Attorney Sanford Smokler is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy focusing on products liability and personal injury litigation. He represents injured consumers in actions against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. His role centers on discovery, fact investigation and evidence development.

“I strategically search for and identify key evidence in order to help develop and prove defendants’ liability stories,” he said. “This evidence is vital for use as exhibits in plaintiffs’ and defendants’ witness depositions and at trial.”

Sanford touts the collaborative environment at Simmons Hanly Conroy as the foundation for groundbreaking legal work and exceptional service to clients, who receive his devoted and undivided attention.

“It is an environment that allows for independence, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking,” he said. “My approach in each case is the same: dedication, determination, attention to detail and a relentless search for the truth.”

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Sanford is a key member of the firm’s discovery team in the ongoing National Prescription Opiates Multidistrict Litigation. The MDL represents local governments across the country, alleging drug companies contributed to the opioid crisis by carelessly promoting painkillers and downplaying addiction risks.

The opioid legal team has experienced several successful results in recent years. In November 2020, the firm announced a proposed $26 billion global settlement with McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. and Johnson & Johnson. In October 2019, the team reached a $260 million settlement with these same three distributors, as well as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., hours before the opening arguments in the first opioid bellwether trial on behalf of Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio. Additional settlements reached earlier to avoid the opening trial brought the total to $325 million.

Protecting Rights of Patients Injured by Hip Implants

Sanford was also involved in the DePuy Pinnacle federal litigation involving more than 9,000 patients injured by Johnson & Johnson’s metal-on-metal hip replacement device. The trial team secured three consecutive nine-figure bellwether trial verdicts, including a $1 billion result for six families. In early 2019, amidst a retrial, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a significant global settlement to resolve all pending litigation.

Representing Those Harmed by Bextra

Sanford also served as a member of the trial team in the first Bextra personal injury trial in the United States. That case settled on the eve of trial and ultimately led to an $894 million settlement of all related cases.

Background and Experience

Prior to joining Simmons Hanly Conroy, Sanford worked at another firm, where he litigated asbestos and silicone-gel-filled breast-implant products liability actions on behalf of plaintiffs. Sanford earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. He resides in Westport, Conn.

Representative Cases

  • In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (N.D. Ohio 2018)
    • $325 million in settlements | County of Cuyahoga v. Purdue Pharma LP et al., case number 1:17-op-45004; County of Summit et al. v. Purdue Pharma LP et al., case number 1:18-op-45090; and In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, case number 1:17-md-02804, all in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
  • In re: DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2244 (N.D. Tex.)
    • $247 million DePuy Hip Verdict | In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, Alicea et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. et al., case number 3:15-cv-03489; Barzel v. DePuy et al., case number 3:16-cv-01245; Kirschner v. DePuy et al., case number 3:16-cv-01526; Miura v. DePuy et al., case number 3:13-cv-04119; Stevens v. DePuy et al., case number 3:14-cv-01776; and Stevens v. DePuy et al., case number 3:14-cv-02341, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. (Six cases consolidated for trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas Division alleging injuries from J&J DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.)
    • $1 billion DePuy Hip Verdict | In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, Michael Weiser v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3631, Judith Rodriguez v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3938, Linda Standerfer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1730, Kathleen Davis, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, Marvin Andrews, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-3484. (Six cases consolidated for trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas Division alleging injuries from J&J DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.)
    • $502 million DePuy Hip Verdict | Aoki v. DePuy Orthopedics, et al., No. 3:13-cv-01071-K; Christopher v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 3:14-cv-01994-K; Greer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 3:12-cv-01672-K; Klusmann v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 3:11-cv-02800-K; and Peterson v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 3:11-cv-01941-K. (Five cases consolidated for trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas Division alleging injuries from J&J DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants; verdict of $502 million including $142 million compensatory and $360 million punitive damages.)
  • In re: DePuy ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2197 (N.D. Ohio)
  • In re: Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2502 (D.S.C.)
  • In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf Of Mexico, on April 20, 2010 litigation
  • In re: Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation
  • In re: Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
  • In re: Zelnorm Litigation
  • In re: Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents Products Liability Litigation
  • In re: Bextra and Celebrex Products Liability Litigation
  • In re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation
  • In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation
  • In re: Silicone Gel Filled Breast Implant Litigation

Practice Areas:

  • Mass Tort
  • Medical Device Litigation
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • New York, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1997
  • District of Columbia, 1999

Representative Experience:

Personal Injury Litigation
Pharmaceutical Litigation

Education:

  • Brooklyn Law School (J.D., 1996)
  • Syracuse University (B.A., 1993)