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With more than 15 years of experience handling complex litigation, attorney Trent Miracle leads the firm’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Group, helping thousands of people harmed by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices.
Trent is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy. Prior to joining the firm in 2003, Trent earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Depauw University in Indiana and graduated with his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas in 1995. He began his career in 1996 as a personal injury attorney practicing aviation law, concentrating on airline and helicopter disasters.
Trent became a lawyer because he wanted to help people who have the odds stacked against them.
“I’ve worked with thousands of people who’ve been wronged by large companies,” he said. “You are not alone, but you alone can make the decision to stand up for yourself. Once you do that, we are here to help you with the rest.”
Under Trent’s leadership, the firm’s Pharmaceutical Group has grown from a single attorney and a handful of staff to a team of 7 attorneys and nearly 30 staff members. The pharmaceutical group has secured nearly $360 million in settlements on behalf of its clients harmed by pharmaceutical drugs like Bextra, Yaz, Vioxx, Ortho Evra, Ephedra and more.
“Because of the level of resources the firm dedicates to clients’ cases, my team and I are able to take on defendants at the national level,” Trent said.
The firm has built a national reputation as a leader in pharmaceutical injury litigation. Federal judges have appointed Trent to serve on plaintiff steering committees for several multidistrict litigations including Yaz, DePuy Hip Replacement, Propecia and more. In addition, he is regularly asked to speak at legal conferences and is the founding chairman of the American Association for Justice’s Asbestos Litigation Group.
Clients often tell Trent they hired the firm not only for its past successes, but also for the personal attention the pharmaceutical staff and attorneys provide.
“A day doesn’t go by that someone on my team or myself responds to e-mails from clients, calls a client back or responds to an after-hours call from a client,” he said.
Trent’s typical client is someone who has suffered an acute injury as a result of a dangerous drug or defective medical device through no fault of his or her own. Every litigation area is unique, he said.
“Each pharmaceutical case is different with a new science you have to learn in each separate litigation,” Trent said. “It’s a very specialized area of practice that not just anyone can do.”
For example, Yaz is a popular birth control manufactured by Bayer. Television ads first marketing the oral contraceptive were not only deemed misleading but they also minimized the serious risks associated with taking the drug, according to the FDA. As a result, hundreds of women were suffering from serious side effects including fatal strokes, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, blood clots and more.
Establishing a scientific link between a dangerous drug like Yaz and an injury is difficult. Trent and his team are required to prove that the injury is not an outlier but is actually a significant contributing factor in causing said injury.
“You know the manufacturer’s science doesn’t meet the smell test, but you have to go out there and dig and figure out where they went wrong,” he said. “It’s a challenge because there’s no template for these kinds of cases, but the injuries are so awful it makes it easy to fight for our clients.”
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.
Trent has been appointed to leadership positions in the following MDLs:
Testosterone Replacement Therapy – Co-lead, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2545)
Propecia – Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
In re Propecia (Finasteride) Product Liability Litigation (MDL 2331)
DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement – Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2244)
Yaz/Yasmin – Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
(In Re Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2100)
Ephedra – Plaintiff’s Mediation Committee
In re Ephedra Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1598); helped negotiate approximately $100 million in national settlements in both the Metabolife and TwinLab bankruptcy proceedings.
Multidistrict Litigation Experience
Attorneys do not have to be appointed by a judge to work in an MDL. Trent has worked on litigation for the following MDL cases: