Sheharyar Ali

Associate Attorney

Talcum powder contaminated with asbestos is something I take very personally. My mother used Johnson & Johnson baby powder for years. And I can’t imagine putting a lotion on my 17-month-old son, only to discover years later he developed cancer from that very substance. The thought is extremely unsettling. No company should get away with this type of behavior. Companies which knowingly put people’s lives at risk should be held accountable.

Sheharyar Ali has joined our knowledgeable and experienced team of asbestos litigators. Mr. Ali works specifically on asbestos-contaminated talcum powder cases.

“I’m excited to be at Weitz & Luxenberg and to be given the opportunity to do this kind of work,” says Mr. Ali. “The firm has a stellar reputation for advocating on behalf of people harmed by the actions of large companies.”

Asbestos Is the Worst of the Worst

“People can suffer harm from many kinds of products and the reckless, dangerous actions of others. But in my opinion, the severity of asbestos exposure is the worst of the worst — the harm is incalculable,” Mr. Ali insists.

“It’s one thing when a company doesn’t know if their product is unsafe and later finds out it is. People can be harmed and that is never acceptable,” Mr. Ali continues.

“But when a company knowingly puts people’s lives at risk and exposes them to substances they know can be lethal — when the company cares more about making money than safeguarding people’s lives — it is a whole different level of outrageousness. It is inexcusable,” Mr. Ali emphasizes.

Asbestos in Talcum Powder

“For years, we thought baby powder was safe. It was this ‘innocent’ product a lot of us used. It was marketed for use with infants. You could find it wherever baby products were sold,” Mr. Ali points out.

“I was in law school when the story broke — some baby powder products were contaminated with asbestos. This substance we trusted could actually lead to very serious and severe problems. It’s really frightening,” Mr. Ali stresses.

“Even worse, we found out companies selling these potentially dangerous products knew about the risks. They just chose not to warn consumers.”

Asbestos Devastates Families

“That’s the thing about asbestos. People go about their lives for years. Trusting the employers they work for to keep them safe and look out for them. Trusting manufacturers to sell safe products for them and their families,” Mr. Ali says.

“Then, through no fault of their own, people develop horrible diseases related to asbestos exposure years or decades after being exposed. A person’s whole life changes afterwards,” adds Mr. Ali.

“But it’s not just one person who suffers. The whole family is devastated. Once someone is living with a terrible disease, life revolves around that disease. And everyone in the family finds themselves caring for the ill person. All of their lives become about fighting the disease and trying to minimize the suffering of their loved one,” Mr. Ali explains.

Helping People Is Critical

“I knew in high school I wanted to be an attorney. I looked around at the people who inspired me, like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi. Also, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the founder of Pakistan. These amazing people had an enormous impact on their communities,” Mr. Ali explains.

“They were attorneys and I saw the tremendous good they were able to do. They were a driving factor in my choosing to become an attorney,” Mr. Ali adds.

Trust Is Everything

“If your client can’t trust you, you don’t have a case,” Mr. Ali emphasizes. “Trust is everything, whether you’re working on behalf of a victim of a crime or your client has been harmed by a dangerous product.

“You let your clients know you’re there for them, and you just want to get the job done. You’re going to help them get the justice they deserve.”

Working in the DA’s Office

Mr. Ali joined Weitz & Luxenberg directly from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked for several years. As a felony assistant district attorney in the Trial Bureau Blue, Mr. Ali prosecuted and managed hundreds of felony criminal cases from start to finish.

“I worked with 50 to 60 victims at a time,” Mr. Ali explains. “I became very familiar with each and every person. I wanted to know every detail about their situations and really get to know them. Sometimes I met them when they were still in the hospital. Other times, they had just gotten home after leaving the hospital.

“When my father first came to the United States, he moved to Brooklyn. When I had the opportunity to work for the DA’s office, it felt right. I wanted to help people in the Brooklyn community — be an advocate for them.”

Legal Background

At Weitz & Luxenberg, Mr. Ali sees himself continuing in that role — advocating on behalf of victims harmed by someone else’s criminal behavior or reckless actions.

Before earning his J.D. and joining the DA’s office, he held several legal internships. Mr. Ali was also a judicial intern for The Honorable Joseph Esposito, the supervising judge for the Queens County Civil Court in Jamaica, New York.

Mr. Ali is licensed to practice law in New York and in New York’s Supreme Court Appellate Division – Second Department. He earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and his B.A. from St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

On the Personal Side

Outside the office, family is number one. Mr. Ali’s parents are from Pakistan, so being with family also means traveling to visit with his huge extended family.

He also loves reading and sports. As far as teams go, his favorites are the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Eagles.

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