Christopher M. Placitella is a shareholder in the law firm and an accomplished trial lawyer with a nationwide reputation as one of the country’s leading legal authorities on mass tort, class actions, and cases about asbestos-related diseases. He represents individuals injured by defective products and drugs, toxic substances, and environmental contamination. Chris has been counsel on numerous landmark cases that have changed the law in favor of the consumer and wrongfully injured.
Mr. Placitella has developed an award-winning reputation for his commitment to those who have been harmed due to the wrongful conduct of others. His professional integrity and personal commitment to his clients and his community have earned him local, regional and national recognition for his work and service. He is continuously recognized by his peers for his contribution to mass tort and class action litigation.
Mr. Placitella helped to establish the National Asbestos Litigation Group dedicated to successfully and effectively representing individuals suffering from asbestos-related diseases and serves as co-chair of the Group.
Read about Mr. Placitella’s recent work in the $750 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson
Syracuse College of Law logoSyracuse College of Law, J.D.
(cum laude; Law Review and Legal Honor Society)
Fordham University logoFordham University, B.S.
(summa cum laude & 1st in his class for Accounting)
Litigation Leadership Positions
Asbestos Advisory Committee to New Jersey Superior Court;
Liaison Counsel , National Talc Litigation
Member of Steering Committee, Multi-District Trans Vaginal Mesh Litigation;
Liaison Counsel New Jersey Trans Vaginal Mesh Litigation;
Member of Steering Committee, Multi-District Asbestos Litigation;
Special Counsel to all State Court Litigants, National Diet Drug Litigation;
Class Counsel, Johns Manville Class Action Litigation;
Class Counsel, New Jersey Diet Drug Litigation;
Member of Steering Committee, National 23 Multi-District TMJ litigation;
Member of Steering Committee, National Rezulin Litigation;
Lead Counsel, New Jersey Propulsid Litigation;
Mr. Placitella is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics including class action, personal injury, products liability, legal ethics and insurance litigation.
Chair for Mass Tort Litigation Update for the NJ Institute of Continuing Legal Education 2007 through Present
Chair for Annual Asbestos Litigation Conference for the NJ Institute of Continuing Legal Education 2007 through Present
Co-Chair for Annual Review and Update of the State of Mass Tort Litigation, New Jersey Association for Justice
New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Deposing Corporate Representatives to Help Satisfy the Reptilian Brain
Pound’s 2020 Forum for State Appellate Court Judges
Deposition College, New Jersey Association for Justice
ATLA Meadowlands Seminar, Federal Court – Trial Advocacy
ATLA Meadowlands Seminar, Trial Evidence
ATLA Meadowlands Seminar, Mass Torts Roundtable
ATLA/NJAJ Educational Foundation Seminar, Mass Torts and Personal Injury
NJ ICLE seminar – Mass Torts: A New Decade for New Classes
NJ ICLE seminar – Mastering Medicare Set Aside Trust
NJ ICLE seminar – The Evolving World of Handling Mass Tort Claims
Harris Martin’s New Jersey Asbestos Litigation Conference: Mass Torts Made Perfect
HP Litigation Asbestos Seminar – Outline for Punitive Damages Presentation
Philadelphia Bar Association: Mass Torts Seminar
PALS – Las Vegas, Asbestos Litigation Seminar
AAJ seminar – Litigating Toxic Tort (NJ)
AAJ Seminar in NYC, Litigating Toxic Tort
AAJ Asbestos Litigation Group – The Case Against VIOXX
2020 Judicial College – Tackling Hybrid Jury and Non-Jury Trial and Virtual Court Proceedings
2021 by Best Lawyers
Recognized as Lawyer of the Year by Best LawyersSuperLawyers Top 100 badgeSuperLawyers 15-Year
Christopher M. Placitella, shareholder at Cohen Placitella Roth PC, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 in the fields of Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.
Trial Masters has the pleasure of announcing that Christopher Placitella of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. has been inducted as a charter member. Trial Masters is one of the most objective and exclusive accreditations a trial lawyer in the United States can receive. Membership is strictly limited to attorneys who have tried to verdict 35 or more trials in their career.
Named as a member of ‘The Roundtable: America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers’
From 2005 to Present, included in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, based on peer review ratings
2001-Present, included in the list of The Best Lawyers in America® in the field(s) of Personal Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (Mass Tort, Occupational Disease, Toxic Tort), based on peer review ratings.
