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Special to the Illinois Business Journal

Simmons conroy jayneJayne Conroy    ALTON – Simmons Hanly Conroy, a national complex litigation firm, has announced that named firm Shareholder Jayne Conroy has been appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) for the pending multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Syngenta Seeds Inc. concerning its genetically modified corn.
    The MDL was assigned in December 2014 to U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas Judge John W. Lungstrum, who announced the PEC appointments in an order dated Jan. 22, 2015.
    The MDL (No. 2591, IN RE: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation) involves more than 175 lawsuits filed in eight different districts against Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemicals company. The litigation concerns the economic impact from contamination of the U.S. corn supply with Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera, a type of genetically modified corn that is banned in China. The lawsuits claim that Syngenta’s actions in essence destroyed the Chinese corn export market and severely harmed corn farmers and exporters.
    Simmons Hanly Conroy is one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firm in Illinois, which is the nation’s second largest corn producing state behind Iowa. The firm represents multiple clients in this MDL including a leading international exporter of agricultural products.
    Conroy has more than 30 years of experience as a strategist, trial lawyer and negotiator. In addition to her work for plaintiffs on litigation against Syngenta, her practice currently involves representing plaintiffs in a wide variety of product liability matters. These include several thousand plaintiffs who were injured by the various dangerous drugs and plaintiffs who were injured by medical devices such as DePuy artificial hips and pelvic repair system materials.  
    Conroy serves or has served as a member of Plaintiffs’ Steering or Executive Committees in nearly a dozen multidistrict pharmaceutical litigations. Since 2006, she is credited with orchestrating the settlements of thousands of pharmaceutical cases for a total recovery for the firm’s clients that approaches $500 million. Conroy also has represented several thousand victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in a multidistrict action against the financial sponsors of terrorism. In a separate set of negligence litigations against the airlines and airport security companies on behalf of 50 families who lost their loved ones on the four 9/11 aircraft, Conroy helped forge settlements that totaled in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
    In addition to her law practice, Conroy is nationally renowned as a speaker on trial advocacy and regularly sits on panels of experts at national litigation conferences.
    SIMMONS HANLY CONROY LLC is a leading national law firm in complex litigation and represents clients throughout the country on issues involving consumer protection rights, class actions and contingent-fee commercial litigation. With 70 attorneys in six offices across the country, the firm is dedicated to its clients and has pledged nearly $20 million to cancer research. Additionally, the firm focuses on intellectual property infringement, pharmaceutical injury litigation and toxic exposure. For more information, visit http://www.simmonsfirm.com.