William V. Essig

Partner Chicago
william.essig dbr.com
Phone: (312) 569-1497
Fax: (312) 569-3497

About

William V. Essig is a trial lawyer focused on defending pharmaceutical and medical device companies in mass tort and products liability litigations in federal and state courts across the country.

Bill’s recent trial experience includes winning a defense verdict as co-trial counsel in a pharmaceutical failure-to-warn case in the mass tort program in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. He has been a member of successful trial teams in federal MDL and state court litigations in defense of pharmaceutical companies.

Bill's experience encompasses complex scientific and medical expert witness preparation and development in pharmaceutical products liability litigation.

Bill has served on national coordinating counsel teams in various roles, including trial, expert witness development, brief writing, witness preparation and coordinating electronic document review and production. Bill also represents clients in commercial litigation and e-discovery matters.

Bill has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law since 1998 for their Complex Litigation seminar.

Bill clerked for the Honorable John F. Grady of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 1996-1997.

Prior to law school, Bill was a financial reporter and editor for the AP-Dow Jones International News Service in New York City.

Experience

Bill represents major pharmaceutical and medical device companies in strict liability, negligence and wrongful death cases involving prescription and over-the-counter medications and medical devices in federal and state courts. His representative matters include:

  • Trial team member defending prescription antipsychotic medication in various products liability actions; co-trial counsel in defense verdict in a pharmaceutical failure-to-warn case in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia; also involved in expert and company witness depositions on scientific and medical issues.
  • Member of trial team and national counsel team defending a prescription fluoroquinolone medication in more than 1,500 cases in a MDL litigation and more than 2,000 cases in state courts; participated in four trials to verdict to date (three defense verdicts); also involved in depositions of expert witnesses; company witnesses; prescribing and treating physicians and plaintiffs.
  • Member of national counsel team defending gadolinium-based contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging in products liability MDL and state cases; assisted in briefing and other issues.
  • Member of national counsel team in latex glove allergy litigation in MDL and more than 30 state courts that obtained defense verdicts in the client’s only two cases tried to verdict; involved in brief writing, witness preparation and taking depositions of plaintiffs, prescribing and treating physicians.
  • Defending various individual products liability and wrongful death cases involving prescription and over-the-counter medications, surgical staplers and clip appliers, knee replacements, surgical mesh, contact lenses, vaccines, tampons and other products.

Bill is a seasoned litigator who served on national coordinating counsel teams in various roles, including trial, brief writing, witness preparation and coordinating electronic document review and production. His representative matters include:

  • Second-chair trial counsel defending a former enteral nutrition products salesman for Fortune Global 200 corporation in a criminal trial involving federal Medicare anti-kickback statute in the Southern District of Illinois, and wrote successful Rule 29 motion for judgment of acquittal, which the Court granted at the conclusion of the government's case-in-chief.
  • Appointed pro bono counsel in federal court for pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, who alleged unconstitutional denial of antipsychotic medications by correctional officers led to his suicide attempt.
  • Member of team representing Big Ten university in highly-publicized wrongful death case brought by Johnnie Cochran on behalf of the family of a football player who died during conditioning drills.
  • Represented major pharmaceutical companies in consumer fraud class action cases involving allegations related to product efficacy and advertising claims.
  • Represented product manufacturers in benzene and other toxic tort litigation.
  • Represented various current and former pharmaceutical marketing professionals in criminal trials and grand jury investigations, as well as representing corporate financial officers in SEC investigations and civil and administrative enforcement proceedings.

Won defense verdict in 2015 as co-trial counsel in a pharmaceutical failure-to-warn case in the mass tort program in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1996, cum laude
  • Yale University, B.A., 1992

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois

Organizations

  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute