Ellen Presby of Nemeroff Law Firm in Dallas Appointed to National Granuflo Steering Committee

Presby Chosen for Expertise and Track Record in Pharmaceutical Trial Law

DALLAS (July 31, 2013) – The United States District Court of Massachusetts has appointed attorney Ellen Presby, of the nationally-recognized Nemeroff Law Firm, to serve on a national Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) for Fresenius, Granuflo/Naturalyte Dialysate Products Liability litigation. The litigation is proceeding as a Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”) matter. The PSC is responsible for coordination and management of discovery in the MDL court.

Presby’s work on the PSC committee will involve conducting pretrial discovery, examining evidence, coordinating counsel hearings and meetings, selecting trial teams, and management and presentation of case trials.

“In the last year, it has become clear that women are underrepresented in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) cases and more female attorneys are needed in leadership positions,” said Annika Martin, an attorney at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein. “Ellen Presby brings considerable experience and a track record of success, and she will be a powerful asset as we navigate complex pharmaceutical cases through our legal system.”

“I am honored to be chosen for this appointment and hope that my extensive litigation experience will be a valuable asset to plaintiffs and attorneys throughout the country,” Presby said. “My primary goal is to protect the rights and health of Americans who have been unknowingly and often irreversibly harmed by dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices.”

With nearly three decades of litigation experience, Ellen Presby is a sought-after speaker, a proven trial lawyer and a valued member of the nationally recognized Nemeroff Law Firm. She has represented hundreds of individuals and families in numerous personal injury, medical negligence and product liability cases and stands at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical law and trial techniques. Presby has won multiple legal victories against major corporations, including playing a role in a $1.27 billion pharmaceutical class action settlement.

Presby has been listed as one of National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers from 2007 to 2012, a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2003 and was named one of the top 50 female lawyers in Texas by Law & Politics Media and Texas Monthly magazine in 2004. She has served as Co- Chair of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, and on the Boards of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Public Justice Foundation.

Women Trials Lawyers Caucus Appoints Ellen Presby of the Nemeroff Law Firm to Education Committee

American Association of Justice Member Group Welcomes Nemeroff Law Firm Member

The Women Trial Lawyers Caucus of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) welcomed Ellen Presby of the nationally-recognized Nemeroff Law Firm as co-chair of the group’s education committee, recognizing her leadership and dedication to the advancement of women in trial law.

The Caucus provides an arena for women trial lawyers to learn from one another, offering networking events, CLE courses, awards and leadership opportunities. The group includes any female lawyer in good standing with AAJ and boasts a membership of more than 3,000.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have the combined wisdom, experience and enthusiasm of this group to help propel the women of AAJ into the spotlight,” said Lori Andrus, chair-elect for the caucus. “The Caucus needs to ensure that we are connecting the women of AAJ to the National College of Advocacy, litigation groups, sections, and influential AAJ leaders who can help us match speaking opportunities with qualified women trial lawyers. Under this leadership, I know we will succeed.”

With nearly three decades of litigation experience, Presby is a sought-after speaker, a proven trial lawyer and a valued member of the nationally recognized Nemeroff Law Firm. Among her many recognitions, Presby was named one of the top 50 female lawyers in Texas by Law & Politics Media, and Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly magazine. She has served as co-chair of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, the Boards of Texas Trial Lawyers Association, American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Public Justice Foundation.

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to represent The Nemeroff Law Firm and work with the Women’s Caucus to enhance AAJ’s education arm,” Presby said.

Rick Nemeroff of the Nemeroff Law Firm Returns as Co-Chair for National Asbestos Litigation Conference

More than 50 Speakers and 500 Attendees Set to Explore Current Trends Driving Asbestos Litigation at the 2013 National Overview & Outlook

Rick Nemeroff, owner of The Nemeroff Law Firm and leading representative of mesothelioma victims, was selected to return as co-chair and moderator for the 2013 Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview and Outlook. The event gives thought leaders in the asbestos field an opportunity to discuss how trends in litigation may impact future cases.

The event, hosted by Perrin Conferences, brings asbestos insurance, legal, corporate and scientific leaders together to review the direction and climate of asbestos litigation. Topics for discussion include emerging and specialized claims, recent verdicts, decisions and events, as well as strategies on litigating cases in particular states and leading jurist’s perspectives.

