David serves as national and trial counsel to manufacturers in recurring product liability and personal injury litigation. He defends Fortune 500 companies in both state and federal court in cases involving complex scientific and medical claims, including, toxic tort, diacetyl, asbestos products, cigarette products, medical devices, premises liability and other types of product liability claims. David has represented cigarette manufacturers in cigarette and asbestos litigation throughout the country, trying several cases to verdict. He has also advised clients on asbestos abatement issues, premises liability claims and claims by independent contractors and employees.
David also represents clients facing personal injury claims as a result of mold exposures, both in class actions and individual lawsuits. He has written an article on mold litigation and coordinates the practice group at Shook counseling clients on mold remediation, litigation and indoor air quality. David was also lead counsel for a defendant in one of the bellwether cases involving consumer exposure to diacetyl, representing the employer of an individual alleging exposure from a product sold by the company.
David has served as trial counsel representing Philip Morris USA in a series of smoking-and-health cases known as Engle-progeny litigation filed throughout the state of Florida. He has coordinated defense strategy and tried cases in a number of venues in Florida, including Jacksonville, Miami and Palm Beach. In one recent case in which David served as trial counsel, the jury returned a defense verdict in less than one hour finding that the plaintiff was not a member of the Engle class.
David has also obtained favorable verdicts in multiple trials involving product liability claims related to asbestos-containing cigarette filters manufactured in the 1950s. In one case, a Los Angeles state court jury found that the filter was not defectively designed, that the company did not have a duty to warn and was not negligent in making and testing the filter. David also tried a similar case to a defense verdict in San Antonio.
David was lead trial counsel for Lorillard in Kananian v. Lorillard, which received considerable national attention after The Hon. Harry Hanna issued an order revoking the pro hac vice status of plaintiffs' counsel after the court authorized six months of discovery directed at their misconduct in the case. Articles on the investigation and discovery directed at plaintiffs' counsel appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mealey's and National Law Journal.
Before joining Shook, David was a member of the Missouri Evidence Task Force that wrote The Missouri Evidence Restated practice guide for trial lawyers.
Christopher M. McDonald, David B. Thorne & Dale Johnson II, Legal, Rebuilding Headaches From Mold May Last Long After the Storm Leaves, 5:23 Real Estate L. & Industry Rep. 820 (2012).
David B. Thorne, Dale Johnson II & William E. Vita, 'Cornell' Accepts Causal Connection Between Toxic Mold and Injury, 248:82 N.Y.L.J., Oct. 26, 2012, at 4.