Ms. O’Connor, a partner at Douglas & London, P.C., is a former registered nurse and trial attorney admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey. For nearly 30 years, Ms. O’Connor has represented individuals injured by defective drugs and medical devices as described below.
Ms. O’Connor was appointed as the “Science Coordinator” to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) in In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Product Liability Ligation (MDL-2299), pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, by U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Doherty. The litigation, which is in the stage of final resolution, resulted in a $2.4 Billion settlement of numerous bladder cancer claims allegedly the result of ingesting Actos. Because of her nursing/medical background, the focus of Ms. O’Connor’s work in this (and other mass tort litigations) is the development of scientific theories and retention of highly qualified experts who are able to withstand Daubert challenges and be able testify at trial. Ms. O’Connor was one of several trial counsel at the first (and only) Actos Bellwether trial that resulted in a record-breaking $9 Billion punitive damage verdict.
Ms. O’Connor has assumed trial roles in other major mass torts, including her participation in two separate Bellwether trials held in In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation (MDL-2545), pending before Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly in Chicago (ND IL). In each case the plaintiffs claimed that they had suffered a heart attack as a result of taking Testosterone. The first case (Konrad vs. AbbVie Corp.), ended in a mistrial. In Mitchell vs. AbbVie, the jury awarded punitive damages in the amount of $150,000,000. Ms. O’Connor presented the plaintiffs for trial testimony in that case.
Most recently, Ms. O’Connor was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Claire Cecchi as one of two co-lead counsel, along with Christopher Seeger, in In Re: Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2789), pending in the District Court of New Jersey. This newly formed MDL is anticipated to involve thousands of litigants claiming severe kidney injuries potentially leading to end stage renal disease and its consequences (dialysis and/or kidney transplant) as a result of taking “PPI” drugs to treat gastric ailments.
Ms. O’Connor’s other PSC appointments include In re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation (MDL-2652), pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, in which Judge Kathryn H. Vratil appointed a historic PSC comprised of a majority of women representing other women with uterine cancer allegedly the result of power morcellators used in prior gynecological surgeries. That MDL proceeding concluded with a global settlement. Ms. O’Connor was formerly a member of the PSC in In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrocholoride) Products Liability Litigation (MDL- 2342), pending in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, involving claims of birth defects in children as a result of exposure in utero to Zoloft.
While not a member of the PSC, Ms. O’Connor played a key role in the development of the science and defense of experts in the combined oral contraceptive litigation, In re: Yaz/Yasmin (Drospirenone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2100), pending in the Southern District of Illinois; and In re: Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio (MDL 1742). She, along with firm partner Gary Douglas, were slated to try the first Bellwether cases in each of these litigations involving increased risk of blood clotting allegedly the result of these hormonal contraceptive products. However, the cases settled prior to trial.
Ms. O’Connor has tried to verdict numerous medical malpractice cases as well as negligence cases in the New York State trial courts. She is a member of the American Association of Justice (AAJ), the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA), and the National Trial Lawyers’ Association. She has been nominated and voted a “Super Lawyer” (2006; 2012-2017).