“We’re proud to have Rick Nemeroff chair our National Asbestos Conference once again,” said Lynnsey Perrin, founder of Perrin Conferences. “Rick’s vast experience in this highly competitive field and enviable record of results place him at the forefront of asbestos litigation.”

Practicing since 1993, Nemeroff has established himself as a leading trial lawyer, combining compassion with aggressive litigation skills to fight for individuals and families who have been harmed by the actions of negligent corporations. He is a sought-after speaker and presenter for all aspects of asbestos litigation.

“I’m honored to return as co-chair and moderator for this year’s conference,” said Nemeroff. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as representatives of victims and their families, to discuss industry and legal developments and what those might mean for our clients.”

Established in 2009, the National Asbestos Litigation Conference offers a vibrant and open forum to help attendees understand the trends currently driving asbestos litigation and what the future will present. The conference will be hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Sept. 16-18.

Nemeroff Law Firm Announces New Orleans Asbestos Verdict

NEW ORLEANS – The Dallas-based Nemeroff Law Firm is announcing a verdict on behalf of a Louisiana man who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma following decades of working around asbestos-containing materials at two manufacturing plants.

Orleans Parish jurors deliberated for half a day on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, before returning the verdict in favor of 66-year-old Thomas M. Kenney of St. Tammany Parish. Jurors agreed that defendants Rexam Beverage Can Company (formerly American Can) and asbestos product manufacturers John Crane Inc. and Haveg Inc. were negligent and responsible for exposing Mr. Kenney to dangerous levels of asbestos.

The jury found that Mr. Kenney, a Slidell resident, was exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos fibers while he worked at an American Can facility in New Orleans between 1964 and 1976, and while working as a pipefitter and machinist for Tenneco in Chalmette between 1977 and 1988. John Crane Inc. made and supplied asbestos gaskets and Haveg Inc. supplied asbestos-containing piping to Tenneco while Mr. Kenney was employed there.

Mr. Kenney, who is married with three grown children, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in July 2010. Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure.

“Thomas Kenney worked as a loyal and valuable employee who deserved to be able to do his job in a safe environment with warnings on the products he handled,” says his attorney Rick Nemeroff, co-founder of Nemeroff Law Firm. “This is an important verdict that will go a long way to helping make sure that Mr. Kenney and his family can get the support they need to deal with his grave health problems.”

The trial team representing Mr. Kenney was led by Mr. Nemeroff and firm trial attorney Barrett Naman, as well as local counsel Mickey Landry and Frank Swarr of New Orleans-based Landry & Swarr.

With offices in Dallas, Houston and Pittsburgh, the experienced trial attorneys of the Nemeroff Law Firm fight for individuals and families who have suffered from harmful pharmaceuticals, mesothelioma, and catastrophic personal injuries or death as a result of the wrongful or negligent conduct of others. The firm secured two of Pennsylvania’s largest courtroom awards in 2010, according to The Legal Intelligencer. For more information, visit www.nemerofflaw.com.

For more information about the verdict, please contact Robert Tharp at 800.559.4534 or Robert@androvett.com.

Ellen Presby of the Nemeroff Law Firm Invited to Speak at Plaintiff-Only Granuflo and Dialysis Products Seminar

Presby to Discuss Science and Chemistry Behind the Law

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has invited attorney Ellen Presby of the nationally recognized Nemeroff Law Firm to speak at the organization’s Plaintiff-Only GranuFlo and Dialysis Products Seminar in New York City on Dec. 12, 2013. The seminar will offer legal developments, industry updates and trial techniques for cases involving the most widely-prescribed dry acid product in the dialysis industry today.

Presby, a trial attorney with Dallas-based Nemeroff Law Firm, was asked to speak during the Medical and Scientific Overview of GranuFlo Cases. The session will provide a generic overview of the process and mechanics of dialysis machines, an understanding of the science and chemistry of GranuFlo and the negative impacts experienced by patients.

“It’s essential for attorneys to understand the science behind these cases,” Presby said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with this type of litigation.”

