As the senior shareholder and president of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, Attorney Michael L. Baum has led the firm through thousands of major wrongful death and personal injury cases against many of the largest companies in the world. When people suffer harm due to defective pharmaceutical drugs, dangerous consumer products, or commercial transportation disasters, they often turn to Attorney Baum and his acclaimed legal team to pursue justice.
Attorney Baum began his practice more than 35 years ago, focusing primarily on airline accidents and pharmaceutical product liability claims. Since the firm’s early days, the scale of Michael’s practice has only increased. Michael manages the firm and oversees the mass tort department and consumer class action lawsuits. Although his work is complex and requires him to deal with devastating subject matter on a day-to-day basis, he is motivated by the opportunity to vindicate people’s rights when they are victimized by corporate wrongdoing.
“Some of our staff were friends long before they started working here and they remain friends after almost three decades of working together,” Attorney Baum said. “One of my favorite quotes, which I like to recite to my staff, sums up the work environment we’ve created at the firm: ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game!’ ”
This philosophy has served Attorney Baum and his colleagues well: With Attorney Baum at the helm, the firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements across all areas of practice
In 1999, Attorney Baum served on the trial team in the only hemophiliac AIDS case to be tried before a jury. Michael and his team represented Leo and Shirley Dixon, whose son contracted the HIV virus and was diagnosed with AIDS after receiving a hemophilia medication contaminated with the virus, the suit alleged.
In court, the trial team proved that the medication was, in fact, contaminated. Two of the medication’s manufacturers, Cutter Biological and Alpha Therapeutics, negligently used plasma from high-risk donors with the HIV virus. The jury awarded $35.3 million in damages. While the judge later overturned the verdict due to a technical error, the case provided justice and solace for the bereaved Dixon family and for the nation’s other hemophiliacs similarly affected by the same medication.
Attorney Baum’s decades of experience taking on Big Pharma include cases against Alpha Therapeutic, Armour Pharmaceutical Co., Baxter Health Care Corp., Bayer Corp., Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer, and many others. In 2018, the National Law Journal recognized Attorney Baum and his team as 2018 Elite Trial Lawyers and named them first-place winners in the pharmaceutical litigation category.
Attorney Baum served on the trial teams for the first three Monsanto (now Bayer) Roundup cancer cases, which alleged the herbicide Roundup caused plaintiffs to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Monsanto trials include:
• Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto Co.
• Johnson v. Monsanto Co.
• Hardeman v. Monsanto Co.
The Monsanto trials culminated in jury verdicts worth nearly $2.5 billion in total. The National Trial Lawyers recognized the trial team for Pilliod with the Mass Tort Trial Team of the Year for 2019. The jury verdict in Pilliod was the largest in the state of California for 2019, the second-largest in the country for 2019, and the ninth-largest in U.S. history for a personal injury case.
Government and regulatory entities throughout the world have invited Attorney Baum to speak on serious health hazards associated with pharmaceutical drugs and consumer products. A European Parliament special committee invited Michael to discuss the Monsanto Papers, discovery documents obtained during the Roundup litigation. Attorney Baum also met with members of the Green Party in the Parliament of Canada to discuss the Monsanto litigation. In recognition of his advocacy, Politico EU named Attorney Baum one of five “changemakers” on pesticides policy.
Based on his exemplary understanding of biomedical research, clinical trials, statistics, and the pharmaceutical industry, international government medical officials from Ireland, Taiwan, and Japan have consulted Attorney Baum when formulating drug safety policies.
Michael and his firm have earned numerous awards and recognition, including Law360’s California Powerhouse and Product Liability Practice Group of the Year, the National Law Journal’s Verdicts Hall of Fame, U.S. News - Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms and Elite Trial Lawyers Trial Team of the Year two years in a row.
He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Southern California Super Lawyers®, the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Michael also maintains the highest AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell® and the highest Avvo.com Superb Score.