Michael K. Johnson is a founding partner of Johnson Becker, PLLC. Michael exclusively handles plaintiffs’ personal injury cases, with an emphasis on national products liability litigation, and a sharp focus on medical device and pharmaceutical litigation. He currently represents individuals throughout the country in claims involving defective medical devices, harmful pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, nutritional supplements, and other dangerous and defective products. Michael currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Products Liability Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice. Nationally, he is involved in numerous mass tort litigations representing injured individuals. He has participated in the resolution of global settlements in product liability litigations and has sat on leadership committees in a variety of mass tort litigations.
Michael has battled major corporations in the courtroom, appellate courts, and up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He believes that corporations that choose to put profits before safety need to be held accountable. As a result of his dedication to his clients and their cases, Michael was selected as an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer in 2009. In addition, in 2012 Michael was awarded the Stephen J. Sharpe Public Service Award by the American Association for Justice. The Award is presented annually to an attorney and their client whose case tells the story of American civil justice and helps educate state and national policy makers and the public about the importance of consumers’ rights.
As part of his medical device and pharmaceutical practice, Michael has acquired an extensive working knowledge of federal preemption. Additionally, Michael has been involved with legislative lobbying efforts to defeat federal preemption and restore the right to a trial for the injured. As part of these efforts, Michael has made numerous trips to Washington, D.C. with his clients who have been injured by defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals to meet with both Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives. Michael has also been invited to contribute his expertise in meetings with both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of the United States’ Solicitor General to discuss issues involving pharmaceutical preemption. Most recently, Michael spoke at FDA’s Stakeholder Meeting “Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for Approved Drugs and Biological Products” in support of FDA’s proposed rule that would make generic prescription medications safer and would hold generic manufacturer’s accountable for their failure to warn of dangerous adverse side effects associated with their drugs. Michael has been quoted in numerous media outlets regarding medical device and pharmaceutical litigation.
AREAS OF PRACTICE Exclusively representing Plaintiffs in the following types of cases:
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Mass Tort Litigation Products Liability Catastrophic Personal Injury Class Actions
NATIONAL LEADERSHIP POSITIONS & CASE RESUME Appointed by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, Middle District of Pennsylvania, to serve on the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in regards to Sorin Heater Cooler Systems Products Liability Litigation (No. II) 18:2816 Appointed by the Honorable William F. Highberger, Superior Court for the State of California, to serve on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in Risperdal and Invega Product Liability Cases, JCCP No:4775 Appointed by U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia, Southern District of California, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee In re: Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation 13:2452 Appointed by U.S. District Judge Cathy Siebel, Southern District of New York, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, and then as Co-Lead Counsel In re: Mirena IUD Products Liability Litigation 13:2434 Appointed by U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel, Easter District of Missouri, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee In re: NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation 08:1964 Appointed by U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle, District of Minnesota, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and as a member of the Claim Review In re: Sprint Fidelis Litigation 08:1905 Appointed by U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank, District of Minnesota, to serve on both the Claims Review Committee and the Common Benefit Attorney Fee and Cost Committee In re: Guidant Corp. Implantable Defibrillators Products Liability Litigation 05:1708 State Court Co-Trial Counsel and selected to serve as Co-State Court Settlement Representative on the Settlement Committee In re: Minnesota State Court Guidant Corporation Implantable Defibrillators Products Liability Litigation 06:006672 Selected to serve on the Law and Briefing Committee In re: Medtronic Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators Litigation 05:1726 Served as a member of Trial Lawyers Care, the largest pro bono legal services program in history, providing free representation to more than 1,700 victims’ families who sought compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
HONORS AND AWARDS Chosen as the recipient of the Steven J. Sharpe Public Service Award by the American Association for Justice, 2012 Chosen by Minnesota Lawyer as Attorney of the Year, 2009 Chosen by Minnesota Law & Politics, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine and Minnesota Business Monthly as a “Super Lawyer,” 2003-2005, 2007-2019, a total of 15 years. Chosen by the American Association for Justice as a Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2008-2018 Recognized as a Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2009 Recognized as a Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2007 Chosen as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators 2017-2018 Chosen as a Mass Tort Top 25 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association 2016-2018 Listed in “Who’s Who in Personal Injury” in Minnesota Law & Politics, 2002-2009 Chosen by Minnesota Law & Politics as a “Rising Star,” 1999-2000, 2002-2003
