Burg Simpson

Speaker Bio

Seth A. Katz joined Burg Simpson in September 2005 after six years with the New York law firm of Seeger Weiss LLP, where he was a partner. Mr. Katz focuses his practice primarily in the areas of complex, pharmaceutical mass tort, and class action litigation including consumer protection, securities fraud, products liability, and commercial litigation. In addition to his varied professional experience, Mr. Katz is a frequent speaker on electronic discovery and pharmaceutical litigation. Additionally, Mr. Katz has spoken on New York state franchise law and class action litigation at the invitation of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. Mr. Katz has been recognized by the Legal 500 as “highly experienced, excellent… in all phases of the mass tort and class action practice areas.”

Mr. Katz’s current practice involves primarily complex and class action litigation on behalf of aggrieved consumers, corporate shareholders, and property owners, and pharmaceutical mass tort litigation on behalf of those injured as a result of their ingestion of prescription medications and the implantation of medical devices. Mr. Katz was one of the lead attorneys who prosecuted the In re Zyprexa Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1956) that resulted in a $700 million settlement, where he not only held a leadership role in conducting discovery, but he also served as chair of the law and briefing committee. In September 2012, Mr. Katz was appointed by the Hon. David R. Herndon, United States District Court Chief Judge for the Southern District of Illinois, to serve as Co-Lead counsel in the Multidistrict Litigation In Re: Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2385.

In January 2011, Mr. Katz was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the In re DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2197) by the Hon. David A. Katz, which is pending in the Northern District of Ohio.

Mr. Katz is currently the chair of the Discovery Committee in the YAZ®/Yasmin® (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2100) pending in the Southern District of Illinois, before the Honorable David R. Herndon. Mr. Katz is also serving as one of the Co-Chairs of the Discovery Committee in the In re: Gadolinium Based Contrast Agent MDL (MDL 1909), pending in the Northern District of Ohio. In January 2011, Mr. Katz was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the DePuy ASR® Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2197) by the Honorable David A. Katz, which is pending in the Northern District of Ohio. Mr. Katz was also appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee by Justice Helen Freedman for the ReNu with MoistureLoc® litigation pending in New York State Supreme Court. Mr. Katz was also one of the lead attorneys prosecuting the In re Ortho Evra® Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1742) on behalf of women who suffered serious adverse events as a result of the use of the patch, where he held a leadership role in conducting discovery. At the 2006 AAJ Annual Convention in Seattle, Mr. Katz was elected as Co-Chair of the Ortho Evra® AAJ Litigation Group. While Mr. Katz was at Seeger Weiss, he served as co-chair of the law and briefing committee in the In re Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation (MDL No. 1629), pending before the Hon. Patti Saris, in the District of Massachusetts. Additionally, Mr. Katz represents or has represented those injured by the Gadolinium Based Contrast Agents, YAZ®/Yasmin®/Ocella® birth control pill, Zimmer Durom Cup artificial hip, Vioxx®, Zyprexa®, the Ortho Evra® birth control patch, Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc® contact lens solution, AMO’s Complete MoisturePLUS® contact lens solution, Zicam® nasal gel, Bextra®, Celebrex, Propulsid®, Rezulin, Baycol®, PPA, ephedra, Trileptal® and Guidant and Medtronic defibrillators, as well as other drugs and devices.

Mr. Katz is currently representing clients in a nationwide putative class action pending in Colorado against Western Union stemming from Western Union’s practice as it relates to unclaimed funds and failing to provide notice to customers that the funds they wired could not be delivered and failing to adequately return the funds to the sender in a timely fashion. During his time at Seeger Weiss, Mr. Katz and Seeger Weiss also served as lead counsel in Manavazian v. ATEC Group, Inc., a securities fraud class action, which resulted in a significant settlement for the class, as well as serving as counsel in several other consumer fraud cases against some of the nation’s largest companies such as Apple, IBM, Firestone Tires, Progressive Insurance Company, Allstate, State Farm, and Panasonic. In 2004, Mr. Katz was one of the lawyers who tried a class action to jury verdict against Allstate Insurance Company due to its failure to fully compensate its policyholders in accordance with the terms of its policy in St. Clair County, Illinois (Sims v. Allstate, 99-1-393-A). Other class actions in which Mr. Katz is currently involved include a case against Fiserv, Inc. (Cohen v. Fiserv, District of Colorado, 09-CV-00752) for breach of fiduciary duty relating to its investment of customers’ money in the Madoff ponzi scheme and a medical monitoring class action on behalf of people who have had a DePuy ASR® artificial hip implanted and are now at risk for metallosis or other systemic diseases stemming from metal ions from the device getting into their blood and tissue (Bendel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Southern District of Ohio, 1:10-cv-664).

Mr. Katz was the inaugural President of The Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association, until January 2013, when his two-year term expired. The Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association (MTTLA) is made up of attorneys who are dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous pharmaceuticals, or other conduct causing large-scale injuries. The MTTLA’s goal is to enable members to draw upon the association’s strong training, educational and networking resources so they may derive benefits that were either unavailable or difficult to find on their own. In addition, Mr. Katz is on the Board of the National Trial Lawyers Association.

After graduating from law school in 1993, Mr. Katz served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City. During his time as an Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Katz handled thousands of cases and successfully prosecuted both felonies and misdemeanors through jury verdict. Mr. Katz successfully tried cases ranging from DWI prosecutions to narcotics cases and assisted in the prosecution of homicide trials, including one against two members of the Latin Kings, one of New York City’s most violent gangs. In addition to trying cases, Mr. Katz conducted homicide investigations on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office leading to the arrest and conviction of some of New York City’s most serious criminals. In addition to his duties as a trial lawyer, Mr. Katz also volunteered to handle appellate matters for the District Attorney’s Office’s Appeals Division.

Prior to joining Seeger Weiss, Mr. Katz was an Associate at Loeb & Loeb LLP in New York City. There he represented clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and banking institutions to individuals in a wide variety of complex litigation and pre-litigation matters. Mr. Katz was part of a small group of lawyers that often performed internal investigations in order to design or modify corporate compliance policies on behalf of Loeb & Loeb’s clients. Mr. Katz was also part of Loeb & Loeb’s white collar criminal practice where he represented clients in a variety of different securities fraud and money laundering matters. He represented a Fortune 500 company in a governmental investigation of the allegedly illegal transfer of missile technology to China.

Some of Mr. Katz’s representative cases include: Dacey v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., 263 F.Supp.2d 706 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); Lester v. Percudani, 2003 WL 22132790 (Sept. 15, 2003 M.D. Pa.); Namer v. America Networks Int’l, 2001 WL 30663 (Jan. 12, 2001 S.D.N.Y.); Funrise Canada (HK) Ltd v. Zauder Bros., Inc., 1999 WL 1021810 (July 2, 1999 E.D.N.Y.); Manavazian v. ATEC Group, Inc., 2001 WL 951779 (Aug. 23, 2001 E.D.N.Y.); In re Starlink Corn Products Liability Litigation, 211 F.Supp.2d 1060 (N.D. Ill. 2002); In re Starlink Corn Products Liability Litigation, 212 F.Supp.2d 828 (N.D. Ill. 2002).

Mr. Katz was born in New York, New York. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1990 and earned his law degree, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1993.

Mr. Katz is admitted to practice law in state courts in Colorado, Wyoming, New York, and Arizona, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Katz is Preeminent AV rated by his peers in Martindale-Hubbell and he has been recognized as a 2007 Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders.