Michael L. Baum | Drug Product Liability Attorney
Michael L. Baum, Qui Tam Claims, Wrongful Death Law MICHAEL L. BAUM
Attorney | Senior Managing Partner
MBaum@BaumHedlundLaw.com
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AVVO Superb Score 10 out of 10 | 5.0 out of 5 AV Peer Review Rated
Actos Bladder Cancer, Antidepressant Birth Defects, Autism & Antidepressants, Catastrophic Injury, Class Action Litigation, Complex and Multi-District Litigation, Consumer Fraud Litigation, Defective Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical Drug Product Liability, Qui Tam Claims, Stryker OP-1 Putty, Whistleblower Protection, Wrongful Death Law
“We have created an environment at Baum Hedlund where we are not just doing a job—we tend to work for causes that go beyond the lawsuits themselves.  That lends an extra dimension and an added layer of satisfaction to what we are doing.  This dovetails with the firm’s stated mission: ‘To provide expert legal services that successfully resolve transportation and consumer harm cases and improve safety by increasing public awareness of the wrongdoing, corruption and unsafe practices that caused them.’ ”
Lead Counsel Rated
Michael L. Baum is the senior managing partner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. He has successfully led the firm through thousands of wrongful death and personal injury cases stemming from major pharmaceutical drug catastrophes and commercial transportation mass disasters. He began his career more than 25 years ago, primarily handling airline accidents and other commercial transportation disasters as well as some pharmaceutical product liability litigation. While he oversees all aspects of managing the firm, Michael currently heads the firm’s pharmaceutical litigation department and focuses on drug product liability mass tort and class action litigation as well as whistleblower qui-tam actions.

Medical officials from foreign governments in countries such as Ireland, Japan, Russia and Taiwan have sought Michael’s advice and assistance with their countries’ public policies concerning consumer drug safety.“Some of our staff were friends long before they started working here and they remain friends after almost three decades of working together. They actually like each other and enjoy making a difference in the lives of others. One of my favorite quotes, which I like to recite to my staff, sums up the work environment we’ve created at the firm: ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!’”

Under Michael’s leadership, Baum Hedlund has developed a reputation as a law firm that can be counted upon to go above and beyond what is needed to get the job done; a firm that has successfully litigated personal injury, wrongful death and consumer fraud cases against major pharmaceutical companies such as Alpha Therapeutic, Armour Pharmaceutical Co., Baxter Health Care Corp, Bayer Corp., Dalkon Corporation, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.

In addition, his firm is known for successfully resolving major transportation disaster cases against companies such as Airbus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amtrak, Bell Helicopter Co., Beechcraft, Boeing, Cessna, China Eastern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, EgyptAir, Ford Motor Co., McDonnell Douglas, Piper, Robinson Helicopter Co., Sikorsky, SwissAir, TACA Airlines, TWA, United Airlines, and US Airways, among many others.

“Rigorously investigating and litigating the types of devastating cases we handle on a daily basis requires relentless focus and dedication to our clients’ causes. Approaching things from the perspective that every problem has an optimum solution waiting to be apprehended simplifies our team’s outlook on every aspect of each case we handle.”

Michael Baum began his career more than 30 years ago, primarily handling airline accidents and other commercial transportation disasters as well as some pharmaceutical product liability litigation.Medical officials from foreign governments in countries such as Ireland, Japan, Russia and Taiwan have sought Michael’s advice and assistance with their countries’ public policies concerning consumer drug safety. They’ve done so after becoming aware of Michael’s impressive understanding of biomedical research, clinical trials, statistics, the pharmaceutical industry and marketing, as well as his firm’s successful and effective discovery procedures and extensive work with experts on complicated scientific issues related to Baum Hedlund’s pharmaceutical litigation. 

