Thomas J. Sullivan’s practice has focused on helping clients defend against complex business disputes and tort litigation, including class actions and other aggregate litigation throughout the United States. He has been national coordinating counsel in toxic tort, mass tort and other complex litigation.
He has helped clients with some of their most difficult legal challenges, including in the defense of high stakes and “bet-the-company” litigation based on state and federal false claims statutes, RICO, ERISA and state consumer fraud statutes, many of which have involved parallel criminal and/or regulatory investigations.
He also counsels clients before product launches, design changes and in the context of deal-related due diligence.
In addition, a significant part of his practice includes business litigation, including disputes regarding collaboration and development agreements, supply agreements, real estate transactions and indemnity, earn-out and other post-acquisition disputes.
In many of these commercial matters, he has represented clients in the life sciences and health care industries. He was recognized as an LMG Life Sciences “All-Star” in 2017 and 2018. He has handled legal ethics and professional responsibility matters.
Tom has led several trial teams and is an experienced appellate attorney. He is a recognized thought leader in the area of complex litigation, having published and lectured numerous times on class actions, expert and fact deposition strategy, product liability issues and federal jurisdictional issues. He maintains an active pro bono practice.
Before joining Shook, he was a partner for almost a decade at a major international law firm in Philadelphia.
- Represented a food flavoring company in serial toxic tort litigation across the country involving allegations of personal injury from diacetyl exposure, serving as lead national coordinating counsel, developing the company’s defense strategy, defending the company at trials and helping negotiate a global settlement of hundreds of claims.
- Represented a drywall manufacturer in personal injury cases and putative national class action related to health risks and property damage from alleged Chinese drywall.
- Represented a major airline in a personal injury action involving allegations of benzene exposure.
- Represented an industrial and consumer product manufacturer in an action in Pennsylvania federal court alleging environmental contamination and breach of environmental indemnity provisions related to a contract for the sale of a business.
- Represented a manufacturer of electrical components in an action involving alleged exposures to mercury, beryllium, arsenic, PCB compounds and other chemicals.
- Represented a chemical manufacturer in New York federal court in a matter related to environmental indemnity obligations.
- Represented a health care insurer in a putative class action alleging violations of Florida prompt pay statute.
- Represented a food supplement manufacturer in Delaware federal court in a putative class action alleging improper and deceptive labeling of food products and personal injury claims. Achieved dismissal of the class allegations after filing a motion to strike.
- Represented a dietary supplement manufacturer in a multi-party breach of contract action alleging breach of indemnities related to the alleged presence of gluten in a mushroom supplement that led to allergic reactions by consumers. Following litigation and extensive settlement discussions, the matter settled favorably.
- Represented a vitamin company, as a plaintiff, against a manufacturer for using dairy allergens in a vitamin supplement in violation of the client’s formula. Achieved a significant settlement that compensated client for lost business and costs of recall.
- Represented a nationwide pharmacy chain in a consumer fraud class action in New York federal court that alleged violations of state consumer protection laws related to a prescription drug benefit program. Following intense discovery designed to highlight the individualized nature of the transactions at issue, the parties settled on a non-class basis.
- Represented a Fortune 25 life sciences company in a qui tam case in Massachusetts federal court involving allegations of False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act violations.
- Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer against nationwide state attorneys general cases alleging deceptive marketing and violations of state false claims act related to an antipsychotic drug.
- Represented a medical device manufacturer in numerous personal injury matters alleging design defects in pacemakers and insulin pumps.
- Represented several pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device companies related to collaboration and development agreements.
- Provided due diligence support and litigation risk analysis related to life sciences transactions.
- Advised pharmaceutical company relating to litigation risk associated with REMS agreement.
- Resolved numerous dietary supplement and food labeling lawsuits before litigation.
- Represented an industrial and consumer product manufacturer in an action in Pennsylvania federal court alleging breach of environmental indemnity provisions related to a contract for the sale of a business.
- Represented health care insurer in an action alleging under-reimbursement.
- Represented a mortgage services company in Maryland state court in a matter involving trade secret dispute and indemnity obligations in a merger agreement.
- Represented a mortgage services company in Florida state court alleging breach of loan agreement.
- Represented a health care insurer in a class action involving ERISA and allegations of consumer fraud related to application of deductible and copays. After succeeding on a motion to compel the plaintiff to arbitrate the dispute, the parties reached a favorable settlement.
- Represented a major financial institution in Massachusetts federal court in a class action involving mortgage application and foreclosure processes during the nationwide financial crisis. The parties reached a nationwide settlement of the case.
- Represented a major financial institution in a putative class action involving alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. After the court granted the company’s motion to dismiss with prejudice, the plaintiff decided not to appeal the decision and dropped the case.
- Represented a national real estate investment firm in a putative consumer fraud class action by tenants.
- Represented a luxury golf resort developer in a matter involving alleged zoning and land use violations in Hawaii.
- Represented a life sciences company in New Jersey state court in a case involving allegations of breach of a brokerage services agreement for the sale of an ongoing “finish and fill” facility.
- Represented a nationwide condominium developer in several prelitigation mediations and putative class actions involving allegations of fraudulent disclosures regarding building conditions and alleged construction defects in several Philadelphia properties.
- Represented a gas piping manufacturer in several fraud and product liability class actions in courts nationwide that alleged defective piping product in commercial and residential structures.
- Represented several national retailers in Massachusetts state and federal courts against putative class actions alleging violations of state consumer protection law related to privacy violations in the collection of zip codes at point-of-sale.
- J.D., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2001
- Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2003 (Philosophy)
- M.A., with highest distinction, University of Reading (England), 1996 (Philosophy)
- B.A., cum laude, College of the Holy Cross, 1995 (Philosophy)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Men’s Varsity Hockey
- Men’s Varsity Rowing (Holy Cross Athletic Hall of Fame, 2012)
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- President, Undine Barge Club
- Clerk to the Hon. Anita B. Brody of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
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