With nearly three decades of trial experience, Presby is a sought-after speaker and will also be moderating a portion of the upcoming AAJ 2014 Winter Convention. She holds multiple legal victories against major corporations, including a role in a $1.275 billion pharmaceutical class action settlement, and was recently appointed to the plaintiff’s steering committee for a major multidistrict pharmaceutical litigation. She specializes in personal injury and product liability cases and stands at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical law and trial techniques.

Presby has been listed as one of National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers from 2007 to 2012, a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2003 and was named one of the top 50 female lawyers in Texas by Law & Politics Media and Texas Monthly magazine in 2004. She has served as Co- Chair of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, and on the Boards of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Public Justice Foundation, and the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Nemeroff Law Firm Case Changes Pennsylvania Law: Landmark Decision Protects Rights of Occupational Disease Victims

The nationally recognized Nemeroff Law Firm won a major victory for victims of occupational diseases in Pennsylvania. In a landmark decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a Superior Court decision and recognized an employee’s right to bring a civil action against an employer for a latent occupational disease.

In Landis v. A.W. Chesterton, et al. and Tooey v. A.K. Steel Corp., plaintiffs developed mesothelioma from years of work-related asbestos exposure. Under prior interpretations of the Workers Compensation Act in Pennsylvania, however, Landis and Tooey were unable to seek workers compensation benefits, or file civil action against their employer, because their mesothelioma did not manifest within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Act did not apply to latent occupational diseases, or diseases that might take years to develop and be diagnosed, and therefore victims were not prohibited from filing a common law claim against an employer.

In its written opinion, the court stated that interpretations should be “consistent with the humanitarian purposes of the Act,” and “resolve in favor of the employee.”

“It is inconceivable that the legislature, in enacting a statute specifically designed to benefit employees, intended to leave a certain class of employees who have suffered the most serious of work-related injuries without any redress under the Act or at common law,” the court wrote.

“This is a major victory for our clients and for victims of occupational diseases,” said Rick Nemeroff, president and founder of The Nemeroff Law Firm. “Mr. Landis and Mr. Tooey, like many employees diagnosed with latent occupational diseases, had no chance for relief from the employers that had exposed them to occupational toxins. This opinion goes a long way toward protecting their rights, and the rights of other employees and their families, who have suffered from negligence or wrong-doing by an employer.”

John Tooey worked as an industrial salesman from 1964 until 1982 and during his employment sold asbestos containing products, which caused him to be exposed to asbestos dust. In December 2007, Tooey developed mesothelioma and died less than one year later. Spurgeon Landis worked for a manufacturer of welding rods from 1946 until 1992 and, during his employment, he too was exposed to asbestos dust. Mr. Landis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 and died in 2012.

“Virtually every other state, except for the state of Louisiana, restricts the rights of victims in these cases,” Nemeroff said. “We hope this humanitarian decision in Pennsylvania will influence other states to take action to protect the rights of those have suffered due to employer neglect or misconduct.”

The appeal was briefed by Roderick S. Marshall of The Nemeroff Law Firm and Brent M. Rosenthal of The Law Offices of Brent Rosenthal, and argued by Robert F. Daley of Robert N. Peirce & Associates.

A Win for Mesothelioma Victims – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Restores Employee Rights

In December 2013, the Nemeroff Law Firm won a major victory for victims of mesothelioma and other latent occupational diseases in Pennsylvania by restoring their legal right to seek compensation for their injuries from their employers.
In the consolidated case of Tooey v. A.K. Steel, et al. and Landis v. A. W. Chesterton, et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recognized an employee’s right to bring a civil action against an employer for a latent occupational disease, ruling that employers could not use the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”) to deny workers the opportunity to obtain compensation. Under the Act, compensation from an employer was only available if the occupational disease manifested within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure to an occupational toxin.

This ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court represents a major shift in Pennsylvania law in favor of an injured employee and the significance of this decision should be clear to anyone who understands a disease like mesothelioma, which can take decades to manifest but mere months to claim the lives of its victims. Prior to this decision, employees diagnosed with mesothelioma, or other latent occupational diseases, had no chance for relief from the employers that had exposed them to asbestos or other occupational toxins. This opinion goes a long way toward protecting the rights of employees and their families who have suffered from negligence or wrongdoing by an employer.

