Attorney Jo Anna Pollock is a partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy in the Complex Litigation Department, where she focuses on public nuisance, environmental, class actions and sex abuse litigation. She devotes her practice to representing people, county governments and businesses that have been harmed through the wrongdoing of others.

Jo Anna works on cases nationwide through all stages of the litigation process. She has spent the last 20 years in trial and appellate courts across the country securing billions of dollars on behalf of her clients.

“Every day, I wake up determined to give a voice to people who would not otherwise have one,” Jo Anna said. “No case is too difficult, and no defendant too big for us.  We will go anywhere to find the justice that our clients deserve.”

Protecting Neighborhoods and Towns

In the area of environmental litigation, Jo Anna has served as class counsel on behalf of victims against the largest industries, such as steel mills, refineries and, most recently, railroads, whose negligence threatens the environment, groundwater and neighborhoods where neighboring residents live.

Currently, Jo Anna serves as the chair of the Science and Experts Committee in the In re East Palestine Train Derailment case representing individuals harmed by the Norfolk Southern train derailment and explosion in East Palestine, Ohio.  The derailment, which was 100% preventable according to the NTSB, released hazardous liquids and carcinogens into the environment via the air, waterways and soil resulting in extensive environmental contamination.  Pending in United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, the Court has set a trial date for November 2024.

In 2017, she served as class counsel for the Village of Roxana, Illinois, a small community outside of St. Louis, and surrounding properties. In this case, a lawsuit was brought against the Wood River Refinery and Shell Oil for the contaminated groundwater emanating from the refinery. This resulted in a nearly $6 million settlement for the Village of Roxana and area property owners.

In the same year, she served as class counsel and secured a $4.26 million settlement for a class action lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs whose homes were polluted by emissions coming from a Granite City, Illinois, steel mill and coke plant.

In 2014, Jo Anna helped lead the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill litigation, where a federal district court approved a settlement that required the owners of the landfill to pay residents living near the site nearly $7 million for noxious odors.

“Our clients can expect regular, consistent communication and a team approach,” Jo Anna said. “We will use every tool we have at our disposal to fight for them and to recover the justice they deserve.”

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Jo Anna leaned on her experience suing Purdue Pharma in 2004 for its reckless marketing of OxyContin when she recently represented the interests of governmental bodies across the country in the national opioid litigation MDL pending in the Northern District of Ohio (MDL 2804) and in the coordinated New York state court litigation, Index No. 400000/2017 In re: Opioid Litigation, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk. Characterized as the most complex litigation in history, the litigation pursued the entire supply chain responsible for the national opioid epidemic, which has resulted in more than $27 billion in cumulative settlements for counties, states and tribal nations across the country.

In New York state court alone, the team recovered more than $1.7 billion in settlements against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Key results included:

  • The three largest U.S. drug distributors — McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation — settled claims with New York State for a combined $1.18 billion.
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries agreed to a settlement with New York State, and Suffolk and Nassau Counties, totaling $50 million.
  • Johnson & Johnson settled with the state of New York for $263 million, and as part of their agreement, the company agreed to stop making opioids.
  • Former opioid manufacturer Allergan settled on the eve before closing arguments for $200 million.

These settlements provided recoveries for Suffolk and Nassau counties, the state of New York and numerous other New York counties the firm represents. The seven-month trial, which is believed to be the longest jury trial in New York history, concluded in December 2021 with a plaintiffs’ verdict against opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries and the distributor Anda, Inc.

Helping Sexual Abuse Victims

Jo Anna has worked tirelessly on behalf of sexual abuse victims located in Haiti and in the United States. In 2019, she helped achieve a landmark $60 million class action settlement on behalf of 170 Haitian boys harmed by a convicted pedophile and former school administrator associated with a Jesuit school in Connecticut. She stood by their side throughout the entire litigation process to help ease their burden.  Most recently, Jo Anna has taken on the rideshare companies, including Uber, for their failure to provide safe conditions for riders, which has been consolidated in multidistrict litigation before Judge Charles Breyer of the United States District Court, Northern District of California.  Thousands of victims have come forward with allegations that they were assaulted by their drivers.

“It’s important to look at a case from all angles with compassion and common sense,” she said. “I fight for people from all walks of life and dive into the details because I am determined to secure the best outcome for them.”

Giving Back

Beyond the courtroom, Jo Anna serves in leadership positions in the community. At Lindenwood University, Jo Anna serves on the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and chairs the Governance Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Bar Foundation, which is a philanthropic organization whose mission is to ensure access to the justice system and to assist lawyers who can no longer care for themselves due to incapacity.

Background and Education

Jo Anna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Lindenwood University and her law degree from St. Louis University Law School, where she graduated with honors and served as an editor for The Journal of Health Law. She has penned several articles about practicing law for various publications, and she speaks at law conferences on various topics concerning trial work.

Representative Cases Include

  • In re: East Palestine Train Derailment Litigation, case number 4:23-CV -00242 (N.D. Ohio 2023);
  • In re: Uber Technologies, Inc. Passenger Sexual Assault Litigation, MDL 3084 (N.D. Ca. 2023);
  • In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (N.D. Ohio 2018)
  • $1.7 billion in settlements | In re: Opioid Litigation, case number 400000/2017; County of Suffolk v. Purdue Pharma LP et al., case number 400001/2017; County of Nassau v. Purdue Pharma LP et al., case number 400008/2017; and State of New York v. Purdue Pharma LP et al., case number 400016/2018, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk
  • $60 million settlement | Louis v. Perlitz et al., case number 3:13-cv-01132, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. (Class action settlement on behalf of 170 Haitian nationals alleging negligent supervision on part of Connecticut-based defendants of convicted pedophile, resulting in sexual abuse)
  • $6.8 million settlement | Buck et al. v. Republic Services, Inc., et al. No. 4:13CV00801 TCM (E.D. Mo. Apr. 17, 2014). (Class action on behalf of 600 residents affected by the Bridgeton landfill)
  • $6 million settlement | Parko et al. v. Shell Oil Company et al., case number 3:12-cv-00336, in the Southern District of Illinois, 2014. (Case representing Roxana residents and property owners whose land was contaminated by a benzene spill at the Wood River Refinery.)
  • $4.26 million settlement | Peggy Keltner, Jerome and Beverly Johnson and Melinda Duniphan, Plaintiffs, vs. SunCoke Energy, Inc. and Gateway Energy & Coke Company, LLC and United States Steel Corporation, Defendants (No. 2014-L-1540). (Class action representing more than 4,000 residents affected by pollution from the Granite City, Illinois steel mill and coke plant)

Practice Areas:

  • Class Actions
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Mass Tort
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation
  • Prescription Opioid Litigation
  • Sexual Abuse Litigation

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • Illinois, 2000
  • Missouri, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Central Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals


Jo Anna Pollock

Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, 2020-2024
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2024
  • Thomson Reuters
    • Illinois Super Lawyers®: 2022-2023
    • Illinois Rising Stars®: 2012-2015
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly
    • Women’s Justice Award – Litigation, 2018
    • Up & Coming Young Lawyer Award, , 2015

Speaking Engagements:

  • “Environmental and Toxic Torts: Train Derailments,” AAJ Mass Tort Litigation Seminar July 14, 2023
  • “Dynamics of International Child Sex Trafficking with Legal Aspects to Consider for Humanization of the Prosecutable Process for Victims,” speech given during an international human trafficking conference sponsored by End Violence Against Women International, April 25, 2019
  • Moderator for “Experts Exposed: Expert Practice in Federal Court,” Illinois State Bar Association, 2014
  • Moderator and Panelist for “Tips of the Trade: A Federal Civil Practice Seminar,” Illinois State Bar Association, June 2014 and June 2018

Representative Experience:


  • Illinois Bar Foundation, Directors of the Board, 5th District, 2018-present
  • Lindenwood University, Board of Trustees, Vice-Chairperson and Chair of Governance Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association, member and past chair of Federal Civil Practice Section Council


  • Saint Louis University School of Law; Honors: Dean’s List; Moot Court Board; Law Journal: The Journal of Health Law, Editor
  • Lindenwood University, 1997, B.A.; Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Jo Anna Pollock