§ Deposing experts and fact witnesses
§ Research and writing
§ Counseling clients
§ Appear pro hac vice in state and federal courts throughout the country including California, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York
§ Chairman, Products Liability Committee of the Bergen County Bar Association
§ Recognized as a Top Lawyer in Bergen County for Product Liability, 201 Magazine
§ Who's Who: Top Attorneys of North America
§ Avvo rating of 9.5 of 10
Reliable, seasoned attorney adept at negotiating seeks of counsel or non-equity partner litigation position in order to utilize 25 years' experience litigating medical device, product liability, personal injury, and business dispute cases.
Represent for the past 20 years medical device manufacturers AbbVie, Inc. and their related predecessors Allergan, Inc., INAMED Corp., McGhan Medical Corporation for product liability claims stemming from medical devices (saline and silicone breast implants, SERI® mesh, LAP-BAND® obesity system, and CoolSculpting® treatment) and pharmaceuticals (Juvederm, Lytera Pigment Correction Serum, Zyplast injectable collagen filler).
- Defend manufacturer in state and federal courts throughout the country utilizing and directing local counsel.
- Research, interview and retain liability experts with appropriate product knowledge.
- Depose plaintiffs, medical providers, and experts as needed.
- Prepare and defend company employees and Rule 30(b)(6) representatives at deposition.
- Draft motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment and motions in limine.
- By way of example, Dixon v. Allergan, Inc. was a state court case removed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida involving the LAP-BAND® System involving an obesity band which eroded into Plaintiff's stomach causing necrosis necessitating emergency surgery, and resulting in a coma, three-week hospital stay, and $500,000 in medical bills:
o Convinced Plaintiff's counsel to dismiss his Complaint asserting five counts that were surely to be dismissed as pre-empted by the Medical Device Amendments (MDA) to the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA) given that LAP-BAND® had received pre-market approval (PMA) from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
o Drafted motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleging only breach of warranty, arguing there was no privity required under Florida law between Plaintiff and the medical device manufacturer that allegedly made the warranties.
o Plaintiff then filed a Second Amended Complaint alleging five causes of action, breach of warranty again plus negligent misrepresentation, fraud in the inducement, fraud in the performance and fraudulent misrepresentation.
o Drafted another motion to dismiss arguing lack of privity and that the fraud-based claims were not pled with the particularity required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b).
o Conducted discovery while awaiting a decision from the federal court.
o Deposed Plaintiff and her implanting physician in Florida.
o Prepared and defended several Allergan employees at depositions in California.
o Drafted motion for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff disavowed many of the representations allegedly made by Allergan, and did not satisfy the elements of the fraud-based causes of action.
o Court granted our earlier-filed motions to dismiss, with the federal judge agreeing that the multiple amended pleadings were not pled with the particularity required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) and that Plaintiff had no privity with Allergan which is necessary for a breach of warranty claim under Florida law.
o Drafted successful brief in opposition to Plaintiff's appeal to the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, yielding decision at 645 Fed.Appx. 930 (11th Cir. 2016).
Represented numerous manufacturers of industrial equipment in state and federal courts in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania involving products such as conveyors, meat grinders, punch press machines, and glass-making machinery.
- Defended Maul Brothers Corporation in two lawsuits where assembly line workers were seriously burned while tending glass-making machines which can reach 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the second case, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County but removed to federal court in Camden, Plaintiff's shirt caught fire while attempting to reach across the red-hot bottles to change a part on the other side of the conveyor.
o Plaintiff sustained third-degree burns to 15% of his body necessitating four weeks in hospital and several weeks of in-patient rehabilitation, and an alleged inability to return to his former line of work due to PTSD and related emotional claims, yielding a demand of several million dollars.
o Deposed Plaintiff, his fellow employees, mechanics, manager and owner of the employer-business to establish that there had been prior burn accidents at this location and everyone knew that the safest way to change a part on the glass-making machine was to first turn it off, but that the employer did not want its line workers and mechanics to do so because it interfered with production and profitability.
o Established during a lengthy deposition of Plaintiff conducted over three days that Plaintiff would not have been burned if he had simply turned off the machine before attempting to change a part, and that his emotional difficulties and subsequent psychological treatment stemmed from the murder of his teenage son, rather than his earlier his workplace accident.
o Researched, interviewed and retained our burn expert and psychiatric expert, and massaged their draft expert reports.
o Worked closely with client/in-house liability expert on product identification since the subject machinery was originally made decades ago and had been modified and re-built multiple times since then, including most recently by Plaintiff's employer.
o Drafted confidential settlement brief explaining how Plaintiff's damages were in part due to issues other than the 3rd degree burns sustained and alleged emotional damages, and how our client was not the legal cause of this accident, but rather employer's failure to install guard on machine, failure to require workers to shut down machinery before changing parts, and refusal to buy flame-retardant uniforms for workers all led to a “substantial certainty of injury.”
o Resolved case at settlement conference with federal Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider in Camden to the satisfaction of client and insurance adjuster who was shocked that we maneuvered the employer to pay more than the manufacturer in a workplace accident case where employers usually pay nothing because of workers' compensation bar to liability.