Among his many achievements, accomplished with the help of his team, Michael is most proud of:

  • Being recognized, along with his firm, as a national leader in the antidepressant Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft suicide litigation; 

  • Working to bring about the black box suicidality warning for children and young adults, now on most antidepressant labels;

  • Helping spur funding for the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998, which was made part of the negotiated settlement to help scores of hemophiliacs infected with HIV by contaminated medication;

  • Arranging for the face to face presentation between pharmaceutical company executives and dozens of hemophiliac families that got to say, person by person, holding before and after photos of themselves or departed loved ones, how the hemophilia-AIDS epidemic, and the manner in which the companies caused and covered it up, impacted their lives;

  • Being one of the leaders in the fight against federal preemption, a doctrine pushed by the pharmaceutical industry to wipe out consumers’ rights to sue drug companies for injuries caused by their drugs.  Preemption was finally defeated in 2009 with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wyeth v. Levine;

  • Creating the first class action ever filed against an SSRI-antidepressant manufacturer, ending with the successful resolution of more than 3,000 Paxil injury cases;

  • Finding “needles in haystacks” and “smoking guns” in document productions, such as GE engineers’ graphs predicting the next DC 10 engine failure which mirrored the date of the United 232 crash 5 years later, an internal study linking SSRIs to cardio-birth defects or documentation of company programs to ghostwrite medical journal articles for academic opinion leaders to give the appearance of objective science when actually serving marketing objectives to increase prescriptions, i.e. disguised advertising;

  • Negotiating the first official public apology by an airline for the 2003 Air Midwest Flt. 5481 Charlotte, North Carolina crash;

  • Eliminating California law that protected tobacco companies from lawsuits.  For many years, the statute of limitations was considered to begin to run from the date the plaintiff knew or should have known that he/she was addicted to tobacco.  This effectively barred plaintiffs, many of whom began smoking in their teens, from suing.  Now, the statute of limitations runs when the plaintiff’s physical injuries are (or reasonably could be) discovered;

  • Developing a rigorous, skillful and technical method for locating hard-to-find manufacturer documents in order to successfully litigate against major pharmaceutical companies, positioning his firm as a leader in the fight to increase public health and safety;

  • Creating coalitions of activists, attorneys, and Baum Hedlund staff, who work together to resolve global problems caused by harmful and defective drugs, which no individual could accomplish alone.

“We have adopted Margaret Mead’s philosophy, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”

Michael has served on numerous trial teams and plaintiffs’ steering committees in mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical product liability cases as well as major airline crashes.


Michael L. Baum, AV Preeminent video Michael L. Baum, AV Preeminent Attorney


He has an AV® 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, and Aviation Counsel Magazine's List of Recommended High Flyers.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, playing foosball, softball, volleyball, and boogie-boarding.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys foosball, softball and volleyball, boogie-boarding and coaching his son’s baseball, soccer and basketball teams.
Born:
  • Clinton, Oklahoma, 1952
Education:
  • University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., summa cum laude, 1982)
  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (J.D., 1985)
Court Admissions:
  • California, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1991
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1991
  • District of Columbia, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York,  2009
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin,  2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2013

Awards and Honors:

Litigation Leadership:

  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 817, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989
  • Trial Team Member, 1991-1992, United Airlines Crash, Sioux City, Iowa: Member, 1989
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 891, Northwest Airlines Crash, Detroit, 1990
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 1041, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994
  • Trial Team Member, 1997, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Illinois State Court Proceedings for USAir 427 Aircrash near Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1994
  • Lead Counsel for 125 Consolidated Complex Biological-Medical Products Liability Cases, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1997-2001
  • Trial Team Member, Consolidated Hemophilia-AIDS Cases, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1999
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL-1574, Paxil Products Liability Litigation
  • Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP 4696) In re Actos Product Liability Cases, Los Angeles, California, 2012 - present
  • Science Committee, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2342, before the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2012 - present
Member:
  • State Bar of California
  • The District of Columbia Bar
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • American Association for Justice: Leader’s Forum; Qui Tam Litigation Group; Actos Bladder Cancer Litigation Group; Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP)
  • Supporter, Public Citizen's Civil Justice Project

Presentations / Speeches

  • Topic: “Case Theories, Challenges and Case Selection Considerations for Your Actos Inventory”
    Organization: HB Litigation Conferences
    Event: Plaintiff Forum on Pharmaceutical Litigation, Transvaginal Mesh, Actos, and Orthopedic Devices
    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Date: October 5, 2012

