February 12, 2016
Partner Diane Sullivan has been selected as “Litigator of the Week” by The AmLaw Litigation Daily for securing a complete defense jury verdict for Philip Morris USA in a medical monitoring class action suit.
The profile of Ms. Sullivan notes that this case marked the most important test in years for the viability of medical monitoring claims against the tobacco industry. The unanimous defense verdict was returned on February 10, 2016, following a three-week jury trial, for which Ms. Sullivan served as first chair. This complete victory concludes a decade-long case that was being pursued on behalf of all Massachusetts smokers of Philip Morris USA cigarettes who have smoked for 20 pack-years, with a total class size estimated to be in the tens of thousands.
Plaintiffs in the case sought a comprehensive program that would have included yearly low dose CT scans, which are now the standard of care for the early detection of lung cancer for certain patients. Originally filed in 2006, the case was certified as a class action in 2010. Ms. Sullivan, described in the article as a “tenacious trial lawyer,” took the reins in 2012 when she joined a defense team led by Latham & Watkins’ Kenneth Parsigian, who went on to serve as second chair at trial.