Abbie leads the Harris Beach U.S. News and World Report nationally ranked Tier 1 Mass Torts and Industry-Wide Litigation Practice Group and the Product Liability and General Liability Practice Group. She was named to the BTI Consulting Client Service All-Stars, a prestigious honor based on in-depth interviews with more than 350 legal decision-makers at organizations with more than $700 million in revenue.
Abbie concentrates in the areas of toxic and mass tort litigation, complex products liability litigation, complex commercial disputes and catastrophic injury cases where immediate responses are required. She has extensive experience working with long-term care facilities on liability defense and regularly counsels these clients on COVID-19 cases.
Abbie also represents clients in complex breach of contract, interference, letter of credit, insurance/reinsurance and subrogation/reimbursement actions. She also litigates high-profile and high-exposure personal injury and property damage construction site accidents. Over the past two decades, Abbie has successfully mediated hundreds of serious injury and/or wrongful death cases.
Abbie is national coordinating counsel to Fortune 100 manufacturers and distributors in litigation involving benzene and other mixed-chemical and chemical exposures, asbestos, silica, talc, pesticides, DES and other pharmaceuticals, as well as for inspection, construction, elevator and maintenance service and audit companies. She also represents clients in chemical manufacturing, consumer products, energy production and transmission industries. Abbie counsels numerous major pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers and distributors as a member of national defense counsel committees and national expert steering committees.
Abbie defends claims involving chemical and toxic exposures including indoor air pollution, sick building syndrome, Legionella, personal insect repellents, liquid drain cleaner and other commercial consumer goods. She also defends claims of personal injury, property damage, remediation costs and stigmatization, due to spills and leaks of oil and other contaminants. Abbie handles all aspects of environmental litigation before federal, state, and local courts, including CERCLA cost recovery actions. Abbie is at the forefront of emerging COVID-19 litigation.
Abbie litigates high-profile class action, New York labor law, trucking litigation and property damage construction site accident matters in state and federal courts. She has extensive experience representing premises owners in matters involving allegations that construction workers have been injured due to violations of sections 200, 240 and 241 of the Labor Law of New York. Additionally, she represents owners, management companies and contractors against claims of negligence, contribution and indemnity in multi-million dollar property damage matters that also allege lost revenue, repair and remediation. Abbie has litigated numerous matters in which workers and the general public claimed injury and/or property damage from cracked ceilings, walls and other structural defects, defective building materials, and construction debris and exposure. She defends elevator companies in catastrophic construction site accidents and personal injury matters involving electrocution. She also represents clients in fire and explosion matters.
In the course of her career as a litigator, Abbie has developed extensive experience managing pre-litigation risk assessment, negotiating settlements on appeal, and post-verdict settlements.
Abbie is the Settlement Coordinator for the In Re: World Trade Center (WTC) Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, managing the distribution of settlement funds to over 1,200 plaintiffs involving 400 defendants. She was responsible for negotiating and finalizing 6,000 settlement documents, resolving Medicare and Medicaid issues, addressing the Qualified Settlement Trusts and indemnification. She developed methodology for assessment and approval of individual settlements now employed by Judge Hellerstein in granting motions to approve settlements. Further, she was recognized in Law 360 and other legal journals for her role in the coordination and approval of settlements in the In Re: World Trade Center (WTC) Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation. Abbie also represented environmental consultants and construction companies in actions filed by thousands of rescue and recovery workers who allegedly developed respiratory illnesses as a result of exposure to nanoparticles, heavy metals, asbestos, dusts, fuel oil and other toxins at and around Ground Zero. She served as a defense counsel representative on several select committees in the WTC litigation.
Abbie litigates pharmaceutical cases involving pregnancy preservation drugs, diet drugs, and nutritional supplements. She defends complex, high-value bodily injury cases involving breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, mesothelioma, respiratory illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivities, and infertility and reproductive health problems. Abbie represents physician group practices, individual physicians, physical therapists, and other affiliated health care professionals in matters related to their operations.
Abbie developed innovative methodologies and processes for communication to clients and other stakeholders which convey information in a consistent and reliable manner, facilitating and solidifying relationships between clients, insureds and other stakeholders. This approach has benefited clients in formulating and carrying out their litigation philosophy, whether it is based upon early dispositive motions, nominal settlement, mediation, trial-readiness or trial. Of particular note, Abbie authored the New York State Claims Handling Guide for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS + SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- "Unanimous Approval Received for Amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702: Testimony of Expert Witnesses," Legal Alert, June 2022.
