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OVERVIEW

William E. Padgett
Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P 317-231-7353

F 317-231-7433

OVERVIEW

William E. Padgett
Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P 317-231-7353

F 317-231-7433

Bill Padgett is valued by his clients for vigorous and targeted early pre-trial management and motion practice. Bill maximizes client strengths and leverages pressure points throughout the case management process in order to resolve serious claims as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, while positioning the case — with all its moving parts — for trial if needed.

OVERVIEW

William E. Padgett Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P : 317-231-7353

Bill Padgett is valued by his clients for vigorous and targeted early pre-trial management and motion practice. Bill maximizes client strengths and leverages pressure points throughout the case management process in order to resolve serious claims as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, while positioning the case — with all its moving parts — for trial if needed.

With a complex litigation practice that is national in scope, Bill’s experience is deep and far-reaching. He represents clients against product liability, toxic tort and commercial claims involving chemical products, agricultural and crop protection products, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and a variety of other products. More recently, Bill’s practice primarily has included complex and large scale litigation, including multidistrict litigation (MDLs) involving the defense of toxic tort personal injury lawsuits brought against product manufacturers, as well as commercial claims involving product defect, non-performance and conspiracy allegations.

Bill leads and assists several national defense teams in defending manufacturers and distributors of crop protection products, opioid pharmaceuticals, chemicals/solvents, medical devices and other products in toxic tort, product liability and commercial litigation throughout the United States. In this capacity, he has addressed manufacturer and distributor conspiracy claims, federal preemption, the admissibility of expert witnesses’ opinions, and a wide variety of other product liability issues under numerous state laws. Bill is also well-versed in economic loss doctrine and various warranty defenses as part of his commercial litigation practice, and has worked with the firm’s environmental attorneys in an array of litigation matters.

Notably, Bill advises clients on business practices intended to avoid product liability and commercial claims, including in the areas of occupational health and safety, product advertising and warranty practices. Regardless of the obstacles before him, Bill is appreciated for delivering experienced, effective and fiscally responsible advocacy and comprehensive dispute resolution strategy.

He has completed the firm’s BT ValueWorks’ Legal Project Management (LPM) training on LPM techniques to enhance value for clients.

Honors

The Best Lawyers in America, 2015-2019

Professional and Community Involvement

Member, Defense Research Institute (DRI) Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee

Former board president, The Julian Center

Board member and former board president, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Pro bono family law cases for battered women

