Murray S. Levin, a partner in the Litigation Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, has been involved in a wide variety of matters since joining the firm in 1970. He primarily handles pharmaceutical and medical device products liability cases, toxic tort cases and an array of commercial matters, including those with an international cast.
In recent years, Mr. Levin has done a large volume of work in the products liability area for many pharmaceutical and medical device companies and their subsidiaries. He has defended such products as birth control pills, major and minor tranquilizers, cardiac medications, antibiotics, contrast media, dermatologic medications, fertility agents, anti epileptics, over-the-counter preparations, NSAIDs, anabolic and other steroids, IUDs, spinal implants and bone tissue, intraocular lenses and catheters, among others. He has defended a number of cases claiming injuries from benzene.
Mr. Levin has served as trial counsel, regional coordinating counsel and national coordinating counsel in “mass disaster” cases where hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of litigants have been involved, and has several times worked with company attorneys to set up the defense at the outset of such mass litigation situations. He has won dozens of summary judgments based on the learned intermediary doctrine, the failure of plaintiffs’ experts to create a fact issue, lack of medical causation, statute of limitations and other grounds.
As an outgrowth of his representation of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, Mr. Levin has gained experience in related employment matters, trademarks, antitrust, regulatory agency and medical malpractice cases. He also handles banking litigation, including international letter-of-credit cases, and libel law issues, including pre publication counseling.
Recent cases representative of Mr. Levin’s practice include:
- winning a defense verdict for a leading medical device manufacturer after a multi-week jury trial arising from an incident in which a doctor used a screwdriver shaft instead of titanium rods in spinal surgery. Our client, the manufacturer of the rods, was sued along with the doctor and the hospital, and was cleared of any liability.
- defending claims against allograft distributors arising out of suspect activity by a tissue recovery agency which led to an FDA recall of the distributed allografts
- winning a jury trial brought against a major pharmaceutical company and its CEO for libel by a former employee who had been fired after allegedly attempting to provide trade secrets for one of the company’s leading products to a potential generic manufacturer competitor. In a counterclaim against the former employee, Mr. Levin won a sweeping injunction barring the individual, not only from using the company’s trade secrets, but from working in the pharmaceutical industry.
- representing an international adhesive manufacturer in litigation over the alleged failure of a product used to secure original equipment automobile headlamp lenses. Mr. Levin worked with plaintiffs’ counsel to retain independent experts, who performed experiments to uncover the root cause of the problem. Negotiations thereafter resulted in a favorable settlement.
- successfully defending a manufacturer in a dispute with a spin-off business with which the client company had a supply contract. After the client terminated the supply contract, the spin-off business filed a lawsuit seeking rights to trade secrets, formulas and other intellectual property, which Mr. Levin was able to defend successfully. The trade secrets were protected.
In pursuing his interest in international law, Mr. Levin has been involved in the trial of a Pakistani-Bangladeshi dispute in federal court, a Portuguese labor matter which came before a Labor Tribunal in the Portuguese Azores, a trial in the French courts, licensing disputes between English and American companies, and the defense of Italian manufacturers in U.S. products cases. He also has handled matters in the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Holland.
Mr. Levin served as the first American president of the Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (Young Lawyers International Association), headquartered in western Europe. He is a past president of the American Chapter and a member of the board of directors of the Union Internationale des Avocats (International Association of Lawyers), a Paris based organization that is the world’s oldest international lawyers association, having been founded in 1927.
Mr. Levin is active in bar associations and civic organizations closer to home, as well. He is a member of the House of Delegates of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and has served in a number of leadership positions with the Philadelphia Bar Association, including as a member of the Board of Governors and as chairman of the Professional Guidance Committee.
As a result of his service as a board member at a major Philadelphia hospital, Mr. Levin is familiar with the legal problems of the health care provider institution in such areas as government licensing and regulation, professional staff relations and internal hospital workings regarding medical audit and utilization review, research and hospital financing.
Mr. Levin lectures extensively domestically and internationally. He has been invited to speak in a number of venues in the United States, as well as in Cameroon, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, China and Vietnam.
Mr. Levin is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, is recommended in the 2013 edition of The Legal 500 United States, and was selected for inclusion on the 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.Active in community and political affairs, Mr. Levin was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania in 2000, and was a member of the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee (2003-2006), as well as chairman of the Democratic committee in his local community of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania (2002-2006).