William L. Anderson, Partner Washington, D.C.
wanderson@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2942
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

William L. Anderson has practiced for 27 years in product liability, toxic tort, and environmental matters that typically involve significant and complex medical and scientific issues and national coordination roles. He also serves as the vice-chair of the firm's Torts Group.

The range of cases Mr. Anderson has managed extends across birth defect litigation, alleged toxic exposure to substances in environmental media, product risk and crisis management, medical device, cutting-edge asbestos causation and expert exclusion issues, and national asbestos case management. His work for Fortune 50 companies includes a major crop protection product litigation and crisis management effort involving EPA, state and federal litigation, and an extensive claims process. Subject-wise, his expertise includes genetic syndrome evidence, blood testing and other assessments of exposure, pharmacokinetics, causation standards, and a wide array of epidemiology and similar literature. He has addressed causation issues regarding many substances, including benzene, dioxins, TCE, vinyl chloride, and asbestos. He also tracks the science in current product and tort controversies, including synthetic turf crumb rubber, diesel exhaust, and formaldehyde.

Mr. Anderson's significant wins include:

  • Co-management of a national docket of metal-on-metal hip implant litigation for a UK manufacturer, recently including complete dismissal of a case in Oklahoma federal court via Daubert exclusion of plaintiff's expert and summary judgment.
  • Five different state dismissals cutting short the Ritalin/ADHD litigation funded by tobacco and HMO attorneys. The litigation alleged the fraudulent development of the ADHD diagnosis by the APA and Novartis. The five cases were dismissed on Rule 9(b), first amendment, and other grounds in California, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas.
  • Daubert exclusion of causation experts in West Virginia birth defects litigation involving a crop protection product. These cases involved extensive science discovery, including plaintiffs' litigation-based testing. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's exclusion. Bourne v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., 189 F.Supp.2d 482 (W.D. Va. 2002), aff'd 85 Fed. Appx. 964 (4th Cir. 2004).
  • Follow-up exclusion of exposure and causation experts in similar birth defect litigation in Delaware, affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court. This litigation turned in part on state-of-the art genetics testing and discovery documenting genetically-induced syndromes in several plaintiffs. Bowen v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., 2005 WL 1952859 (Del. Super., June 23, 2005), aff'd 906 A.2d 787(Del. Supr. 2006).
  • Summary judgment rejection of expert medical monitoring theories attempting to require $500 million in medical monitoring costs for a purported class allegedly subjected to dioxin exposures from a train derailment and fire. The court ended the case prior to class certification based on insufficient science, an unusual and early resolution that avoided the class determination. Mann v. CSX Transportation, 2009 WL 3766056 (N.D. Ohio, Nov. 10, 2009), aff'd 656 F.3d 359 (6th Cir. 2011).
  • Exclusion of experts alleging "above normal" blood levels of dioxins and other substances, leading in part to the dismissal of a long-running environmental tort litigation based on groundwater and air exposure. Adams v. Cooper Indus., 2007 WL 1805586 (E.D. Ky., June 21, 2007); Adams v. Cooper Indus., 2007 WL 2219212 (E.D. Ky., July 30, 2007).

Mr. Anderson has extensive experience with expert strategy and science litigation management and trial preparation. He has directed a number of Daubert/Frye expert discovery and briefing efforts that have led to the exclusion of unreliable plaintiff expert opinions in low-dose and other matters. He manages national dockets in asbestos litigation for Fortune 500 companies, including trial and motions strategy.

Mr. Anderson plays a leading role nationally in the preparation and filing of amicus briefs on critical scientific evidentiary issues, including in the highest state courts of Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, and New York, intermediate courts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California, and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Several of those briefs contributed to the decisions. Examples include:

  • Pending Georgia Supreme Court case involving the "any exposure" theory. Scapa Dryer Fabrics v. Knight, Case No. S15C1278, brief filed Oct. 21, 2015.
  • Rejecting the any exposure theory as a basis for causation in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia asbestos litigation. Betz v. Pneumo-Abex, LLC, 44 A.3d 27(Pa. 2012); Howard v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 78 A.3d 605 (Pa. 2013); Bostic v. Georgia Pacific Corp., 439 S.W.3d 332 (Tex. 2014); Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores, 232 S.W.3d 765 (Tex. 2007) (citing amici brief); Smith v. Kelly-Moore Paint Co., No. 2-08-198-CV, 2010 WL 682343 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth, Feb. 25, 2010); Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer, 736 S.E.2d 724 (Va. 2013); brief filed in pending case Rost v. Ford Motor Co., No. 56 EAP 2014 (Pa., brief filed Jan. 20, 2015).
  • Addressing take home litigation duty and foreseeability. Grigg v. Owens-Illinois, Civ. No. A139597 (Cal. Ct. App., 1st App. Dist., brief filed July 1, 2014).
  • Rejecting plaintiff assertion that physicians should be exempt from Frye review of medical causation testimony. Montgomery Mutual Ins. Co. v. Chesson, 923 A.2d 939 (Md. 2007).
  • Requiring a dose assessment sufficient to prove causation in a low-dose benzene exposure case involving a gas station attendant. Parker v. Mobil Oil Corp., 824 N.Y.S.2d 584, 591 (N.Y. 2006).
  • Affirming the Virginia rule that each product must be sufficient to cause disease and that plaintiff experts must identify a causative dose. Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer, __ S.E.2d __, 2013 WL 119708 (Va., Jan. 10, 2013).
  • Rejecting an attempt to assign liability for third-party insulation used with defendant's product in the context of asbestos causation. Merrill v. Leslie Controls, 101 Cal. Rptr.3d 614 (Cal. App. 2d Dist.2009).

