Runners-up honors go to Ty Buthod of Baker Botts and the rest of the trial team who defended ExxonMobil from claims brought by the family of a former gas station owner who claimed his exposure to benzene in the company’s products led to his death from acute myelogenous leukemia. Following a nine-day jury trial, state court jurors in Stamford, Connecticut, last week sided with ExxonMobil on the plaintiffs’ design defect and failure to warn claims, as well as on questions of causation. The company’s defense team also included Jennifer Morgan and Lorey Leddy of Murtha Cullina.
Kevin Orsini, Antony Ryan, Brittany Sukiennik and Daniel Slifkin of Cravath, Swaine & Moore get a runner-up spot this week for helping financial services client Robinhood Markets Inc. fend off class certification in securities litigation tied trading restrictions for Robinhood customers during the “meme stock” short squeeze of early 2021. Plaintiffs brought market manipulation claims based on Robinhood’s restrictions on customer access to certain stocks as well as company statements tying those restrictions to market volatility rather than the company’s own liquidity issues. Chief U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Miami this week denied class certification, finding that plaintiffs failed to offer a method for proving reliance class wide.