Kimberly A. Dougherty knew from an early age that she wanted to help people. She volunteered for Big Brother Big Sister in college and quickly became passionate about issues facing women and children. Kim then earned a masterâ€™s degree in social work and worked in child protective services, but recognized that many people needed more. They needed a legal advocate. Thatâ€™s when she decided to become an attorney.
Her law practice quickly turned to the people who needed the help most: ones severely injured by corporations who put profits before people. Today, she is a leading attorney in complex pharmaceutical, medical device mass tort, personal injury and medical malpractice litigation.
Kim is a partner and the Managing Attorney of Andrus Wagstaffâ€™s Boston office. She is also a volunteer advocate as Immediate President of the Massachusetts Womenâ€™s Bar Association, and has regularly testified at the State House on laws to protect the rights of women and children, and lobbying legislators on those laws, as well as the importance of increasing gender diversity in the judiciary and elected office.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE CASES Kim Dougherty, a lawyer with a Masters in Social Work, is the Managing Partner of the Boston Office of Andrus Wagstaff, PC. Kim has many years of experience as a womenâ€™s rights advocate and is committed to representing victims of sexual violence. She has litigated and resolved cases on behalf of women who have been harmed. Kim lectures regularly across the country on womenâ€™s rights and gender equality. As a past President of the Womenâ€™s Bar Association of Massachusetts, Kim testified on many bills affecting womenâ€™s rights, including bills to end discrimination and promote pay equity, bills to protect pregnant workers and women at risk of genital mutilation, among others. She has also volunteered to represent women pro bono in domestic violence cases. Kim and all of her colleagues at Andrus Wagstaff, PC strongly believe that the power now rests in you. They are actively representing people hurt by sexual violence and intend to right the wrongs committed for decades.
Kimâ€™s work in the area of sexual assault and abuse began when she was at Columbia University School of Social Work in 1999, working on an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and social workers in child protective cases. She continued her work in this area as a lawyer, representing victims of domestic violence pro bono in restraining order and divorce matters and also representing students and athletes who have been victims of abuse and assault. Most recently, Kim has been representing gymnasts in their claims against perpetrators of sexual assault and abuse and others who had the ability and obligation to intervene, but instead, turned a blind eye.
LEADERSHIP IN DEFECTIVE MEDICAL DEVICE CASES Kim has also been a leader in the transvaginal mesh litigation. From 2005 to 2011, hundreds of thousands of women were implanted with transvaginal mesh (TVM), seeking to end their problems brought on by weakened pelvic muscles that could no longer support internal organs, and for leaky bladders. The devices were failing at an alarming rate and adverse reports to the FDA started surfacing almost immediately. Although approved by the FDA to repair abdominal hernias, the manufacturers were able to use an FDA process that allowed them to skip any testing on women for use of the products in a very different area of the body.
As a result of her leadership and experience in the TVM litigation, Kim has negotiated resolution of over 1000 cases on behalf of over 30 law firms, resulting in multiple millions of dollars in settlement funds for women injured by the device.
Kim also was appointed to the Executive Committee for the Essure JCCP litigation coordinated in California, pursuing litigation on behalf of thousands of women injured by the permanent birth control device. Since the filing of initial lawsuits, the FDA has now 1) added a black box warning to the device, 2) requires physicians to utilize a lengthy patient checklist prior to implantation of the device, describing the risks associated with it, and 3) ordered further clinical studies to assess efficacy and safety issues.
FINDING EVIDENCE BEFORE IT COULD BE COVERED UP Kimâ€™s intuition was very strong in the New England Compounding Center (NECC) tainted steroids case. In 2012, NECC distributed tainted steroids that had been produced in their facility. Hundreds of people all over the country became seriously ill, and many died. The quicker experts got inside the building to start looking for potential contamination sources, the quicker they would know what happened and who was responsible. After countless hours, overnights and weekends, preparing with experts for one of the most important arguments for the Court would hear, she was ready to fight for the victims. Before a holiday weekend, Kim urged a federal judge to allow plaintiffsâ€™ experts access to the facility. The company fought hard against Kimâ€™s efforts, but ultimately the Court ruled in her favor and crucial evidence was uncovered and the company was in trouble.
In 2013, Kim was appointed to the seven-person plaintiffsâ€™ steering committee for the NECC multidistrict litigation (MDL) related to the fungal meningitis outbreak from contaminated steroids. Her work leading to the inspection of NECCâ€™s facility, securing world-renowned experts and obtaining crucial evidence was integral to securing a $200 million settlement with NECC, its affiliates and other responsible parties in 2015. For these efforts, she was honored as The Massachusettsâ€™ Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2015.
DANGEROUS DRUGS, CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS AND MASS TORTS In December 2015, Kim was appointed as Co-Liaison Counsel in litigation involving GlaxoSmithKlineâ€™s off-label marketing of anti-nausea drug Zofran, to pregnant women causing serious birth defects.
Another mass tort case that Kim is also currently involved in, and is a natural progression from her transvaginal mesh work, is the defective hernia mesh litigation against Atrium C-Qur, Ethicon Physiomesh and others. Many of the hernia mesh devices have been recalled because they degrade and cause serious side effects, including mesh erosion, infections, adhesions, bowel or intestinal blockage and twisting, organ perforation, allergic reactions, nerve damage, and severe pain, all which ultimately may lead to corrective surgery.
Kim is also managing the firms metal on metal mass tort hip cases. Many of these devices have also been recalled, as they cause toxic, high levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream, pseudotumors, hip stem fractures, and often require corrective surgery. These cases involve defendant manufacturers DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker, Smith & Nephew, Biomet, Zimmer, Wright Medical and others.
Prior to joining Andrus Wagstaff, Kim practiced mass tort product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, antitrust and consumer protection class-action lawsuits. She has litigated cases involving:
Diet pills Phenylpropanolamine Ephedra TEQUINÂ® NeurontinÂ® WELLBUTRINÂ® YAZÂ®/YASMINÂ®/OCELLATM Hormone replacement therapy REGLANÂ® SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS In 2014, Kim co-authored The Power of Gender Equity, published in Trial Magazine. She also regularly serves as a panelist on multiple programs in the Boston area and nationally on topics including gender equity in the legal profession, the importance of local leadership and community involvement, Essure litigation, transvaginal mesh litigation, VW Fraud litigation, Daubert challenges, ethical considerations in aggregate settlements, mass tort litigation and other subjects.
Kim and her husband, Josh, have two children.They live, work and play in Massachusetts.