Practice Areas: Class Action & Mass Torts, Consumer Law, Environmental Litigation

Annika K. Martin, based in the New York office of the firm, holds the position of head of the Sexual Abuse Survivors Practice Group and is also a partner. Since 2005, she has been advocating for plaintiffs in various legal cases, including those related to environmental issues, mass torts, consumer protection, and sexual abuse.

In May 2020, Annika was designated as the Interim Class Counsel for plaintiffs involved in the University of Michigan / Dr. Robert E. Anderson sexual abuse litigation. This case is pending before Judge Victoria A. Roberts in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Annika also serves as the court-appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel in a case representing women who were sexually abused by gynecologist George Tyndall, M.D., in a class action against Tyndall and the University of Southern California. The plaintiffs and class members are women who sought medical care from Tyndall at the USC Student Health Clinic during his time there. The lawsuit alleges that Tyndall exploited his position of trust and authority to repeatedly engage in sexual abuse of the plaintiffs and potentially numerous other class members. Despite receiving multiple complaints about Tyndall’s misconduct dating back to at least 2000, USC is accused of actively concealing his actions for years. Annika’s personal connection to USC, as an alumna of its law school, makes this case particularly significant. She played a key role in negotiating a $215 million settlement with USC and Dr. Tyndall on behalf of the victims. The settlement also mandates substantial institutional changes at USC to prevent similar incidents in the future, receiving final approval from the court in February 2020.

Annika is also involved in representing clients in a class action lawsuit against Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, where allegations of sexual and other forms of abuse of children in Devereux’s care are at the forefront. Additionally, she represents two former students in lawsuits against The Hotchkiss School. One of the suits, brought by John Doe, asserts that he was subjected to ritual hazing of a sexual nature and raped by a male teacher during his time at the school in the 1980s. The other suit, filed by Richard Roe, alleges similar sexual abuse by the same teacher during the 1990s.

Furthermore, Annika serves as court-appointed Co-Lead counsel in the In re General Motors Corp. Air Conditioning Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2818, representing owners and lessees of certain GM trucks with allegedly defective air conditioning systems. She also represents Mercedes owners and lessees in a lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz, citing sudden total car battery failures in various models spanning from 2004 to 2022. In another case, Annika represents owners and lessees of Ford F-150 trucks, focusing on litigation related to sudden and potentially life-threatening brake failures.

Annika’s involvement extends to class action lawsuits filed in federal courts in California and Georgia against Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler AG. These lawsuits claim that defects in vehicle HVAC systems lead to the growth of noxious mold that emits extremely unpleasant odors while the vehicles are in use. The aim of the lawsuit is to secure a permanent solution to the problem and seek monetary damages for affected Mercedes-Benz owners and lessees.

Additionally, Annika represents the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, in federal public health emergency litigation stemming from lead, bacteria, and other contaminants in the Benton Harbor water supply.

Among her past achievements, Annika played a crucial role in the class action litigation against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Her efforts as part of a small team led to settlements exceeding $11.6 billion, benefiting individuals and businesses across the Gulf Coast affected by the spill.

Annika also served as court-appointed Pro Se Liaison counsel in In re New England Compounding Pharmacy Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2419. This multidistrict litigation arose from the 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated medication manufactured by New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECC). Annika’s contributions contributed to settlements totaling $227.8 million with NECC and the hospitals and clinics that unlawfully purchased and administered the tainted medication to the victims.

In the realm of legal academia, Annika has published works such as “Stick a Toothbrush Down Your Throat: An Analysis of the Potential Liability of Pro-Eating Disorder Websites” in the Texas Journal of Women & the Law (Volume 14 Issue 2, Spring 2005) and “How to Stop Worrying and Love Predictive Coding” in Trial Magazine (January 2016).

An active member of the legal community, Annika has held the position of Chair of the Class Action Litigation Group within the American Association for Justice. She also contributes to the Leadership Council for the Sedona Conference’s Working Group 1, focusing on Electronic Discovery Retention and Production. Additionally, she co-founded the Complex Litigation E-Discovery Forum, an annual conference dedicated to e-discovery issues for plaintiffs-side complex litigation practitioners. Annika frequently speaks and writes on topics related to class actions, mass torts, e-discovery, and diversity in the legal profession.

In recognition of her exceptional contributions, Annika received a Certificate of Recognition from the American Association for Justice in 2018. This prestigious award acknowledges AAJ members who have made unique and significant contributions to the organization through their membership, education, leadership, and fundraising efforts, aimed at sustaining and strengthening the AAJ.

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