Notable Representations, Key Contacts
Creative Exit Strategies
Weil represents Nortek Global HVAC LLC (NGHL), a subsidiary of Nortek and a leading manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as lead counsel in defense of putative state and nationwide consumer class actions pending in Florida and Tennessee federal courts. Plaintiffs are purchasers of residential HVAC systems manufactured, distributed and sold by NGHL that allegedly contained defective copper evaporator coils. In January 2016, Weil defeated plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class in the Florida case.
Weil successfully represented Procter & Gamble (P&G) as lead counsel in a high-profile MDL in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in which plaintiffs alleged that they were injured through their use of the popular denture cream, Fixodent. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that zinc contained in the denture creams manufactured by P&G and others caused neurological problems. Plaintiffs filed numerous Florida state law claims, including strict product liability, negligence, intentional misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, implied warranty, and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. In 2014, Weil won a significant victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that affirmed the trial court’s Daubert and summary judgment orders in the lead case, which excluded plaintiffs’ expert testimony and resultantly found that plaintiffs could not sustain their burden of proof. While the Chapman case was on appeal, the remaining plaintiffs in MDL 2051 were granted an opportunity to proffer new experts and any new science in support of their causation theory. P&G again challenged plaintiffs’ new experts and purported new science through the submission of additional Daubert motions seeking to exclude those general causation experts. In January 2015, the trial court granted P&G’s motion to exclude all of the plaintiffs’ general causation experts, a decision that led to the dismissal with prejudice of 62 plaintiffs in April 2015; in June 2016, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed.
Weil secured significant victories for the Hungarian State Railways in two cases testing the reach of U.S. jurisdiction over foreign sovereigns. In both cases, the plaintiffs sought to recover from the Hungarian Railways, a government instrumentality, for misconduct allegedly occurring in Hungary during World War II. In January 2015, the Weil team convinced the Seventh Circuit that the plaintiffs had not shown any exception to MÁV’s sovereign immunity and that it should confirm the Illinois district court’s granting of MÁV’s motion to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiffs must first exhaust their legal options in Hungary. Weil also represents the Republic of Hungary and MÁV in a similar class action relating to alleged property theft during World War II filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In May 2012, the district court granted Weil’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act’s treaty exception precludes U.S. jurisdiction. Weil is currently litigating the jurisdictional issue in the D.C. Circuit.
Link to Product Liability Monitor Blog
Weil’s Product Liability and Mass Torts practice is recognized by Legal 500 as one of the best in the United States, including a top 20 ranking in both the areas of Consumer Products and Toxic Tort – Defense, and a top 25 ranking in the area of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices – Defense.
Diane Sullivan is “held in high esteem as a ‘real destination lawyer’ and ‘an excellent trial lawyer’” in Chambers Global. She is praised for her “expertise in product liability matters” and “experience in the pharmaceutical space,” and is known for her “ability to make complicated issues understandable.”
Diane Sullivan is a “Leading” lawyer nationwide for Product Liability & Mass Torts and is currently ranked Band 1 in New Jersey for Products Liability by Chambers USA.
Mr. Maskin, Chair of Weil’s Product Liability and Mass Torts practice, has been recognized as a national “Litigation Star” in this area by Benchmark Litigation since 2009.
Weil is recognized as a “Leading Firm” for Products Liability by Benchmark Litigation 2012-2016
A fundamental priority of all corporations must be to create a culture of risk avoidance and accountability based on nothing less than a form of corporate risk clairvoyance,” which “is fundamentally different from ‘crisis management’…”
Weil Partner Arvin Maskin