Ramon Rossi Lopez was the founder and managing partner of his former law firm, Lopez, Hodes, Restaino, Milman & Skikos. Mr. Lopez has extensive trial experience in all areas of civil litigation involving personal injury, including complex mass torts, catastrophic disasters, medical malpractice, and product liability actions. He has represented thousands of clients in mass tort cases, primarily against the giant pharmaceutical industry involving dangerous and defective prescriptions,over-the-counter medications, and implantable and other medical devices. His interest in pharmaceuticals came about during his early career as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.
Over his 34 years as a lawyer, Mr. Lopez has litigated cases in a variety of roles, including many as court-appointed Lead, Liaison, Executive, and Steering Committee member, and lead trial counsel in bellwether trials.
Mr. Lopez has taken on national and international corporate giants on behalf of consumers, and in a lead trial counsel position for both his firm’s client and those being represented by other firms throughout the United States. Some of those corporate giants have included Halliburton/Kellogg Brown & Root, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, American Home Products, Merck, Guidant, Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis, Boeringer Ingelheim, Fresenius, General Electric, Bayer, Warner lambert, Abbot Labs, Tyco/Mallinckrodt, Dow Corning, 3M, CitiCorp/Citibank, Ford, British Petroleum, Sulzer, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson, Sankyo, and Bard.
Mr. Lopez was named the 2004 “Top Gun Products Liability/Mass Tort Lawyer” of the Year by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, and was awarded the following peer reviewed honors over the past 10 years, when most of these organizations were formed:
- Southern California Super Lawyers For the Family and Consumer, 2007-2014
- Lawdragon Top 500 In America, 2006-2013
- Super Lawyers, Orange County, 2004-2013
- Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2006-2013
- Top Lawyers In Orange County, 2006-2013
- American Academy of Barristers, Fellow (Life member)
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2007-2013
In 1985, Mr. Lopez obtained what was at the time the highest jury verdict in San Luis Obispo County, California, in a product liability case involving a defective extension ladder (Silva v. Aluminum Ladder). He later won a $3.2 million rare punitive damages award against Citicorp/Citibank for an emotional distress claim, although there was no physical injury.
Mr. Lopez, together with other members of his former and current firm, has negotiated and resolved several thousand individual product liability cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other products, such as Baycol, breast implants, Chantix, Cordis and Taxus stents, Dexatrim, diet drugs (such as Fen-Phen), Ephedra, Firestone, Ford Motor, Gadolinium, Guidant and Medtronic heart devices, Ketek, PPA, Propulsid, Rezulin, Sulzer Hips, Vioxx, Yaz/Yasmin, Zyprexa, and Zyvox. The terms of the settlements are confidential, but they are known to be among the highest attained on behalf of individual clients in each litigation, and collectively exceed $1 billion.
Mr. Lopez has earned national recognition for spearheading the organization of plaintiffs’ law firms across the nation to cooperate in their efforts and join together in prosecuting mass tort actions in both federal and state courts. He served in the following capacities: on the California Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Breast Implant Litigation; on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee/Co-Lead Counsel in the Rezulin MDL (Multi-District Litigation) proceedings coordinated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the PPA Litigation, USDC, Seattle, WA; State-Federal Liaison Counsel and Discovery Committee member of the Gadolinium MDL in the USDC for the Northern District of Ohio. He currently serves as one of four Plaintiffs Executive Committee members in the MDL Chantix Litigation in the USDC, Birmingham, AL, and Steering Committee of the Pradaxa Litigation in both the California State Coordinated Actions and MDL in the USDC, East St. Louis, IL.. He served as co-lead counsel in the Sulzer Hip and Knee Prostheses coordinated proceedings in California, and was a member of the steering committees of the Diet-Drug, Rezulin, Baycol, and PPA California coordinated actions. In 2014, he was appointed to the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving Lipitor.
In addition to his management duties in the Baycol litigation, coordinated in California state court, Mr. Lopez served as state-federal liaison counsel, and special advisor and consultant to the Honorable Michael J. Davis in the Baycol MDL litigation, coordinated in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Mr. Lopez was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Zyprexa MDL litigation pending in New York, where he served as co-chair of the Discovery Committee. He was one of four lead plaintiff lawyer negotiators in the Zyprexa litigation, whose efforts resulted in an unprecedented $700 million settlement on behalf of clients from approximately 15 separate law firms, 25% of whose clients were retained by Mr. Lopez’s former firm.
Mr. Lopez is also one of four lawyers who, in 2004, negotiated on behalf of all plaintiffs a global settlement of cases pending against Chattem Corporation for injuries caused by an over-the-counter diet drug, Dexatrim. He serves on the Creditors Committee in the ongoing negotiations with Delaco, the company that manufactured Dexatrim prior to Chattem’s ownership of the company. The total of both settlements exceeded $200 million. Approximately 15% of the eligible clients in that settlement were personally represented by Mr. Lopez and his former firm.
Even after his significant involvement in obtaining a $4 billion global settlement with American Home Products in the Diet Drug Litigation of Fen-Phen, Mr. Lopez and his former firm, which he helmed, was instrumental in obtaining more favorable settlement terms for several thousand clients who suffered heart and lung injuries as a result of using Fen-Phen, Pondimin, and Redux. These settlements were obtained not only for the original clients of Mr. Lopez and his former firm, but also for clients of many other firms across the country that specifically retained Mr. Lopez to serve as co-counsel on the other firms’ cases pending throughout the country. Mr. Lopez was in trial in Mississippi when those clients and more than 2000 others successfully negotiated final settlements of their heart and lung disease claims from these dangerous drugs.
Mr. Lopez has published over 100 articles and was a presenter/speaker at various professional meetings on his experience and knowledge in the area of product liability law, drug, medical device and FDA law.
In 2007, Mr. Lopez formed his new law partnership, the consumer litigation firm of Lopez McHugh, LLP. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, PA, Newport Beach, CA., and Moorestown, NJ, with co-counsel and affiliated law firms in several other states.
Mr. Lopez earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 1978. He is a frequent speaker and author, both locally and nationally, primarily on matters relating to pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. He is a member of the California State Bar, the International Society of Barristers, the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA), Western Trial Lawyers Association, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Orange County Barristers.