James F. Murdica is a partner in the Barnes & Thornburg's Chicago and Los Angeles offices. He is co-chair of the Drug and Medical Device Practice Group and a member of the Litigation Department.
James' practice focuses on the defense of pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer product litigation in state and federal courts nationwide, particularly consolidated mass torts and multi-district litigations.
He serves as national coordinating counsel and MDL counsel for coordinated or consolidated litigations across the U.S. involving thousands of plaintiffs as well as in numerous single-plaintiff cases involving prescription pharmaceuticals, consumer products and medical devices. In conjunction with those roles, James emphasizes efficient discovery in his practice and manages significant mass tort e-discovery undertakings for his clients utilizing proactive and progressive strategies.
James also counsels clients on product liability due diligence related to potential acquisitions and divestitures.
Regarding pharmaceutical and biologic manufacturers, James' experience includes:
- Coordinating the national defense and acting as MDL counsel for the defense of several thousand litigations and claims alleging serious nervous system and vascular injuries from the use of a prescription antibiotic
- Coordinating the national defense of hundreds of consolidated litigations alleging birth defects from exposure to an anticonvulsant medication in the Philadelphia Mass Torts Division
- Coordinating the defense of consolidated state litigations in California alleging a life-threatening skin condition and tendon injuries from the use of a prescription antibiotic
- Defending or assisting in the defense of consolidated and single plaintiff litigations regarding: anticoagulant medication, antidiabetic mediation, antipsychotic medications, antiepileptic medication, antibiotic medications, and various biologics that inhibit factors and bind proteins
Regarding medical device and consumer products manufacturers, James' experience includes:
- Coordinating the national defense and serving as MDL counsel in the defense of a laparoscopic gynecologic surgical instrument for a medical device manufacturer
- Coordinating the national defense of several hundred litigants and serving as lead counsel in a consolidated state proceeding regarding vena cava filters for a medical device manufacturer
- Coordinating the national defense of contact lenses and vision devices for multiple medical device manufacturers
- Coordinating the national defense of personal injury litigations for a cardiac catheter manufacturer
- Defending the manufacturer of cardiac stents in a nationwide litigation alleging personal injuries from use of the device
- Acting as national counsel for a manufacturer of skincare products
Since 2016, James has been recognized by Chambers USA for his work in product liability and mass tort in the nationwide category. He is a member of the 2017 Law360 Product Liability editorial advisory board, a 7 attorney committee charged with getting feedback on the publication's coverage and gaining insight on how to best shape future coverage in the field. Additionally, James is a member of the DRI Drug and Medical Device Committee.
James earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In law school, he was the senior editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law. James earned his B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University.
James is admitted to practice in California, New York and Connecticut. He is not regularly admitted to practice in the local courts of Illinois.