For over twenty years, I have worked extensively with my founding partner, John C. Thornton, litigating personal injury product liability cases against major pharmaceutical companies resulting from the sale of dangerous drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements. Andrews & Thornton has unique experience in obtaining compensation for clients despite the wrongdoing company declaring bankruptcy.
Experience to Excel in Opioid Bankruptcies
Bankruptcy Leadership and Experience
As you know, I represent Ryan Hampton and Cheryl Juaire on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Purdue Bankruptcy. Together, Ryan, Cheryl, and I are fighting tooth and nail to draw attention to the real victims of this bankruptcy—those still suffering with addiction, those in recovery, and the families of those who have succumb to their opioid use.
I represent more than 1,000 additional creditors of Purdue. Each of these victims’ stories are as tragic as the next, which hardworking, stable livelihoods being turned upside down or even ended early by these drugs. I have built my career out on representing victims of corporate greed and the bulk of my experience comes from litigating against the pharmaceutical industry. Not only do I take on traditional lawsuits, but my firm has focused on representing victims in bankruptcies just like Purdue’s.
Most recently before Purdue, I have represented my client as Co-Chair of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Insys Therapeutics (In re Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Bankruptcy No. 19-11292, Chapter 11). Insys, as the first pharmaceutical bankruptcy stemming from the over 2,600 opioid lawsuits filed by states, cities, and counties, has already covered some of the difficult ground required in these complicated bankruptcies. I am happy to say that the victims of Insys will be compensated fairly in light of the limited resources available.
In addition to my work in Insys, I have served on Unsecured Creditors’ Committees in TwinLab (In re TL Admin. Corp., Bankruptcy No. 03-15564, Chapter 11), N.V.E. (In re N.V.E., Inc., Bankruptcy No. 05-35692, Chapter 11), and as the Chair of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in NECC (In re New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., Bankruptcy No. 12-19882, Chapter 11). I also participated in bankruptcy proceeding on behalf of tort creditors in Chemtura (In re Chemtura Corp., Bankruptcy No. 09-11233, Chapter 11), Metabolife (In re MII Liquidation Inc., Bankruptcy No. 05-6040, Chapter 11), MuscleTech (In re Ephedra Products Liability Litigation/In re Muscletech Research and Development, Inc., 349 B.R. 333 (S.D.N.Y. 2006), Chapter 15), Dow Corning (In re Dow Corning Corp., Bankruptcy No: 95-20512, Chapter 11), and PG&E (In re PG&E Corp., Bankruptcy No. 19-30088, Chapter 11). Earlier this year, I began serving on the Tort Claimants Creditors’ Committee in Boy Scouts (In re Boy Scouts of America, Bankruptcy No. 20-10343, Chapter 11).
I have been fortunate enough to have held leadership positions on the tort committees for plaintiffs in the bankruptcy proceedings filed by Metabolife International, Inc., MuscleTech, and NVE, Inc. Due in large part to my firm’s efforts, these bankruptcies generated over $300 million in settlement proceeds for the benefit of the claimants injured by ephedra. For In re MII Liquidation, Inc. (Metabolife – Chapter 11), I was selected by the Office of the United States Trustee for the Southern District of California to serve in a representative capacity for two of my clients on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, and I was elected by that Committee as Committee Co-Chair. In that capacity, I assisted in successfully negotiating the settlement of 700 tort claims within the bankruptcy. I was also selected by the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey to serve in a representative capacity for my client on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for the In re N.V.E., Inc. Chapter 11 case, where I served as Lead Counsel in the negotiation and global resolution of tort claims. In addition, I was selected, per coordinated orders of Justice Farley of the Ontario Commercial Court in Ontario, Canada and Judge Rakoff in the Southern District of New York, to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee of Tort Claimants in the Canadian CCAA case and companion U.S. Chapter 15 case in In re MuscleTech Research and Development, Inc. This was one of the first Chapter 15 cases ever filed (Chapter 15 provides for ancillary U.S. proceedings in aid of foreign main insolvency proceedings). My firm was an integral component to the negotiation and global resolution of tort claims in that case.
I was selected by the Office of United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York to serve in a representative capacity for my client on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the In re Chemtura Corporation bankruptcy, which involved significant tort claims for injury resulting from exposure to diacetyl.
I also served on the Official Creditors Committee in the tragic case of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections made by the New England Compounding Pharmacy. The bankruptcy was in parallel with the MDL 2419 in the District of Massachusetts, before the honorable Rya W. Zobel. As Co-Chair of the Official Creditors’ Committee, I worked with a team of top national attorneys to secure an unexpected 280-million-dollar settlement as compensation for the victims. I was fortunate to receive peer recognition for this work. My firm was a 2015 Products Liability Finalist for the National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers. Additionally, I received acknowledgement for Distinguished Achievement (Top Gun) Award for Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA).