- "NFTs as Commodities: Proposed Senate Bill Signals Regulatory Guidelines," Legal Alert, June 2022
- “California Supreme Court Decision Gives Relief to Defendants Seeking to Prevent their Prior Discovery Depositions from Being used at Trial,” Legal Alert, March 2022
- “Amendments to Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act, CPLR 3101(f), Mitigate Burden to Civil Defendants,” Legal Alert, March 2022
- “Appellate Decision Permits COVID-19 ‘Take-Home’ Suit to Proceed,” Legal Alert, January 2022
- “Partner Abbie Fuchs Named to 2021 Top 100 Women Leaders of New York List From Women We Admire,” January 2022
- “Update to Legal Alert: Summary Judgment Reversed In Toxic Tort Matter Involving Bladder Cancer and Exposure to O-Toluidine,” Legal Alert, December 2021
- “Deleting Cell Phone Images May Result In an Adverse Inference Against Plaintiffs Seeking Damages,” Legal Alert, December 2020
- “Recent Amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) Introduces Meet-and-Confer Obligation in Advance of Corporate Depositions,” Legal Alert, December 2020
- “Appellate Division Chips Away At Specific Causation Requirements in Asbestos Cases,” Legal Alert, April 2020
- “Summary Judgment Denied In Toxic Tort Matter Involving Bladder Cancer and Exposure to O-Toluidine,” Legal Alert, April 2020
- “Government Issues Immunity to Liability for COVID-19 Countermeasures,” Legal Alert, March 2020
- “Recalcitrant Worker" Defense to NY Labor Law § 240(1)a After Biaca-Neto,” Legal Alert, March 2020
- “Emotional Distress Claims in Toxic Exposure Case Survive Motion to Dismiss,” Legal Alert, March 2020
- Mitigating Risks CLE: NY Verdicts, Settlement Values and Litigation Funding, January 2020
- “Abbie Fuchs and Shannon Cogbill Discuss the Importance of the Twombly-Iqbal Standard,” Legal Alert, December, 2019 (Appeared in ABA Toxic Tort Environmental Law newsletter, fall 2019)
- Decision Provides Insight on New York State Law Regarding Scope of Damages for Wrongful Death of Children, Legal Alert, December 2019
- “Recent CERCLA Decisions in New York State Highlight Strict Pleading Standard,” Committee News: Toxic Torts and Environmental Law, December 2019
- New York Jury Verdicts and Settlement Values, October 2019
- “Record-Breaking Personal Injury Award Highlights Tools for Defendants Facing Excessive Verdicts,” Legal Alert, June, 2019
- “New York Court Declines to Adopt Market Share Liability in Foil Pan Case,” Legal Alert, March 2018
- “Pre-Litigation Discovery and Post Verdict Settlements” International Outside Counsel Meeting, March 2018
- “Alternate Dispute Resolution and Settlement Strategies” National Counsel Meeting, January 2018
- “Case Management and Reporting Best Practices” National Counsel Meeting, December 2017
- “Defending Legionella,” October 2017
- “Mass Torts and Large Case Management” September 2017
- “National and Local Counsel Roles; Uniformity in Large Case Management,” May 2017
- “Mass Torts and Large Case Management” International Outside Counsel Meeting, January 2017
- “Cybersecurity Litigation: What the Hack Do We Do” CLE, September 2016
- “Toxic Substances Control Act Overhauled” Legal Alert, July 2016
- “The Future of Environmental Law” Women Leaders in Environmental Law, January 2015
- “The Role of Pre-Litigation Counsel” and “Punitive Damages” International Outside Counsel Meeting, November 2014
- “Obesity: The Growing Body of Law” CLE, November, 2014
- “We Are What We Eat/How Individuals Treat Obesity” CLE, September 2014
- “Errors and Omissions” and “Economic Damages and Settlement Strategies,” June 2014
- “Second Circuit Holds that New York Insurance Law is Preempted by the Liability Risk Retention Act,” Legal Alert, May 2014
- Author of the New York State Claims Handling Guide for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, 2013
- Lectures and publishes articles on topics of case management, Daubert and Frye, strategy in document-intensive mass tort litigation, causation and class action
- Lectures on all aspects of healthcare insurance law to physician group practices, physicians and physical therapists, as well as provides HIPAA training. She lectures on the topics of “Workshop on Conflict Resolution: Patients, Providers, and the Managed Care Bureaucracy,” “Experimental Treatments and Managed Care”
- Previously published articles include “Breathing New Life into an Old, Alternative Causation Defense – Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking” and “The Daubert Dilemma Mushrooms Inconsistencies Between the States on Toxic Mold Claims”