Thomas P. Cartmell

Founding Partner

Phone Number: 816.701.1102

4740 Grand Avenue Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64112

In Brief

Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers

Appointed by federal judges to leadership positions in precedent-setting Multi-District Litigation (MDL) matters nationwide

Lead or co-lead trial counsel in numerous pharmaceutical drug and medical device MDL bellwether trials and other high-stake matters resulting in multi-million-dollar verdicts for clients

Tom Cartmell is a founding partner of the firm, and a leading trial attorney for individuals, businesses and public entities in cases pending across the United States.  Tom has been appointed by federal judges throughout the United States to leadership in over a dozen MDL matters, and is widely recognized for his trial skills.  Tom has been selected for membership in many prestigious, invitation-only trial lawyer organizations, including the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.  Tom is a multiple time recipient of Best Lawyers of America’s “Lawyer of the Year” Award and is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business He holds the Martindale-Hubble peer review rating of AV Preeminent.

Tom has also been recognized locally for his achievements as a trial lawyer.  He is the Past President of the Kansas City Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  In 2001, Tom received the Thomas J. Conway Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, recognizing a lawyer with courage and zeal for the client and a collegial attitude toward fellow lawyers.   In 2003, based upon the recommendation of State Court Judges, Tom received the Lon O. Hocker award as one of three outstanding trial lawyers in Missouri.  He also received honors as a Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyer from 2006 to present.  The Kansas City Business Journal has recognized Tom as “Best of the Bar” more than 15 times.  Tom served as the Municipal Judge for the City of Mission Hills, Kansas for 16 years, and served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at the University of Kansas Law School for eight years.

Tom’s cases span the spectrum from high-profile MDL matters involving dangerous medications, defective products or other complex issues to representing businesses in commercial disputes or high exposure injury cases.  He has recovered more than a billion dollars for clients in jury verdicts and settlements.  He is regularly chosen to act as lead counsel in major trials.  For example, in the recent Transvaginal Mesh MDLs– one of the largest MDLs in history – he was lead or co-lead trial counsel in five bellwether trials.  Settlements in these MDLs are reported to total more than $8 billion.

Described by Chambers as “a top-notch lawyer” for his representation of plaintiffs in contentious matters, Tom has a long history of achieving top-notch results in high stakes matters.. He currently represents two dozen counties – including Buchanan County, Missouri, with one of the highest rates of opioid prescriptions in the country over the past five years – and he has taken nearly a dozen depositions of opioid company corporate witnesses in the MDL, In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804.  He was recently appointed by Judge Orrick in the Northern District of California to serve as Government Entity Liaison Counsel for plaintiffs in In re: JUUL Labs, Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2913, and represents over 75 school districts across American in this litigation against the vaping company, Juul Labs, Inc.  Tom also represents the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the State of Oregon in consumer protection litigation against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon involving transvaginal mesh sales within the state.  He was also named by the Honorable M. Casey Rogers to a five-attorney Executive Committee providing leadership in the 3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2885, pending in the Northern District of Florida.

Tom has a history of leadership and record-breaking results in MDL litigation.  Brief highlights and notable litigation are as follows:

In Re: Ethicon, Inc., MDL No. 2327

Tom was appointed Co-Lead Counsel of the Ethicon MDL and served as a member of the Executive Committee on all of the Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation MDLs in the Southern District of West Virginia in front of the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin.

Bodziony et al v. Federal Signal Corporation

Tom represented Federal Signal Corporation, a manufacturer of sirens for emergency vehicles, in this mass tort product liability litigation in Missouri involving firefighters’ product liability claims of hearing loss.

Big Tobacco v. State of Kansas – Contract Arbitration

Tom and his partners represented the State of Kansas in arbitration proceedings against tobacco companies arising out of the tobacco companies seeking payment adjustments of more than $1.1 billion from 35 states based on the interpretation of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between tobacco companies and the State of Kansas.

In Re: Zoloft Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2342

The Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe appointed Tom to Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2342 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

In Re: Depuy Orthopedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2244

Tom serves on the Steering Committee in this case pending in the Northern District of Texas in front of the Honorable Ed Kinkeade. This case involves hip implants and includes claims of negligent design and failure to warn.

In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1871

Tom was appointed by the Honorable Cynthia J. Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as a member of the Steering Committee and Co-Lead Trial Counsel in this product liability multi-district litigation arising out of the use of the medication Avandia. The lead trial in this matter settled shortly for trial and all cases in this litigation settled for a confidential amount.