John Tooey worked as an industrial salesman from 1964 until 1982 and during his employment sold asbestos containing products, which caused him to be exposed to asbestos dust. In December 2007, Tooey developed mesothelioma and died less than one year later. Spurgeon Landis worked for a manufacturer of welding rods from 1946 until 1992 and, during his employment was exposed to asbestos dust. Mr. Landis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 and died in 2012. Under prior interpretations of the Workers’ Compensation Act in Pennsylvania, neither plaintiff could seek workers compensation benefits or file civil action against their employer, because their mesothelioma did not manifest within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure.

To reverse years of precedent and succeed where other plaintiffs had failed, The Nemeroff Law Firm decided to take the case to the state Supreme Court, arguing that latent occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma, were outside the jurisdiction of the Act and that the Act’s provisions, when applied to these cases, were unconstitutional. Nemeroff was able to prevail relying on Lord Corp. v. Pollard, 548 Pa. 124, 695 A.2d 767 (1997), Boniecke v. McGraw Edison Co., 485 Pa. 163, 401 A.2d 345 (1979) and Greer v. U.S. Steel Corp., 475 Pa. 448, 380 A.2d 1221 (1997). In each of these cases, the employees’ civil action would survive the exclusivity provision if it was determined the injury was not compensable.

The Court ultimately agreed, ruling that the Act did not apply to latent occupational diseases, or diseases that might take years to develop and be diagnosed, and therefore victims were not prohibited from filing a common law claim against an employer. In its written opinion, the Court stated that previous interpretation of the Act would leave “the employee with no remedy against his or her employer, a consequence that clearly contravenes the Act’s intended purpose of benefitting the injured worker.”

The Court went on to state that the Act does not apply to latent occupational disease claims because it is “inconceivable that the legislature, in enacting a statute specifically designed to benefit employees, intended to leave a certain class of employees which have suffered the most serious of work-related injuries without any redress under the Act or at common law.”

After all, while manufacturers and suppliers of harmful toxins bear their share of responsibility in these cases, an employer is the last line of defense for an employee and is obligated to provide a safe work environment. In this landmark decision, the court ruled that interpretations should be “consistent with the humanitarian purposes of the Act,” and “resolve in favor of the employee.”

The implications of this decision cannot be overstated, as it reverberates well beyond these two unfortunate victims. While the ruling was based on the occupational disease mesothelioma, there is nothing in the Court’s reasoning to indicate that employers will be shielded from providing compensation for other occupational diseases with long latency periods. Other latent cancers, such as benzene-induced leukemia, should fall within the Court’s decision as long as the occupational disease first manifests more than 300 weeks from the date of last exposure to the industrial toxin.

It’s very rare as an attorney to have an opportunity to make or change the law, and even more rare to right a wrong for a class of victims and their families who have suffered so greatly. And while neither client lived to see the results of their appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision does bring some measure of justice to their families and to the families of other unfortunate employees who suffered from occupational diseases that did not develop until years after toxic exposure had ended.

We can only hope that this humanitarian decision in Pennsylvania will influence other states to take action to protect the rights of those have suffered due to employer neglect or misconduct.

Editor’s Note: The appeal in the case of Tooey v. A.K. Steel, et al. and Landis v. A. W. Chesterton, et al. was briefed by Roderick S. Marshall of The Nemeroff Law Firm and Brent M. Rosenthal of The Law Offices of Brent Rosenthal, and argued by Robert F. Daley of Robert N. Peirce & Associates.

Ellen Presby of the Nemeroff Law Firm Selected to Moderate at American Association of Justice 2014 Winter Convention

The American Association for Justice has selected Ellen Presby of the nationally-recognized Nemeroff Law Firm as a moderator for a portion of the organization’s 2014 Winter Convention in New Orleans, La., Feb. 8-12, 2014. The conference brings accomplished trial lawyers and experts together to discuss the latest developments in trial advocacy and attend interactive education seminars.

