Eric Rothschild is a partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. He is a member of the firm’s Health Effects Litigation and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Mr. Rothschild’s practice focuses on product liability litigation brought in federal and state courts against prescription drug manufacturers by individuals claiming personal injuries, State Attorneys General, and private payers.
In his products liability practice, Mr. Rothschild has represented:
Mr. Rothschild’s commercial litigation representations include:
- a manufacturer of an anti-psychotic medication as trial counsel in Tadai v. Eli Lilly and Co. (Los Angeles Superior Court), a wrongful death lawsuit that resulted in a defense verdict
- a manufacturer of an anti-depressant medication in national litigation involving allegations of birth defects from use of the medication during pregnancy
- prescription drug manufacturers in state and federal court lawsuits brought by State Attorneys General and private payers alleging improper promotion, Medicaid fraud, consumer protection violations and overpricing
- a manufacturer of a diabetes medication in lawsuits brought by Nation American tribes in their tribal courts
- pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturers in personal injury lawsuits and appellate proceedings
- a prescription drug manufacturer in defense of a settlement arising out of the intentional dilution of chemotherapy medication by an independent pharmacist
- American Nuclear Insurers in trial and appellate proceedings in the Three Mile Island litigation, contributing to the successful challenges to plaintiffs’ experts, which led to summary judgment, and ultimately, dismissal.
Mr. Rothschild has argued several appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits, and before federal district courts and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. He has tried several major arbitrations.
- a major computer vendor in defense of a fraud suit by a bank in the Czech Republic related to a major computer system sale
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its prosecution of a RICO and fraud action against former owners of a Pennsylvania medical malpractice insurer, for causing an insolvency estimated at several hundred million dollars
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as liquidator for Legion Insurance Company in an arbitration resulting in an award of $22.5 million in consequential damages against a major reinsurer
- the Department of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the collection of billions of dollars of reinsurance owed to Reliance Insurance Company, a major property and casualty insurance company now in liquidation
- a major financial institution in arbitration of a breach of contract dispute arising out of the client’s sale of a large credit card portfolio
- a land developer in a jury trial alleging tortious interference by a competing development company.
Mr. Rothschild has a varied pro bono practice. Mr. Rothschild served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case in the nation to test whether “intelligent design” can be introduced into the curriculum of public high school science classes. In a sweeping victory for the plaintiffs, Judge John E. Jones, III ruled on December 20, 2005 that the Dover policy violated the First Amendment, holding that intelligent design is clearly religious in nature, and is not science.
The case received extensive media coverage, including a feature article in The New Yorker (December 5, 2005), which reported that Mr. Rothschild cross-examined intelligent design proponent Michael Behe with “cheerful mercilessness.” In another article, Judge Jones called Mr. Rothschild’s cross examination of Professor Behe, “as good a cross-examination of an expert witness as I have ever seen. It was textbook.” (The Pennsylvania Lawyer, July/August 2006.) The trial was the subject of the PBS documentary “Judgment Day,” and several books. Mr. Rothschild has done extensive public speaking about the Kitzmiller case.
For their efforts in the Kitzmiller case, Mr. Rothschild and his Pepper colleagues received the 2006 Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the ACLU of Pennsylvania , and the Clarence Darrow Award and Friends of Darwin Award from the National Center for Science Education.
Mr. Rothschild also represented the plaintiffs in Selman v. Cobb County School District, in a challenge to an anti-evolution policy adopted in Cobb County, Georgia. That case was resolved on December 19, 2006, by a consent decree requiring the School District to stop their anti-evolution policy.
In addition to his roles in Kitzmiller and Selman, Mr. Rothschild:
Mr. Rothschild is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP), a non-profit legal groups that brings impact litigation in the areas of education and voting rights. He also is a member of the Legal Advisory Board of the National Center for Science Education, an organization advocating the teaching of evolution and climate change in public schools. At Pepper, Mr. Rothschild is Vice Chair of the Hiring Committee.
- was part of the Pepper team that successfully challenged the federal organ allocation system on behalf of two children that needed lung transplants to survive
- achieved a favorable settlement for a same sex couple seeking medical benefits from a public employer
- successfully represented an applicant for legal immigration in resisting the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) blood test requirement on the grounds of free exercise of religion
- assisted in Pepper’s court-appointed representation of inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System in a class action challenging overcrowding and other conditions in the prison system.
- prepared amicus curiae briefs in major Establishment Clause cases.
Mr. Rothschild was selected as one of Pennsylvania’s 2006 “Lawyers on a Fast Track” by the Legal Intelligencer and has been selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer from 2006-2014.
Mr. Rothschild is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.