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Advocates Circle Firms

Barkan Meizlish, LLP


Brian G. Miller Co., LPA


Bordas & Bordas, PLLC


Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC


Christian R. Patno


Crandall & Pera Law


Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers


Elk & Elk


Garson Johnson, LLC


Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty, LLC


The Gervelis Law Firm


Grieco Law


Kisling Nestico & Redick


Kitrick, Lewis & Harris Co.,. LPA


Leeseberg & Valentine


Leizerman & Associates, LLC


Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC


Meyer Wilson Co., LPA


Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Co., LPA


O'Connor Acciani & Levy, LPA


Rittgers & Rittgers


Robert J. Wagoner, Co., LLC


Rourke & Blumenthal


Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, LLP


Slater & Zurz, LLP


Tittle & Perlmuter


Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd.


Young and McCarthy LLP




Section Chair Corey Artim | Wright & Schulte, LLC

Liens: How Mass Tort is (Nothing) Like Single Event
By: Ryan J. Weiner, Esq.
Lien resolution in Mass Torts is unique in certain respects, and yet, virtually identical to single event lien resolution in others. Understanding that dual nature of mass tort lien resolution is the key to resolving mass tort liens quickly, and more importantly, disbursing settlements faster.

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Case Management Tools: The Importance of Master Dockets When Monitoring Your Mass Tort Cases
By: Jacob Gebelle, Esq.
At its core, case management is about controlling the docket.  As such, the Judge assigned to each case has broad discretion to usher the case through the judicial system in the manner they prefer.  Since the mid-1990s, Judges were concerned about cost and delay in their dockets, so they moved to an active case management approach.

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Part II - Warning: Federal Preemption May Be Getting Worse
By: "Dustin Herman, Esq.
Part I of this article appeared (here) in the July 2018 OAJ Quarterly. I was hoping there wouldn’t be a need for a Part II.

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Mass Tort Case Update – December 2018
By: Corey Artim, Esq., Jacob Gebelle, Esq., and Kate Van Schaik
There are several mass tort cases being litigated across the country that may be of interest to OAJ members. It is important to have current information on these cases to help identify potential cases in your office. This article provides abbreviated updates on the larger mass tort cases from around the country. Included in the article are the three hernia mesh litigations pending in various courts across the country – Physiomesh, Atrium C-Qur, and Bard Mesh Products. All three of these litigations allege various defects in hernia mesh products leading to additional surgeries and other serious health problems.
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Warning: Federal Preemption may be Getting Worse 
By: Dustin B. Herman, Esq.
The Supreme Court’s preemption jurisprudence is already bad enough, but things might get a lot worse. As it currently stands, generally speaking, lawsuits involving generic drugs are preempted, but suits involving brand-name drugs are not.

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Gamesmanship in Defense Motion Practice: Responding to a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Product Specificity
By: Joseph M. Lyon, Esq.
Toxic exposure litigation can present many challenges in the form of general causation, specific causation and proving liability through expansive document reviews. However, before discovery occurs, a litigant may face challenges to the pleadings for a lack of product identification, despite Ohio being a notice pleading state. 

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5 Tips for Drafting Effective Settlement Agreement Lien Resolution Provisions
Megan Lorenz Heller and Bill Mulvey
Mass tort Master Settlement Agreements (“MSA”) invariably include provisions that assign responsibilities –and potential liabilities—related to the identification, resolution, and payment of medical liens. Coming to an agreement on the scope and extent of lien provisions can be...

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Emerging Litigation: Hernia Mesh Criteria and Venue
By: Jake Gebelle, Esq.
Defective hernia mesh is becoming an increasingly popular, main stream mass tort case. As advertising increases across the country, it is likely that attorneys who do not typically handle mass tort cases, will have a client inquire about hernia mesh complications. 
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Important Considerations When Screening MDL Cases
By: Corey Artim, Esq.
Case screening and selection is becoming increasingly important in the world of Mass Torts.  Courts are beginning to hear cases from Plaintiffs that are unsupported by fact and science. Filing bad cases places undue strain on litigations. Case selection and screening based on the developed criteria of the MDL are critical.
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What to Expect from the Supreme Court’s Consideration of BMS
By: Jim O'Brien, Esq.

The US Supreme Court will soon decide where a corporation can be sued. The result could turn the mass torts world on its head.
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An Ocean of Media: Digital Media and Class Action Notice 
By: Tom Sauter, Esq.
Today, counsel seeks class action treatment for a number of mass tort matters, including, for example, a segment of cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and toxic exposure.  As such, class notice plays a critical role in informing potential class members of their rights and options to participate in these matters.
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Mass Tort Subrogation
By: Steve Behnke, Esq.

This article addresses subrogation of mass tort claims. To review, mass tort claims are often settled in large groups, yet still treated individually. In this way, mass torts are different from class actions where everyone receives the same settlement amount. Instead, different people will receive different settlements based on such factors as extent of injury, pre-existing risk factors, etc. Mass tort resolution of liens and subrogation claims have some individual and class elements when resolved in bulk, as discussed in this article.
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Practical Considerations for the Non-Mass Tort Attorney
By: Corey Artim, Esq.

