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Attorney John Foley is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy in the Pharmaceutical Litigation Department. He focuses his practice on protecting the rights of victims harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, such as Actos, Yaz and Talc. He also works on cases for clients who have been harmed by defective medical products, such as transvaginal mesh (TVM).
John dedicates his legal career to helping people harmed by pharmaceutical companies’ decisions to not properly warn consumers about serious and sometimes fatal side effects of their products. At the firm, his role is to work with clients to secure the necessary information for each case. He is available to answer client questions and keeps the team of attorneys up-to-date on changing information. He also manages discovery for the cases.
“My legal staff and I fight tirelessly for our clients,” John said. “Because of our experience, we have been fortunate to secure great results on behalf of those injured by dangerous drugs or defective medical devices.”
Working Endlessly For Justice
John fights for his clients, which he describes as people like him, people he grew up with, who are suffering at the hands of big pharmaceutical companies. This is not fair to his clients, who are trying to survive and obtain treatments for medical conditions. In his career, he has helped thousands of people affected by the negative side effects of drugs. He also recognizes that his team educates people about the dangers of some of these products, often endorsed by celebrities.
“It is irresponsible for companies to market products they know are dangerous just because it makes them billions of dollars,” John said. “I believe that if it wasn’t for trial attorneys, there wouldn’t be anyone playing the role of watchdog over these big pharmaceutical companies. I hope my work will someday help end this vicious corporate cycle of profits over people.”
Successful Transvaginal Mesh Litigation
John works on the firm’s legal team that represents over 4,000 clients who’ve been harmed by transvaginal mesh. In the last 18 months, the team has settled over 3,000 claims with mesh manufacturers for a running total of $169 million in settlements.
One of the firm’s clients from Minnesota had a CR Bard mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse in 2009 when she was 46 years old. Within six weeks, she experienced painful side effects. Over the next 18 months, she had nine revision procedures to correct problems with the original mesh implant. Eventually, she had surgery to remove it.
“Our clients suffered significant injures from having mesh implanted. In 2011, the FDA was basically saying those injuries were preventable,” John said. “It makes you feel like you’re on the right side of the litigation and motivates you to help our clients obtain justice.”
The transvaginal mesh litigation is one of the largest medical mass tort litigations ever. It’s estimated there are close to 100,000 claims, with over 70,000 cases pending nationwide. John is involved in the heart of it. He serves on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committees for five of the six TVM MDLs. He also serves on the Discovery Committee for one of the MDLs.
“It’s very rewarding to see so many settlements coming in for our clients and to mark them resolved,” John said. “Now our attention turns to the remaining defendant and getting the remainder of our clients the justice they deserve.”
Background and Experience
John started at the firm in 2004 as a law clerk. He earned his J.D. in 2005 from St. Louis University School of Law and returned to the firm after graduation. Now, with over 12 years of legal experience, John fills a key leadership role in the pharmaceutical litigation department, which has secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements for clients. He has also worked on asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases in the past.
John is admitted to practice in Missouri, Illinois and California. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. In 2013-2017, Super Lawyers Magazine recognized John as an Illinois Rising Star, a distinction awarded to less than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.
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.
John has been appointed to leadership positions in the following TVM MDLs:
Plantiffs’ Steering Committee
– 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
Discovery Committee, co-lead
– In re Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2440