Theodore J. Leopold is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Leopold, who joined the Firm in 2014, is Chair of the Catastrophic Injury & Wrongful Death, Managed Care Abuse, and Unsafe & Defective Products practices and Co-Chair of the Consumer Protection practice.
Mr. Leopold’s practice is devoted solely to trial work, with a focus on complex product liability, managed care abuse, consumer class actions and catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation. Mr. Leopold has tried cases throughout the country and has recovered multi-million dollar verdicts, including jury verdicts in the eight-figure and nine-figure amounts.
In his role, Mr. Leopold litigates high-stakes, complex lawsuits on behalf of consumer safety issues, particularly as it relates to product defects, automobile safety and managed care matters. In 2010, he obtained a $131 million jury verdict against the Ford Motor Company, the ninth-largest verdict against an automobile company in U.S. history.
Mr. Leopold was on the steering committee in the National Managed Care Class Action and the Plaintiffs’ settlement committee for the Ford/Firestone National Class Action. Currently, he serves on the Plaintiffs’ trial team in the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation, as lead counsel in the HCA Class Action and as co-lead counsel in the Red Light Class Action.
Currently, Mr. Leopold is litigating the following notable matters:
- HCA: Mr. Leopold is lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that two Florida women and others like them were billed inflated and exorbitant fees for emergency radiology services covered in part by their Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Mr. Leopold is lead attorney in the litigation charging HCA hospitals with gouging patients with PIP coverage. The case is ongoing.
- United States of America, et al. v. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc.: Mr. Leopold represents relators in a Qui Tam matter involving the anti-kickback statute. The lawsuit alleges that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care, improperly payed illegal kickbacks for patient referrals, and then fraudulently billed government healthcare programs. The case is ongoing.
Carrier v. Trinity: Mr. Leopold represents the Carrier family in this wrongful death matter. The death occurred as a result of the guardrail safety device failing. Instead of protecting the driver, the guardrail intruded into the passenger compartment of the vehicle and impaling the driver, causing her death. The case is ongoing.
Examples of some of Mr. Leopold’s litigation successes are:
- Mincey v. Takata: Mr. Leopold was the lead attorney in a lawsuit brought on behalf of Patricia Mincey and her family, a Florida woman who sustained catastrophic injuries that rendered her a quadriplegic when the driver’s side airbag deployed too aggressively during a vehicle collision. Patricia Mincey passed away in early 2016 due to complications from her quadriplegia. The suit charged that the Takata Corporation, the manufacturer of the airbag system, knew of the airbag defect and hid the problem from consumers. Evidence uncovered by Mr. Leopold showed that Takata concealed the defective nature of the airbag system for more than a decade. The case was resolved in July 2016.
Caterpillar Antitrust Litigation: Mr. Leopold was co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging Caterpillar sold diesel engines with defective exhaust emissions system that resulted in power losses and shutdowns. Mr. Leopold developed the case and led all aspects of the litigation.
- Cole v. Ford Co.: Mr. Leopold was co-trial attorney for the family of former New York Mets infielder Brian Cole who was killed when the Ford Explorer he was in rolled over and he was ejected from his seat. The lawsuit charged that the defective seat belt in his Ford Explorer failed to keep him in his seat. Following a trial jury the jury found for the Cole family in the amount of $131 million.
- Quinlan v. Toyota Motor Corporation: Mr. Leopold was lead counsel in a product liability case filed against Toyota Motor, alleging that manufacturing defects in the defendant’s car caused the car being driven by the plaintiff Quinlan to suddenly accelerate and go out of control, resulting in catastrophic injuries that left him a quadriplegic. The defendant entered into a settlement, which is confidential.
- Chipps v. Humana: Mr. Leopold tried one of the first managed care cases in the country. The case involved the wrongful denial of physical and occupational therapy for a 6 year old child with cerebral palsy. The jury returned the largest punitive damage award on behalf of an individual in Florida history.
- Salvato v. Marion County Sherriff: Mr. Leopold represented the Salvato family in the wrongful death case of Joshua Salvato, an unarmed 21-year-old, who was shot and killed by two Marion County Sherriff’s deputies in 2014. The jury verdict returned restitution in the amount of $2.3 million, charging one deputy with excess force and the other for willfully inflicting suffering on Mr. Salvato.
Mr. Leopold is the past president of Public Justice, a national organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. that fights for justice through precedent-setting and socially significant individual and class action litigation. He is consistently recognized by leading publications such as Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, he has been nominated for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Public Justice Foundation for his ground breaking litigation involving the managed care industry, and his work has been featured in the National Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts of the Year.”
Mr. Leopold lectures frequently at professional gatherings on such issues as personal injury, product liability, class action litigation, trial tactics and consumer justice. He is also author and co-author of several legal publications, including Florida Insurance Law and Practice (Thomson/West). Additionally, Mr. Leopold has earned the Florida Bar Civil Trial Certification, the highest level of recognition by the Florida Bar for competency and experience within civil trial law.
Mr. Leopold is a graduate of University of Miami, where he received a B.A., and earned his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University.
- President, Public Justice Foundation
- Craig S. Barnard American Inn of Court LIV
- Board of Directors, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Board of Directors, Florida Justice Association
- Board of Directors, Attorneys Information Exchange Group
- Advisory Board Member, Cumberland School of Law, Samford Unviersity
- Board of Directors, Jewish Family & Children's Services
- Board of Directors/Past President, Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy