CLEVELAND – Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, is proud to announce the appointment of Shareholder Jayne Conroy as interim co-lead counsel for a proposed negotiation class in the national multidistrict litigation pending against pharmaceutical companies involved in the marketing of prescription opioid painkillers.
U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio issued an order on Aug. 19 naming Conroy and attorney Christopher Seeger as co-lead counsel for the innovative proposed settlement class. Conroy, with extensive experience in litigation against opioid manufacturers going back more than a decade, will represent the class of 24,500 American communities that would resolve nationwide settlements with defendants in the litigation.
“I am honored to have been appointed to such a significant position in this critical litigation,” Conroy said. “Every day counts in the lives of the victims of the opioid crisis, and I look forward to beginning my service immediately.”
Judge Polster referenced Conroy’s “significant and impressive experience in leadership roles in mass tort MDLs” in his appointment order. Most recently, Conroy served on the Plaintiff Executive Committee in the DePuy Pinnacle federal litigation involving more than 9,000 patients injured by Johnson & Johnson’s metal-on-metal hip replacement device. As a member of the trial team, she secured three consecutive 9-figure bellwether trial verdicts, including a $1 billion result for six families.
Conroy also has a track record of holding opioid manufacturers responsible for their role in the opioid epidemic. In 2003, she and Shareholder Paul Hanly, who serves as co-lead of the Opioid MDL, represented more than 5,000 clients against Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and won a significant settlement in 2006.
Judge Polster is expected to appoint four additional attorneys to serve as class counsel with the two co-leads once certification of the negotiation class is achieved.
Conroy is a founding member of Simmons Hanly Conroy and is based in the firm’s New York City office. The firm and its attorneys have held multiple national positions of note in pharmaceutical mass torts litigations, including DePuy Pinnacle hip implants, the Volkswagen emission scandal, testosterone replacement therapy, transvaginal mesh, Lipitor, Yaz and more. Their work has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars secured on behalf of clients injured by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices.
The case is In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804, Case No. 17-md-02804.