Litigation Update: Diversity Governs in Elmiron’s Plaintiff Steering Committee

by | Jan 22, 2021

Consumers in the Elmiron MDL against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) informed a New Jersey federal judge that they have chosen diverse representation to serve on the plaintiff steering committee.

The committee is diverse in a number of ways, including ethnicity, gender, and geography. This specific group of attorneys is also younger than what most would expect in an MDL of this size, with some of the attorneys having been in practice less than ten years. 

U.S. Judge Brian R. Martinotti, who will be presiding over the MDL, has encouraged diversity, and it is reflected in that eighteen of the twenty five attorneys named are women. This is particularly significant because the primary side effect of Elmiron is interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, which disproportionately affects women.

The proposed co-lead counsel are: Virginia E. Anello (Douglas & London PC), Parvin Aminolroaya (Seeger Weiss LLP) and Paul Pennock (Morgan & Morgan PA), according to the motion. Additionally, Chirali Patel (Carella Byrne Cecchi Brody & Agnello PC) was proposed as the plaintiffs’ liaison counsel.

The lawyers that were proposed for leadership include: Timothy M. O’Brien (Levin Papantonio Rafferty Proctor Buchanan O’Brien Barr Mougey PA), W. Mark Lanier (Lanier Law Firm PC), Paola Pearson (Anapol Weiss), Melanie H. Muhlstock (Parker Waichman LLP), Danielle Gold (Weitz & Luxenberg PC), Rachel L. Shkolnik (Napoli Shkolnik PLLC), Aimee Wagstaff (Andrus & Wagstaff PC), Emily Acosta (Levy Konisgberg LLP), Francisco R. Maderal (Colson Hicks Edison), Danielle Mason (Sanders Phillips Grossman LLC), Sindhu Daniel (Grant & Eisenhofer PA), Anne Callis (Holland Law Firm), Robert J. Drakulich (The Drakulich Firm APLC), Catherine Hilliard (Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP), Megan Moore (Pulaski Kherkher, PLLC), Scott Morgan (Schlicter Board & Denton LLP), Ruth Rizkalla (The Carlson Law Firm), Thomas P. Valet Rappaport (Glass Levine & Zullo LLP), Melanie S. Bailey (Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine PC), Nina Towle Herring (Cory Watson Attorneys) and D. Nicole Guntner (Aylstock Witkin Kreis & Overholtz).

Additionally, it is alleged that J&J had been receiving reports as early as 1997 of visual complications including retinal hemorrhage, macular degeneration and light perception blindness. Given the timeline of when these reports began, the discovery process is anticipated to be extensive.

Judge Marinotti has been sent forty two suits which is expected to increase significantly in the near future.

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