakers in Lee County that they want their taxes lowered in response to the sudden infestation of foul smelling blue algae that has surrounded the community. Residents allege that the taxes they pay are high due to their close proximity to the water. However, now that the putrid smelling algae has moved in, homeowners and business owners say their properties have lost significant value. If the local government
$70 Million Verdict Awarded in Fifth Philadelphia Risperdal Trial
On July 1, 2016, the fifth case to go to trial in Philadelphia’s mass tort litigation involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal resulted in a $70 million verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. In the case, the family of Andrew Yount claimed that Risperdal caused their adolescent son to develop female breasts. Andrew, who was born in 1998, began taking the drug manufactured by Janssen in 2003 to medicate his severe psychiatric problems, which were later