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Simmons Hanly Conroy
Simmons Hanly Conroy

Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass torts firms, announced The National Law Journal has honored Shareholder Paul J. Hanly Jr. with a 2020 Elite Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award. The firm also garnered additional honors with a Law Firm of the Year award in the Mass Torts category.

“Paul is relentless in his pursuit of justice for his clients,” Chairman John Simmons said. “Throughout his career, he has led groundbreaking cases against some of the most formidable opponents, always rising to the occasion and setting a precedent of success for those who follow. He has spent a lifetime advocating for the rights of his clients and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Hanly is an experienced trial lawyer who has litigated, managed and tried numerous complex jury cases in virtually all areas of civil litigation over the past 40 years. In the last decade, Hanly has represented plaintiffs exclusively in mass tort and other complex civil cases, playing a leading role in the settlement of thousands of pharmaceutical cases resulting in recoveries in excess of $1 billion. 

In October, as co-lead of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the National Prescription Opiate Multidistrict Litigation, Hanly and his team finalized a $260 million settlement deal with the remaining four defendants just hours before opening arguments were set to begin. The deal brought the total recovery to $325 million and avoided what would have been the first bellwether trial in the litigation. Earlier in 2019, Hanly served as co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit that resulted in a $60 million settlement for more than 170 Haitian boys sexually abused by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz, who oversaw a Catholic school for impoverished children.

In addition to the cases Hanly spearheaded, the firm held leadership roles in several significant MDLs that contributed to its Law Firm of the Year award, including: 

Testosterone Replacement Therapy MDL, Shareholder Trent Miracle, co-lead, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee;

DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant MDL, Shareholder Jayne Conroy, co-lead, Plaintiff’s Executive Committee, resulted in three nine-figure verdicts;

Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn MDL, Shareholder Jayne Conroy, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, and Shareholder Paul Hanly Jr., Plaintiffs’ Discovery Committee Chair; and

Transvaginal Mesh MDLs, shareholders Jayne Conroy and John Foley, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, representing more than 4,500 clients.

In addition to Mass Torts, the firm was also named a finalist for Law Firm of the Year in the Pharmaceutical Litigation and Products Liability categories. Significant Products Liability verdicts include: 

$34 million awarded to Arthur Putt, a former auto mechanic who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos-containing brakes manufactured by Ford Motor Co.

$40.1 million awarded to Washington Navy veteran Walter Twidwell, who was exposed to asbestos released from Durabla gaskets manufactured by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

$30 million awarded to Norris and Lori Morgan after a California jury found defendant J-M Manufacturing Company Inc. negligent and strictly liable for distributing the asbestos-cement pipe that led to Norris’s mesothelioma diagnosis. 

The award ceremony took place Jan. 20 during the NTL Trial Lawyers Summit.  

About Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC

Simmons Hanly Conroy is one of the nation’s largest mass tort law firms. Primary areas of litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma, pharmaceutical, sexual abuse litigation, environmental and personal injury. The firm’s attorneys have been appointed to leadership in numerous national multidistrict litigations, including Prescription Opiates, Vioxx, Toyota Unintended Acceleration, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, DePuy Pinnacle and the Volkswagen Emission Scandal.  The firm also represents small and mid-size corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs in matters involving business litigation. Offices are located in Alton; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York City; San Francisco; and St. Louis. Read more at

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