Gwyn Williams, a partner and former Global Chair of the Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Actions Practice, has extensive experience in the defense of mass tort and product liability claims, and other types of personal injury/wrongful death claims. Her experience has encompassed the defense of manufacturers of cigarettes, industrial products, and a wide range of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
Ms. Williams’ consumer class action experience includes cases involving a variety of consumer products, work in the consumer financial services sector, and experience with a wide variety of state and federal consumer protection statutes. She provides products liability counseling to clients on matters such as the content and dissemination of product warnings, disclaimers of warranties, and indemnification strategies. She has also performed products liability risk assessment (including assessments of the magnitude of potential asbestos liability) for private equity firms, operating companies considering acquisitions, and pension fund investment advisers.
Ms. Williams also has considerable experience in energy-related litigation, including the defense of governmental and citizen-suit enforcement actions under the major federal environmental acts, as well as their New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont counterparts.
Ms. Williams has practiced before state and federal trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies across the United States and is admitted to practice before the District of Massachusetts and the US Court of Appeals for the D.C., First, Second, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits. She is a frequent speaker on issues relating to mass torts and consumer class actions, and she is a contributing author for the 50 State Survey of Consumer Class Action Law, published by the American Bar Association.
Ms. Williams has been recognized by The Legal 500 US in the Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action category from 2014 to 2019. She was also named a leading lawyer in Product Liability Litigation – Defendants by The Best Lawyers in America 2020, as well as to the Profile in Diversity Journal's Women Worth Watching list in 2017.
- Served as trial and coordinating counsel for Teva Pharmaceuticals in significant product liability and consumer class action litigation involving the drug propofol.*
- Represented a major pharmacy chain as national mass tort counsel, defending the issue of pharmacy liability for allegedly defective drugs such as “fen-phen,” OxyContin, and hormone replacement therapy. These cases involved class actions and a variety of products liability issues in state and federal jurisdictions around the country, including in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL).*
- Tobacco litigation defense on behalf of Philip Morris International and Philip Morris USA, including consumer class actions and aggregated smoking and health claims brought by union health funds and governmental entities.*
- Served as national counsel for a manufacturing defendant in the welding rod products liability litigation; represented the company in more than 400 federal and state court cases filed in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.*
- Appointed by the court to serve as liaison counsel, in the consolidated federal MDL, for a group of manufacturing defendants.*
- Litigation arising out of nuclear operations by the huge energy concern, Entergy Nuclear, Inc., including: (i) the strategic defense of Entergy’s nuclear facilities facing scrutiny of their cooling water intake structures under §316(b) of the Clean Water Act and other statutes, (ii) challenges to federal and state rule-making affecting Entergy, and (iii) litigating on Entergy’s behalf in state courts and administrative tribunals, concerning Entergy’s nuclear power production facilities and the release of cooling water.*
- Argued to the highest courts in Massachusetts and Vermont on behalf of Entergy.*
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham