Lead counsel appointed in the Philips CPAP MDL
The federal judge in charge of the multidistrict litigation by users of Philips’ recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP and mechanical ventilators has appointed two men and two women to serve as co-lead counsel after interviewing more than 75 candidates for the position.
Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in Pittsburgh chose Sandra Duggan of Levin Sedran & Berman, Kelly Iverson of Lynch Carpenter, Steven Schwartz of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith and Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss to lead the litigation.
All have substantial experience shepherding other MDLs, but Conti noted the “enthusiasm and talent” of many candidates with little experience in multidistrict litigation. In an unusual move, she created a 10-member leadership development committee to provide newcomers with “the education, experience, and mentorship necessary to lead future MDLs.”
Conti also appointed a 12-member plaintiffs’ steering committee, co-liaison counsel and several other committees. All told, she assigned 33 lawyers to leadership posts, including 18 women and many people of color. Co-lead counsel Duggan is Mexican American, according to her law firm’s website.
John Lavelle Jr of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius leads the defense for Amsterdam-based Koninklijke (Royal) Philips NV and its U.S. units, including Pennsylvania-based Philips RS, formerly known as Respironics Inc.
The litigation began last April, after Philips first warned of “possible risks to users related to the sound abatement foam” in various models of its sleep apnea and respiration aids manufactured before that date. In a subsequent recall notice, the company said the foam could emit toxic fumes or degrade under some conditions, releasing small particles that could be inhaled.
Last month, it estimated the recall would affect 5.2 million devices worldwide.
See the original article here: https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/lead-counsel-appointed-philips-cpap-mdl-2022-02-16/
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