Fidelma L. Fitzpatrick
Fidelma Fitzpatrick litigates environmental contamination claims on behalf of various states, cities, counties and individuals. She held a central role in the state of Rhode Island's lead paint trial against former corporate manufacturers of lead paint. Fidelma continues to manage cases seeking to hold the lead paint industry accountable for the childhood lead poisoning crisis and provide restitution and compensation to affected children and families. As a result of her work for lead poisoning victims, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court became the first to recognize the legal rights of poisoned children to sue lead pigment manufacturers. She worked on similar litigation filed by the City of New York and the City and County of San Francisco.
In addition to her work on lead poisoning issues, Fidelma represents communities and individuals in other toxic tort and environmental matters, including property damage and personal injury claims. She played a lead role in representing the community of Tallevast, Florida, in a lawsuit against Lockheed Martin Corporation involving the pollution of the community's groundwater with PCE and TCE. Fidelma is currently litigating nuclear contamination cases on behalf of Pennsylvania residents who allege that local nuclear facilities exposed them to hazardous levels of toxic or radioactive material in the surrounding air, soil and water. Those cases, involving both personal injuries and property damage, are pending in federal court.
Fidelma's experience with complex civil litigation has also led her to represent other victims of corporate malfeasance. She plays a central role in representing hundreds of women allegedly harmed by transvaginal mesh/sling products in filed cases against defendants that include Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson. She serves as co-liaison counsel in the In re Bard Litigation in New Jersey state court, as well as state court liaison counsel in both Delaware and Massachusetts. In 2012, Fidelma was also appointed co-lead counsel of the pelvic mesh MDL In re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation.
Fidelma began working with Motley Rice attorneys in 1997 on the Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island groundbreaking lawsuits against the tobacco industry. She is the author of "Painting Over Long-Standing Precedent: How the Rhode island Supreme Court Misapplied Public Nuisance Law in State v. Lead Industries Association" in the Roger Williams University Law Review (Summer 2010) and also has co-authored several other law articles, including "Access to Justice: The Use of Contingent Fee Arrangements by Public Officials to Vindicate Public Rights" in Cardozo J.L. & Gender (Spring 2008) and "Negligence in the Paint: The Case for Applying the Risk Contribution Doctrine to Lead Litigation" in Pace Environmental Law Review (Fall 2008). She frequently speaks on environmental and mass tort topics at conferences for federal and state court judges, attorneys, academic professionals and law students.
Fidelma was highlighted in the 2013 Litigation edition of The Legal 500 United States for her work in mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation- toxic tort. In recognition of her legal work on the Rhode Island lead paint case, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly named Fidelma a 2006 Rhode Island Lawyer of the Year, and she was a 2006 finalist for the Public Justice Foundation's Trial Lawyer of the Year award. In 2010, The National Trial Lawyers named her one of its Top 100 Trial Lawyers™ in Rhode Island. Fidelma has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2008 and 2010–2013 editions of New England Super Lawyers® and Rhode Island Super Lawyers®. She has also been listed every year since 2008 in The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in mass tort litigation/class actions- plaintiffs.
Named a Motley Rice member in 2006, Fidelma serves as a volunteer attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, Public Justice, Rhode Island Association for Justice and Rhode Island Women's Bar Association. She also serves on the Science Advisory Board at Canisius College and as the Rhode Island State Coordinator for the Public Justice Foundation.
* The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.)
* Please remember that every case is different. Although it endorses this lawyer, The Legal 500 United States is not a Motley Rice client. Any result we achieve for one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.