Stephen Devereaux is a partner in King & Spalding’s Tort and Environmental Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Devereaux is also a leading member of King & Spalding’s class action practice, which was recognized by Law360 in both 2011 and 2013 as one of the top five class action practices in the United States.
For more than sixteen years, Mr. Devereaux has defended consumer class actions, attorney general actions, and mass torts involving prescription drugs, automobiles, and other consumer products. For example, he is a lead member of a team that serves as co-national counsel for a drug manufacturer in individual and class cases alleging injuries attributed to a prescription pain medication. Over ten years of litigation, class certification was repeatedly denied and not a single individual case made it to trial. In all, more then 400 cases (involving well over a thousand individual plaintiffs) were either dismissed by the courts or voluntarily by the plaintiffs (frequently with prejudice).
Mr. Devereaux also has an active appellate practice. He has represented clients in appeals before most of the federal circuits and many state supreme and intermediate appellate courts. See, e.g., Vanderwerf v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 603 F.3d 842 (10th Cir. 2010); Silva v. SmithKlineBecham Corp., No 31,276, slip op. (N.M. Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2013).
In the context of both class actions, attorney general actions, and individual product liability cases, Mr. Devereaux has extensive experience with:
- The defense of consumer protection act claims, including claims filed under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), False Advertising Law (FAL), and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), e.g., Watson v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., 2:10 CV-02452 (E.D. Cal. 2011);
- Daubert challenges to the admissibility of expert testimony, e.g., Vanderwerf v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 529 F. Supp. 2d 1294 (D. Kan. 2008); Federal pre-emption, e.g., White, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 538 F.Supp.2d 1023 (W.D. Mich. 2008); and punitive damages, e.g., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. Gault, 627 S.E.2d 549 (Ga. 2006);
- The removal of cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act and other theories. See, e.g., Commonwealth of Kentucky, ex rel. Jack Conway Attorney General, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., 704 F.3d 208 (2d Cir. 2013); Evans v. Walter Indus., Inc., 449 F.3d 1159 (11th Cir. 2006); and
- The settlement of class and mass actions, see, e.g., New Mexico United Food and Commercial Workers Union’s and Employer’s Health and Welfare Trust Fund v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 07-cv-6916-JGK (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2009).
Publications & Speeches
- Co-author of treatise chapter on “Food & Drug Litigation” in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (Robert L. Haig ed. 3rd Edition 2011).
- Principal author of treatise chapters on “Product Liability”, “Pharmaceutical Class Actions”, “Veil Piercing, Direct Parent Liability, and Successor Liability”, and “Third-Party Payor Litigation” in: Varner & Bayman, Regulation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (Law Journal Press 2011).
- Co-Author, “But I Took Your Drug Too! What Happens When a Plaintiff Claiming Injury From a Generic Medication Previously Took the Branded Version and Seeks to Hold the Branded Manufacturer Liable?” DRI’s Rx for the Defense, Jan. 29, 2013.
- “Trends in U.S. Product Liability Litigation,” in PLC Cross-Border Handbook: Life Sciences (Practical Law Co. 2008/2009) (2007/08) (2006/07), and “Update on Preemption in Pharmaceutical Product Liability Cases,” in Who’s Who in International Product Liability Law (2007).
- Speeches on “New Challenges in Settling Mass Tort Claims” (2012), “Removal of State Attorney General Claims Under CAFA” (2011), “Third-Party Payor Litigation,” (2010) and “Product Liability for Pharmaceutical Companies,” (2008) presented at King & Spalding Pharmaceutical University.
- Speeches on “Recent Developments in Federal Preemption of State Tort & Consumer Fraud Claims,” (2009 ICLE Seminar) and “The All Writs Act, The Anti-Injunction Act, and Collateral Estoppel: Shutting The Revolving Door of Endless Litigation Over Class Certification” (2007 ICLE Seminar).