James E. Tyrrell, Jr.

James E. Tyrrell, Jr.

Member
 

James E. Tyrrell, Jr. is Co-Chair of the Mass Tort Practice Group and a Member of the Litigation and Product Liability Practice Groups. His practice focuses on toxic tort, product liability, hospitals and medical devices, intellectual property, antitrust and general commercial litigation.

In the area of toxic torts, Mr. Tyrrell served as lead counsel for the City of New York, and 150 of its contractors, in the World Trade Center Litigation.  He acted as Chief Trial Counsel for Monsanto in the Agent Orange Litigation.  He represented SEACOR in the Deepwater Horizon Litigation.  He was lead counsel for Engility in an Alien Tort Statute litigation arising out of alleged genocide during the Balkan Wars.  He represented Exxon in litigation arising from alleged environmental contamination in Puerto Rico.  And, he served as defense counsel for Madison Square Garden in claims arising from the reconstruction of that iconic sports facility. 

In the broader area of product liability, Mr. Tyrrell served as lead trial counsel for AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Avaya in multiple class actions comprising the national Y2K Litigation.  He represented Glaxo in the DES Litigation.  He acted as counsel for General Electric in the Breast Implant Litigation.  He also represented General Electric in connection with an explosion at a nuclear power plant.  He was lead counsel for Brown Forman in the National Alcohol Litigation.   Mr. Tyrrell led the defense of SunOpta, a manufacturer of natural foods, in the largest product recall in the history of the Campbell Soup Company.  He served as chief trial counsel for DaVita Healthcare Partners (one of the country’s largest providers of dialysis services) in the National Dialysis Litigation.  And, he represented the Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel in connection with the Unintended Acceleration Litigation.  Mr. Tyrrell’s product liability experience spans multiple clients and industries, including: chemicals (Monsanto), consumer products (Newell-Rubbermaid), food (SunOpta), pharmaceuticals (Glaxo), construction (Turner), technology (Lucent), heavy equipment (General Electric) and toys (MEGA Brands).

In the related area of consumer fraud class actions, Mr. Tyrrell has served as lead counsel for such companies as: IDT (telephone calling cards); Benecard (pharmacy benefits); and, CNA (insurance services).

Beyond the toxic tort, product liability and consumer fraud class action arenas, Mr. Tyrrell has wide experience in a broad range of commercial litigation: Antitrust – price fixing in the paper industry, monopolization in the food and telecommunications industries.  Banking – alleged money laundering for terrorist organizations.  Securities – hostile takeovers, interlocking directorates and securities fraud.  Trade Secrets – theft of technology and trademark violations.

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Tyrrell was the Managing Partner of the New Jersey office of Latham & Watkins.  He was the Regional Managing Partner of the New York and New Jersey offices of Patton Boggs and a member of that firm’s Executive Committee.  Most recently, Mr. Tyrrell was a partner with the New Jersey office of Locke Lord.  At all three firms, Mr. Tyrrell served as Chair or Co-Chair of each firm’s Product Liability and Toxic Tort Practice Group. 

Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Tyrrell served as a Lieutenant in the JAG Corps of the United States Navy.  He clerked for the Honorable Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Mr. Tyrrell is a Harvard trained mediator who brings his extensive experience in settling major cases to clients and other lawyers seeking to resolve controversies before and during pending litigation.

