Weitz & Luxenberg has been named one of 2024’s Best Law Firms in the country by Best Law Firms, the oldest, highly regarded “Purely Peer…Read More
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I believe Weitz & Luxenberg is one of the best plaintiffs’ firms in the country. It has a team of highly recognized plaintiffs’ mass tort attorneys. It also has a reputation for top-notch women lawyers, and I wanted to work with such respected attorneys. We share the goal of getting justice for people harmed by others.
Laura J. Baughman has joined Weitz & Luxenberg, bringing her nearly 30 years of litigation experience to our Drug and Medical Device Litigation team. She has worked on behalf of thousands of clients in a range of litigations. This includes mass torts, multidistrict litigation (MDL), and class action lawsuits.
Currently, Ms. Baughman is focusing on the Exactech hip and knee liner litigation. This is in addition to other defective drugs and devices cases.
Throughout her career, Ms. Baughman has been the go-to attorney to develop, present, depose, and cross-examine witnesses in the fields of engineering, materials science, and medicine. And she has won hundreds of millions of dollars for clients while doing this.
In 2021, Ms. Baughman obtained a favorable jury verdict as lead trial counsel in a medical device case involving Bard IVC filters. In fact, her efforts resolved an entire docket of her firm’s cases. One of those cases was for an IVC filter that entered her client’s heart.
“I want my clients to know I am always available to them. I am here to help victims harmed by large corporations. I care about people who need help, not big companies,” she explains.
Ms. Baughman has also successfully litigated medical device cases involving GranuFlo, Cook IVC filters, and Cordis IVC filters. Her experience in this area includes briefing on Daubert, summary judgment, and other motions, as well as arguing at hearings — including pretrial and trial proceedings — and trying cases.
During her years of practicing law, Ms. Baughman has secured millions of dollars for clients in cases that range from device design defects, to deceptive or fraudulent marketing, to water contamination and exposure to toxic substances at an abandoned oil refinery.
In the GranuFlo case, she was lead counsel for the State of Mississippi for this medical device used to treat diabetes. She settled this case for $15.7 million. Although it was a large amount, it was dwarfed by the $177 million settlement on behalf of seven states with GlaxoSmithKline over Avandia, a diabetes drug. Both cases focused on fraudulent marketing.
Ms. Baughman was appointed as class counsel by the Los Angeles Superior Court in In Re GIB, LLC Cases. This was a nationwide consumer class action on behalf of hair stylists and consumers regarding deceptive marketing of a Brazilian Blowout Solution. The company was advertising the product as “formaldehyde-free” when it contained the carcinogen. The settlement award was in the millions of dollars.
Also, Ms. Baughman was named as co-lead counsel in two of the largest Proposition 65 cases in history. That California law permits private citizens to enforce certain environmental regulations on behalf of the public. The goal of these cases was to reduce exposure to carcinogens from water contamination and from diesel engine exhaust on school buses. The litigations were settled for a value of over $100 million and included the retrofitting of school buses to protect children and the cleanup of contaminated groundwater.
There was a $423 million settlement in another landmark case Ms. Baughman was involved with. The case was on behalf of more than 150 public water systems contaminated with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The settlement was against several of the biggest oil companies in the U.S.
The complexity of these types of cases requires an understanding of not only the law, but also of materials science, engineering, medicine, and environmental concepts. Ms. Baughman has proven her qualifications in these areas.
In addition to graduating from law school with honors, Ms. Baughman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering. Both are from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Through the years, she has applied her science background to better represent clients.
An understanding of materials science and engineering is particularly useful in defective medical device litigations. In these cases, knowledge of the law is only one aspect of the case. To truly help clients requires understanding the full range of complex concepts that impact their lives. This includes what materials the defective devices are made of.
Knowing the science involved is particularly helpful when people have been sickened, through no fault of their own, by exposure to environmental toxins or contamination.
An early childhood experience left an indelible impression on Ms. Baughman. It would define her future career path.
When Ms. Baughman was a small child living in New Jersey, there was an outbreak of childhood leukemia in her neighborhood. She was hospitalized at the age of five. Her parents were told she, too, had leukemia. It turned out that she did not have the disease.
The children in her neighborhood had been sickened from drinking water contaminated by a company which had dumped toxic waste onto the ground nearby. While Ms. Baughman made a full recovery, many of the stricken children were not expected to live past their 20th birthday.
“It was a very scary situation for my parents,” she recalls. “I was one of the lucky ones. It made me want to go out and help people.”
From the time she was old enough to understand what had happened, she wanted to become a lawyer so that she could represent people injured by unscrupulous corporations.
Ms. Baughman’s skills have been recognized by her legal peers, and the legal industry. She is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
She was awarded the title of Best Lawyer in Dallas, Mass Tort by D Magazine in 2022. This is not surprising, considering earlier in her career she was named a Best Lawyer in Dallas Under 40 by the same magazine in 2006.
Ms. Baughman was also listed as a Texas Super Lawyer by Law & Politics Media, Inc. and Key Professional Media, in 2004 and 2005. Again, her promise was noted earlier as a Texas Rising Star by these same groups in 2004.
A lifelong advocate of community service, Ms. Baughman has represented clients on a pro bono basis during her long career. She has also served as co-chair of several committees for the nonprofit, Attorneys Serving the Community and participated in many other cases of service.
When not working, Ms. Baughman enjoys spending time with her two daughters. She instills the value of giving back to society — and fighting for causes you believe in — when parenting her girls.
Laura J. Baughman will be happy to review your case.