Mass tort and multidistrict litigation can be a dangerous proposition for defendants. Early strategic planning and strong approaches to foundational pretrial orders can lead to better outcomes, potentially saving millions of dollars. The right approach can also help create a strong message and focus the court on issues that matter most.

Shook has direct experience with the leading plaintiffs’ lawyers in these litigations and has well-developed defense strategies to counter the plaintiffs’ increasingly sophisticated playbook, which seeks to convince courts that “if there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Plaintiffs’ firms work to generate “artificial smoke” by garnering litigation buzz through political influence or attorney advertising, developing substantial (but thinly investigated) case inventories through targeted social media marketing, and convincing courts to grant early wide-ranging discovery contrary to the limits of proportionality. If successful, plaintiffs will have the momentum they need to create discovery headaches, or worse, for defendants.

Shook has decades of experience defending against these tactics, protecting its clients from unnecessary costs, shutting down attempts to develop satellite litigation about manufactured discovery disputes, and putting pressure back on plaintiffs regarding their own discovery efforts.

Shook is among the most active defense firms in the country when it comes to product liability and complex litigation. Our attorneys have handled more than 100 MDLs, and we currently maintain significant roles in more than 25 MDLs, including five of the 10 largest pending MDLs in the country.

Representative MDL Experience

  • Talc | MDL 2738 (D.N.J.)
  • Bausch + Lomb | MDL 1785 | (D.S.C.)
  • Zofran® | MDL 2657 (D. Mass.)
  • Zantac® | MDL 2924 (S.D. Fla.)
  • Taxotere® | MDL 2740 (E.D. La.)
  • Roundup® | MDL 2741 (N.D. Cal.)
  • Pelvic Mesh | MDL 2326 and MDL 2187 (S.D. W.Va.)
  • LFIT V40 Hip Implant | MDL 2768 (D. Mass.)
  • Herceptin® | MDL 2700 (N.D. Okla.)
  • DSP6 PowerShift Transmission | MDL 2814 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Hyundai Ioniq Collision Avoidance Assist System | MDL 2162 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Guidant Corporation (now Boston Scientific) | MDL 1708 (D. Minn.)

Shook also provides valuable counseling on strategic approaches before any consolidation decision based on specific client goals and the claims alleged. In instances where consolidation makes sense, Shook can advise on how to best position cases prior to that determination. Where consolidation would not be beneficial, Shook can draw on its prior successful efforts defeating plaintiff’s counsel’s attempts to consolidate cases.