Ramon Rossi Lopez is the co-founder and managing partner of Lopez McHugh LLP. Prior to starting Lopez McHugh, he founded and managed a firm nearly 25 years that grew from three attorneys in one office to more than 30 attorneys with offices in five different major cities and four states. Mr. Lopez has extensive trial experience in all areas of civil litigation involving personal injury, including complex mass torts, catastrophic disasters, medical malpractice, business disputes, insurance bad faith and product liability actions. Ramon has represented thousands of clients in mass tort cases, primarily against the colossal pharmaceutical and medical device industry, involving dangerous and defective prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and implantable and other medical devices. His interest in pharmaceuticals and his knowledge of the ills of that industry came about during his early career as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.
Over his 36 years as a trial lawyer, Mr. Lopez has litigated cases in a variety of roles, including many as court-appointed Lead, Liaison, Executive, and Steering Committee member, Special Counsel to MDL Judge, and lead trial counsel in bellwether trials.
Mr. Lopez has taken on national and international corporate giants on behalf of patients and consumers, and in a lead trial counsel position for both his firm’s clients and those being represented by other firms throughout the United States. Some of those corporate goliaths have included Halliburton/Kellogg Brown & Root, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, American Home Products, Merck, Guidant, Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Fresenius Medical Care, General Electric, Bayer, Warner Lambert, Abbot Labs, Tyco/Mallinckrodt, Dow Corning, 3M, CitiCorp/Citibank, Ford, British Petroleum, Sulzer, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson, Sankyo, Cook and C.R. Bard.
Ramon was named the 2004 “Top Gun Products Liability/Mass Tort Lawyer” of the Year by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, and was awarded the following peer-reviewed honors over the course of his career, when most of these organizations were formed:
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2006 – 2015
- Lawdragon Top 500 in America, 2006 – 2015
- OCTLA “Top Gun: Award, Mass Torts/Product Liability, 2004
- Southern California Super Lawyers for The Family and Consumer, 2007
- Super Lawyers, Orange County, 2004-2015
- Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2006 – 2015
- Top Lawyers In Orange County, 2006 – 2015
- American Academy Of Barristers, Fellow, 2003 (Life Member)
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2007-2015
- Register of Preeminent Professionals, 1994-2015
- Martindale Hubbell, AV Rating, 1994-2015
In 1985, Mr. Lopez obtained what was at the time the highest jury verdict in San Luis Obispo County, California, in a product liability case involving a defective extension ladder (Silva v. Aluminum Ladder). He later won a $3.2 million rare punitive damages award against Citicorp/Citibank for an emotional distress claim, although there was no physical injury. Since then, he has tried a number of complex cases that have led to favorable settlements on behalf of both the trial plaintiff and other plaintiffs represented by his firm and others, which far exceeded the pre-trial final offers from the defendants.
Mr. Lopez, together with other members of his former and current firm, has negotiated and resolved several thousand individual product liability cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other products, such as breast implants, Baycol, Dexatrim, diet drugs (such as Fen-Phen), Ephedra, Firestone, Ford Motor, Gadolinium, Guidant and Medtronic heart devices, Ketek, PPA, Propulsid, Rezulin, Sulzer Hips, Vioxx, Yaz/Yasmin, Zyprexa, Zyvox, Cordis and Taxus stents, Chantix, post-operative pain pumps, Pradaxa, and Bard IVC Filters. The terms of the settlements are confidential, but they are known to be among the highest attained on behalf of individual clients in the respective litigations, and collectively exceed $1 billion.