  • Topic: Roundtable: Legal Issues
    Organization: Selling Sickness
    Event:  Selling Sickness 2013, People Before Profits
    Location: Capitol Hill , Washington D.C.
    Date: February 20 - 22, 2013

  • Topic: Litigation Update and Trial Analysis Roundtable: “Actos Trial Analysis”
    Organization: AAJ Plaintiff Trial Lawyers and presented with Mass Torts Made Perfect
    Event: AAJ Education's Plaintiff-Only Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Litigation Update Seminar
    Location: Louisville, Kentucky
    Date: May 28 - 29, 2013

  • Topic: Actos Bladder Cancer Litigation Status Update
    Panel Topic: Mass Torts: Status Update On Drug And Medical Device Litigation
    Organization: Consumer Attorneys of California
    Event: CAOC 52nd Annual Convention
    Location: San Francisco, California
    Date: November 14-17, 2013
Governmental Testimony:
  • Taiwan’s Ministry of Health emergency meeting regarding hemophilia HIV contaminated medication, February 18, 2004

Published Cases:

  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1052 (Dist. South Carolina 1995)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1056 (Dist. South Carolina 1996)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1060 (Dist. South Carolina 1996)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1071 (Dist. South Carolina 1995)
  • Ex parte Knight Ridder, Inc., 982 F.Supp. 1080 (Dist. South Carolina 1997)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1084 (Dist. South Carolina 1997)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1086 (Dist. South Carolina 1997)
  • In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1092 (Dist. South Carolina 1997)
  • Smith v. Cutter Biological, 770 So. 2d 392 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2000)
  • Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 403 F. 3d 631 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 40 Cal.4th 623, 151 P.3d 1151, 54 Cal.Rptr.3d 735 (2007)
  • Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 482 F. 3d 1131 (9th Cir. 2007)
  • Collins v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 2008 WL 744070 (Pa. Ct.Com.Pl. March 11, 2008)
  • Mason v. SmithKline Beecham  Corp., 596 F.3d 387 (7th Cir. 2010) (unanimously reversing the trial court’s preemption ruling  and allowing plaintiffs’ claims to proceed to a trial on the merits)
  • Dorsett v. Sandoz, Inc., 699 F.Supp.2d 1142 (C.D.Cal. 2010) (denying defendants’ preemption motion and holding that both name-brand and generic drug manufacturers have an affirmative duty to issue warnings)

Notable Media Appearances:

  • TV
    • Primetime RTE Dublin - RTE News
    • PrimeTime Channel 2 Action News Los Angeles
    • CNN Headline News

  • Documentaries
    • Wie BAYER AIDS nach Asien importierte" (Deadly Sale: How Bayer imported AIDS into Asia)
    • Who Cares in Sweden? A Documentary Trilogy [Antidepressants' effect on society]

  • News
    • Agence France-Presse
    • AIDS Weekly & Law
    • American Lawyer Magazine
    • Andrews Litigation Reporters
    • Antitrust Law Daily
    • Associated Press
    • AsiaOne
    • Bloomberg News
    • Brisbane Times
    • Forbes
    • Jakarta Globe
    • Los Angeles Times
    • Law.com
    • Life Science Weekly via NewsRx.com & NewsRx.net
    • Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices
    • Mealey's Litigation Report Antidepressant Drugs
    • Mealey's Litigation Report: Tobacco
    • MSN Malaysia News, MSN Philippines News, MSN Singapore
    • National Law Journal
    • New York Times
    • Pharmalot
    • PharmAsia News
    • San Diego Union Tribune
    • San Jose Mercury News
    • South China Morning Post
    • Taipei Times
    • Taiwan News
    • The Pink Sheet
    • The Sydney Morning Herald
    • Thomson Reuters News & Insight
    • Westlaw Journals
    • Theheart.org



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Michael L. Baum, AV Preeminent Attorney AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent Consumer Attorneys of California Bar Register Preeminent Lawyer Who'sWho in America AVVO Rating Top Attorney Wrongful Death