Michael Baum

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman PC
10940 Wilshire Blvd Fl 17
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 207-3233

Michael L. Baum is the senior managing partner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. He has successfully led the firm through thousands of wrongful death and personal injury cases stemming from major pharmaceutical drug catastrophes, harmful consumer products and commercial transportation mass disasters. He began his career more than 30 years ago, primarily handling airline accidents and other commercial transportation disasters as well as some pharmaceutical product liability litigation. While he oversees all aspects of managing the firm, Michael directs all of the firm's mass tort litigation, including defective or harmful pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, herbicides, and consumer products. He also oversees our class actions and whistleblower qui-tam actions.  "Some of our staff were friends long before they started working here and they remain friends after almost three decades of working together. They actually like each other and enjoy making a difference in the lives of others. 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!'"  Under Michael's leadership, Baum Hedlund has developed a reputation as a law firm that can be counted upon to go above and beyond what is needed to get the job done; a firm that has successfully litigated personal injury, wrongful death and consumer fraud cases against major pharmaceutical companies such as Alpha Therapeutic, Armour Pharmaceutical Co., Baxter Health Care Corp, Bayer Corp., Dalkon Corporation, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.  Michael served on the trial team representing Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, a Benicia, California school district groundskeeper in the first Roundup cancer lawsuit against Monsanto. A jury in San Francisco unanimously awarded Mr. Johnson $289M in compensatory and punitive damages, finding that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud. In the wake of this landmark verdict, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized Michael and his team as the 2019 Trial Team of the Year in the Mass Torts category.  The National Law Journal also recognized Michael and his team as 2018 Elite Trial Lawyers and the Pharmaceutical Litigation first place winners for their groundbreaking jury verdict against a brand-name drug manufacturer (GSK) for the wrongful death of a man who took the generic form of Paxil.  In addition, his firm is known for successfully resolving major transportation disaster cases against companies such as Airbus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amtrak, Bell Helicopter Co., Beechcraft, Boeing, Cessna, China Eastern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, EgyptAir, Ford Motor Co., McDonnell Douglas, Piper, Robinson Helicopter Co., Sikorsky, SwissAir, TACA Airlines, TWA, United Airlines, and US Airways, among many others.  "Rigorously investigating and litigating the types of devastating cases we handle on a daily basis requires relentless focus and dedication to our clients' causes. Approaching things from the perspective that every problem has an optimum solution waiting to be apprehended simplifies our team's outlook on every aspect of each case we handle."  Medical officials from foreign governments in countries such as Ireland, Japan, Russia and Taiwan have sought Michael's advice and assistance with their countries' public policies concerning consumer drug safety. They've done so after becoming aware of Michael's impressive understanding of biomedical research, clinical trials, statistics, the pharmaceutical industry and marketing, as well as his firm's successful and effective discovery procedures and extensive work with experts on complicated scientific issues related to Baum Hedlund's pharmaceutical litigation.  

Among his many achievements, accomplished with the help of his team, Michael is most proud of:

Being recognized, along with his firm, as a national leader in the antidepressant Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft suicide litigation; Working to bring about the black box suicidality warning for children and young adults, now on most antidepressant labels; Helping spur funding for the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998, which was made part of the negotiated settlement to help scores of hemophiliacs infected with HIV by contaminated medication; Arranging for the face to face presentation between pharmaceutical company executives and dozens of hemophiliac families that got to say, person by person, holding before and after photos of themselves or departed loved ones, how the hemophilia-AIDS epidemic, and the manner in which the companies caused and covered it up, impacted their lives; Being one of the leaders in the fight against federal preemption, a doctrine pushed by the pharmaceutical industry to wipe out consumers' rights to sue drug companies for injuries caused by their drugs.  Preemption was finally defeated in 2009 with the Supreme Court's ruling in Wyeth v. Levine; Creating the first class action ever filed against an SSRI-antidepressant manufacturer, ending with the successful resolution of more than 3,000 Paxil injury cases; Finding "needles in haystacks" and "smoking guns" in document productions, such as GE engineers' graphs predicting the next DC 10 engine failure which mirrored the date of the United 232 crash 5 years later, an internal study linking SSRIs to cardio-birth defects or documentation of company programs to ghostwrite medical journal articles for academic opinion leaders to give the appearance of objective science when actually serving marketing objectives to increase prescriptions, i.e. disguised advertising; Negotiating the first official public apology by an airline for the 2003 Air Midwest Flt. 5481 Charlotte, North Carolina crash; Eliminating California law that protected tobacco companies from lawsuits.  For many years, the statute of limitations was considered to begin to run from the date the plaintiff knew or should have known that he/she was addicted to tobacco.  This effectively barred plaintiffs, many of whom began smoking in their teens, from suing.  Now, the statute of limitations runs when the plaintiff's physical injuries are (or reasonably could be) discovered; Developing a rigorous, skillful and technical method for locating hard-to-find manufacturer documents in order to successfully litigate against major pharmaceutical companies, positioning his firm as a leader in the fight to increase public health and safety; Creating coalitions of activists, attorneys, and Baum Hedlund staff, who work together to resolve global problems caused by harmful and defective drugs, which no individual could accomplish alone. "We have adopted Margaret Mead's philosophy, ?Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.'"  Michael has served on numerous trial teams and plaintiffs' steering committees in mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical product liability cases as well as major airline crashes.  He has an AV 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, and Aviation Counsel Magazine's List of Recommended High Flyers.  In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, playing foosball, softball, volleyball, and boogie-boarding.  