Presby will moderate the program “Advocacy Track, Making the Case—Experts and Evidence: Using Daubert Effectively.” Attendees will learn how to effectively prepare and use experts in the wake of high hurdles created by various court interpretations of the decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to share my trial experience and to help other attorneys learn how to get the most out of expert witnesses,” Presby said. “Used effectively, experts are powerful tools that can deliver a significant advantage for clients. Even with the boundaries set by Daubert, expert testimony is necessary to help juries understand the issues.”

Presby is a sought-after speaker with nearly three decades of litigation experience. She holds multiple legal victories against major corporations, including a role in a $1.275 billion pharmaceutical class action settlement, and she was recently appointed to the plaintiff’s steering committee for a major multidistrict pharmaceutical litigation. She specializes in personal injury and product liability cases and stands at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical law and trial techniques.

Presby has been listed as one of National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers from 2007 to 2012, a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2003 and was named one of the top 50 female lawyers in Texas by Law & Politics Media and Texas Monthly magazine in 2004. She has served as Co- Chair of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, and on the Boards of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Public Justice Foundation, and the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Attorney Rick Nemeroff Among Top Trial Attorneys Selected to Speak at American Bar Association Annual Spring CLE Meeting

Rick Nemeroff, a leading asbestos lawyer and founder of the nationally-recognized Nemeroff Law Firm, is among the nation’s top trial attorneys selected to speak at the American Bar Association (ABA) 23rd Annual Spring CLE meeting. Nemeroff will be part of a panel of experts at the “Learn Trial Techniques from the Best” session on Saturday, April 5 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Nemeroff will offer proven techniques for preparing for, conducting and winning trials. Presenting the plaintiff viewpoint, he will discuss his unique trial skills, on topics ranging from jury selection through verdict, which have resulted in significant legal victories.

Nemeroff is a sought-after speaker, author and consultant on litigation techniques and maintains an active trial practice with record-breaking verdicts. His firm recently won a landmark case, convincing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse previous decisions and allow employees with latent occupational disease to pursue legal action under the Workers Compensation Act. The decision was a major victory for Nemeroff’s clients and other victims of occupational diseases.

“This venue brings viewpoints from all sides – plaintiff, defense, industry and insurance – to a forum where we can discuss the latest developments and share winning techniques and strategies,” Nemeroff said.

This year’s ABA conference, “Hot Topics in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law,” features preeminent plaintiff and defense attorneys as well as leading corporate and insurance counsel from across the country. Program topics will include the environment, energy, asbestos, consumer product regulations, managing mass tort cases and more. The event runs April 3-5 at the Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

Attorney Chris Norris Quoted in Law360 Article on Secondary Asbestos Exposure Cases

Attorney Chris Norris, head of the appellate practice at Nemeroff Law Firm, was recently quoted in an article on Law360 discussing the controversial issue of take-home asbestos exposure cases. In asbestos litigation, take-home exposure refers to secondary exposure. These cases typically involve instances where employees who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace subsequently expose friends or family members to harmful asbestos materials.

Take-home exposure cases have presented a great deal of complexity and disagreement among the legal community. The Law360 article illustrates this point by citing two pending California cases. In August, the California Supreme Court agreed to consider lower court decisions which resulted in two different outcomes about whether companies have a duty to compensate asbestos victims they did not have a direct relationship with. One case ruled that a product manufacturer owed a duty to the nephew of an employee. The other ruled that there cannot be premises liability for secondary exposures.

According to the article, courts will commonly use one of two tests to determine whether companies owe a duty to victims of secondary exposure:

Foreseeability Analysis – Considers whether a company could expect that employees could expose family members to asbestos fibers at home from dust-coated clothing or possessions.
Special Relationship Analysis – Considers whether a company had a direct contractual relationship with an asbestos victims.
Attorney Norris commented on the conflict, stating that “the question, legally, has come down on two different sides, the question of what was foreseeable, to a product maker or premises owner. Some states say foreseeability itself doesn’t create a duty, and other states have basically said that it’s common sense that a worker’s spouse could be exposed, but that they might not extend the duty as far if it’s a visiting granddaughter or someone like that.”

Legal experts are hopeful that the California cases will provide some clarity on secondary asbestos exposure cases across the country, but as Attorney Norris notes, the issue has largely been divided on a state-by-state basis. If you have questions about take-home asbestos exposure and your rights, contact the Nemeroff Law Firm for a free consultation.