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Richard S. Lewis


Richard is a leader in the mass tort bar and chairs the firm’s mass torts and environmental threats practice groups. Rich has been at the forefront of some of the most high-profile mass torts, public health and environmental cases in the U.S. and around the world. He is dedicated to bringing justice to those exposed to toxic chemicals, unsafe working conditions, and unsafe drugs.


Over the course of his career, Rich has represented clients facing a broad array of public health injuries caused by corporate negligence including lead poisoned children, diseased and injured miners, student athletes, NFL football players, farmers, pharmaceutical drug and medical device patients, communities and workers exposed to toxic chemicals, state attorneys general, city officials and municipalities trying to protect the public health.

Practice Areas

  • Bongani Nkala and 69 others v. Harmony Gold Mining Co., Ltd., et al – Rich was lead counsel in this groundbreaking case, which concluded in a massive settlement in South Africa to recover compensation for tens of thousands of South African goldminers who suffered occupational lung disease. The settlement is on behalf of a class of goldminers going back 50 plus years to 1965 against the entire goldmining industry in South Africa.
  • Communication to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Sacchi et al. v. Argentina et al – Rich is co-counsel in this groundbreaking Petition to the UN involving climate change as a violation of children’s rights.
  • SCWA v. Dow and SCWA v. 3M CompanyRich presently serves as co-lead counsel in two environmental cases on behalf of the largest public water board in the country against 3M Company and Dow for contamination of the local public drinking water supply.
  • Rich has litigated both individual and class childhood lead poisoning cases and is also handling environmental and workplace safety cases in India, and South Africa.
  • In the U.S., Rich has been appointed to serve as co-lead counsel in mass tort and product liability class action cases including:
    •  In re StarLink Corn Productsasserting claims by farmers for genetic modification contamination of the U.S. corn supply
    • In re PPA – Asserting claims by users of unsafe over-the-counter medicines

What Others Say

  • Rich was named to the prestigious Lawdragon list of the 500 “Leading Lawyers in America” (2020), and to the Lawdragon list of “Top Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers” (2019 - Present)
  • Rich has been nominated for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Award for Access to Justice, based on his work in the Silicosis litigation in South Africa.


University of Pennsylvania, J.D., cum laude, 1986

University of Michigan, M.P.H., 1981

Tufts University, B.A., cum laude, 1976

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

Affiliations & Memberships

Comments Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review

Law clerk (post law school), for the Honorable Stanley S. Brotman, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

News & Press

Mr. Lewis was interviewed regarding Children’s Rights and climate change by Columbia newspaper, El Tiempo in 2019.

Mr. Lewis was interviewed by BBC Radio regarding the class certification of the Silicosis case in South Africa in 2016.

Mr. Lewis commented in USA Today, "Hearing on consolidation of NCAA concussion lawsuits." December 2013.

“Manassas Park Woman Sues Drug Company Over Breast Cancer.” The Washington Post quotes Richard Lewis regarding a suit against Pfizer. January 3, 2010.

Mr. Lewis interviewed in Fox News story on Prempro cancer case. November 26, 2009.

First Chinese drywall class actions filed in Virginia and North Carolina. May 21, 2009.

Comment, “O.C.A.W. v. American Cyanamid: The Shrinking of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review (July 1985)

Presentations & Speeches

"Public Nuisance Litigation," Congressional Staff Briefing at the GMU Law & Economics Center, November 2019, Arlington, VA

"Effectiveness of Settlements," The Perrin Conferences’ Mass Tort Global Settlement Architecture Conference, May 2019, Washington, D.C.

Related News & Press