Industries

Education

  • Hendrix College, B.A. (1975)
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. (1988)

William L. Anderson

Retired Partner
wanderson@crowellretiredpartners.com
+1.301.785.9234

William L. Anderson is a retired partner with Crowell & Moring. He practiced for more than 30 years in product liability, toxic tort, and environmental matters that typically involved significant and complex medical and scientific issues, including causation, and national coordination roles. He was also a member of the firm's Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Group and the chair of the Firm’s Professional Responsibility Committee. Bill also served as the chair of the International Association of Defense Counsel’s (IADC) Product Liability Committee.

The range of cases Bill managed extends across crop protection and agricultural products, 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 included a major crop protection product litigation and crisis management effort involving EPA, state and federal litigation, and one of the first lawsuits in the U.S. to allege injury to bee colonies from neonicotinoids. He represented several scientists and journal editors in defending against plaintiff claims involving scientific publications and studies.

Subject-wise, Bill’s knowledge includes genetic syndrome evidence, blood testing and other assessments of exposure, pharmacokinetics, causation standards, the role of FIFRA in litigation, and a wide array of epidemiology and similar literature. He addressed causation issues regarding many substances, including benzene, dioxins, glyphosate, talc, TCE, vinyl chloride, and asbestos. He also tracked the science in current product and tort controversies, including talc, Roundup and low-dose causation litigation, synthetic turf crumb rubber, and genetic developments.

Bill has extensive experience with expert strategy and science litigation management and trial preparation. He 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 managed national dockets in asbestos litigation for Fortune 500 companies, including trial and motions strategy.

Representative Matters

  • Was lead partner in one of the first lawsuits alleging that bee colonies were destroyed by an insecticide product used by local farmers. The case litigated to the expert stage and included significant scientific workup to defend the product and its active ingredient.
  • 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).
  • Multiple exclusions of plaintiff asbestos testifying experts relying on the discredited “any exposure” theory for causation testimony, and support of other rejections via amicus briefs.
  • Represented several Fortune 100 companies in defending against asbestos litigation as national or strategic counsel.
  • Represented a county in Florida in defending lakes against pollution arising in a neighboring state.
  • Represented a Swiss inhalation toxicologist in attempts to “tag” the scientist for a US deposition based on attendance at a Virginia conference. The trial court rejected the subpoena, a decision affirmed by the Virginia Supreme Court.
  • Represented a journal editor in defending a deposition brought by Roundup litigation plaintiff attorneys based on attacks on the publication of scientific articles favorable to defendants.

Nationwide Amicus Briefs and Publications

Bill also played a leading role nationally in preparing and filing amicus briefs on critical scientific evidentiary issues, including in the highest state courts of Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, California, Arizona, and New York, intermediate courts in many states, and before the Seventh and Ninth federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. Several of those briefs contributed to the decisions. Recent briefs:

  • New jersey Talc Litigation: New Jersey Supreme Court appeal of cosmetic talc verdict (pending). Carl v. Johnson & Johnson.
  • New York Talc-Mesothelioma Appeal: First Court of Appeals case addressing mesothelioma causation from talc exposure (pending). Nemeth v. Brenntag N. America.
  • Ohio Supreme Court asbestos any exposure: Appeal of “cumulative exposure” version of any exposure theory; defense win. Schwartz v. Honeywell Intl.
  • Pennsylvania Every Exposure Appeal: State Supreme Court appeal of every exposure theory supporting asbestos litigation; defense win. Betz v. Ford Motor Co.
  • Texas Every Exposure Appeal: Texas Supreme Court appeal of every exposure theory as applied to mesothelioma litigation; defense win. Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp.
  • Georgia Appeal of Every Exposure Theory: Georgia Supreme Court rejection of every exposure theory. Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. v. Knight.

Bill published four leading articles on causation theory, including the latest one entitled “How Much Is Enough: A Judicial Roadmap to Low-Dose Asbestos Litigation.” Other causation articles include “The Any Exposure Theory Round III; An Update on the State of the Case Law 2012-2016.” He has published on genetics and causation in "Genetics: A Path To Resolving Asbestos Litigation?"



Affiliations




Insights


Speeches & Presentations

  • "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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February 4, 2016 Litigation Note: Corin Wins Summary Judgment