R. Brent Wisner has been named to the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers list for the third time in his career.
— Baum Hedlund
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, October 3, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman Vice President and Senior Shareholder R. Brent Wisner has been named to the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers list for the third time in his career. Brent received the recognition for his work representing plaintiffs in pharmaceutical and toxic tort litigation.
The Daily Journal’s 2022 Top 100 list is an “annual roundup of the best lawyers in California,” celebrated for their cutting-edge legal work. The publication highlighted Brent’s groundbreaking jury verdicts against Monsanto and summarized his slate of upcoming trials over the next few months.
In November, Brent will face off against a familiar foe, Monsanto. Brent served as co-lead trial in two cases against Monsanto (now Bayer) in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in jury verdicts worth over $2.3 billion. These cases helped pave the way for a massive settlement with Bayer in 2020 worth nearly $11 billion.
But the trial success for plaintiffs in the Monsanto litigation has stalled since Brent’s last victory in 2019. Monsanto’s legal teams have prevailed in each of the last five trials. Despite the company’s recent success in the courtroom, Brent says he is looking forward to facing Monsanto again, this time with new developments that he believes strengthen plaintiffs’ claims.
In previous cases, Monsanto argued that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Roundup (glyphosate) as safe. However, in June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA’s analysis for Roundup was scientifically invalid. “It’s an interesting twist, for sure,” Brent told the Daily Journal, noting that he looks forward to being able to tell the jury that the EPA got it wrong, just like Monsanto got it wrong.
Below are the upcoming Monsanto trials in 2022 in which Brent will serve as co-lead counsel:
• November 7, 2022 – Langford v. Monsanto (California – case no. CGC-21-592238)
• November 29, 2022 – Pied v. Monsanto (Hawaii – case no. 19-1-034K)
In addition to the cases against Monsanto, Brent is co-leading two other major toxic torts and a class action that could break new legal ground.
The two toxic torts concern Zantac and its link to cancer and baby foods tainted with heavy metals linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In February of 2023, Brent and his colleagues will take the first Zantac cancer lawsuit to trial in California state court as part of the JCCP (Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings) No. 5150. Zantac (generic: ranitidine) was removed from the market in 2019 after independent laboratory testing found that ranitidine produced a cancer-causing substance called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at an amount that greatly exceeds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) daily acceptable intake limit. Brent serves as co-lead plaintiffs’ liaison counsel for the consolidated Zantac cases filed in California State Court (Ranitidine Products Cases JCCP No. 5150).
In May of 2023, Brent and his colleague Pedram Esfandiary will try a case on behalf of the Cantabrana family (case no. 21STCV22822) against several major baby food brands for knowingly manufacturing and selling baby foods loaded with dangerous levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Brent says the science underpinning the allegations—that the amount of heavy metals found in baby food is linked to ASD and ADHD—is strong. Earlier this year, a California judge overseeing the case held a five-day evidentiary hearing on the issue and issued an order holding that there is sufficient evidence for the baby food lawsuit to go before a jury.
Lastly, Brent has been working on a unique pharmaceutical class action lawsuit brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly Co. The class action (case no. 18-55588 D.C. No. 2:17-cv-07223- SVW-AS) alleges both drug companies conspired to conceal the bladder cancer risk associated with the diabetes drug, Actos, because the companies knew that adding a cancer warning label would harm sales.
If the class action is certified, the damages total under RICO with trebled damages could reach $7 billion or more. Brent says he has been waiting months for the judge overseeing the case to decide on class certification. “I do tell myself that it doesn’t take six months to deny a class,” Brent says.
About Attorney R. Brent Wisner
R. Brent Wisner is an attorney based in Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman’s Bay Area office. A senior shareholder and vice president at the firm, he focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, pharmaceutical class actions, and consumer fraud cases. His work as co-lead trial counsel in the case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto Co. (case no. RG17862702, JCCP No. 4953) earned a $2.055 billion jury verdict, one of the largest personal injury verdicts in recent history. Just 36 years of age at the time, Brent became the youngest attorney ever to obtain a multi-billion-dollar jury verdict.
In 2019, Brent was awarded the “Civil Plaintiffs Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the National Trial Lawyers Association and has been named one of “America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers” by The National Law Journal. Law360 recognized Brent as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” and, in 2020, awarded Brent “MVP of the Year” in Products Liability. In 2021, Brent was awarded “West Trailblazer” by The American Lawyer and was honored at Mass Torts Made Perfect a few months ago with the prestigious Clarence Darrow award.