Ben is a commercial litigator who has particular expertise defending product liability lawsuits, including class actions and claims brought by governments, both in the United States and internationally.
Ben has over 20 years of experience defending and counseling clients in individual, class action and governmental lawsuits in US state and federal courts throughout the country, with a particular focus on product liability litigation. Ben brings valuable global expertise and perspective to his clients by also serving as international coordinating counsel in defending and counseling clients in similar lawsuits filed in common law and civil law jurisdictions outside the United States, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Korea.
Ben is a litigator, but also a client advisor, and routinely advises companies and investors in various sectors on issues relating to product liability and ESG liability risks and disclosures, including clients in the energy, mining, financial services and consumer sectors.
Ben is ranked Band 1 in Chambers and Partners (2022-2023) for Nationwide Product Liability: Tobacco, where he is commended by clients for being “very knowledgeable about scientific issues” and for “consistently providing exceptional quality, strategic legal advice.” Ben has also been named to Legal 500 for Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action (2017-2023), including in 2023 as a Next Generation Partner, where Ben's clients describe him as “whip smart”, and praise his ability to "couple deep knowledge of science and law with fresh approaches" and commend him for being a "master at working with experts in a whole host of scientific and medical fields." In addition, Ben was named to Benchmark Litigation's "Under 40 Hot List" for 2017 and 2018.
Ben received a B.A. from Duke University in 2000 (cum laude), and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2003.
Experience & expertise
- British American Tobacco (BAT) in United States v. Philip Morris et al., a civil racketeering (RICO) lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice against the principal US tobacco companies and BAT, in which the government was seeking $280 billion in disgorgement of past profits and various injunctive remedies. BAT was dismissed from the case after a decade of litigation, including a nine-month trial in federal court in Washington, DC, on the grounds that US racketeering laws had no extraterritorial application
- BAT in an antitrust and consumer fraud class action in Kansas state court, where plaintiffs alleged an unlawful restraint of trade to fix the price of cigarettes sold in Kansas. Successfully prosecuted BAT's motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs' claims
- BAT in public nuisance litigation in Baltimore, Maryland relating to environmental clean-up costs associated with cigarette butt litter
- BAT in coordinating the defense of multibillion dollar claims for healthcare costs by ten Canadian Provinces, and defending similar claims brought by governments in Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea
- Samsung entities in defense of dozens of product liability lawsuits throughout the US involving allegations of exploding batteries in consumer electronic products
- Oil and gas producer in prosecuting a federal lawsuit in California challenging a City of Los Angeles ordinance phasing out oil and gas operations, and seeking damages for various constitutional violations, including a taking of property without adequate compensation
- Several clients in the energy, mining and consumer products sectors on ESG and climate change-related litigation and regulatory matters in the US and internationally
- A global shipping and logistics company in resolving a breach of contract dispute with a large US retailer involving allegations that millions of products were defective
- An Asian telecom company in prosecuting a breach of contract dispute with a US technology provider relating to the sale of ITAR-regulated defense technology, resulting in favorable settlement following the defeat of defendant’s motion to dismiss
- Investment management firm in advising on valuation of US product liability settlements and judgments with respect to medical device, pharmaceutical and asbestos litigation to inform investment decisions
- Re-insurance company in advising on trends in loss costs across various commercial lines to inform insurance pricing decisions