In addition to my current committee work in opioid bankruptcies of Insys and Purdue, I represent a creditor seated on the Official Committee of Tort Creditors in PG&E. That case recently won court approval of a Restructuring Support Agreement that commits $13.5 billion to victims of wildfires.
I have been fortunate enough to serve in multiple capacities in Federal MDLs and state coordinated litigations, as detailed below. In each litigation I have been able to commit the time and energy to recruit and prepare nationally recognized experts whose reports and testimony have been instrumental in the litigation.
Understanding the importance of knowledgeable qualified experts regarding the prescription opioid litigation, I have been working to contact and secure the commitment of a number of the world’s leading experts in the issues confronting this litigation. I have been successful at assembling a distinguished panel of doctors and scientists with longstanding research interests in the epidemiology, pharmacology, neuroscience and public health issues of the opioid epidemic. Additionally, I have the ability to call on resources and contacts to bring additional expertise into litigations and bankruptcies as needed.
Professional Experience: Multidistrict and State Coordinated Leadership and Experience
My firm, Andrews & Thornton, has extensive multidistrict federal and coordinated state experience. I was appointed to the In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2652) Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee involving Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon Power Morcellator under the Honorable Judge Kathryn H. Vratil in the United States District Court in the District of Kansas. We were involved in working with experts in alternative safer designs. The entire litigation settled at an early stage
I am currently honored to be appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2666), where I am fortunate enough to work with a diverse and highly skilled group of attorneys from across the nation. Our firm located and developed an internationally renowned expert in fluid dynamics to model the effect of the Bair Hugger forced air warming device on airflow in the operating theater. The modeling successfully withstood a Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 702 challenge. It will be important evidence in the upcoming trials.
I was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) by the Honorable Robert L. Miller, Jr. for In Re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant products liability litigation (MDL 2391), which settled for $56 million in 2014. I chaired the Regulatory Committee.
Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz appointed me to the PSC for In re Hydroxycut (MDL 2087). We developed key expert witnesses at the outset of the litigation in the key areas of nephrology, cardiology, pharmacology and neurology.
For In re: Ephedra Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1598), Hon. Jed. S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York appointed me to the Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Counsel. My partner and I successfully conducted an extensive FRE 702 hearing involving complex scientific issues. We retained and developed the key experts in pharmacology, cardiology and neurology. I have served as Co-Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel in In re Metabolife for 356 Cases (Cal. JCCP 4360) before Honorable Ronald Styn in San Diego, CA.
My firm served as Lead Counsel in In re Quinine (JCCP 4565), which settled in 2011 with various manufacturers, including Teva and McKesson, for over $40 million. We developed top experts in the fields vital to the litigation: hematology and nephrology.
Currently, I serve as Lead Counsel for USPLabs Dietary Supplement Cases (JCCP 4808).
In addition, my firm has represented clients in various capacities for the following pharmaceutical MDLs and state coordinated proceedings:
- In Re: Actos (JCCP 4696);
- In Re: Avandia (JCCP 4578);
- In Re: Byetta (JCCP 4574);
- In Re: C. R. Bard, Inc. Pelvic Repair System (MDL 2187);
- In Re: Diet Drugs (Phentermine / Fenfluramine / Dexfenfluramine) products liability litigation (MDL 1203);
- In Re: Fosamax / Alendronate Sodium (JCCP 4644);
- In Re: Gadolinium (JCCP 4556 and MDL 1909);
- In Re: Kugel Mesh (MDL 1842);
- In Re: PPA litigation (MDL 1470);
- In Re: Pradaxa (MDL 2385);
- In Re: Reglan Metoclopramide (JCCP 4631);
- In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip Implant (MDL 2441);
- In Re: Vioxx (MDL 1657);
- In Re: Yaz Yasmin (JCCP 4608 and MDL 2100);
- In Re: Zimmer Durom Cups (MDL 2158);
- In Re: Zoloft (MDL 2342);
Currently, my firm advocates for victims injured by dietary supplements (OxyElite Pro), Risperdal (JCCP 4775), Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Device (MDL 2666), Karl Storz Power Morcellator (Case No. BC581718), and several other harmful drugs and medical devices. In addition to my leadership experience in multiple litigations, I have held board positions in the following organizations: Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), Orange County Trial Lawyers (OCTLA), Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) and I am frequently invited to speak as a lecturer in frequent areas of law as a recognized expert in mass tort and bankruptcy around the country. I am past President of OCTLA and have led the Hydroxycut Litigation Group and Fungal Meningitis Litigation Group by the American Association for Justice (AAJ).