Weitz & Luxenberg Partner Ellen Relkin has been selected by the Milestone Charitable Foundation to receive its newly launched Compassionate Counsel award. She and three of her distinguished peers were named to the award’s 2023 inaugural class. They are being honored at a ceremony on January 22, 2023, in Miami, Florida. (1)
“It is a supreme privilege to be selected for the Milestone Foundation’s inaugural Compassionate Counsel Award for 2023,” reflects Ms. Relkin. “Years ago, when I set out to help people harmed by defective or dangerous products, I could not have foreseen where my efforts would lead.”
She adds, “I want to thank the Foundation very much for the recognition. The way I see it, as long as large corporations are making and distributing products endangering people’s lives and well-being, I will continue to work to hold the responsible parties accountable. And I will do all I can to help our clients receive the compensation and resolution they deserve.”
In addition to being a partner, Ms. Relkin is chair of W&L’s Drug and Medical Device Litigation practice group. For more than three decades, she has made it her mission to help clients across the country harmed by defective — even dangerous — medical devices and other products. She routinely faces off against corporate giants whose injurious products have the potential to harm tens of thousands of people.
In the process, Ms. Relkin has earned leadership standing among her colleagues as well as the justice system. She is frequently named a New York and New Jersey Super Lawyer, and is recognized as Martindale Hubble AV rated attorney for more than 20 years.
Most often, you find her in a leadership position for a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Recent appointments and successes include:
Ms. Relkin played a key role in helping to secure four separate global settlements with JUUL Labs. On December 6, 2022, the settlement resolved suits involving personal injury, consumer class action, government entity, and tribal cases brought in both the national MDL and the Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings in California. The JUUL settlements resolve over 8,500 personal injury lawsuits, over 1,400 government entity suits, and 34 tribal cases. These settlements are meant to address the concerns regarding e-cigarette use among children and teens.
The venue for this litigation is the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Relkin, along with an experienced team of attorneys, is representing potentially thousands of patients nationwide who have experienced significant injuries due to recalled Exactech implants. Because of the complexity of this Exactech MDL, numerous specialized committees have been established. Ms. Relkin and her co-lead counsel are responsible for developing and managing the overall litigation.
The Milestone Foundation bestows its annual Compassionate Counsel award on a distinguished group of trial lawyers “who are innovative in their pursuit of justice.” The award recognizes attorneys for “their unwavering commitment to the tenets of the Seventh Amendment and belief in the fundamental right to justice.” (2)
Ms. Relkin and her like-minded colleagues “work tirelessly to help victims of civil injustices receive their rightful compensation and avoid additional harm or trauma throughout the course of their lawsuit.” They value and respect their clients, aim to achieve the best outcomes possible for their clients, and continue to “look out for their clients’ well-being well beyond settlement.” (3)
The Milestone Charitable Foundation provides financial assistance to people pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. The foundation aims to help people “who are struggling to make ends meet.” (4)