Tom is the managing partner of Shook’s Boston office. His litigation practice focuses on high-profile, complex commercial litigation and tort litigation, including class actions, multi-district litigation, and other aggregate litigation throughout the United States. He has extensive experience in complex civil litigation across a variety of industries, practice areas, and geographies, and he has particularly deep experience defending class actions, commercial disputes in the life sciences and health care industries, and in toxic and mass tort litigation. He has represented companies in matters involving complex financial issues, construction and building materials, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, third-party payors, ERISA, RICO, supply and distribution issues, food and beverage labeling, and various consumer products and contracts. Many of these matters have been litigated against the backdrop of criminal and/or regulatory enforcement efforts. Tom has played a lead role at trials in state and federal court in which he has examined fact and expert witnesses, and he has argued appeals. He also has extensive arbitration experience. Tom also maintains an active pro bono practice committed to litigating issues of systemic justice.
Tom has briefed and argued an array of class action issues in cases involving everything from allegedly misleading product labels to claims under ERISA and RICO. He has successfully argued for dismissals of several putative class actions and convinced courts on multiple occasions to strike class allegations from a complaint killing off the threat of class-wide damages. He has developed briefing strategies regarding Rule 23 issues, standing, jurisdictional issues, and preemption that have ended or mitigated the risk of litigation.
Tom’s commercial practice is wide-ranging with a focus on life sciences and health care. He has worked with clients operating throughout the health care supply chain, including matters involving manufacturers (pharmaceutical, medical device, food and beverage and agribusiness), pharmacies, PBMs, GPOs, and health insurers on matters ranging from product liability cases to class actions and False Claims Act litigation. His commercial litigation experience also includes disputes regarding collaboration and development agreements, supply and marketing agreements, real estate transactions and indemnity, earn-out and other post-acquisition disputes. He has also assisted several clients with drafting critical provisions of these agreements. Tom was recognized as an LMG Life Sciences “All-Star” in 2017 and 2018.
Tom has also been national coordinating counsel in significant toxic tort, mass tort and other complex litigations, many of which have involved parallel government and/or regulatory investigations and enforcement. These matters have involved construction products, pharmaceuticals, devices, industrial chemicals, and agricultural products, among others. He has had lead responsibility for developing company conduct defenses, crafting legal issues and motion strategy, and plaintiff work-up. Tom has collaborated with clients to develop strategies for early resolution of matters through both motion practice and focused settlement efforts, and has experience with selective settlement/litigation strategies. He has successfully coordinated large matters, working with co-defendants in and outside of joint defense relationships. Tom regularly provides strategic counseling and risk management advice to clients regarding product-related risks, deal-related due diligence, and is experienced in different stages of corporate crisis management.
Tom is a recognized thought leader in the area of complex litigation, presenting frequently on class actions and federal jurisdictional issues.
Before joining Shook, Tom was a partner for about a decade at a large international law firm in Philadelphia. Today he divides his time between Boston and Philadelphia.
- Defending class actions is a core part of Tom’s practice, and many of the matters listed in this Representative Matters section are class actions. A noteworthy example of his work in this area is his defense of a manufacturer of CSST piping that faced several class actions throughout the United States over a multi-year period. For more details on that work, see National Coordinating Counsel, CSST Class Actions.
- Achieved a dismissal of a putative nationwide class action in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against a large retailer relating to allegations that the private brand labels were misleading because they falsely suggested that the ingredients were hypoallergenic.
- Defended a pet food manufacturer in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against allegations that the labeling of its pet food was misleading, and successfully argued that the class allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint should be stricken.
Health Care and Life Sciences (Managed Care, Manufacturers, Pharmacies, Distributors)
- Represented a health care insurer in a putative class action alleging violations of Florida prompt pay statute.
- Represented health care insurer in a several actions alleging under-reimbursement.
- Represented insurer in dispute with in-network provider over alleged under-payment of contract price.
- Represented a health care insurer in a class action involving ERISA and allegations of consumer fraud related to application of deductible and co-pays. After succeeding on a motion to compel the plaintiff to arbitrate the dispute, the parties reached a favorable settlement.
- Represented a nationwide pharmacy chain in a consumer fraud class action in New York federal court that alleged violations of state consumer protection laws related to a prescription drug benefit program. Following intense discovery designed to highlight the individualized nature of the transactions at issue, the parties settled on a non-class basis.
- Represented a Fortune 25 life sciences company in a qui tam case in Massachusetts federal court involving allegations of False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act violations.
- Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer against nationwide state attorneys general cases alleging deceptive marketing and violations of state False Claims Act related to an antipsychotic drug.
- Represented a medical device manufacturer in numerous personal injury matters alleging design defects in pacemakers and insulin pumps.
- Achieved a dismissal of complaint against food manufacturer in putative nationwide class action based on primary jurisdiction doctrine, on grounds that FDA had jurisdiction to define “natural.”
- Represented a food supplement manufacturer in Delaware federal court in a putative class action alleging improper and deceptive labeling of food products and personal injury claims. Achieved dismissal of the class allegations after filing a motion to strike.
- Represented a dietary supplement manufacturer in a multi-party breach of contract action alleging breach of indemnities arising out of a dispute about the alleged presence of gluten in a mushroom supplement that led to allergic reactions by consumers. Following litigation and extensive settlement discussions, the matter settled favorably.
- Represented a vitamin company, as a plaintiff, against a manufacturer for use of dairy allergens in a vitamin supplement in violation of the client's formula and manufacturing specifications. Achieved a significant settlement that compensated client for lost business and costs of recall.
- Represented several pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device companies related to collaboration and development agreements.
- Provided due diligence support and litigation risk analysis related to life sciences transactions.
