Attorneys Appointed to Lead the Baby Food Contamination MDL

by | May 29, 2024

U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California, Jacqueline Scott Corley, has appointed a number of attorneys to serve in leadership positions in the multidistrict litigation involving baby food and its alleged connection to the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other developmental problems. The group consists of 19 lawyers who will serve in a number of positions:

CO-LEAD COUNSEL: Aimee Wagstaff (Wagstaff Law Firm PC) and Robert Brent Wisner (Wisner Baum LLP). 

PLAINTIFFS’ LIAISON COUNSEL: Monique Alarcon (Wisner Baum LLP). 

PLAINTIFFS’ STEERING COMMITTEE: Timothy Jackson (Wallace Miller), Laura Stemkowski (Motley Rice LLC), Anthony Russo (The Russo Firm), William Sykes, Mary Raybon (Beasley Allen), Mark DiCello (DiCello Levitt LLP), William Smith, Madeleine Clavier (Wagstaff Law Firm PC), Diane Watkins, Emily DeVuono (Moore Law Group), Joseph Masterman, Steven Brady, Tracy Turner, (Pendley Baudin & Coffin), Tiffany Ellis (Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, LLP), , Alexandra Walsh (Walsh Law), and Pedram Esfandiary (Wisner Baum LLP).


The order also states that co-lead counsel will appoint members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and assign them the work deemed necessary for the effective and efficient management of the litigation.

Beginning in April 2021, lawsuits were initiated stating that the baby food manufactured by Gerber, Beech-Nut and other companies is contaminated by toxic heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury resulting in brain injury and the development of a number of developmental conditions.

The manufacturers maintain that there is no science to establish a link between heavy metal exposure and ASD or ADHD. They also opposed consolidation, arguing that centralizing the cases will serve no purpose since 98% of the pre-suit discovery is completed and the marketing practices of the various manufacturers were too diverse to justify creating the MDL.

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