Mentor, Starfish Initiative

EXPERIENCE
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Anheuser-Busch in a case that arose as a result of a temporary Indiana state regulation that permitted beer distributors to engage in "transshipping," a practice in which beer distributors were permitted to sell outside of the territory that had been designated for them by the alcohol brewing companies. After the regulation expired, the beer distributors filed suit against the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission and the various brewing companies. Barnes & Thornburg represented Anheuser-Busch's interests in the litigation. As a major brewing company, Anheuser-Busch's interests were aligned with the position of the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission because the temporary rule had prevented Anheuser-Busch from enforcing the territories it had negotiated with the beer distributors. Barnes & Thornburg assisted Anheuser-Busch in defending the expiration of the law from the distributors' challenge, and succeeded in obtaining judgment in favor of our Client. The beer distributors appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals, but the appellate court affirmed the judgment of Marion Superior Court. Little Bev. Co. v. DePrez, 777 N.E.2d74 (Ind. App. 2002).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented chemical manufacturer in liver cancer case involving vinyl chloride exposure and obtained summary judgment on failure to warn, fraud, and conspiracy claims. Taylor v. Airco, Inc., 503 F. Supp. 2d 432 (D. Mass. 2007), aff’d,#576 F.3d 16 (First Circuit 2009).
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented Dow AgroSciences LLC (DAS) in a significant personal injury case pending in Federal District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Court granted DAS’ motion to exclude the expert testimony of plaintiffs’ medical causation expert, Dr. Bennet Omalu, M.D., who opined that exposure to Dursban® pesticide products manufactured and sold by DAS caused a pesticide applicator, Robert Pritchard, to develop a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (“NHL”). More specifically, Mr. Pritchard alleged that from 1982 through 2000 he repeatedly applied various forms of Dursban® in and around buildings and lawns, and was diagnosed with NHL in 2005. Plaintiffs proffered Dr. Omalu, a pathologist and medical examiner, to offer an expert opinion that Dursban® and its active ingredient, chlorpyrifos, can cause NHL (i.e., general causation) and did in fact Mr. Pritchard’s NHL (i.e., specific causation). DAS filed a Daubert motion to exclude Dr. Omalu’s opinions on medical causation, with extensive evidentiary materials, including affidavits from several defense experts. After extensive briefing and a day-long Daubert hearing on November 12, 2009, the Court granted DAS’ motion to exclude Dr. Omalu’s expert opinions. In a lengthy opinion that provided several alternative grounds for Dr. Omalu’s exclusion, Specifically, the Court ruled: (1) that Dr. Omalu’s opinions on general causation were inadmissible because Dr. Omalu’s reliance on and “reinterpretation” of a single epidemiology study was unreliable; (2) that Dr. Omalu’s opinions on specific causation likewise were unreliable and inadmissible due to his flawed methodology and inadequate analysis of other potential causes of Mr. Pritchard’s NHL; and (3) Dr. Omalu’s opinions were so speculative that they did not meet Daubert’s “fit” requirement. Since admissible expert testimony was required to meet the essential element of medical causation, Plaintiffs stipulated to entry of summary judgment so that they could move forward with an appeal. The Third Circuit affirmed on appeal. Pritchard v. Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 705 F. Supp. 2d 471 (W.D. Pa. 2010), aff'd, 430 Fed. Appx. 102 (3d Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 508 (2011).
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented firm client, The Dow Chemical Company, in a multi-plaintiff lawsuit alleging that manufacturing workers developed Parkinson's Disease as a result of alleged exposure to Dow's trichloroethylene (TCE). To avoid the expiration of the statute of limitations, Plaintiffs alleged that Dow fraudulently withheld information about TCE and did not learn that Dow manufactured TCE at the workers' manufacturing plant until shortly before filing suit against Dow. The district court rejected these arguments, held the Plaintiffs' claims were time-barred, and granted Dow's motion to dismiss. Abney et al. v. Univar USA, Inc. et al., No. 5:10-cv-00303 (E.D. Ky. 2012).
  • Fifty (50) plaintiffs living near citrus groves in Hidalgo County, Texas, asserted claims for trespass, nuisance, negligence, and strict liability against a pesticide crop applicator and numerous product manufacturers and sellers, including Dow AgroSciences LLC, alleging real property damage and numerous personal injuries, including brain damage, seizures, birth defects, and leukemia allegedly caused by pesticides drifting from applications on the groves. On defendants’ motion, the court entered a “Lone Pine” order requiring plaintiffs to set forth the medical and scientific bases for their claims. After plaintiffs failed to comply with the court’s order, the defendants moved to dismiss the case. In response, plaintiffs amended their complaint to dismiss all claims against the manufacturers and suppliers. The court eventually granted the defendants’ motion and dismissed the case in its entirety, with prejudice. Pina, et al. v. Rio Queen Citrus, Inc., Cause No. C-1945-02-B (Tex. Dist. Ct. May 20, 2009).
  • Mint farmers alleged that their use of Goal® herbicide severely damaged their crops and sued for breach of contract, breach of the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose, breach of oral guarantees, negligent verbal instructions on the use of the product, negligent research, violation of various state and federal statutes and regulations, gross negligence, and strict liability. The court granted Dow AgroSciences’ motion for summary judgment, holding that plaintiffs’ breach of contract and warranty claims were barred by the product label’s UCC-compliant disclaimers and that plaintiffs’ own expert evidence proved that the statute of limitations had expired on all other remaining claims. Starr v. Dow AgroSciences LLC, 339 F. Supp. 2d 1097 (D. Or. 2004).