In Re: Celebrex/Bextra Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1699

Tom was appointed by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California as a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee and served as co-lead trial counsel in this product liability multi-district litigation arising out of the use of the medications Bextra and Celebrex. The lead case settled on the eve of trial and ultimately all cases in the MDL settled for in excess of $745 million.

In Re: Ephedra Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2071

Tom was appointed by the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.  He personally represented clients from across the nation in this product liability litigation in the Southern District of New York arising out of injuries suffered from ingestion of ephedra containing weight loss supplements. Tom acted as settlement-resolution counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in the NVE and MuscleTech litigation, resulting in more than $50 million in settlements.  Tom’s cases also Included settlements for multiple clients in excess of $9 million.

In Re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1842

Tom was appointed by the Honorable Mary M. Lisi of the District of Rhode Island to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

$5.7 Million Verdict Against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson

A jury in Bakersfield, California returned a $5.7 million verdict in favor of plaintiff Coleen Perry for damages sustained from a TVT Abbrevo mesh sling device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Confidential Settlement Against Blue Cross Blue Shield v Pfizer, Inc.

Represented BCBS in a third-party payor case against Pfizer, Inc. in Federal Court in San Francisco. The case settled for a confidential amount.

$1.2 Million Verdict – Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson

A jury in Dallas, Texas returned a $1.2 Million verdict in favor of plaintiff Linda Batiste for damages sustained from a TVT-O mesh sling device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Janet Dick v. Children’s Mercy Hospital

Defense verdict for Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City in case in which plaintiff was claiming catastrophic injury and seeking several million dollars in damages.

$3.02 Million Verdict – Novagradac v. Beverly Manor et al.

Received one of the top-five plaintiffs’ verdicts in the State of Missouri in 2007 – $3.02 million verdict in Platte County, Missouri, while representing a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse action.

$1 Million Verdict – Chen Pei v. Kansas City, Missouri – Auto/Pedestrian Accident

Plaintiff’s verdict against the City of Kansas City, Missouri, on behalf of the family of Chen Pei, a 20-year old student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who was tragically hit by a car.

Notable Litigation

  • Pelvic Mesh Repair System Products Liability Litigation (S.D.W.V.)

    In 2012, thousands of lawsuits filed nationwide against several manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products. These cases were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) into several MDLs before the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia. Among the dozens of lawyers who applied for leadership positions, Judge Goodwin selected Tom Cartmell as

    Read More
  • In Re: Bextra and Celebrex Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1699

    Tom Cartmell was appointed by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California as a member of the Plaintiff's Steering Committee on this case. He also served as co-lead trial counsel in this product liability multi-district litigation arising out of the use of the medications Bextra and Celebrex. The lead case settled on the eve of trial and ultimately all cases in the MDL se

    Read More
  • In Re: Avandia Marketing Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1871 (E.D. Pa.)

    In 2007, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created an MDL consolidating a number of cases before the Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After being interviewed in open court, Judge Rufe appointed Tom Cartmell to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee leading this case. Tom was later selected to be co-lead trial counsel in the lead trial, which settle

    Read More
  • In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2641

    Attorneys at Wagstaff & Cartmell worked on this case in which Tom Cartmell was appointed to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the District of Arizona in front of the Honorable David G. Campbell. David DeGreeff also served as a member of the Medical Monitoring Class Action Committee for this MDL, and was recently appointed by the Judge to serve on the Common Benefit Fee Committee. He was

    Read More
  • In Re: Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1699

    N.D. Tex. Total settlements in MDL reported to be more than $1.7 billion Tom Cartmell serves on the Steering Committee in this case pending in the Northern District of Texas in front of the Honorable Ed Kinkeade. This case involves hip implants and includes claims of negligent design and failure to warn.

  • In Re: Ephedra Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2071

    Tom was appointed by the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee. He personally represented clients from across the nation in this product liability litigation in the Southern District of New York arising out of injuries suffered from ingestion of ephedra containing weight loss supplements. Tom acted as settlement-resolution counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in the NVE and Musc

    Read More
  • JUUL Labs, Inc., MDL No. 2913

    Wagstaff & Cartmell is involved in this MDL against JUUL Labs, Inc. Tom Cartmell has been appointed the Plaintiff’s Government Entity Liaison Counsel of the JUUL Labs Inc. MDL in the Northern District of California in front of the Honorable William H. Orrick.

  • $1 Million Verdict – Chen Pei v. Kansas City, Missouri – Auto/Pedestrian Accident

    Plaintiff’s verdict against the City of Kansas City, Missouri, on behalf of the family of Chen Pei, a 20-year old student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who was tragically hit by a car.

