Verdict against Johnson & Johnson for a New Jersey woman injured after she was implanted with a vaginal mesh device. (Engleman)
Kline & Specter, PC is a recognized leader in pharmaceutical and product liability litigation.
The firm's Mass Tort Department has been named among the nation's best by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers, for its handling of cases involving a litany of drugs from Accutane to Vioxx. It recently won an $8 billion punitive damages verdict against Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in a case involving the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, which was linked to the growth of female breast tissue in boys. The firm has also won a string of large verdicts -- $120 million, $80 million, $57.1 million, $41 million, $20 million, $13.5 million, $12.5 million -- against J&J over its transvaginal mesh products.
The Mass Tort department also litigates cases involving a wide range of other products, such as asbestos, defective pacemakers and defibrillators and Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution. (See lists below.)
Kline & Specter was among the handful of law firms spearheading national litigation against Merck & Co. involving the pain medication Vioxx, litigation which resulted in a $4.85 billion settlement. Vioxx was removed from the market in 2004 after it was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Tom Kline and Shanin Specter deposed ranking Merck executives and scientists. Kline was also a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee directing the federal Vioxx litigation.
-Benita Pledger of Thorsby, Ala. $2.5 million verdict. From a letter written by the mother of a client who developed male breasts (gynecomastia) after using Risperdal
-Benita Pledger of Thorsby, Ala.
$2.5 million verdict. From a letter written by the mother of a client who developed male breasts (gynecomastia) after using Risperdal
Kline & Specter has some 40 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled doctors. Heading the mass tort litigation team for the firm is Lee B. Balefsky, a partner at Kline & Specter, who has 30 years experience in complex litigation. The firm is currently representing thousands of women from across the United States in their claims against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products. Lee Balefsky is a member of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee involved in all vaginal mesh cases nationwide. (continued below)
Medical Devices and Other Products:
Beyond being a national leader in the Vioxx litigation, Kline & Specter had more than 1,000 clients in the Fen-Phen diet drugs case.
Lee Balefsky served as the Philadelphia County Mass Tort Program liaison counsel in the Vioxx, Diet Drugs, and PPA cases, a role in which he aided the court in case management while providing information to other attorneys involved in the cases. The Mass Tort Department has achieved significant settlements for in lawsuits against the makers of several drugs, including Baycol, Fen-Phen and PPA.
The Mass Tort Department's expertise goes far beyond pharmaceutical cases. Balefsky has won numerous cases over the past two decades for clients stricken with cancer because of asbestos inhalation, a still-present danger. The division also handles cases involving defective medical devices and is currently representing a water company in a case involving MTBE, a gasoline additive that works its way into water supplies.
Although clients are individually represented in mass tort cases, the system allows for consolidation and streamlining by allowing lawyers for numerous clients to "pool" discovery. Numerous witness depositions and document gathering can be conducted once, with the information centralized and shared among the parties for each individual trial or settlement negotiation.
The firm handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.