RECENT PRESENTATIONS AND/OR PUBLICATIONS Michael frequently serves as an invited Guest Lecturer regarding a range of topics, including products liability and catastrophic personal injury cases. Most recently, Michael has participated or is scheduled to participate in the following presentations:
May 10, 2018; HB Mass Tort Medical School CLE; presented on the science behind the Incretin Mimetic class of drugs. March 29 2018; American Association for Justice Education’s: Plaintiffs only – Hot Topic and Trends in Litigation Seminar; presented on the status of MDL No. 2452: In re Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation. March 6, 2018; American Association for Justice Webinar; presented on the 9th Court of Appeals ruling and the current status of MDL No. 2452: In re Incretin Mimetics Products Liability Litigation. January 24, 2018; HarrisMartin MDL Conference: Onglyza, Opiod, and Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler Litigation; presented on the science behind M. chimaera and how to help your clients (and doctors) test for the M. chimaera infection. September 24, 2015; Syngenta GMO Corn Litigation CLE; presented on Syngenta GMO Corn Litigation, including the importance of a local presence in nationwide litigation and ethical considerations in legal marketing. May 27, 2015; American Association for Justice Education’s: Plaintiffs only – Hot Topics and Trends in Litigation Seminar; presented on Syngenta GMO Corn Litigation, including the liability story, the defendants and the status of state court cases and the MN consolidation. March 27, 2015; FDA Stakeholders’ Meeting: Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for Approved Drugs and Biological Products; presented in support of FDA’s proposed rules that would make generic prescription medications safer and would hold generic manufacturers accountable for their failure to warn of dangerous adverse side effects associated with their drugs. March 25, 2015; American Association for Justice Education’s: Plaintiffs only – Hot Topics and Trends in Litigation Seminar; presented on Benicar, including case criteria and injuries, the science and the status of the litigation. March 25, 2015; Harris Martin’s MDL Conference on Xarelto, Morcellators and Emerging Torts; presented on Incretins: Byetta, Januvia and Victoza – Pancreatic and Thyroid Cancer Cases. December 3, 2013; Minnesota Mass Torts Conference; presented on building a successful mass tort litigation strategy and practice. October 11, 2013; Mass Torts Made Perfect; presented on Byetta and Januvia litigation. July 24, 2013; HarrisMartin MDL Conference: Incretin Mimetics – Januvia/Byetta; presented theories of liability and potential defenses. May 29, 2013; American Association for Justice Education’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Update Seminar; presented on a four person panel, Januvia and Byetta: Defendants, Product Overview, and Overview of Type II Diabetes. April 11-12, 2013; Mass Torts Made Perfect: Update on Current Cases: NuvaRing, Mirena, Propecia, Fosamax Femur, and NFL Concussion Cases; presented on Mirena IUD. March 20, 2013; American Association for Justice Education’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Litigation Update Seminar; presented on a four person panel, Mirena IUD Analysis: Overview and History of Intrauterine Devices (IUDs). February 12, 2013; American Association for Justice Winter Convention: Litigation at Sunrise, presented Mirena IUD cases. February 5, 2013; American Association for Justice Education Teleseminar: Handling Mirena IUD Litigaiton, presented product and manufacturing information. November 30, 2012; Louisiana State Bar Association’s 12th Annual Class Action/Mass Tort Symposium: presented Aggregate Settlements (Connecting the Ethical Dots). February 13, 2012; American Association for Justice Winter Convention: Fighting for Justice in the Courts and Courtroom, presented on a three person panel regarding the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions, opportunities, and setbacks. January 25, 2012; HarrisMartin MDL Conference: Transvaginal Mesh and Actos Litigation; presented on Propeicia, Actos, and general preemption issues. January 23, 2012; Minnesota State Bar Association, Food, Drug, and Device Law Section: Presentation: Successful Strategies to Win or to Protect the Challenge, presented on pharmaceutical and medical device preemption. December 9, 2011; Louisiana State Bar Association’s 11th Annual Class Action/Mass Tort Symposium: presented Navigating Preemption after Mensing. November 30, 2011; HarrisMartin MDL Conference: Transvaginal Mesh and Actos Litigation; Actos Faculty Co-Chair and presented Propecia Update. September 20, 2011; American Association for Justice Education Teleseminar: Propecia, acted as the Faculty Moderator and presented Status of the Litigation. September 8, 2011; American Association for Justice Education Teleseminar: Actos, co-authored presentation paper Actos – Current Status of the Litigation. July 27, 2011; HarrisMartin MDL Conference: Zimmer NexGen Knee and DePuy Hip Implant Litigation, presented Generic Preemption Post Mensing. January 27, 2011; American Association for Justice Education Teleseminar: Generic Preemption, presented Underlying Facts of Pliva v. Mensing.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS Minnesota Association for Justice, Member, 1995-Present Co-Chair of Products Liability Section, 2009-Present Board of Governors, 2007-2017 American Association for Justice Member, 1995-Present Co-Chair of the Mirena Litigation Group, 2012-2019 The National Trial Lawyers Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys Federal Bar Association Public Justice Foundation
BAR ADMISSIONS Minnesota, 1995 U.S. District Court of Minnesota, 1996 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2010 U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2013 U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2018 U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 2009 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2017 U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2019 Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2011
EDUCATION William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota 1995 J.D. Honors: Cum Laude St. Mary’s University, Winona, Minnesota, 1992 B.A. Major: Business Administration