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Sue Werstak


St. Louis
314 552 6350 direct

Sue represents product manufacturers facing high-exposure suits in courtrooms across the country. She is Vice Chair of Thompson Coburn's Mass Tort Litigation Group and a member of the firm's Consumer Products Group.

Sue has represented major consumer products companies in consumer fraud actions, complex mass tort actions, class actions, consolidated and individual personal injury actions, medical monitoring class actions, and cost recovery actions. She recently successfully defended a national food manufacturer in a consumer fraud case challenging its product labeling. Sue served as second chair for Lorillard Tobacco Company at trial in City of St. Louis v. American Tobacco Company, a cost-recovery lawsuit against the tobacco industry filed by dozens of health care providers seeking more than $4 billion in compensatory damages. Following a three-month trial that included testimony from 49 witnesses, the jury returned a complete defense verdict. The National Law Journal described the win as "the largest defense victory in a tobacco cost-recovery suit to date" and Missouri Lawyers Weekly named the trial victory its "Top Defense Win" for 2011.

Sue not only serves as trial counsel in the courtroom, but also takes an active role in developing case strategy, conducting depositions, preparing fact and expert witnesses, overseeing and directing all discovery — including medical records collection and analysis, and document productions. Sue has worked with and developed outside experts and company witnesses to address false labeling and advertising claims, targeted marketing claims, and plaintiffs' damages models. Sue often acts as defense team coordinator in cases with multiple industry defendants, efficiently marshaling the resources of multiple law firms, to manage work flow and synthesize work product from numerous sources for use at trial.

Sue is actively involved in the firm's diversity and recruitment efforts, serving on the firm's Diversity and Employment Committees and coaching summer associate mock trial teams.