Mr. Anderson's two articles on causation theory, "The 'Any Exposure' Theory: An Unsound Basis for Asbestos Causation and Expert Testimony," Southwestern University Law Review (January 2008) (M. Behrens & W. Anderson), and William L. Anderson et al., "The 'Any Exposure' Theory Round II: Court Review of Minimal Exposure Expert Testimony in Asbestos and Toxic Tort Litigation Since 2008, 22 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 1 (2012), have been widely circulated and utilized by defense counsel across the country to prosecute motions aimed at low-dose exposure theories.

More recently, he published a law review article on the flaws in current "take-home" litigation, "The Unwarranted Basis for Today's Asbestos ‘Take-Home' Cases," 39 Amer. J. Trial Advoc. 107 (2015). His recent Law360 article on crumb rubber, "Turf Wars: The Attack on Crumb Rubber Synthetic Turf," is the first legal article analyzing the synthetic turf issue and is trending at the top of Google searches on the subject.

Mr. Anderson is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth and Federal Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Representative Matters:

  • Co-managing national docket of metal-on-metal hip resurfacing device litigation, with multiple dismissals on preemption grounds, and a recent major victory excluding plaintiff's expert and obtaining summary judgment dismissal.
  • Trial and managing counsel for a series of product cases alleging birth defects from exposure to a major fungicide; cases involve significant toxicology, teratology, and genetics issues, international discovery and foreign law.
  • Development of Daubert evidence and briefing leading to the exclusion of causation and exposure experts in two key fungicide/birth defect sets of cases. See Bourne v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 189 F. Supp. 2d 482 (S.D.W.V. 2002), aff'd 85 Fed. Appx. 964 (4th Cir. 2004); Bowen v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 2005 WL 1952859 (Del. Super. Ct., June 23, 2005), aff'd., 906 A.2d 787 (Del. 2006).
  • Expert and science management of extensive environmental litigation alleging multiple diseases (including diabetes, endometriosis, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and cryptogenic cirrhosis of the liver) from TCE, vinyl chloride, dioxins, furans, and PCBs. Assisted in briefing leading to Daubert decisions excluding blood-testing and specific causation expert testimony. See Adams v. Cooper Indus., 2007 WL 2219212 (E.D. Ky 2007); Adams v. Cooper Indus., 2007 WL 1805586 (E.D.Ky. 2007).
  • Development of the expert strategy and briefing leading to the summary judgment dismissal of a medical monitoring class action claiming dioxin exposure from a railroad crash and fire. The unusual ruling preceding the class certification hearing and was based on plaintiffs' flawed expert approach. Mann v. CSX Transportation, 2009 WL3766056 (N.D. Ohio 2009), aff'd 656 F.3d 359 (6th Cir. 2011).
  • Development of expert strategy leading to exclusion of long-time asbestos plaintiff expert any exposure causation opinions in Washington and Pennsylvania state courts, and amicus briefing supporting similar appellate rulings in Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • Co-managed defense of a series of consumer class action lawsuits brought by tobacco and HMO attorneys alleging fraud in the development of the diagnosis for attention deficit disorder. Five litigations in five states were dismissed through court rulings or voluntarily, ending the litigation prior to any significant discovery.
  • National strategic counsel for fortune 500 heavy equipment company in nationwide asbestos litigation, including expert and science strategy and trial network oversight.
  • National coordination counsel for major telecommunications company in asbestos litigation, including development of historic testimony, fact and expert witnesses, and trial and expert strategy.
  • National coordinating counsel for fortune 100 chemical company in series of crop injury and fraud lawsuits, including defending against aggressive discovery attacks and asserting science defenses.
  • Counsel for county government in Florida against pipeline company seeking to develop pipeline in sensitive environmental areas; and assisting county in achieving pollutant reduction from Georgia-based sources of nutrient pollution to protect county lakes.
  • Pro bono work in the Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities Act field, including Fifth Circuit victory supporting Alzheimer's' patient housing, achieving modifications to sixty fast-food franchise stores in the District of Columbia, and significant settlement on behalf of woman with multiple sclerosis against a major area landlord.


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit



Highlights, News & Knowledge


Speeches & Presentations

  • "Turf Wars: The Growing Attack on Synthetic Turf Crumb Rubber," Webinar (September 7, 2016). Presenters: William L. Anderson and Dr. Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte.
  • "Where Courts Are Going on the Any Exposure Issue" at Perrin's "Cutting Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation," Conference, Beverly Hills, CA (March 18, 2013). Presenter: William L. Anderson.
  • "Status of the Each and Every Exposure Theory," at Northwestern University Law School's Judicial Education Symposium, Chicago, IL (November 2009). Presenter: William L. Anderson.


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Firm News & Announcements

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