Skip to main content


Arnold & Porter is renowned as a powerhouse in the life sciences sector, with a well-established track record resolving large-scale, high-stakes pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation. We are your master strategists, frequently serving as national counsel or lead counsel to defend class actions, mass tort actions, MDL proceedings, and state-coordinated proceedings. We bring the assurance of a veteran team with decades of experience addressing the major issues companies face in pharmaceutical product liability litigation, including electronic discovery, making the most of the learned intermediary defense, consumer fraud defenses, federal preemption defenses, and innovative settlement strategies. We have successfully handled cases in many of the toughest jurisdictions in the country and against some of the most prominent plaintiffs' attorneys.

  • Strategic Thinking: We apply an innovative mindset at every juncture, including strategies for early case disposition, minimizing burden in discovery and using the available legal tools to maximize chances of success at trial.

  • Trial Focus: We bring deep trial experience, with a proven record of successful defense in pharmaceutical product liability cases.

  • Multidisciplinary Approach: Our litigators work closely with our firm's renowned FDA and healthcare practice to develop comprehensive solutions for the business issues facing pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Finalist: Product Liability Department of the Year, The American Lawyer
Sources agree that Arnold & Porter is "a key firm in the pharmaceutical sector" —Chambers USA
The Legal 500 US: Top Tier Firm

Experience Highlights

  • AstraZeneca as national counsel in multidistrict litigation involving the proton-pump inhibitors Nexium® and Prilosec®.

  • ​​​​​Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, now Endo Pharmaceuticals, in obtaining a jury verdict in bellwether trial for multidistrict litigation involving testosterone replacement therapy. 

  • ​​​​​​Bayer as national counsel in defending its oral anticoagulant prescription medicine, Xarelto®. The cases were coordinated in an MDL proceeding, as well as coordinated state court proceedings. Based on our successful record of judgments, the companies agreed to a favorable settlement.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi in ending 12 years of litigation regarding their blood thinner drug, Plavix®, without a single trial or settlement payment. The litigation spurred the U.S. Supreme Court's review of critical specific jurisdiction issues and resulted in the landmark decision in BMS v. Superior Court of California.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb as national counsel and employed novel strategies that led to global settlement of litigation related to Abilify®. 

  • Hologic and Cynosure in defeating class certification and obtaining summary judgment in a purported class action regarding the efficacy of the SculpSure® device. 

  • Pfizer as coordinating science counsel, working with national counsel for the science defense, in securing two significant Daubert victories for the client. These victories led to a summary judgment ruling effectively ending the entire birth defect multi-district litigation for Zoloft®.

  • PfizerPharmacia & Upjohn, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as lead trial counsel, creating, coordinating, and implementing the science defense and handling all phases of litigation for litigation related to several hormone therapy products.

  • Sanofi as national counsel in product liability litigation involving the presence of the nitrosamine NDMA in the heartburn medication Zantac®.

See All Related Professionals

Related Services


  • U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers
    "Best Law Firms" for Product Liability Litigation: Defendants – Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York (2024)
    "Best Law Firms" for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions: Defendant – National, New York (2024)
  • The Legal 500 US
    Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Consumer Products (including tobacco) (2023)
    Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices — Defense (2023)
    Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort — Defense (2023)
  • Chambers USA
    Product Liability: Regulatory (Nationwide) (2024)
    Product Liability & Mass Tort: The Elite (Nationwide) (2024)
  • Chambers UK
    Life Sciences: Product Liability – UK-wide (2023)
  • The Legal 500 UK
    Product Liability: Defendant — Insurance (2023)
    Product Liability: Defendant (2020)
  • LMG Life Sciences Guide
    Product Liability: Tier 1 (2023)
  • BTI Consulting Group
    Product Liability Litigation Powerhouses (2024)