National Trial Lawyers Association- Clarence Darrow Award
National Association of Distinguished Counsel – Top 1 Percent
Elected by Peers as a member of Trial Masters
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review AV®-rated lawyer, and included in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ in the United States, published by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell®
Included in the list of The National Law Journal’s ‘Top New Jersey Mass Tort Lawyers’
Awarded with the ‘Gold Medal for Distinguished Service’ Award; the highest award that can be bestowed on a New Jersey trial attorney by his peers, for his dedication in fighting for the rights of victims of environmental pollution by The New Jersey Association for Justice
Received the “Pioneer Award” by Consumers for Civil Justice (New Jersey’s largest consumer advocacy organization) for fighting for the rights of New Jersey consumers and tort victims
Presented the “Meritorious Service Award” by the New Jersey White Lung Association for his fight for the rights of asbestos victims
Nominated as National ‘Trial Lawyer of the Year’ for his work in representing lead-poisoned children
United States District Court, District of New Jersey
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
United States Supreme Court
The Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice
Leaders Forum American Association for Justice
New Jersey Trial Lawyers (now NJAJ), Former President (2001-2002)
National Trial Lawyers Association-Executive Committee
NJAJ PAC, Former Chair
Trial Lawyers of New Jersey (TANJ)
Mr. Placitella volunteers his time to numerous consumer advocacy groups to fight for the rights of people who suffered because of corporate misconduct.
Mr. Placitella is also a founder of the Veterans Career Transition Program, and a Trustee of the Holidays for the Homeless and Underprivileged, Inc. organization.
He is a founding Board Member of the New Jersey Public Interest Law Center 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund- helped organize national pro bono effort to provide free legal assistance for families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy
Barden v. Johnson & Johnson (2020)– $750,000,000 Co-lead counsel in the largest punitive damage verdict in New Jersey History;
McNeal v Johnson & Johnson (2019)- $16,000,000 compensatory verdict concerning mesothelioma caused by exposure to baby powder;
Williams v. BASF et al (2020) – $72,000,000 national class action settlement for fraudulent concealment of evidence concerning exposure to asbestos containing talc;
NJ Tobacco Litigation-Co-lead counsel representing the State of New Jersey against the tobacco industry and helped achieve the largest settlement in the history of New Jersey, totaling $7.6 billion dollars;
Mr. Placitella assisted in negotiating what is believed to be the largest settlement in the nation involving a single company in a product liability case involving the diet drugs Pondimin® and Redux® – a $3.75 billion-dollar settlement;
Trial counsel in the largest consolidated asbestos trial in New York City history;
Served as one of the lead trial counsel in the largest environmental tort settlement on behalf of individuals in New Jersey history, totaling $38.5 million dollars;
Whalen v. Ford et al (2020)- Argued case before NJ Supreme Court which changed the law holding equipment companies responsible for asbestos related injuries.
In re Acctutane (2019) Argued case before NJ Supreme Court setting the standards for expert testimony in toxic injury cases
Sun Chemical (2020) Argued case before NJ Supreme Court allowing injured consumers to bring cases under the Product Liability Act & the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
Article & Publications
New Jersey Mass Tort & Class Action Treatise- Editor In Chief(This nationally recognized Treatise published by the Bar Association is the product of the work of more than 50 of the most accomplished and distinguished judges and lawyers in the country).
Mr. Placitella’s career has been commemorated a number of times in written works, including:
Poison Pills, The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal, Tom Nesi;
Dispensing with the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle over Fen-Phen, Alicia Mundy;
Civil Warriors, the Story of the Tobacco Litigation, Dan Zeigart;
No Contest, Corporate Lawyers & the Perversion of Justice in America, Ralph Nader.
Christopher M. Placitella, Jared M. Placitella, Dennis M. Geier, A 30,000 Foot Look at Cosmetic Talc Cases, TRIAL MAGAZINE, October , 2020
Christopher M. Placitella, Ron Motley on How to Approach a Case, TRIAL MAGAZINE
Christopher M. Placitella and Justin Placitella, A Closer Look at Asbestos Cases, TRIAL MAGAZINE,
Christopher M. Placitella, Why Are Mesothelioma Cases in New Jersey Still on the Rise, NEW JERSEY LAWYER, Aug. 2011, at 16.Placitella & Klein, The Civil Justice System Bridges the Great Divide in Consumer Protection, 43 Duq. L. Rev. 219
Placitella & Darnell, Beshada v. Johns Manville Products Corp.: Evolution or Revolution in Strict Products Liability, 51 Fordham L. Rev. 801
Christopher M. Placitella, 9-11: The Agony and the Aftermath, THE JOURNAL, Sept. 2011.
Christopher M. Placitella, Esq. New Jersey Mass Torts & Class Action Treatise, NJICLE, (2015).