  • Plaintiff worked as a commercial pesticide applicator and alleged that his exposures to Dursban® caused him to become permanently and totally disabled. Dr. Gunnar Heuser diagnosed his alleged severe chronic fatigue, pain, impaired memory, cognitive function, balance and coordination, abnormal brain scan, low sperm count, and total and permanent disability as caused by his alleged exposures. Trial court dismissed the claims against Dow based on the statute of limitations; the California Court of Appeals dismissed plaintiff's appeal and denied plaintiff's motion to vacate that dismissal. Anstrom v. Dow Chem. Co., No. B198978 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007).
  • Plaintiff, an employee of an independent roofing contractor, fell through a skylight when performing roof repairs on a Knauf building and suffered extensive personal injuries. He sued Knauf on a premises liability theory, alleging that Knauf had a duty to cover or guard the skylights. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Knauf, holding that Knauf did not assume any such duty by contract or conduct, and that Knauf had sufficiently warned plaintiff with regard to the skylights as a matter of law. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in all respects. Merrill v. Knauf Fiber Glass, GmbH, 771 N.E.2d 1258 (Ind. App. 2002).
  • Plaintiff’s physician diagnosed his toxic neurotropy, nerve damage, leg weakness, liver problems, tremors, and nausea as caused by his alleged prolonged exposure to Dursban®. The district court granted Dow AgroSciences’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for negligence, breach of implied warranty, fraud and misrepresentation, strict products liability, and his claim for redhibition as to his personal injuries. Barrette v. Dow AgroSciences, L.L.C., 2002 WL 31365598 (E.D. La. Oct. 18, 2002).
  • Plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Romah’s aplastic anemia, respiratory problems, partial paralysis and other injuries were caused by long-term exposure to Dursban® 2E regularly applied at his workplace. Court excluded the medical causation expert testimony of Plaintiffs’ forensic toxicologist and their oncologist/hematologist and granted summary judgment. Romah v. Hygienic Sanitation Co., No. G.D. 87-22370 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pls. Sept. 10, 2001).
  • Plaintiffs alleged that Ms. Weir's hyperactive airways disease, multiple chemical sensitivity, and other injuries were caused by her exposure to Dursban® L.O. applied at her workplace. The trial court excluded the opinions of Plaintiffs' medical causation expert and granted summary judgment, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed both of those rulings on appeal. Weir v. Dow Chem. Co., No. 1687 WDA 2005 (Pa. Super. Ct. Aug. 23, 2006).
  • Plaintiffs, a husband and wife, alleged that they used various insecticides containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos, including Dursban® TC manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, to make residential preconstruction termite applications as part of their pest control business. They contended that Mrs. Sanchez was exposed to these termiticides during her pregnancies with her two sons, and that both sons later developed autism and/or autism spectrum disorders as a result of those exposures. After extensive fact and expert discovery, Dow AgroSciences filed an expert-focused motion for summary judgment based on lack of medical causation. In lieu of responding to that motion, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Dow AgroSciences and pursued their claims against remaining defendants. Sanchez v. Dow AgroSciences, Case No. C-1199-09-F (Tex. Dist. Ct. Aug. 17, 2011).
  • Represented a global chemical company in a suit won on appeal in the Kentucky state courts. The plaintiff alleged that she was exposed to the company’s trichloroethylene (TCE) in a number of ways: in utero, as a child when she would visit her parents at work and from the work clothes her parents brought home. After phased discovery on product identification, the trial court granted summary judgment to our client because the plaintiff did not prove she was exposed to TCE manufactured by the company. The plaintiff appealed and the Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed her appeal.
  • Sixty-three Arkansas and Missouri cotton farmers sued more than a dozen national and regional formulators/distributors of 2,4-D-based herbicides and the 2,4-D active ingredients used in them alleging, inter alia, that due to the unique geological and meterological features of Northeastern Arkansas and Southeastern Missouri, those herbicides as customarily applied to rice fields had moved from the target application sites and had redeposited on plaintiffs’ cotton crops, causing many millions of dollars in crop losses. Plaintiffs sued under strict products liability, for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and under theories of negligence in design, testing, and warning and instructions for use, misbranding under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, breach of the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and for punitive damages.

    A group of the defendant formulators/distributors filed third-party complaints against Dow AgroSciences as the alleged supplier of the 2,4-D manufacturing-grade active ingredients used in their products, and asserted claims for negligence, breach of express and implied warranties, contribution, and costs of defense. The trial court granted Dow AgroSciences’ motions and dismissed the third-party claims against it.

    Burns, et al. v. Universal Crop Protection Alliance, et al./Nufarm Americas Inc. & Albaugh, Inc. v. Dow AgroSciences LLC, No. CV-2009-51 (Ark. Cir. Ct. Aug. 13, 2010).
  • The court granted Client's motion for summary judgment, finding that Dow had not infringed upon Crompton Corp.'s patent.
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