University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., summa cum laude, 1982) University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (J.D., 1985)  

Court Admissions:

California, 1985 U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1986 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1989 U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1989 U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1990 U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1991 U.S. Supreme Court, 1991 District of Columbia, 1993 U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1993 U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1996 U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1996 U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1997 U.S. District Court, Western District of New York,  2009 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin,  2009 U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2013  

Awards and Honors:

Trial Team of the Year 2019, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Elite Trial Lawyers, The National Law Journal The Best Lawyers in America 2016 - 2018  (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC) AV  Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel Selected to: Southern California Super Lawyers 2005, 2012 - 2018 Avvo.com Superb Score 10 out of 10 Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers? Lead Counsel Rated Aviation Counsel Magazine's List of Recommended High Flyers, believed by the International Air Transport Association's Legal Dept. to be one of the most elite lists of aviation law practitioners ever produced National Air Disaster Foundation Safety Award, 2002  

Litigation Leadership:

Trial Team Member, Dewayne "Lee" Johnson vs Monsanto Company (Roundup cancer lawsuit), San Francisco, California, 2018 Trial Team Member, Wendy B. Dolin vs GlaxoSmithKline LLC (generic Paxil suicide lawsuit), Chicago, Illinois, 2017 Plaintiffs' Executive Committee, MDL-2741, In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, 2016-present Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP 4696) In re Actos Product Liability Cases, Los Angeles, California, 2012 - present Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL-1574, Paxil Products Liability Litigation Trial Team Member, Consolidated Hemophilia-AIDS Cases, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1999 Lead Counsel for 125 Consolidated Complex Biological-Medical Products Liability Cases, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1997-2001 Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, Illinois State Court Proceedings for USAir 427 Aircrash near Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1994 Trial Team Member, 1997, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994 Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 1041, USAir 1016 Aircrash of Charlotte, North Carolina, 1994 Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 891, Northwest Airlines Flight 255 Crash, Romulus, Michigan, 1990 Trial Team Member, 1991-1992, United Airlines Flight 232 Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989 Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, MDL 817, United Airlines Flight 232 Crash, Sioux City, Iowa, 1989  


State Bar of California The District of Columbia Bar Consumer Attorneys of California Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association American Association for Justice: Leader's Forum; Qui Tam Litigation Group; Actos Bladder Cancer Litigation Group; Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP); Talcum Powder/Ovarian Cancer Litigation Group Supporter, Public Citizen's Civil Justice Project  

Presentations / Speeches:

