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April Nelson Ross

Partner

aross@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2687
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

April Ross is vice-chair of Crowell & Moring's Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Group and a partner in the Washington, D.C. office. April focuses her practice on defending companies against consumer class actions, product liability actions, and mass tort actions, and litigating on behalf of health care companies, with particular experience in class actions and multidistrict litigation proceedings. She represents clients in a range of industries including health care, consumer products, and transportation. In addition to trial-level work in state and federal courts across the country, April has substantial experience handling cases on appeal, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, April was selected by her peers as a "Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Rising Star" for class actions/mass torts and health care.

Representative Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Matters

April's mass tort, products, and consumer litigation experience includes defending clients in crisis management, consumer class actions, product liability class actions, and environmental exposure mass actions. She represents clients in a range of industries, including transportation, chemical, and consumer products. Recent matters include:

  • Defending major automobile manufacturer in multiple consolidated nationwide class actions alleging vehicle performance defects, breach of warranty, fraud, and consumer protection claims.
  • Obtaining dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a major automobile manufacturer in a putative class action alleging vehicle design defects.
  • Achieving and upholding on appeal the dismissal of numerous coal companies in class actions alleging global warming in federal district and appellate courts, and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Defending a Class 1 railroad in several high-profile derailment class actions and mass actions, including achieving and upholding on appeal summary judgment in a putative class action litigation seeking medical monitoring following a derailment and chemical spill, and negotiating successful class settlements.
  • Representing a Class 1 railroad in a commercial dispute over allocation of liability under a trackage rights agreement.
  • Achieving dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds of a U.S. component part manufacturer in MDL litigation arising from the crash of Air France Flight 447.
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel for a transportation client’s docket of diesel exhaust exposure litigation.
  • Representing a chemical manufacturer in MDL class action litigation alleging property damage from an herbicide product.

In addition to her litigation practice, April advises clients on a full range of product liability and risk management issues. With a focus on chemical and consumer products, she counsels clients on issues that include product design and stewardship, labeling, failure and causation analysis, product recall, and regulatory compliance. With extensive experience defending product liability class actions, April strives to help clients develop strategies to avoid or mitigate the risk of future product-related litigation.

Representative Health Care Litigation Matters

April has represented insurers, managed care organizations, and managed behavioral health care organizations in class actions and multidistrict litigation proceedings in both federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Her experience includes RICO and ERISA litigation, payor/provider reimbursement disputes, litigation brought under state and federal mental health parity statutes, antitrust litigation, and challenges to federal regulatory action under the Administrative Procedures Act. She has also briefed health care issues as amicus curiae before intermediate appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Recent matters include:

  • Representing a major behavioral health plan in nationwide putative ERISA class action litigation challenging denials of coverage for wilderness treatment.
  • Representing Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in MDL national and statewide class actions asserting antitrust claims.
  • Representing through trial a major behavioral health plan in ERISA class action litigation challenging residential and outpatient utilization management guidelines.
  • Defeating class certification on behalf of a major behavioral health plan in an action alleging violation of California’s mental health parity, antidiscrimination, and unfair competition laws relating to the plan’s utilization review processes. Denial of class certification was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.
  • Achieving dismissal of all claims against Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in MDL national and statewide class actions involving provider payment practices.
  • Successfully defending managed care companies against third-party subpoenas seeking proprietary data.
  • Briefing the scope of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act’s private cause of action before the Sixth Circuit as amicus curiae on behalf of a Medicare Advantage plan sponsor.

April earned her J.D. with high honors from Duke University School of Law and her B.A. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to attending law school, April worked as a molecular biologist for a biotechnology company, focusing on drug development research for neurobiological diseases. She has co-authored four papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

April is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the North Carolina State Bar and is admitted to practice before various federal courts, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth and Sixth Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Michigan.

Education

  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A. molecular and cell biology (2000)
  • Duke University School of Law, J.D. (2006) Order of the Coif, with high honors, 2006 Faculty Award for Advocacy

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, North Carolina

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member, Law360 Transportation Editorial Board (2021)

View More

"The Supreme Court Rejects "Causation-Only" Test for Specific Jurisdiction," Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Alert (March 26, 2021). Contacts: Rebecca Baden Chaney, April Nelson Ross, Clifford J. Zatz, Gloria Martinez Trattles
Client Alert / Newsletter
Transportation Cases To Watch In 2021 Law360 (January 3, 2021)
Media Mentions
Transportation Group Of The Year: Crowell & Moring Law360 (December 18, 2020)
Media Mentions
"Navigating Risk As Businesses Expand and Reopen – Anticipating Day One Issues and Beyond," Crowell & Moring Webinar (April 24, 2020). Presenters: Trina Fairley Barlow, John Fuson, April Nelson Ross, Rebecca L. Springer, and Katie Erno.
Speech/Presentation
"Does Bristol-Myers Squibb Apply to Nationwide Class Actions in Federal Court? The First Two Federal Circuits Weigh In," Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Alert (March 17, 2020). Contacts: Clifford J. Zatz, April Nelson Ross, Gloria Martinez Trattles
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Supreme Court Clarifies that Pending Class Actions Toll Only Individual Claims, Not Successive Class Actions: China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh," (June 12, 2018). Contacts: April Nelson Ross, Jared Levine
Client Alert / Newsletter
Self-Effacing Judge Asks For Road Map In UnitedHealth Trial Law360 (October 16, 2017)
Media Mentions
"Cosmetics In the Crosshairs - The Upward Trend in Cosmetic Product Litigation," Personal Care Products Council's 2017 Legal and Regulatory Conference, San Diego, CA (May 10, 2017). Presenter: April Nelson Ross.
Speech/Presentation
Brace For Wave of Product Liability Litigation In 2017, Firm Says Australasian Lawyer (January 30, 2017)
Media Mentions
"Product Liability – Up Next: The Personal Care and Cosmetics Industry," Crowell & Moring's Litigation Forecast 2017 (January 2017). Contributor: April Ross.
Publication

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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