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August 21, 2019

National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers 2019 recognizes Motley Rice for “Cutting-Edge Work”

The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers recognized Motley Rice its work in navigating the Takata bankruptcy proceedings for personal injury victims as well as naming member attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick as one of the 2019 Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar. The National Law Journal said the winners have, “demonstrated repeated success in cutting-edge work on behalf of plaintiffs over the last 18 months.”

Motley Rice was selected as a finalist in six categories: bankruptcy, Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar, Financial Products, Mass Torts, Pharmaceutical Litigation and Securities Litigation. The winners were announced at a ceremony on July 18, 2019 in which Motley Rice won in the bankruptcy and Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar categories.

Motley Rice was one of the first organizations to thoroughly investigate the dangerous and exploding Takata airbags, the source of the largest auto recall in U.S. history. Following the announcement of Takata’s bankruptcy, Motley Rice quickly realized that personal injury plaintiffs were not being fairly represented and considered in the bankruptcy deal and sought to communicate with the Trustee about plaintiffs’ concerns.

Among other issues with the bankruptcy as filed, Plaintiffs are largely concerned that a $125 million personal injury fund, established as part of a $1 billion penalty to settle criminal liabilities, will not be sufficient to compensate all current and future victims injured and/or killed by Takata airbags. The restructuring of Takata’s assets must take into account the still-growing need of Takata’s many victims, plaintiffs said.

In a rare decision, the Court agreed, creating a seven-member committee, three members are represented by Motley Rice and the firm’s co-counsel. By engaging in negotiations through the Tort Creditors’ Committee, under the leadership of Motley Rice, a pair of favorable resolutions were approved by Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in February 2018.

Takata’s exploding airbags have allegedly been linked to the deaths of at least 17 people worldwide, including 11 people in the U.S. More than 100 million vehicles worldwide have been impacted by the recalls.

Member attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick is one of nine women named to the Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar list. According to the National Law Journal, this recognition celebrates women lawyers who have consistently excelled in high-stakes matters on behalf of plaintiffs throughout their careers. She was recognized for her work in the historic lead paint litigation to current work, including helping women who allege injuries from Essure to working with municipalities on the opioid litigation.

To be considered for the award, firms had to show at least one significant win in the past year and a half, as well as an “impressive track record” during the last three to five years. Learn more.

Learn more about the nomination process.