Formerly a shareholder in the Florida-based national mass tort litigation firm Levin, Papantonio P.A., attorney Pete Kaufman joined Panish Shea & Boyle LLP in 2010. Mr. Kaufman specializes in mass tort pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.
Since 2001, he has tried cases in nearly every major pharmaceutical litigation, including Accutane, Vioxx, Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), Fen-Phen/diet drugs and Adderall. During that time, Mr. Kaufman received verdicts in excess of $35 million and settlements of nearly $100 million. He has played a central role in a number of national pharmaceutical litigations. Mr. Kaufman currently serves as the co-chair of the Trial Package committee for the Vioxx Multi-District Litigation (MDL), which resulted in a $4.7 billion national settlement. He also served on the Discovery and Science committees in the Vioxx litigation and has tried Vioxx cases in New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida and California. In the Bextra/Celebrex litigation, he was a member of the MDL Plaintiff’s Steering Committee and resolved hundreds of cases involving plaintiffs who suffered heart attacks and strokes. In the coordinated Baycol litigation, in state court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Kaufman served on the discovery and deposition committees, worked with leading medical experts on a major national class action case, and settled nearly 100 individual cases. Mr. Kaufman has also resolved claims related to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, the drugs Rezulin and Ketek, for liver-related injuries, Accutane, and numerous other personal injury cases.
Mr. Kaufman also handled one of the first cases in the country against a generic drug manufacturer, in which the court held, in a precedential decision, that generic manufacturers of drugs have the same liability as brand-name manufacturers, Munroe v. Barr Laboratories Inc., 2009 WL 4047949 (N.D.Fla., 2009). Regrettably, in their recent decision in Pliva, Inc., et al v. Mensing, 564 U. S. 1 (2011), the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a similar decision, and leaving the millions and millions of Americans who take generics drugs every day without any remedy if they are harmed by these products. Currently, Mr. Kaufman’s practice is focused primarily on medical device litigation, including cases involving Olympus duodenoscopes, the DePuy ASR hip implant system and Kugel hernia mesh.
In 2017, Mr. Kaufman obtained settlements totaling $6,020,647 for the parents of a man who was tragically killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in a Palm Springs hotel room as well as a $6,000,000 settlement for the husband of a woman who died from toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) after being treated at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Mr. Kaufman is a frequent speaker on pharmaceutical litigation, covering topics such as scientific evidence, trial preparation and case selection criteria. In the past, Mr. Kaufman was a frequent contributor to GoLeft.TV and served as Legal Counsel for the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA).
Mr. Kaufman received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law. He studied European Intellectual history at Duke University before deciding to attend law school. Mr. Kaufman is a veteran of the United States Army and a graduate of the Defense Language Institute. He served with the 3d Armored Division, 533d Military Intelligence Battalion in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Mr. Kaufman is licensed to practice law in California and Florida and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the United States District Court for the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida.