Steve's practice focuses on complex, national product liability litigation, with an emphasis on representation of manufacturers of prescription drugs and medical devices. He also practices in the area of agribusiness and food safety.
Steve has spoken and written on federal preemption, innovator liability, the use of epidemiology in tort litigation, the Restatement (Third) of Torts, the learned intermediary doctrine, the forum non conveniens doctrine, removal issues and the use of social media advertising by food and beverage manufacturers.
Representative matters include: Nelson v. American Home Products Corp., 92 F. Supp.2d 954 (W.D. Mo. 2000) (striking six plaintiffs’ experts and entering summary judgment on Daubert grounds); Nix v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. CV-06-43-PHX-SMM, 2007 WL 2526402 (D. Ariz. Sept. 5, 2007) (entering summary judgment based on learned intermediary doctrine and absence of proximate cause); Faulise v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, 223 Fed.Appx. 239, 2007 WL 1051441 (4th Cir. 2007) (affirming entry of summary judgment based on statute of limitations); and In re Rezulin Prods. Liab. Litig. (Glossip v. Warner-Lambert Co.), No. 03 Civ. 4763 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (recognizing equitable exception to one-year limit on diversity-based removals in light of plaintiff’s tactical efforts to thwart removal).
Steve chairs Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Associates Committee, and he is an active member of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, he has co-chaired a task force focused on leadership and management skills – an initiative for which he received an award for “Excellence in Professional Development.” He has also been an active member of the firm’s Recruiting/Hiring Committee, chairing for two years a summer associate program that was ranked among the best in the country.
While in law school, Steve was the managing editor of the Nebraska Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers.
Before his legal career, Steve worked as a news reporter for The Associated Press (Lincoln, Nebraska), The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Florida), The Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska) and The Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Massachusetts).
Steve is married to Rory Barrett Thomas, and they have two girls, Charley and Coco.
Publications and Presentations
"The Winners and Losers in the Food Litigation Wars – What Constituencies Benefit the Most from Consumer Fraud Class Actions Against the Food Companies?" (Panel), Challenges Facing the Food & Beverage Industries in Complex Consumer Litigations, June 2013.
Steve Thomas & Jennifer Stonecipher Hill, Conte Reeling in the Wake of California Supreme Court Decision, 20:2 RX for the Defense, July 2012.