Law360 names Motley Rice a 2020 Product Liability Practice Group of the Year
Legal publication Law360 named Motley Rice as a 2020 Product Liability Practice Group of the Year. The firm was one of six to receive the honor, and one of only a handful of plaintiffs’ firms to be included as a Law360 Practice Group of the Year.
“Motley Rice LLC's work on securing a $1.6 billion deal to end the vast majority of litigation over Bayer AG's Essure birth control device landed it a spot on Law360's 2020 Product Liability Practice Groups of the Year,” Law360 said of the firm.
Medical attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick is Lead Counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for women who suffered severe complications allegedly caused by Essure® birth control and played a lead role in the negotiations with the device’s manufacturer, Bayer Corp. The litigation, which is coordinated in California and consists of more than 32,000 cases, is one of the country’s largest current mass torts.
"This litigation came about by a group of women who advocated for themselves," Fidelma told Law360. "It's really a testament to the solidarity that these women had in advocating for themselves and it was really revolutionary."
Bayer ceased all sales of Essure in the U.S. at the end of 2018, amid mounting scrutiny led largely by the affected women, as well as the issuing of a black box warning for the device, the FDA’s highest warning reserved for products that may cause serious injuries or death.
Law360 also recognized Motley Rice for its role as one of three co-lead counsel and a member of the PEC for the National Prescription Opiate MDL, comprised of roughly 2,800 cases coordinated in the Northern District of Ohio. The federal litigation seeks to hold several opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for allegedly creating the opioid crisis. Motley Rice represented one of two Ohio counties that were plaintiffs in what would have been the litigation’s first bellwether. A $260 million settlement reached in October 2019 on the eve of trial resolved claims against all but one of the defendants. Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice, a previously named Law360 “Product Liability MVP,” served as a lead negotiator for the settlement.
"We're getting close to the transparency that the public deserves, and we're going to keep knocking on the door until we get those facts because the public has a right to know how we got into this mess," Joe said in an interview with Law360.
About Law360’s Practice Group of the Year Award
Law360 selected 185 winning groups across 40 practice areas to receive Practice Group of the Year for 2020, the award’s 11th year. Award recipients were recognized for being behind litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year. In all, 81 law firms were selected from 775 submissions. Read more about the selection criteria.