Sarah Burns is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC. She has substantial legal experience handling consumer safety cases, mass tort multidistrict litigations and other complex business torts. In the past ten years, she has secured millions of dollars in settlements on her clients’ behalf.
Her clients are regular, everyday people, businesses or municipalities who’ve been harmed by larger, multi-national corporations. Sarah brings an in-depth understanding of the law and how it applies to her clients’ unique circumstances. Around the firm, her work has garnered her a reputation as equal parts secret weapon, taskmaster and quarterback.
“I make sure all the details line up, that my client is happy, that the facts match the law, and that everything happens the way it’s supposed to,” she said.
Her cases regularly take on some of the largest companies in the world. Not only is Sarah adept at overcoming the stall tactics big defense law firms deploy against smaller plaintiffs, she leverages the firm’s resources to put her clients on an equal playing field. Her responsibilities include overseeing pre-filing investigations and preparing cases for trial and the appeal process.
Sarah’s current caseload includes representing county and municipal governments against the pharmaceutical companies over the aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid painkillers that has led to the opioid epidemic throughout the country. Sarah serves as the deputy chief of the opioid litigation team, led by Shareholder Paul Hanly, which includes attorneys, paralegals and staff dedicated to helping counties and municipal governments enforce their legal rights against pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid crisis. Currently, she oversees casework for more than 125 cases filed on behalf of government entities in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Indiana.
Sarah also represents Trans Coastal Supply Co., a regional exporter in the agricultural industry that was forced to declare bankruptcy after it lost $41 million because its exports to China were contaminated with Agrisure Viptera corn seed. The lawsuit is part of the federal multidistrict litigation, Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation MDL 2591, that farmers, exporters and other companies have filed against the international biotechnology seed company Syngenta for misleading them about the status of Viptera’s approval in China.
Sarah also handled the consumer protection cases the firm has filed against Volkswagen, regarding the automaker’s highly-publicized emission scandal, and is currently focused on the marketplace unfair competition claims brought by competing dealerships.
She earned her J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law, where she graduated with honors. Sarah graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a B.S. in biochemistry.
Sarah is admitted to practice law in Missouri. She is also admitted to practice law before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Missouri, District of Kansas, Northern District of Indiana, and Middle District of North Carolina.
Represented Case List
- In re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” MDL 15-MD-2672-CRB (JSC)
- In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation MDL 14-MD-2591-JWL (JPO)
- In re: New York Opioid Product Liability Litigation Index No. 613760/2016