Tarek Ismail
Partner / Chicago

P: 312-881-5970
F: 312-380-7011

Download vcard for Tarek Ismail tismail@goldmanismail.com

Truly outstanding Tarek Ismail is widely endorsed for his expertise in handling headline cases in the drug and device space.” “He is described as a very smart, talented trial lawyer who will be busy in the field for a long time to come.” - Chambers USA (ranked 2007-2019) Tarek Ismail is “extremely strong choice of counsel.” - The Legal 500 (recognized 2010-2018) “Leading trial lawyer Tarek Ismail enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market thanks to his extensive experience handling high-profile cases in the pharmaceutical and medical devices arena.” - Who’s Who Legal (recognized 2010-2018) A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Society of Barristers, Tarek is widely regarded as a leader among first-chair trial lawyers who can handle bet-the-company cases. As a "go-to trial lawyer," he “draws high praise for his incredibly impressive abilities as a courtroom advocate” in his “many high profile mandates,” reports Chambers USA, where Tarek most recently received the highest possible ranking in Nationwide Product Liability & Mass Torts. An AmLaw 100 product liability practice leader told Law360, “I am impressed with Tarek Ismail,” he “is driven, creative, hardworking and great on his feet”- he “delivers great results for his client.” As reported in The American Lawyer, clients praise Tarek for his “stiletto-sharp cross examinations of plaintiffs’ experts and other witnesses,” “his encyclopedic knowledge of the facts,” and his ability to sort through complex facts and data to identify the key arguments and winning strategies for trial. According to The Legal 500, he comes recommended “for his track record in winning highly challenging cases” with clients calling him "extraordinary." Tarek also has developed a reputation for resolving large-scale litigation through negotiation on extremely favorable terms for our clients. A managing partner at a major plaintiff-side mass torts firm told The National Law Journal that Tarek is “able to come up with a plan, stick to a plan and get the case resolved with results that both sides can live with.” “Clients agree,” says Chambers USA, “he is both a talented trial lawyer and a great strategist.”
  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation

    Trial counsel for AbbVie in multidistrict litigation in Chicago claiming personal injuries allegedly caused by AbbVie’s testosterone replacement product, AndroGel. In June 2018, Tarek served as lead trial counsel for AbbVie in Rowley v. AbbVie, a bellwether trial where the plaintiff claimed AndroGel caused his deep vein thrombosis. The jury returned a complete defense verdict for AbbVie.

    Russell v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    Lead trial counsel for Janssen in a case tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas claiming personal injuries allegedly caused by Xarelto, an anticoagulant developed by Janssen and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. The jury returned a complete defense verdict for Janssen and Bayer in April 2018.

    Hurricane Katrina Litigation

    Co-lead trial counsel for large cement company defending against claims by a governmental entity for over $400 million in alleged property damage. Plaintiff brought these claims under maritime law, alleging that a barge that broke free during Hurricane Katrina caused the failure of a floodwall alongside a New Orleans neighborhood. The case settled on terms favorable to our client days before trial.

    In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation

    Lead trial counsel for Merck in the class action and consolidated opt-out antitrust lawsuits brought by wholesalers and major pharmacy retail chains that directly purchased K-Dur® 20, an extended-release potassium chloride supplement. Plaintiffs sought over $800 million alleging a June 1997 patent settlement with a generic maker of K-Dur® 20 was anticompetitive. The matter settled shortly before trial.

    Fosamax Litigation

    Trial counsel for Merck & Co., Inc. in federal and state litigation concerning Fosamax®, a prescription drug used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.

    • Galper v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Lead trial counsel for Merck in initial bellwether trial in California state coordinated proceedings involving 700 hundred lawsuits in which plaintiffs alleged Fosamax® caused atypical femur fractures. After a six-week trial the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Merck. Following the verdict, hundreds of California plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their cases.
    • Su v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Trial counsel for Merck in New Jersey state court in the first ever Fosamax® trial based on an alleged atypical femur fracture. A mistrial was declared midway through the trial due to the plaintiff’s unrelated medical problems.
    Lyles et al. v. McNeil-PPC, Inc. et al.

    Lead trial counsel for McNeil and Johnson & Johnson in the death of a teenager allegedly caused by Tylenol. The matter settled for a nominal sum on the first day of trial.

    In re Ethicon Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

    Trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in cases concerning alleged personal injuries from pelvic mesh products used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence.

    • Herrera v. Ethicon Inc., et al. Lead trial counsel for Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson in case tried in the Northern District of Illinois claiming personal injuries allegedly caused by pelvic mesh used to treat stress urinary incontinence. In August 2017, the jury rejected the vast majority of plaintiff’s claims, awarding only past medical expenses.
    • Hammons v. Ethicon, Inc. Lead trial counsel in 2 ½ week jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in which the plaintiff claimed multiple corrective surgeries and permanent injuries from use of discontinued vaginal mesh implant.
    Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 572 Health and Welfare Fund et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc.

    Trial counsel for Merck in a putative class action brought by health benefit payors under civil RICO and federal antitrust statutes relating to alleged co-pay subsidy programs. The action was voluntarily dismissed after Merck filed a dispositive motion.

    In re Hormone Therapy Litigation

    Trial counsel for Wyeth in product liability litigation involving Premarin® and Prempro® hormone replacement therapy products alleged to cause breast cancer.

