David B. Sudzus

Partner

Overview

David Sudzus gives pharmaceutical and medical device companies the legal footing to stand behind their innovations through product liability litigation, mass torts and consumer class actions. Dave represents nationwide clients in single and multidistrict cases, and serves as lead defense counsel, defense liaison counsel and regional counsel in mass tort and asbestos litigation. Clients rely on Dave to guard against future claims and position themselves strategically to defend their products if litigation arises.

Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation

Dave has extensive trial experience in drug and medical device cases, as well as in preparing and arguing substantive motions before the courts. He helps prepare and oversee written discovery responses, including large-scale productions of more than one million documents. He also takes depositions of fact and expert witnesses for opposing parties and prepares company and expert witnesses for deposition and trial testimony.

Dave represents mass tort litigation clients throughout the U.S., and currently serves on national coordinating counsel teams in MDL matters. Dave serves as lead defense counsel in a pending Illinois mass tort proceeding, and has previously served as designated defense liaison counsel and as lead defense counsel for defense groups in litigation pending in Illinois and New York state courts.

In addition, Dave defends manufacturers of asbestos-containing products and clients involved in asbestos premises liability claims. He has a long history of representing defendants in both the Madison County, Illinois and Cook County, Illinois asbestos litigation, and he has served as regional counsel for clients involved in asbestos and benzene litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully pursued and argued a motion to dismiss all claims directed against a retailer and manufacturer of hooded sweatshirts in a product liability claim pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
  • Successful coordination of the national defense of a silicone raw material manufacturer in silicone-gel breast implant litigation
  • Successful representation of a manufacturer of latex gloves in products liability litigation, including serving on the National Coordinating Counsel team
  • Lead Defense Counsel in Illinois for ongoing hip replacement litigation
  • Part of the National Coordinating Counsel team in ongoing infant Tylenol and children’s ibuprofen litigation
  • Local Illinois Counsel and member of the trial team in defense of a Fentanyl pain patch manufacturer
  • Part of trial teams which achieved recent defense verdicts on behalf of a manufacturer of hip replacements in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and a manufacturer of an over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen product in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Recently second-chaired a trial in the defense of an OTC acetaminophen pain relief medication in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Atlantic City before Judge Carol E. Higbee
  • Successful defenses of manufacturers of various products including a children’s vaccine, a chemical sterilization product and pesticides

Product Counsel

Dave guides companies in preparing compliant and defensible online product content, manuals and warning labels. He also helps them create efficient complaint-handling procedures and product recall programs to guard against future claims and position themselves strategically to defend their products if litigation arises.

Class Actions

Dave handles a wide range of consumer class action cases, including those involving consumer electronics, personal hand-held devices, children’s bath products and OTC homeopathic remedies.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment for the manufacturer of children’s bath products, defeating efforts by plaintiffs to establish putative nationwide class action litigation involving these products
  • Obtained summary judgment for the manufacturer of a hand-held personal electronic device, defeating alleged consumer class action claims and efforts to establish a statewide class of consumers

Trademark Litigation

Beyond his core product liability practice, Dave represents musicians in connection with trademark disputes.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of doom metal musicians in a trademark dispute involving their respective band names
  • Representation of a Chicago-based musician in a trademark dispute involving the infringement of his stage name by a professional athlete and his agents
  • Representation of three rap artists whose names and likenesses were misappropriated by the National Tobacco Co., a subsidiary of Phillip Morris, for use on a website

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Illinois

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
U.S. Supreme Court

Education

Northwestern University School of Law
J.D. (1990)

Benedictine University
B.A. magna cum laude (1987)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

Throughout his career, Dave has handled a myriad of pro bono matters, including those involving protection of child custody rights, renter’s rights, and prisoner’s rights; securing safe immigration status; preparing estate and living will documents; assisting in expungement of prior criminal records; and protecting the intellectual property rights of musicians and artists. He also continues to supervise pro bono matters managed by other attorneys within the firm and assists in managing a regular clinic which the firm operates in connection with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, a local nonprofit.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation 

Civic Activities

  • Architreasures — Board President, 2018-present; Board Member, 2009-13, 2016-present
  • Heal Chicago — Founding Board Member
  • Public Interest Law Initiative — Board of Directors, 2014-present
  • South Loop Safety Committee — Founding Member

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP – Pro Bono/Public Interest Committee; Chair, Chicago Office Pro Bono/Public Interest Committee
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