Lieff Cabraser, Branstetter lawyers get key roles in fungal meningitis case

Litigators to coordinate federal-state interaction, guide discovery

Two local attorneys have been giving key roles in the handling of the large product liability lawsuit against New England Compounding Pharmacy.

Mark Chalos of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein's downtown office has been appointed federal-state liaison counsel for the case, which is being tried in federal court in Boston. In that role, Chalos (on the left in photo) will coordinate communication with attorneys prosecuting cases against New England Compounding, which filed for bankruptcy late last year after it shipped to hospitals and other care provider tainted materials that led to an outbreak of fungal meningitis. Chalos also will keep the Massachusetts court apprised of developments in the various state courts and facilitate the sharing of data and documents related to the cases.

Chalos, who has in the past worked on product liability cases involving Whirlpool and orthopedic implant maker Zimmer, also has been named to a seven-member plaintiffs' steering committee that will coordinate the pretrial discovery on behalf of the plaintiffs. Also on that committee is Gerard Stranch, a member at Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, who has in recent years led cases against Alpha Corp. and Dow Chemical that resulted in multimillion-dollar awards.

The other members of the plaintiffs' steering committee work at firms in Boston, Atlanta, Michigan and Virginia. To see the court's order appointing them, click here.