Karen Barth Menzies

Partner

kbm@classlawgroup.com (510) 350-9240 vCard

Karen is a nationally-recognized mass tort attorney with more than twenty years of experience in federal and state litigation. Courts throughout the country have appointed Karen to serve in leadership positions including Lead Counsel, Liaison Counsel and Plaintiff Steering Committee in some of the largest pharmaceutical and device mass tort cases. Karen currently serves in leadership positions in the Taxotere Litigation (federal court) Zoloft Birth Defect Litigation (federal and California state courts), Transvaginal Mesh Litigation (federal and California state courts), Fosamax Femur Fracture Litigation (California state court), Lexapro/Celexa Birth Defect Litigation (Missouri state court).

Karen is particularly focused on women’s health issues and drugs that cause harm to children. She currently represents women suffering permanent baldness following breast cancer chemotherapy treatments with Taxotere, and children who experienced severe side effects after taking the widely-prescribed medication Risperdal. Karen believes in advocating for drug safety and for the victims in the face of profit-driven corporations. She has testified twice before FDA advisory boards as well as the California State Legislature on the safety concerns regarding the SSRI antidepressants and the manufacturers’ misconduct.

One of the preeminent personal injury attorneys in the country, Karen frequently publishes and presents on issues involving drug safety, mass tort litigation, FDA reform and federal preemption for both legal organizations (plaintiff and defense) and medical groups.

Litigation Highlights

  • Paxil Birth Defects Litigation

    Karen served as court-appointed co-lead/liaison counsel – managed and conducted general liability discovery and case specific discovery on trial cases. Served on the trial team for the first case tried, which resulted in a $2.5 million verdict. Additional confidential settlements achieved on behalf of plaintiffs.

  • In re Paxil Products Liability Litigation

    Karen served as court-appointed lead counsel. Early on, achieved an injunction requiring GlaxoSmithKline to take down Paxil ads that said “not-habit forming" and was successful in defeating preemption challenges. Negotiated global case settlement with more than 3,000 individuals submitting claims.

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AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Southern California Super Lawyer, 2004-2019

Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury Litigation- Plaintiffs, 2018

Lawyer of the Year, Lawyer’s Weekly USA, 2004

California Lawyer of the Year, California Lawyer magazine, 2005

Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist, CAOC, 2006

  • University of California, Davis King Hall School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Colorado State University, B.A., 1989
  • American Association for Justice
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles
  • American Bar Association (appointed member of the Plaintiffs’ Task Force)
  • Women En Mass
  • The Sedona Conference (WG1, Electronic Document Retention and Production)
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • National Women Trial Lawyers Association
  • LA County Bar Association
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • Public Justice

Deposing the Treating/Prescribing Physician, Learned Intermediary, The One Potentially Fatal Fact Witness

American Association for Justice Convention: Discovery and Litigation Strategies for Drug and Device Cases

February 2019

A Funny Thing Did Happen on the Way to the Forum: Navigating the New Landscape of Personal Jurisdiction Challenges

ABA Section of Litigation 2019 Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts, and Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar

March 2018

Federal and State Court Coordination of Mass Tort Litigation: Navigating State Court vs. Multidistrict Litigation

Mass Torts Made Perfect

October 2018

Taxotere Litigation: Federal MDL 2740, New Orleans and State Court Jurisdictions

Mass Torts Made Perfect

October 2018

505(b)(2) Defendants – The Non-Generic Alternative; Social Media and Support Groups; Settlement Committees

AAJ Section of Torts, Environmental and Products Liability (STEP): On the Cutting Edge of Torts Litigation

July 2018

Location, Location, Location, Part II: State Court Consolidations

AAJ Mass Torts Best Practices Seminar

July 2017

Personal Jurisdiction in Mass Torts and Class Actions: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court (Cal. 2016)

Mass Torts Judicial Forum with Judge Corodemus and JAMS

April 2017

Bringing the Remote Office Closer

Trial Magazine

March 2017

I just thought they handled the whole case well, they did so in a timely manner and I was very pleased with the results.

- Elaine S.

Slice 1 BLF 2017