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. (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.
Medical Devices and Other Products:
|Surgical Staples||Transvaginal Mesh|
Kline & Specter has more than 50 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled doctors. Heading the firm's Mass Tort Department is Tobi Millrood, who has 25 years of complex litigation experience, including in court-appointed leadership positions, and has won a number of major jury verdicts in complex litigation. Millrood is past president of the world’s largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (AAJ).
He has had many major victories in prescription drug and medical device litigation, including against Wyeth, Pfizer and numerous other Fortune 100 companies in the landmark Hormone Therapy litigation. Millrood also served on the plaintiffs’ executive committee In Re Prempro Products Liability, and was chair of the AAJ Hormone Therapy Litigation Group. He tried four hormone therapy cases to verdict, winning all four cases, including damages awards of $72.6 million and $34.3 million.
Lee Balefsky, who formerly headed Mass Torts and now serves as senior counsel, was 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, New York, Delaware and nationwide. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.