This program, led by attorneys Frank Citera and Sylvia Simson, will address recent developments at the class certification stage in the environmental toxic tort arena, including recent decisions with respect to certification of the “issue” class.
In the program, the presenters will address recent developments regarding the pursuit and treatment of medical monitoring claims in federal and state courts. This course will also provide insight into important considerations and best practices for attorneys defending such large-scale actions.
Francis A. Citera is Co-Chair of the firm's Products Liability & Mass Torts Litigation Group and Co-Chair of the Chicago Litigation Practice. Frank has over 30 years of experience defending toxic tort actions, and other complex litigation in both federal and state courts. He has tried many cases to verdict, including an action by the Government to enforce a unilateral administrative order, an allocation case among potentially responsible parties, and a complex product liability, wrongful death case. He has been described by Legal 500 as being "renowned for his toxic tort and product liability work."
Frank defends class actions for companies from virtually all industries and business sectors. He has been an architect of strategies to defeat class certification and has obtained favorable results across the country on a host of claims, including mass tort, product liability, unfair competition, consumer protection, and breach of contract/warranty claims. He regularly handles multi-state consumer class actions and often serves as national coordinating counsel for companies facing multidistrict and overlapping class action proceedings.
Frank also counsels clients on risk management and product safety matters for both consumer and industrial products. In this capacity, he has been responsible for matters pending before various federal and state agencies and committees regulating the importation and sale of goods in the United States, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee, the State of California Department of Justice, and the Illinois Attorney General's office. In connection with these efforts, Frank counseled clients on crisis management and crisis communications. He has participated in a briefing before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations regarding the safety of certain products intended for children. Frank has written and spoken extensively on class action litigation, product safety issues, and claims for medical monitoring.
Frank is also an experienced appellate lawyer, having argued many appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Additionally, Frank has substantial experience in bankruptcy litigation, having represented debtors-in possession in a broad range of disputes, as well as lenders, landlords, and trade creditors in bankruptcy litigation matters.
Sylvia Simson is a litigator with a diverse practice focused on a broad range of complex commercial litigation as well as environmental, mass torts, and product liability matters. She also has experience providing counsel in transactional and regulatory contexts, advising on risk mitigation and preparedness best practices, and developing coordinated defense strategies integrating business, media, regulatory, and litigation dimensions.
Ms. Simson has litigated matters concerning a variety of issues, including contractual disputes, toxic exposure claims, failure to warn allegations, business torts, bankruptcy, insurance coverage, indemnity and contribution claims, breach of fiduciary duty allegations, purported product defects, and alleged False Claims Act violations. Her experience spans a wide range of industries, including the consumer products, energy, chemicals, technology, pharmaceutical, financial services, insurance, and building materials sectors. Ms. Simson has counseled both companies and individuals in cases across the country and has deep experience with multi-district litigation, class actions, and the coordination of related actions in both federal and state courts.