Dukes v. Michelin et al. - In 2016, WTO won a complete defense jury verdict for Michelin following a nine-week trial in Florida in which the plaintiffs requested damages exceeding $80 million. WTO attorneys demonstrated that Michelin’s tire was not defective, was well-designed and well-manufactured, and had been previously damaged during its service life. The jury found Michelin not liable for the accident. This was WTO’s second complete defense jury verdict in product liability trials for Michelin in 10 months. Partners Michael O’Donnell, Edward Stewart and Theresa Wardon handled the defense for Michelin, along with co-counsel from McDonald Toole Wiggins in Florida.
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
In re: Zoloft (Setraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation - In 2016, WTO partners James Hooper and Andrew Myers helped successfully exclude all of the plaintiffs’ general causation experts to help Pfizer secure summary judgment in federal Zoloft birth defect multidistrict litigation. In 2014, Hooper cross-examined three of the plaintiffs’ witnesses in Daubert hearings, successfully challenging the science behind the experts’ opinions that the medication caused a wide range of congenital birth defects. The federal court in Pennsylvania granted Pfizer’s motion to exclude the plaintiffs’ general causation experts, affirming the scientific unreliability of their opinions. The plaintiffs sought to introduce new experts, which delayed the Court’s ruling on summary judgment. Ultimately, the Court issued summary judgment. The victory arose from a collaborative effort by a talented, multi-firm team, including lawyers from WTO, Quinn Emanuel, Kaye Scholer, Dechert, and others.
Travelers v. Stresscon – In 2016, WTO won for Travelers in the Colorado Supreme Court in a case Law360 called one of the nation’s Top 5 Insurance Cases of 2016. In its ruling, the Court reversed two lower courts and remanded the case, holding that the ‘notice-prejudice rule’ does not apply to ‘novoluntary- payment’ provisions in insurance policies. WTO founding partner Malcolm Wheeler argued for Travelers, and partner Evan Stephenson helped draft the brief. This was WTO’s fifth consecutive, fullyargued victory before the Colorado Supreme Court in just two-and-a-half years.
Labor & Employment
EEOC v. CollegeAmerica – In 2016, WTO attorneys won a complete defense verdict for CollegeAmerica (aka The Center for Excellence in Higher Education) in a lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case drew national attention, as CollegeAmerica was one of three employers targeted as part of the EEOC’s national campaign to limit the language employers may use in severance agreements. WTO attorneys won dismissal of two claims relating to severance provisions in 2014. A federal jury decided for CollegeAmerica on the final claim of retaliation in 2016. WTO partner Ray Martin and associate Cedric Logan handled the trial.
Legal Professional Liability
Baker v. Wood Ris & Hames – In 2016, WTO’s managing partner, Carolyn Fairless, won a unanimous opinion from the Colorado Supreme court that rejects a more permissive rule adopted by most states and strongly upholds Colorado’s strict privity rule in determining whether non-client beneficiaries may sue an estate lawyer for malpractice or professional liability. In its opinion, the Court adopted the most stringent test, as WTO advocated, and affirmed that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue WTO’s clients.
Investigations & Compliance
In 2016, partner Habib Nasrullah and of counsel Nick Boeving successfully represented a leading global chemical company in an investigation into international trade compliance issues. The investigation spanned four countries and involved multiple federal agencies. In 2016 and 2017, all of the agencies concluded their investigations with no findings of wrong-doing against our client.
Contact: Michael O’Donnell, Partner and Chairman
Tel: 303 244 1850 Email: [email protected]
Clients: Advanced Bionics, Allstate, CollegeAmerica, Electrolux, FCA, Ford, Fresenius, GE, McKesson, Mercedes-Benz, Michelin, Pfizer, USAA, Volvo, Whirlpool, Yahoo!