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Representative Matters

  • World Trade Center Litigation (SDNY) - Selected, in competition with the top 30 toxic tort law firms in the country, to represent the City of New York and 150 of its contractors in more than 10,000 lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage arising from the debris removal and cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks.  Appointed by the Court as Liaison Counsel for more than 500 defendants.  Led in oral arguments before the District Court and the Second Circuit. 
  • Agent Orange Litigation (EDNY) - Served as chief trial counsel for Monsanto in class actions alleging personal injuries to 10 million veterans and their families for exposure to dioxin contained in herbicides used to defoliate the jungle during the Vietnam War.
  • Deepwater Horizon Litigation (E.D. La.) - Represented SEACOR, owner of the ocean-going fireboats that extinguished the fires on the drilling platform.  SEACOR was accused of destabilizing the platform causing its collapse.  Won dismissal for SEACOR based upon immunity doctrine. 
  • Genocide Litigation (N.D. Ill.) - Served as lead counsel for Engility, a military defense contractor that provided training to the Croatian army.  Engility was accused of complicity in genocide against the Serbian population of the Croatian province of Krajina.
  • Puerto Rico Environmental Litigation (D.P.R.) - Served as lead trial counsel for Exxon in suit against the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board for imposition of unlawful multi-million-dollar fines for alleged environmental contamination.  Obtained preliminary injunction against enforcement of the fines in the District Court for Puerto Rico and an affirmance in the First Circuit.
  • Madison Square Garden (N.Y.S. Ct., N.Y. County) - Represented MSG in litigation arising from reconstruction of the sports facility. 
  • Y2K Litigation - Served as chief trial counsel for Lucent Technologies, AT&T and Avaya in multiple class actions on behalf of 80,000 customers of business phone systems alleging that the products ceased performing as represented after the turn of the millennium.
  • DES Litigation (NY State Courts) - Acted as lead counsel for Glaxo in the national diethylstilbestrol litigation involving claims of multi-generational birth defects from a drug prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness.
  • Breast Implant Litigation (NJ Courts) - Represented General Electric which manufactured the silicone contained in breast implants. 
  • Nuclear Power Plant Explosion (N.Y.S. Ct., Niagara County) - Conducted three week trial for General Electric which was accused of manufacturing high voltage electrical equipment which allegedly failed causing an explosion at a New York nuclear power plant.
  • Alcohol Litigation (State Court, Texas) - Lead counsel for Brown Forman, the manufacturer of Jack Daniels and numerous other brands of alcoholic beverages, in lawsuits by alcoholics claiming that the manufacturers were responsible for their addiction.  Achieved landmark ruling from the Texas Supreme Court holding manufacturers not liable. 
  • Baby Food Recall (State Court, Pennsylvania) - Chief counsel for SunOpta, a manufacturer of natural foods, in a lawsuit involving the recall of 11 million packets of baby food.
  • Dialysis Litigation (D. Colo.) - Lead counsel for DaVita, the second-largest provider of dialysis services in the country, in putative class action alleging that the dialysate solution used by DaVita caused increased deaths and strokes during and immediately after the procedure. Defeated class certification.
  • Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel - Served as chief counsel for the independent advisory panel created by Toyota in response to the Unintended Acceleration Litigation.
  • Black Lung Litigation (D. Md.) - Counsel for Johns Hopkins University and Medical Center in class action alleging that a radiologist provided false testimony in more than 10,000 Black Lung cases causing a denial of federal benefits to injured mine workers.
  • PCB Litigation - Counsel for Monsanto in multiple cases alleging environmental contamination, property damages and personal injury from polychlorinated biphenyls.
  • Dioxin Litigation - Counsel for Monsanto in litigation alleging that the burning of dioxin-containing waste product caused air and water pollution and widespread property damage. 
  • Calling Card Litigation - Served as national defense counsel for IDT in nationwide calling card class action asserting violations of the Consumer Fraud Acts of New Jersey and multiple other states.

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1974
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1976

Newsroom

In The News Items

Rankings & Recognition

The Best Lawyers in America®* 2007-2019, Commercial Litigation

Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ®* 2006-2018, New Jersey Litigation: Products Liability

New Jersey Super Lawyers ®* 2005-2018, Class Action/Mass Torts; Civil Litigation: Defense; Personal Injury: Products

Super Lawyers , “Master of Disaster,” 2007

Lawdragon 500 - Leading Lawyers in America

American Lawyer , Lawyer of the Week, Sept. 2011 

Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association

Member, New Jersey State Bar Association

Member, New York State Bar Association