Notable Representations, Key Contacts
Creative Exit Strategies
Weil also represents CIT in a first-of-its-kind multi-million dollar dispute in which CIT seeks compensation from a lessee for corrosion damage to its tank cars sustained during the transport of “fracked” crude oil from the Bakken region. The case is venued in state court in Texas and scheduled for trial in May 2017.
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 2016, Weil defeated plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class in the Florida case, as well as won a motion to dismiss with prejudice in the Tennessee 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.
In late August and October 2016, the trial court judge separately dismissed all of the remaining six cases in the MDL. Then, in October 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for certiorari, declining to hear their appeal of the June 2016 affirmation.
Weil also serves as lead trial counsel for P&G in a consumer fraud class action in Ohio federal court relating to the probiotic dietary supplement, Align. The five-state class of purchasers of Align has been certified and certification was upheld by the Sixth Circuit; Weil was appointed as lead counsel after the Sixth Circuit ruling. Plaintiffs allege that P&G’s marketing of Align was misleading because, among other things, P&G lacks sufficient substantiation for its claims. Plaintiffs seek a full refund, with total damages totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Weil represents Walgreens Boots Alliance in connection with several proposed consumer class actions filed against it and Theranos, Inc. relating to high-profile issues affecting one of Theranos’s primary blood testing products.
Link to Product Liability Monitor Blog
In 2018, Weil was honored as the national finalist in the Product Liability competition in The American Lawyer’s prestigious, biennial Litigation Department of the Year contest, with the publication showcasing our unique ability to win in and out of the courtroom.
What separated Weil’s products liability group from other firms was the team’s ability to win big not just at trial, but long before the matter ever came before a jury.” Moreover, Weil’s “cases often involve not only civil investigations, but also governmental inquiries, bankruptcy proceedings and intense media scrutiny, at times occurring in multiple countries and languages.”
The American Lawyer, 2018 Litigation Department of the Year
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.
Weil is currently recognized as a top-ranked Tier 1 firm for Product Liability.
Benchmark Litigation 2018
Diane Sullivan is “held in high esteem as a ‘real destination lawyer’ and ‘an excellent trial lawyer.’” 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.
Arvin Maskin, Head 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.