Motley Rice expands consumer protection team with veteran environmental and toxic torts lawyer, team

Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms and a 2018 Law360 Consumer Protection Group of the Year, announces the addition of attorneys Esther E. Berezofsky, Michael J. Quirk, Daniel R. Lapinski, and Sarah T. Hansel, and the creation of offices in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Philadelphia, Pa.

Berezofsky, Quirk, Lapinski and Hansel have experience representing clients in complex environmental, chemical exposure, consumer protection class actions, and pharmaceutical and medical device litigations.

“Having worked with Esther as our co-counsel for years, her growing consumer protection practice is a natural extension of the work we do as plaintiffs’ lawyers,” said Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice. “We have a long history with valued co-counsel in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and this additional team and their experience will allow us to continue to grow and expand those relationships and our ability to help current and future clients.”

“The addition of Esther, Michael, Dan and Sarah, along with support staff, are a natural complement to the complex litigation we already practice, particularly with our history of consumer protection litigation. We look forward to expanding and enhancing our environmental litigation, chemical exposure, consumer fraud, drug and device litigation and other mass tort areas,” said Motley Rice attorney and practice group leader Anne McGinness Kearse.

With more than 30 years practicing law, Esther Berezofsky joins Motley Rice as senior counsel. She has litigated a wide variety of environmental, toxic tort and products liability cases. She is currently class counsel and a member of the Executive Committee for residents of Flint, Mich., who were exposed to toxic lead contaminated water, in addition to litigating similar cases in Fresno, Calif., She is currently litigating environmental cases representing people in various states whose communities have been contaminated by other chemicals including PFAS manufactured by 3M and others. She was also lead counsel for a children’s cancer cluster in Toms River, N.J. She has held leadership positions in MDLs and state Mass Tort Programs and litigated  medical drugs and device cases, including Medtronic Pain and Insulin Pumps, DePuy ASR, Pinnacle and Stryker Hip Implant cases, Benicar, Risperdal, Xarelto, hormone replacement therapy (HRT),  Rezulin, Ortho Evra, and Taxotere. Prior to practicing law, Berezofsky was a clinical psychologist consulting with law firms on post-traumatic stress and community trauma arising out of chemical disasters such as Three Mile Island, Pa., and Times Beach, Mo. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law.

Berezofsky said, “Having co-counseled and worked alongside Motley Rice attorneys in leading national awareness and advocacy efforts, I have immense respect for the firm they have built and the complex and challenging litigations they pursue to achieve meaningful differences in people’s lives. We share a mutual commitment to championing causes that require the experience and resources of an innovative firm. The environmental litigation we have collaborated on has given me a profound appreciation for the high caliber of the firm’s work and I am excited that our clients will have the benefit of the additional resources and bench strength at Motley Rice and our network of co-counsel.”

Michael Quirk joins Motley Rice as senior counsel and, along with Berezofsky, represents people and families impacted by toxic lead in Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water crisis in In re Flint Water Cases: Carthan v. Snyder. Prior to joining Motley Rice, he was a partner at two Philadelphia law firms, where he was lead appellate or trial court counsel for prevailing plaintiffs in cases involving unfair debt collection practices by for-profit trade schools, credit card issuers and payday lenders. He is an appellate attorney who was lead counsel for prevailing plaintiffs in federal circuit court appeals involving various matters, including: expert admissibility on causation of a rare and fatal lymphoma by prescription drugs; retaliatory employment discrimination under Title VII; and enforceability of mandatory arbitration clauses barring class actions in payday lending and other consumer contracts. He represented women with breast cancer caused by hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs through multiple state-court appeals.

Quirk was also class counsel for plaintiffs in cases against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase among others involving allegedly predatory Option Adjustable Rate Mortgage loans that drained the equity from borrower’s homes. Quirk has represented public interest, consumer rights and public health organizations as amici curiae in support of consumers and other plaintiffs. He was previously a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow with Public Justice, a national public interest law firm and was Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow with the Public Citizen Litigation Group. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and received a Master’s from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s from The College of New Jersey. Quirk also is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA).

Daniel Lapinski also joins Motley Rice as senior counsel, having previously been a shareholder of a New Jersey law firm. He represents victims harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical products and defective medical devices. He has nearly 20 years of litigation experience, with a focus on mass tort litigation and complex consumer actions in state, federal and appellate courts. Lapinski’s perspective is sharpened by his previous experience as a surgical representative for a major medical device manufacturer. He currently serves  as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in the Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder MDL litigation and the Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) MDL litigation.

Lapinski’s experience and expertise also extends to complex consumer actions where he has successfully argued federal preemption issues before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  He continues to be actively involved in several matters involving the allegedly false and misleading advertising of herbal and dietary supplements as well as matters related to vehicle defects.

Sarah Hansel joins Motley Rice as an associate and has worked for law firms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania where she regularly appeared before state and federal trial and appellate courts in environmental and medical product liability cases. She brings additional knowledge, insight and experience from previous work with an international defense firm where she represented Fortune 500 companies in labor, employment, commercial and data breach litigation. She is a graduate of New York Law School and New York University.

The firm’s new offices are located at 210 Lake Drive East, Suite 101, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002-1163 and 40 West Evergreen Ave., Suite 104, Philadelphia, PA 19118-3324.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky is the attorney responsible for New Jersey practice.