- Advised pharmaceutical company relating to litigation risk associated with REMS agreement.
- Resolved numerous dietary supplement and food labeling class action lawsuits before litigation.
Toxic Tort and Exposure
- Represented major airline in defense of litigation by airport jet fueler alleging that exposure to benzene caused aplastic anemia.
- Member of plaintiff work-up team responsible for deposing plaintiffs in litigation alleging that exposure to weed-killing chemicals caused cancer.
- Represented a food flavoring company in serial toxic tort litigation across the country involving allegations of personal injury from diacetyl exposure, serving on a team as lead national coordinating counsel, developing the company's defense strategy, defending the company at trials and helping negotiate a global settlement of hundreds of claims.
- Represented a drywall manufacturer in personal injury cases and putative national class action in federal court in Florida related to health risks and property damage from alleged Chinese drywall.
- Represented a major airline in a personal injury action involving allegations of benzene exposure.
- Represented an industrial and consumer product manufacturer in an action in Pennsylvania federal court alleging environmental contamination and breach of environmental indemnity provisions related to a contract for the sale of a business.
- Represented a manufacturer of electrical components in an action involving alleged exposures to mercury, beryllium, arsenic, PCB compounds and other chemicals.
- Represented a chemical manufacturer in New York federal court in a matter related to environmental indemnity obligations.
Business Litigation (Post-Acquisition, Collaboration Agreements, Real Estate)
- Represented an industrial and consumer product manufacturer in an action in Pennsylvania federal court alleging breach of environmental indemnity provisions related to a contract for the sale of a business.
- Represented a mortgage services company in Maryland state court in a matter involving trade secret dispute and indemnity obligations in a merger agreement.
- Represented a mortgage services company in Florida state court alleging breach of loan agreement.
- Represented a major financial institution in Massachusetts federal court in a class action involving mortgage application and foreclosure processes during the nationwide financial crisis. The parties reached a nationwide settlement of the case.
- Represented a major financial institution in a putative class action involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. After the court granted the company's motion to dismiss with prejudice, the plaintiff decided not to appeal the decision and dropped the case.
- Represented a national real estate investment firm in a putative consumer fraud class action by tenants.
- Represented a luxury golf resort developer in a matter involving alleged zoning and land use violations in Hawaii.
- Represented a life sciences company in New Jersey state court in a case involving allegations of breach of a brokerage services agreement for the sale of an ongoing "finish and fill" facility.
- Represented a nationwide condominium developer in several prelitigation mediations and putative class actions involving allegations of fraudulent disclosures regarding building conditions and alleged construction defects in several Philadelphia properties.
- Represented a gas piping manufacturer in several fraud and product liability class actions in courts nationwide that alleged defective piping product in commercial and residential structures.
- Represented several national retailers in Massachusetts state and federal courts against putative class actions alleging violations of state consumer protection law related to privacy violations in the collection of zip codes at point-of-sale.
- Provided litigation risk counseling to a nationwide retailer related to class actions involving pricing.
Managing Litigation Risk in Contract Provisions, Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Webinar, October 19, 2023.
Managing Risk: An Analysis of Key Contract Provisions In Life Sciences Litigation, Association of Corporate Counsel Health, Biotech & Pharma CLE Institute, October 18, 2023.
A Cross-Circuit Analysis of Recent Class Certification Developments in Food, Cosmetics and Supplement Class Actions, American Conference Institute's Forum on Defending FDA-Regulated Consumer Products Class Actions, October 16, 2023.
Payor Risks in a Post-Dobbs World: How to Navigate the Complexities of Reproductive Health Coverage and Pinpoint Potential Litigation, 14th Annual Advanced Forum on Managed Care Disputes and Litigation, March 29, 2023 (with Heather Richardson).
Trends in ERISA Preemption: PBMs and State Regulation of Health Care, AHLA Annual Conference, June 29, 2022.
Behavioral Health and Non-Traditional Therapies: Emerging Considerations for Scope of Coverage, ACI Advanced Forum on Managed Care Disputes and Litigation, Association for Behavioral Health & Wellness, June 8, 2021 (with Deepti A. Loharikar).
President Trump’s Judicial Appointees’ Impact on Class Action Law, ACC Greater Philadelphia, April 22, 2021 (with KaSandra Rogiers and J. Baranski).
Trends in Managed Care Class Actions, ACI Managed Care Conference, July 22, 2020 (with Geoffrey Sigler and Michael Maddigan).
Force Majeure and Hardship in Commercial Contracts: Cross-border and Comparative Perspectives, Webinar, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, April 8, 2020.
Force Majeure and COVID-19: Potential Business Implications, Webinar, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, March 25, 2020 (with Bill Martucci and Lynn Murray).
Class Action Law—Update, Update of the Law CLE, Kansas City, Missouri, June 13, 2019 (with Ruth Anne French-Hodson and Andrew Trask).
Examining New Class Action Activity in the Managed Care Space, ACI 10th Annual Managed Care Event, Chicago, May 16, 2019.
Class Action Litigation Update—Highlighting Recent Substantive Trends and Rule 23 Procedural and Doctrinal Developments, FoodBev Exchange Conference, October 17, 2018 (with Jim Muehlberger).
DC Court of Appeals Abandons Article III Standing for Consumer Advocacy Groups, WLF Legal Opinion Letter, September 24, 2021.
Mental Health Parity and Trends in Post-Pandemic Behavioral Health Care, Chapter 9, Health Law Watch, American Health Law Association, June 1, 2021.
Lessons About the Parity Act from Wilderness Therapy Cases, Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law, American Health Law Association, June 2020 (with Cathryn Johns).
Is COVID-19 an Excuse for Your Performance?, COVID-19 Client Primer, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, March 2020.