Ramon has earned national recognition for spearheading the organization of plaintiffs’ law firms across the nation to cooperate in their efforts and join together in prosecuting mass tort actions in both federal and state courts. His leadership quality is demonstrated by his constant selection by judges and peers for prominent roles in coordinated litigations in which his firm is involved. Some examples of the capacities in which he has served include:
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Breast Implant California State Coordinated Actions (San Diego, CA)
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Co-Lead Counsel in the Rezulin Multi-District Litigation (MDL) proceedings coordinated in the United States District Court (USDC), for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the PPA MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Western District of Washington (in Seattle), as well as in the California State Coordinated Actions
- Co-Lead Counsel in the Sulzer Hip and Knee Prostheses proceedings in the California State Coordinated Actions (Oakland, CA)
- State-Federal Liaison Counsel and Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Baycol MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the District of Minnesota, as well as in the California State Coordinated Actions
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Fen-Phen (diet drug) MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), as well as in the California State Coordinated Actions
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the Discovery Committee and Global Settlement Negotiations Committee in the Zyprexa MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Southern District of New York
- State-Federal Liaison Counsel and Member of the Discovery Committee in the Gadolinium MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Northern District of Ohio (in Cleveland)
- One of four Members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the Chantix MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham, AL)
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Pradaxa MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Southern District of Illinois (in East St. Louis), as well as in the California State Coordinated Actions (in San Francisco)
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Member of the Discovery and Experts Subcommittees in the Incretins Mimetics MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Southern District of California (San Diego, CA)
- One of four Members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the Lipitor MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the District of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
- Member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Cook IVC Filters MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis, IN)
Even after his significant involvement in obtaining a $4 billion global settlement with American Home Products in the Fen-Phen (diet drug) litigation, Mr. Lopez and his former firm, which he helmed, were instrumental in obtaining more favorable settlement terms for several thousand clients who suffered heart and lung injuries as a result of using Fen-Phen, Pondimin, and Redux. These settlements were obtained not only for the original clients of Mr. Lopez and his former firm, but also for clients of many other firms across the country that specifically retained Mr. Lopez to serve as co-counsel on their cases pending throughout the country. Ramon was in trial in Mississippi in 1999 when those clients and more than 2,000 others successfully negotiated final settlements of their heart and lung disease claims from these dangerous drugs.
Mr. Lopez is also one of four lawyers who, in 2004, negotiated on behalf of all plaintiffs a global settlement of cases pending against Chattem Corporation for injuries caused by an over-the-counter diet drug, Dexatrim. He served on the Creditors Committee in the ongoing negotiations with Delaco, the company that manufactured Dexatrim prior to Chattem’s ownership of the company. The total of both settlements exceeded $200 million. Approximately 15% of the eligible clients in that settlement were personally represented by Mr. Lopez and his former firm.
Along with his management duties in the Baycol proceedings in the California State Coordinated Actions, Mr. Lopez served as State-Federal Liaison Counsel, and Special Advisor and Consultant to the Honorable Michael J. Davis in the Baycol MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the District of Minnesota. He was one of four lead plaintiff lawyer negotiators in the Zyprexa litigation, whose efforts resulted in an unprecedented $700 million settlement on behalf of clients represented by approximately 15 separate law firms; 25% of the clients involved in this settlement had retained Mr. Lopez’s former law firm.
In 2014, Mr. Lopez was appointed as one of four Members of the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in a MDL involving the drug Lipitor, as well as a Member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in a MDL involving Cook IVC Filters. Most recently, he was unanimously supported to serve as Lead Counsel in a 20-member Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Bard IVC Filters MDL proceedings coordinated in the USDC, for the District of Arizona (in Phoenix).
Mr. Lopez has published over 100 articles and was a presenter/speaker at various professional meetings and seminars, speaking on topics that called on his experience and knowledge in the area of product liability law, with special focus on drug and medical device legal issues, including the role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in these cases.
In 2007, Mr. Lopez formed his new law partnership, the patient and consumer protection litigation firm of Lopez McHugh LLP. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, PA, Newport Beach, CA, and Moorestown, NJ, with co-counsel and affiliated law firms in several other states.
Ramon earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 1978. He is a frequent speaker and author, both locally and nationally, primarily on matters relating to pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. Mr. Lopez is a member of the California State Bar, the International Society of Barristers, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA), the Western Trial Lawyers Association, and the Orange County Barristers.
Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Lopez was very active in the sporting, education, social and other extracurricular activities of his four children, and continues that same involvement with his four grandchildren. He is also is a Member of the Board of Directors for the National Wildlife Federation, an 80-year-old non-profit conservation organization with affiliates in every state.
A full copy of Ramon Rossi Lopez’s CV can be downloaded here.
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At A Glance
State of California
Loyola Law School
Key Practice Areas
California State Bar
American Bar Association
Orange County Bar Association
Orange County Barristers
International Society of Barristers
American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
Consumer Attorneys of California
Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
Western Trial Lawyers Association