Topic: Suing Monsanto: How a Team of Lawyers Won a Verdict Linking the Herbicide Roundup to Cancer Organizations: UCLA School of Law, Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment and The Resnick Center for Food Law & Policy Event: Lunchtime Event Location: UCLA Law Building, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law Date: October 31, 2018 Topic: Monsanto Roundup Herbicide Litigation, $289M Jury Verdict & Future Cases Organization: Mass Torts Made Perfect Event: MTMP Fall Conference Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Date: October 3, 2018 Topic: Challenging Court Secrecy in Medical Product Litigation Organization: Yale University Event: Conference, Yale Law School's Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency (CRIT) program Location: Yale University's Greenberg Conference Center, New Haven, Connecticut Date: September 17, 2018 Topic: California's Announcement that Roundup Causes Cancer, OEHHA, and the MDL (Multi-District Litigation) Organization: HarrisMartin Event: HarrisMartin's Roundup Litigation Conference Agenda Location: Chicago, Illinois Date: June 29, 2017 Topic: "Disease Mongering and Scientific Misconduct" Organization: Santa Monica College Department: Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences Location: Santa Monica, California Date: December 8, 2014 Topic: Actos Bladder Cancer Litigation Status Update Panel Topic: Mass Torts: Status Update On Drug And Medical Device Litigation Organization: Consumer Attorneys of California Event: CAOC 52nd Annual Convention Location: San Francisco, California Date: November 14-17, 2013 Topic: Litigation Update and Trial Analysis Roundtable: "Actos Trial Analysis" Organization: AAJ Plaintiff Trial Lawyers and presented with Mass Torts Made Perfect Event: AAJ Education's Plaintiff-Only Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Litigation Update Seminar Location: Louisville, Kentucky Date: May 28 - 29, 2013 Topic: Roundtable: Legal Issues Organization: Selling Sickness Event:  Selling Sickness 2013, People Before Profits Location: Capitol Hill , Washington D.C. Date: February 20 - 22, 2013 Topic: "Case Theories, Challenges and Case Selection Considerations for Your Actos Inventory" Organization: HB Litigation Conferences Event: Plaintiff Forum on Pharmaceutical Litigation, Transvaginal Mesh, Actos, and Orthopedic Devices Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Date: October 5, 2012  

Governmental Testimony:

Briefing before Parliament of Canada's Green Party of Canada about the $289M Monsanto Roundup cancer verdict and the Monsanto Papers at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, January 30, 2019 European Parliament's Special Committee Hearing on the EU's authorization procedure for pesticides (PEST), Public Hearing on" Environmental Impacts of Pesticides, including Mitigation Measures at Member State Level" and "Stakeholders Recommendations on the Current EU Regulation on the Approval of PPP" at Brussels, Belgium, September 6, 2018 Keynote address to European Green Party, Greens Complementary Hearing on Pesticides on the consequential effects that pesticides have on human health and the environment at Brussels, Belgium, September 5, 2018 Taiwan's Ministry of Health emergency meeting regarding hemophilia HIV contaminated medication, February 18, 2004  

Published Cases:

Dorsett v. Sandoz, Inc., 699 F.Supp.2d 1142 (C.D.Cal. 2010) (denying defendants' preemption motion and holding that both name-brand and generic drug manufacturers have an affirmative duty to issue warnings) Mason v. SmithKline Beecham  Corp., 596 F.3d 387 (7th Cir. 2010) (unanimously reversing the trial court's preemption ruling  and allowing plaintiffs' claims to proceed to a trial on the merits) Collins v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 2008 WL 744070 (Pa. Ct.Com.Pl. March 11, 2008) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 482 F. 3d 1131 (9th Cir. 2007) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 40 Cal.4th 623, 151 P.3d 1151, 54 Cal.Rptr.3d 735 (2007) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA, 403 F. 3d 631 (9th Cir. 2005) Smith v. Cutter Biological, 770 So. 2d 392 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2000) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1092 (Dist. South Carolina 1997) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1086 (Dist. South Carolina 1997) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1084 (Dist. South Carolina 1997) Ex parte Knight Ridder, Inc., 982 F.Supp. 1080 (Dist. South Carolina 1997) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1071 (Dist. South Carolina 1995) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1060 (Dist. South Carolina 1996) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1056 (Dist. South Carolina 1996) In re Air Crash at Charlotte, N.C. on July 2, 1994, 982 F.Supp. 1052 (Dist. South Carolina 1995)  

Notable Media Appearances:

TV Primetime RTE Dublin - RTE News PrimeTime Channel 2 Action News Los Angeles CNN Headline News  


Wie BAYER AIDS nach Asien importierte" (Deadly Sale: How Bayer imported AIDS into Asia) Who Cares in Sweden? A Documentary Trilogy [Antidepressants' effect on society]  


Agence France-Presse AIDS Weekly & Law American Lawyer Magazine Andrews Litigation Reporters Antitrust Law Daily Associated Press AsiaOne Bloomberg News Brisbane Times Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Class Action Reporter Forbes Jakarta Globe Los Angeles Times Law 360 Law.com Life Science Weekly via NewsRx.com & NewsRx.net Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices Mealey's Litigation Report Antidepressant Drugs Mealey's Litigation Report: Tobacco MSN Malaysia News, MSN Philippines News, MSN Singapore National Law Journal New York Times Pharmalot PharmAsia News Reuters Legal San Diego Union Tribune San Jose Mercury News South China Morning Post Star Tribune Taipei Times Taiwan News The Legal Intelligencer The Pink Sheet The Sydney Morning Herald Thomson Reuters News & Insight Westlaw Journals Theheart.org