John J. Sullivan, whose practice focuses on complex litigation, has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “future star” in their 2009 and 2010 editions and an “innovative lawyer” by the Financial Times in 2011. His experience is drawn from 15 years representing global companies in the life-sciences, chemical and other industries in class action and complex litigation with claims ranging from negligence, failure-to-warn, securities fraud, consumer fraud and design defect to conspiracy, contract, quasi-contract, warranty and fiduciary duty.
Mr. Sullivan has considerable experience defending clients in numerous mass-torts, where he focused on the scientific, expert and FDA regulatory areas, and serving on several trial teams in some of the most important mass torts in recent history. In addition, he has a successful track record representing clients in class action, securities, corporate governance, and commercial litigation, having defended clients in contested takeovers of public companies, securities class actions, investigations by the SEC Division of Enforcement, and a commercial real estate contract dispute.
Served on the trial team that successfully defended Philip Morris USA, Inc. against negligence, design defect, conspiracy and punitive damages claims brought by 37 Missouri hospitals claiming more than $455 million in damages for services provided to patients treated for tobacco-related illnesses. The jury found for the defense, determining that ordinary cigarettes are not defective.
Served on the trial team that successfully defended AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals against a claim that its drug, Seroquel, allegedly caused diabetes in the Plaintiff. In what the press called a “huge win,” the jury returned a complete defense verdict.
Served on three trial teams defending Merck & Co., Inc. in the New Jersey litigation related to a painkiller, including successful trials in Hermans v. Merck, involving the sudden cardiac death of a man in his forties, and Doherty v. Merck, involving the heart attack of a woman. Mr. Sullivan served on Merck’s expert team, developed medical and FDA experts, and conducted discovery and trial depositions of fact and medical witnesses.
Filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a public interest group supporting Dura Pharmaceuticals in the matter of Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Michael Broudo, a securities class action that addressed the meaning of “loss causation” under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. The Supreme Court ruled in Dura’s favor.
Defended Rhodia, Inc. in a chemical tort and contract action. Late in the litigation, Mr. Sullivan used a summary judgment motion and a motion to preclude an expert to engineer a settlement at a small fraction of the damages alleged.
Defended a medical imaging subsidiary of Cardinal Health, Inc. against a contract claim. At the start of the litigation, Mr. Sullivan won a complete dismissal of the action by filing a successful motion to dismiss.
Represented a commercial real-estate developer and second-chaired a trial in federal court on damages caused by the defendant-purchaser’s breach of a contract of sale for a large tract of commercial property. While the jury was deliberating, the defendant agreed to a settlement that was higher than the amount originally demanded by the client at trial.
Represented a medical device company and certain of its board members in a breach of fiduciary and breach of contract action brought on an expedited basis in Delaware Chancery Court by the company’s former CEO. The matter settled favorably 72 hours after Mr. Sullivan completed a deposition of the former CEO.
Defended a UK venture capital firm against a securities class action brought in California state court by an investment fund in connection with a securities offering. Mr. Sullivan drafted and argued a motion to dismiss that was successful and resulted in the matter being dismissed with prejudice.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, B.A., 1992
Rutgers School of Law - Newark, J.D., 1996, Order of the Coif, two-time Saul Tischler Scholar
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Supreme Court of the United States
Defense Research Institute
Publications and Lectures
Mr. Sullivan is a frequent author and a contributing writer of the of the Drug and Device Law Blog
. In addition, he is often asked to speak and present at various conferences and seminars; he was a presenter at the ACI 3rd Annual Drug and Medical Device on Trial Conference.