Greenberg Traurig Secures A Defense Verdict for Medtronic, Inc.

All-female litigation team leader has 55-0 record

Jun 07, 2011, 18:19 ET from Greenberg Traurig

ATLANTA, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Watch out, Joe DiMaggio. Attorney Lori Cohen is nearing your record 56-game hitting streak.  Cohen scored her 55th trial victory leading an all-woman, multi-state team during a four-week trial on behalf of Medtronic, Inc.

Cohen, shareholder and Chair of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Health Care Litigation Practice Group and Co-Chair of its Atlanta Litigation Practice, worked closely with Mary-Olga Lovett, shareholder and Co-Managing Shareholder of the firm's Houston office; Sara Thompson, of counsel in the Atlanta office; and Pamela Sperber, an associate in Houston. The all-woman litigation team obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of Medtronic, Inc. and one of its sales representatives, following a four-week trial. A Harris County, Texas jury found in favor of the Greenberg Traurig client after deliberating less than two hours and never reaching the questions of causation or damages in rendering its verdict.  

The defense verdict, delivered on June 3, in Amanda Howton and John Howton vs. Medtronic, Inc., Stuart Ison, and Peter Lotze, M.D., in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 125th Judicial District, Case No. 200947341, is Cohen's 55th straight defense verdict at trial.  In October of 2011, Cohen obtained three unanimous defense verdicts in the consolidated cases, Christina McClellan v. I-Flow Corporation, et al., Juan Huerta v. I-Flow Inc., et al., and Danny Arvidson v. DJO, LLC, et al., in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.

"Lori Cohen's 55-0 trial record is truly remarkable.  Very few lawyers have tried this many cases, and it is even rarer to obtain a defense verdict in every single trial," said Brian L. Duffy, the Chair of Greenberg Traurig's National Litigation Practice Group. "I am particularly proud that this case was won by a trial team that represents the diversity and culture of inclusion that is inherent at Greenberg Traurig."  

"Lori Cohen and her Atlanta-based practice are an example of our efforts to strategically broaden the services that we offer our clients," said Ernest L. Greer, Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Atlanta Office and Co-Chair of the Atlanta Litigation Practice, who leads the Atlanta office's recruiting efforts along with Ted Blum, shareholder and Chair of the Atlanta Corporate & Securities Practice.  "Since joining Greenberg Traurig six years ago, Lori has expanded her practice both locally and nationally through leveraging the resources and experience of our more than 100 attorneys in Atlanta, as well as our 1,800 attorneys in more than 30 offices."

The plaintiffs alleged that Medtronic's InterStim, a neurostimulation device and lead, and  various surgeries involving the device, caused Amanda Howton permanent neurological injuries and chronic pain. The Howtons claimed that the device implantation surgeries performed on her were off-label and the result of improper, unlawful promotion and fraud on the part of Medtronic and its sales representatives.  Certain of the claims were dismissed following the plaintiff's portion of the case, resulting in alleged fraud being the primary issue presented to the jury.  The Howtons sought more than $20 million in damages, as well as punitive damages.  

The Howtons presented 16 witnesses at trial, including five expert witnesses in the fields of pain management, physical medicine/rehabilitation, economics, medical device marketing and pharmaceutical marketing.  The Medtronic, Inc. legal team presented eight witnesses at trial,  including four expert witnesses in the fields of urology, neurosurgery, FDA/regulatory and physical medicine/rehabilitation. Attorney Jack McGehee of McGehee, Chang & Barnes in Houston, Texas filed the lawsuit originally in July 2009 on behalf of Amanda and John Howton and included the physician, Peter Lotze, M.D. as a defendant as well.  Dr. Lotze remained a defendant until the eve of trial, when a nonsuit was filed as to him during the pendency of his appeal.

Cohen has been featured in The National Law Journal's "Winning - Successful Strategies From Some of the Nation's Top Litigators," a special report recognizing 10 attorneys from across the U.S.  She has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of "The 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America." The National Law Journal has recognized two of her defense trial victories as "Top Defense Wins" in recent years, and she has been featured in The National Law Journal's "Top 40 Under 40," which highlights the 40 most successful litigators under the age of 40 in the country. She was one of only nine attorneys and one of only three female attorneys included in the 2010 Chambers & Partners USA Guide's national Pharmaceutical Industry Products Liability Table.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from more than 30 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. In the U.S., the firm has more offices than any other among the Top 10 on The National Law Journal's 2011 NLJ 250. In the U.K., the firm operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. Greenberg Traurig has a strategic alliance with the independent law firm, Studio Santa Maria in Milan and Rome. The firm was Chambers and Partners' USA Law Firm of the Year in 2007 and among the Top 3 in the International Law Firm of the Year at the 2009 The Lawyer Awards. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Greenberg Traurig