Although representing defendants the overwhelming majority of time, have represented seriously-injured parties at times, including a surgeon who accidentally shot himself in the fingers while handling a shotgun at a country club offering trap-shooting, ending his lucrative career.
- After this difficult case had been rejected by two other law firms, accepted the challenge because we had represented this surgeon's businesses in the past.
- Filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court against country club that sponsored the trap-shooting event as well as the person it hired to run and supervise the event.
- Prepared and defended client and his wife at deposition, anticipating and asserting the marital privilege to prevent inquiry into what the spouses said to each other.
- Drafted or re-drafted several motions in limine, including seeking to bar Plaintiff's comparative negligence and any mention of Plaintiff's past history with alcohol.
- Drafted 79-page brief in opposition to Defendants' 67-page motion for summary judgment seeking judgment as a matter of law on eight different grounds, explaining:
o Defendants violated state law and local ordinance by erecting a makeshift trap-shooting area on club property, and transferring guns to participants on a firing range not operated by a qualified entity;
o Exculpatory language in club application and member rules, which Plaintiff signed years earlier, was not effective to insulate the club from responsibility for its conduct and omissions;
o Defendant club negligently hired the person who ran the trap-shooting event on the club's property, as he had no certification to instruct novices such as Plaintiff;
o If supervisor of event was not an actual employee of club, he had apparent authority, and even if he was an independent contractor, the club was legally responsible for incompetent contractors;
o Defendants owed Plaintiff a heightened duty of care because a dangerous instrumentality was involved;
o Club and the incompetent person they hired to run the event were negligent in 20 enumerated ways, including that they created rules that they did not show to Plaintiff and which they did not follow themselves; they did not collect the loaded shotgun from Plaintiff during an extended cease fire; they set up the makeshift range in an area open to the public and not shielded from the elements that contributed to Plaintiff falling and accidentally discharging the weapon; etc.
- After surviving the MSJ, drafted the settlement brief for the judge focusing on damages, including the physical and emotional toll on Plaintiff as well as significant lost wages.
- Attended four settlement conferences with Thomas C. Miller, Judge of the Superior Court, until Defendants abandoned their no-pay stance based upon “Plaintiff shooting himself” in favor of a seven-figure settlement that acknowledged the myriad errors they made and fairly compensated my client for having cut short his well-paying career.
§ Tried several personal injury and workers' compensation cases to resolution.
§ Conducted depositions of fact witnesses and experts.
§ Tried numerous workers' compensation cases to resolution.
§ Negotiated settlements in personal injury cases.
• "Litigation After Doctors Fight - Literally," Bergen County Bar Association, June 2018;
• "Putting a Value on Personal Injuries," Bergen County Bar Association, May 2009;
• "How to Negotiate a Civil Case," Bergen County Bar Association, October 2007;
• "Big Money or Big Headache: An Introduction to Products Liability," BCBA Young Lawyers Division, May 2007;
• "Understanding Medical Records," Bergen Community College, October 2006;
• "Medical Records for Paralegals," N.J.I.C.L.E., June 2006;
• "Improve Your Performance in Products Liability Cases," Bergen County Bar Association, March 2006;
• "Introduction to Products Liability Law," Bergen Community College, November 2005;
• "Handling a Products Liability Case: Nuts and Bolts," Bergen County Bar Association, October 2004;
• "Medical Records for Paralegals," N.J.I.C.L.E., June 2003;
• "Analyzing Medical Records for the New Jersey Paralegal," National Business Institute, November 2002;
• "Developing and Using Demonstrative Evidence at Trial," Sussex County Bar Association, October 2001.
• “Ruling Protects Device Manufacturers,” New Jersey Lawyer, October 2008;
• "Laidlow and the Intentional Tort Theory Against the Employer," Bergen Barrister, Winter 2005;
• "A Lesson Learned about Discovery Deadlines," New Jersey Lawyer, March 2005.
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