This article will provide a brief overview of key practical considerations to consider when a client is retained because of a claim subject to a MDL. This article will point out some fundamental distinctions between traditional PI cases and a mass tort case.
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Multi-Venue Consolidation in Ohio Mass Torts Actions: A Missing Rule of Civil Procedure
By: Joseph M. Lyon, Esq. 
An Ohio Court, pursuant to Rule 42 of Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure, may consolidate cases where pending actions involve “common questions of law and fact”. Upon filing a motion, the Court may issue orders “to reduce unnecessary costs or delay. Unfortunately, under current Ohio Rules, there is no mechanism to designate a category of cases as a “mass tort” whereby all related cases from all Ohio venues could be transferred before one Judge early in the litigation to efficiently manage complex litigation with common questions of law and fact. 

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The Federal Rules, They are a-Chagin': Entering a New Paradigm of E-Discovery
By: Dustin Herman, Esq.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is the Chair of Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. For the past five years, Judge Sutton and a large team of attorneys and judges have been working on proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding discovery practices in federal court, and specifically with respect to discovery of electronically stored information.  Unless Congress rejects the proposed changes through legislation, the new rules will go into effect on December 1, 2015. On September 4, 2015 I attended a Judicial Round Table in which Judge Sutton, District Court Judge Benita Y. Pearson, and Magistrate Judge James R. Knepp discussed the proposed changes. Below I highlight three of the major changes to the rules and provide some insight gleaned from Judges Sutton, Pearson and Knepp. Notably, Judge Sutton opened the discussion by saying the “paradigm of American litigation has to change.” He explained that the old model of discovery was “no stone left unturned,” but in the world of ESI, “looking under every stone can get really expensive.”

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The Mass Tort tool belt
By: Mark Abramowitz, Esq.
I have presented at the past few OAJ conventions and each time I present, I discuss different items in my mass tool belt. I thought it would be nice to bring it all together in one article to help everyone out.
Tool Box Item 1: JPML
If you have never heard of the JPML, you need to learn about it immediately! JPML stands for the Joint Panel on Multidistrict litigation. The panel’s power is derived from 28 U.S.C. § 1407. It is comprised of 7 judges that travel the country listening to arguments from parties regarding the creation and location of all multi-district litigations. No MDL is formed or centralized without an order from this panel. Once the MDL is formed and centralized, it is the JPML that transfers all non-directly filed similar cases into the centralized action.

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Mass Tort Marketing & Screening:  The Work Before the Work Up.
By: Jay Kelley
As any attorney representing mass tort claimants is aware, the challenges of case selection, screening criteria, preservation of evidence and overall triage are the first - and often most critical - steps in the case from a financial perspective.  In mass torts, because of the great potential for quick escalation of expenses, the quality of the cases one accepts is more important than the quantity of cases.  However, an effective strategy for quickly determining what constitutes quality in this dynamic arena can be elusive.  Our firm routinely faces the challenge of deciding what cases to target marketing efforts toward, which to work up, or when and how much to invest in the funding or the common benefit aspects of the case.  So where are these cases and how do we choose?

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Active Mass Torts and considerations to take when selecting cases
By: Nick DiCello
OAJ recently held its annual Winter Convention in Cleveland.  For those of you who attended, thank you for coming.  For those of you not able to make it, we hope to see you next year. Among the many presentations at the OAJ Winter Convention were several discussing mass torts and mass torts-related issues and topics.  As OAJ’s mass torts chair, I was thrilled to see increased attendance at and interest in the mass torts presentations and presenters.  What became clear to me again is that our bar in Ohio, along with the federal bench in Ohio, makes Ohio an important legal community in the national mass torts landscape.

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Evaluation of Potential Mass Tort Cases
By: Peter Brodhead and William Hawal
In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the number of practitioners in the field of mass torts—particularly in cases involving pharmaceutical and medical device cases. Below is a brief checklist of relevant factors to take into consideration when evaluating a potential mass tort of this type: Understand the injury or disease for which you would be bringing suit. Is it a signature injury that is uniquely associated with the drug or device, or is it a condition that could be readily attributed to an underlying illness or other cause? Signature injury cases are relatively rare, usually quite serious, and the number of such cases are relatively small. The numbers of non-signature injury cases are relatively high.

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A Call to Action
By Nick DiCello, Cleveland,Oh
My partners at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber, LLP and I are thrilled at the opportunity I have to serve as Chair of the Mass Torts Section for OAJ over the next few years. Past chair, Rick Schulte, did an excellentjob to establish the presence of the Mass Torts Section within OAJ. I look forward to continuing with that momentum. And I look forward to meeting and working with those of you who practice in this dynamic and always-changing practice area. 
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The End of an MDL: What’s Next? 
By: Corey Artim, Esq. and Richard Schulte, Esq., Dayton, OH
On August 29, 2013, Judge Keenan entered an Order Terminating MDL Proceedings and Setting Procedure for the Remand/Transfer of the more than 1000 pending Fosamax Osteonecrosis cases pending in the Southern District of New York in MDL 1789. Judge Keenan’s Order is particularly aggressive; calling for 200 cases per month to be remanded to their appropriate home districts beginning November 1, 2013. Judge Keenan’s decision to terminate the MDL left many attorneys wondering what was next.

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Supreme Court Ruling Preempts State Law Design Defect Claims For Generic Drugs
On June 24, 2013, the generic drug industry let out a collective sigh of relief.  That is when the United States Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated ruling in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett.  In a huge win for the giant generic drug industry, the Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Alito (and joined in by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas) held that state law design defect claims that turn on the adequacy of a generic drug’s warnings are preempted by the FDC Act and under the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S.Ct.2567 (2011).
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