Lori advises and defends Fortune 500 companies in complex national product liability litigation, with a focus on the pharmaceutical, medical device, bioscience and personal care products industries. With a background as an RN on a critical care oncology unit and nearly 30 years’ experience in products litigation, Lori’s skills in science and medicine are a powerful asset in defending litigation.

Lori’s dedication to her work has earned her a reputation among clients as "a trusted partner" who knows how to handle high-stakes litigation. She has been described as smart, dedicated, client-focused and results-oriented—"a lawyer every client needs on its short list of go-to litigators, and a pleasure to work with.”

Lori develops an understanding of her clients’ businesses by partnering with them to develop cost-effective approaches to achieve litigation goals and overcome novel claims challenging their industries. She regularly leads litigation teams, including in the virtual law firm environment, has taken and defended hundreds of fact and expert depositions, has prepared and defended company witnesses from a wide range of business areas, and plays key roles in devising strategies to defend against novel scientific claims in bet-the-company lawsuits.

Lori’s national practice ranges from multidistrict litigation, mass torts and class actions to individual claims. She has also conducted early risk assessments for clients, advising on litigation prevention strategies. She has defended a wide range of matters, including claims involving sales and marketing practices, counterfeit drugs, unfair trade practices, third party reimbursement actions and cases challenging confidential mass settlements.

Lori is committed to her legal community and fellow lawyers. She has served for more than a decade on the Board and Advisory Board of the Women’s Employment Network, a non-profit committed to educating and training women for workplace opportunities. She has also actively participated in Shook’s recruiting and associate retention committees, professional development committee, Women’s Management Council, and diversity and inclusion programs. Lori was honored with Shook’s Mosaic Award for her efforts in diversity and inclusion.

Lori serves in a variety of roles for her clients throughout the litigation process, from pre-litigation counseling to post-trial motions. Her roles include:

Pre-Litigation Counsel. Lori advises clients on litigation-avoidance measures to help reduce their risks of exposure. She has served as adviser to Fortune 500 pharmaceutical clients on corporate anti-counterfeit measures and litigation prevention strategies.

Counsel on Mass Litigation Strategy, Expert Witness Development and Discovery, and “In the Trenches” Deposition Work. Lori taps into her nursing background to work with expert witnesses in cases involving drugs and medical devices. She focuses especially on strategy development for Daubert hearings and depositions of witnesses on complex medical and scientific issues. Her work includes:

  • securing the dismissal of a putative class action against multiple prescription eye-drop manufacturers alleging the companies designed the bottles to force product overflow (see Oversize Drug Packaging Suits Are A 'Waste' For Plaintiffs, Law360, March 10, 2016); 
  • conducting hundreds of treating physician and plaintiff depositions in a host of mass litigation claims involving, for example, cardiac injury, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ovarian cancer, lung cancer and psychiatric injuries;
  • heading a virtual law firm team in expert development and discovery in multidistrict litigation alleging that a $10-billion blockbuster drug caused suicide and other psychiatric injuries;
  • devising strategy for and presenting novel expert testimony in a Daubert hearing to refute a game-changing FDA safety report; and
  • discovering a key witness whose pivotal testimony resulted in the plaintiff’s defeat in a $10-million lawsuit alleging that a sleeping medication caused murder.

Mediator and Settlement Negotiator. When necessary, Lori recognizes when mediation and settlement options become the most favorable resolutions for her clients, and she has developed and implemented effective global resolution strategies. She has successfully saved her clients money by negotiating favorable settlements, including:

  • mediating to favorable resolution a $5-million inventory of complex medical injury cases involving infants and children, helping to avert potential negative publicity;
  • averting a $2.3-billion judgment against a Fortune 500 client by the global settlement of more than 400 cases in the first case alleging criminal dilution and drug counterfeiting by a licensed pharmacist; and
  • saving a major medical-device company from bankruptcy in a $1-billion class action settlement arising from a recall of thousands of orthopedic devices.

Trial Counsel. Lori has served as trial counsel in a number of complex cases, including multidistrict litigation. Her work includes:

  • obtaining a jury verdict against Blue Cross Blue Shield as second chair on RICO claims alleging $600-million in damages, effectively terminating third-party reimbursement cases against the tobacco industry;
  • conducting video direct examinations for key scientific and marketing witnesses in $200-million multidistrict litigation alleging consumer fraud and personal injury; and
  • helping to win a directed verdict for a pharmaceutical client in a high-profile case alleging drug-induced suicide (Beer v. The Upjohn Co., 943 S.W.2d 691 (Mo. App. 1997)).

Publications and Presentations

Lori McGroder & Iain L. Kennedy, When Coordination Isn't Key: Why and How to Oppose MDL Centralization, Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, May 23, 2016.

James P. Muehlberger, Lori McGroder & Iain Kennedy, Oversize Drug Packaging Suits Are A 'Waste' For Plaintiffs, Law360, March 10, 2016.

Lori McGroder & Jennifer Stevenson, Things I Wish I Knew About Depositions When I Started Practicing, Kansas Association of Defense Counsel Annual Conference (Kansas City, Missouri), Dec. 2013.

Lori McGroder, Life Science Litigation Trends and Recent Developments, Marsh USA's Life Sciences Client Council Meeting (New York, New York), Nov. 2013.

Lori McGroder & Jennifer Stevenson, Cosmetics Under Fire: Tips to Avoid FDA Scrutiny, Law360, Nov. 30. 2012. 

Lori McGroder, FDA's Nanotech Safety Rules May Not Help Cos. Avoid Risk, Law360, April 24, 2012. 

Lori McGroder, Keeping Cosmetics out of the Courtroom, 84:4 SPC Magazine, April 2011.

Lori McGroder, Nano-Cosmetics: Beyond Skin Deep, Law360, Feb. 15, 2011. 

Lori McGroder (Panelist), Inoculating Clinical Trials from Litigation Risks, Berkley Life Sciences LLC Risk Management Webinar, Jan. 2011.

Lori McGroder & Devin Ross, Tilzer, Rule 1.8(g), & the End of Mass Tort Settlement as We Know It, 19:16 MEALEY’S Emerging Toxic Torts, Nov. 16, 2010, at 17. 

Lori McGroder, Analyzing Clinical Trials Processes from a Products Liability Perspective, American Conference Institute’s Products Liability Boot Camp for Life Sciences (New York, New York), July 2010.

Lori McGroder & Brigette Willauer, A New Way to Keep Junk Science Out of the Courtroom: Can You Say Pharmacoepidemiology?, Pharma Mag., Mar./Apr. 2010, at 14. 

Lori McGroder, Avoiding Liability, 'Bad' Documents and Bad Press, Drug Information Association's Liability Risks in Clinical Trials (Washington, D.C.), Feb. 2010.

Lori McGroder, Preventing and Defending Consumer Fraud Claims, Shook, Hardy & Bacon's Food & Beverage Litigation Webinar, 2009.

Lori McGroder, Who wants to be a Genius: How Product-Related Risk Management Can Be a 'Lifeline' for Your Company, Shook, Hardy & Bacon's Sixth Annual Update of the Law, 2009.

Lori McGroder, Clinical Trials on Trial and Avoiding Liability, Bad Documents and Bad Press, Biotech Workshop (San Antonio, Texas, 2008), (Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2006).

Council Helps Women Lawyers Get a Leg Up on Partnership Ladder, Kansas City Bus. J., Feb. 6-12, 2004, at 18.