  • $1.2 Million Verdict – Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson

    A jury in Dallas, Texas returned a $1.2 Million verdict in favor of plaintiff Linda Batiste for damages sustained from a TVT-O mesh sling device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

  • $3.02 Million Verdict – Novagradac v. Beverly Manor et al.

    Received one of the top-five plaintiffs’ verdicts in the State of Missouri in 2007 – $3.02 million verdict in Platte County, Missouri, while representing a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse action.

  • $5.7 Million Verdict Against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson

    A jury in Bakersfield, California returned a $5.7 million verdict in favor of plaintiff Coleen Perry for damages sustained from a TVT Abbrevo mesh sling device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

  • 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability, MDL No. 2885

    Attorneys at Wagstaff & Cartmell are involved in this product liability litigation. Tom Cartmell has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation MDL in the Northern District of Florida in front of the Honorable M. Casey Rodgers.

  • Big Tobacco v. State of Kansas – Contract Arbitration

    Tom Cartmell and his partners represented the State of Kansas in arbitration proceedings against tobacco companies arising out of the tobacco companies seeking payment adjustments of more than $50 million based on the interpretation of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between tobacco companies and the State of Kansas.

  • Confidential Settlement Against Blue Cross Blue Shield v Pfizer, Inc.

    Represented BCBS in a third-party payor case against Pfizer, Inc. in Federal Court in San Francisco. The case settled for a confidential amount.

  • In Re: Ethicon, Inc., MDL No.2327

    Wagstaff & Cartmell is heavily involved in this MDL. Tom Cartmell has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the four Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation MDLs in the Southern District of West Virginia in front of the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin. He is Co-Lead Counsel for the Ethicon MDL. Jeff Kuntz is currently the head of the Expert Committee and Bellwether Trial Co

    Read More
  • Janet Dick v. Children’s Mercy Hospital

    Defense verdict for Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City in case in which plaintiff was claiming catastrophic injury and seeking several million dollars in damages.

  • In Re: Zoloft Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2342

    The Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe appointed Tom Cartmell to Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2342 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

  • Bodziony et al v. Federal Signal Corporation

    Tom Cartmell represented Federal Signal Corporation, a manufacturer of sirens for emergency vehicles, in this mass tort product liability litigation in Missouri involving firefighters’ product liability claims of hearing loss.

  • In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (N.D. Ohio)

    The Wagstaff & Cartmell team is involved in this prescription opiate litigation MDL. Ty Hudson worked with a team of lawyers to help prosecute the case against prescription drug distributors in the initial MDL bellwether cases, which resulted in settlements totaling more than $260 million. The next phase of the litigation is on-going. Eric D. Barton is representing dozens of county and c

    Read More
  • In Re: Syngenta Litigation Case No. 27-cv-15-3785 (Hennepin County, Minnesota District Court)

    Wagstaff & Cartmell attorney, Ty Hudson, was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee of nine attorneys selected to prosecute a consolidation of more than 50,000 individual actions and a Minnesota state-wide class action brought by corn farmers and other entities against Syngenta alleging that the company prematurely released genetically modified corn seed that led to a de facto embargo

    Read More
  • NPM Adjustment Arbitration (State of Kansas), Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

    In 1998, the major tobacco companies reached a $206 billion global settlement with 48 states memorialized in the landmark Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). In 2008, the tobacco companies initiated an arbitration proceeding against 35 states under a provision in the MSA contending that they were entitled to a $1.1 billion adjustment to their contract payments for the year 2003. The Kansas Attorney

    Read More

Practice Areas

Other Practice Areas

  • Business Disputes
  • Nursing Home Injuries/Abuse
  • Toxic Torts
  • Antitrust Litigation
  • Securities & Financial Fraud Litigation

Education

  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law
    • Editor, Kansas Law Review
  • B.S. in Business Administration, University of Kansas
    • Hilltopper Award – 1990

Honors + Awards

American College of Trial Lawyers – Inducted 2017

Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in professional malpractice – 2013, 2014

International Society of Barristers Fellow – Inducted 2008

The Best Lawyers in America– 2007 to Present

Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers – 2006 to Present

Kansas City Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Past President – Inducted 2005

The Kansas City Business Journal“Best of the Bar” – 2004 to Present

Missouri Bar Foundation Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award – 2003

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar AssociationThomas J. Conway Award – 2001

Martindale-Hubble’s peer review ratings – AV Preeminent

Former Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy – University of Kansas

Awards