    Vioxx Litigation

    Trial counsel for Merck & Co., Inc. in individual and government actions claiming Merck’s withdrawn anti-inflammatory medication Vioxx® caused heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

    • State of Louisiana v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Lead trial counsel in first Attorney General trial relating to Vioxx®. Obtained a complete defense verdict after a two-week bench trial in federal multi-district litigation court in Louisiana
    • Vioxx Governmental Action Cases National counsel and lead trial counsel in several actions brought by State Attorneys General against Merck relating to Vioxx®. Negotiated settlements of several actions.
    • Grossberg v. Merck & Co., Inc. Lead trial counsel in the first Vioxx® trial in California, which after 6 weeks resulted in a complete jury defense verdict for Merck.
    • Mason v. Merck & Co., Inc. Co-tried a personal injury claim in federal court relating to Vioxx®. Unanimous defense verdict for Merck after less than two hours of jury deliberations.
    • Plunkett v. Merck & Co., Inc. Co-tried the first federal Vioxx® personal injury trial in federal court in Houston. After a two-week trial, mistrial declared after jurors reportedly deadlocked 8-1 in favor of the defense. A two-week jury retrial in New Orleans federal court resulted in unanimous defense verdict for Merck on all issues, which later was overturned by the district court.
    CEATS, Inc. v. Continental Airlines, Inc. et al.

    Won summary judgment of non-infringement on behalf of defendant Tickets.com in a patent infringement suit in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff sued over 30 defendants relating to online ticketing patents. Tickets.com was the only defendant to win summary judgment of non-infringement.

    Forrest Laboratories v. Abbott Laboratories

    Co-tried for Abbott a patent case relating to neonatal surfactant. After an eight-week trial in Buffalo, New York the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Abbott on all issues, which later was overturned by the district court.

    Engel v. Refco, Inc.

    Co-tried National Futures Association arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant.

    Rosen v. Refco, Inc.

    Co-tried AAA arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant.

    Gould v. FX Concepts, Inc.

    Co-tried bench trial in Maryland state court involving claim brought by speculative foreign exchange investors against investment advisory firm.

  • In re Magnevist Products Liability Litigation

    National trial counsel for Bayer in federal multi-district litigation and individual federal and state cases regarding Bayer’s Magnevist® contrast dye used in MRI scans.

    • Gerber v. Bayer Corp. Lead trial counsel in California state court trial in which plaintiff claimed Magnevist® caused rare nephrogenic systemic fibrosis disease. Case settled two weeks before trial.
    In re Medtronic, Inc. Sprint Fidelis Leads Products Liability Litigation

    National trial counsel for Medtronic in mass tort litigation regarding Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis® heart defibrillator leads subject to product recall.

    In re Baycol Products Liability Litigation

    National trial counsel for Bayer in mass tort litigation regarding Bayer’s Baycol® cholesterol-lowering medication.

    Pioneer Hi-Bred International v. DeKalb Genetics

    Represented Pioneer, a subsidiary of DuPont, as plaintiff in a trade secret case involving hybrid corn genetics.

    Norcross, Inc. v. Siebe, Inc.

    Represented Invensys in a common law fraud case involving alleged accounting errors.

    Sompo Japan Ins. Inc. v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP

    Represented Deloitte & Touche against claims of accounting errors in a reinsurance pool.

    In re Cendant Corporation Securities Litigation

    Represented Ernst & Young in crossclaim suits against Cendant Corporation relating to alleged fraud on behalf of Cendant Corporation.

    Menasha Corp. v. News America Marketing In-Store, Inc.

    Represented subsidiaries of News Corp. against antitrust claims relating to in-store coupon distribution.

    SynchroMed Litigation

    National counsel for Medtronic, Inc. in products liability cases nationwide involving the SynchroMed® II Programmable Drug Infusion System.

    • Partner, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP
    • Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
    • Associate, Mayer, Brown & Platt
    • University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude)
    • Carleton College (B.A., Economics)
    • The Honorable James B. Moran, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only legal association made up of attorneys considered by judges and peers to be among the best trial lawyers
    • Fellow, International Society of Barristers, an invitation-only society made up of the era’s best advocates committed to preserving the ideals of jury trials, the adversarial system, and an independent judiciary
    • Ranked by Chambers USA as a Nationwide Leading Individual in Product Liability & Mass Torts and as a Leading Individual in Illinois General Commercial Litigation (2009-2019)
    • Ranked by Chambers USA as a Nationwide Leading Individual in Litigation Trial Lawyers (2017-2019)
    • Ranked by The Legal 500 as a Leading Lawyer in Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (2014-2018)
    • Selected by Lawdragon alongside government leaders, distinguished law professors, cutting-edge industry counsel, and prominent attorneys from both sides of the bar, as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2017)
    • Ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a Litigation Star, Local Litigation Star, and Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2018-2019)
    • Ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star in Illinois (2017)
    • Profiled in The National Law Journal’s Special Report, Winning Litigators: High Stakes, Significant Victories (2016)
    • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defence Lawyers (2010-2018)
    • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Life Sciences Defense Lawyers (2016-2018)
    • Speaker, DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar, When in Rome (or Mississippi or New York or Cook County): Local Approaches to Closing Arguments (Chicago, May 2016)
    • Quoted in The American Lawyer, Tips from Star Litigators (2016)
    • Named Product Liability “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Sciences (2015-2016)
    • Panelist, Mass Tort Judicial Forum, Foreign Affairs: The Globalization of Mass Torts (Philadelphia, June 2011)
    • Speaker, DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar, Excluding the Plaintiff’s Everything, Catch-All, Kitchen Sink Regulatory Expert (Chicago, May 2011)
    • Named by The American Lawyer as one of the National “Fab 50” Top Young Litigators (2007)
    • State of Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)