Andrew S. Williams is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC. With more than 25 years of legal experience, he currently focuses his practice on representing cases in pharmaceutical injury litigation.
Andrew manages the pharmaceutical litigation process from screening new clients and reviewing records to answering discovery and motions. One of his main responsibilities is conducting depositions with clients, experts, doctors and defendants. Depositions allow Andrew’s team of attorneys to further investigate each case and prepare for trial.
Helping Clients Understand the Legal Process
“I help people who were harmed through no fault of their own by a dangerous drug or defective medical device,” Andrew said. “I give them information, understanding and most of all guidance about what they can do to hold those companies accountable for abusing that trust.”
Andrew informs his clients about the difficulties they may face with pharmaceutical litigation. He explains that successful cases are based on proving the drug company was not honest with the public about drug side effects. One of the things he likes best about his job is the firm’s commitment to the clients.
“Our clients include people from all walks of life,” Andrew said. “We all have to take a pharmaceutical at some time, and it can affect the rich or the poor, the young or the elderly. No matter who we are, we can all be affected in the same way.”
Every day, millions of Americans entrust their health to drug or medical device manufacturers, Andrew said. He explained that trust can be misplaced when the companies put profits over people.
Excellence in Pharmaceutical Litigation
Andrew has helped thousands of people injured using the painkiller Darvon/Darvocet, the blood thinner Pradaxa and the drug finasteride found in Propecia and Proscar. He has also represented women who took SSRIs during pregnancy that resulted in birth defects. He has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients.
In 2014, Andrew was the lead trial attorney for a case against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and their parent company Johnson & Johnson, who make Topamax. Patients take Topamax for epilepsy and chronic migraines. Data from the North American Drug Pregnancy Registry shows the risk of oral defects is 16 times higher among mothers who took Topamax or its generic versions during their first trimester of pregnancy. This is compared to mothers who either did not take the drug or who took other antiepileptic drugs. More than 32 million prescriptions for Topamax were issued between January 2007 and December 2010. The drug was a multi-billion-dollar success for Johnson and Johnson, with sales of nearly $3 billion in 2008 alone.
Andrew represented Kelly and Brian Anderson at trial in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Kelly took Topamax during her pregnancy, and her baby was born with bilateral cleft palate and lip. At the time of the case, the Andersons’ child was five years old. Simmons Hanly Conroy secured a $3 million verdict for the Andersons against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The manufacturer appealed the original decision. However, the verdict was upheld on appeal in May 2016.
“For me to truly measure success or failure is to gauge how satisfied my clients are,” Andrew said. “I work hard and strive to ensure they receive the best representation possible.”
Experienced Attorney with an Extensive Background
Since 1993, Andrew has worked on cases in 28 states and the District of Columbia. He is admitted to practice in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California and Florida as well as numerous federal district courts throughout the country. He has tried 65 jury trials in state and federal court. Andrew has been selected to the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Illinois Trial Lawyers list.
Andrew graduated with his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 1990. He earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri Columbia, School of Law in 1993. Before joining the firm, he worked as assistant city counselor for St. Louis. He represented the City and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in criminal and civil cases.
MDL Leadership Roles
Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) happens when a federal judicial panel decides to consolidate similar cases around the nation into one judicial jurisdiction. Attorneys from around the country are then appointed by the judge to serve on a plaintiff or defense steering committee that oversees the litigation on a national basis.
Andrew has been appointed to leadership positions in the following MDL:
Darvocet – Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
In Re: Darvocet, Darvon and Propoxyphene Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2226.
Multidistrict Litigation Experience
Attorneys do not have to be appointed by a judge to work in an MDL. Andrew has worked on litigation for the following MDL cases:
- Incretin Mimetic
In re: Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2452
In re Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2502
In re Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2434
In rePradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2385.
In re Propecia (Finasteride) Product Liability Litigation, MDL 2331.
- In Re: Celexa and Lexapro Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2067.
- In re: Effexor (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2458.
- In re Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2342.
- In re Paxil Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1574
- In re Eli Lilly & Company, Prozac Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1448
- Transvaginal Mesh
- In re Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2327.
- In re C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2187.
- In re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2325.
- In re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2326.
- In re Coloplast Corp., Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2387.
In re Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2592.