Modern Counsel has profiled Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin in a piece entitled, “Annika K. Martin is a Changemaker.” The profile highlights Martin’s early pivot from journalism to law, and how it took her from working to expose injustice to actively redressing it.
Martin’s transition to law allowed her to leverage her investigative skills and tenacity in advocating for victims of environmental negligence, consumer fraud, and sexual abuse on a national scale. Drawing on her storytelling skills, legal expertise, and guidance from her mentor, legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, she has won significant change and meaningful recoveries for her clients. This approach has amplified the impact of Annika’s work, benefiting as it does not just individuals but thousands of similarly-situated victimized plaintiffs through complex mass civil litigation.
As chair of Lieff Cabraser’s Survivor Advocacy practice group, Martin is at the forefront of prosecuting institutional sexual assault cases. She champions the use of class actions as a means to force institutional change and ensure that such abuses do not recur.
“It makes sense to use class actions for these kinds of cases because they’re the only way to force the institutional change our clients really want,” notes Martin. “Class injunctive relief in the form of policy and procedure changes is the only way to make sure what happened to our clients can never happen again.”
A notable example of her work is the historic class case against USC gynecologist Tyndall, where Martin and her team crafted a unique settlement program tailored to the needs of survivors, allowing them to choose the level of engagement they wished to have with the claims process and how they wished to communicate their stories. This innovative approach has aided survivors in healing and also set a precedent for future cases, expanding the application of justice through the civil courts.
Read Annika’s full profile on Modern Counsel’s site.
About Annika K. Martin
A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s New York office, Annika K. Martin served as co-lead counsel for plaintiff abuse victims in the USC student sexual abuse lawsuit that led to a $215 million settlement with USC and Dr. Tyndall and significant institutional changes. She is currently representing men who were sexually abused as students by University of Michigan physician Robert Anderson.
Annika also represents plaintiffs in class action and mass tort litigation concerning consumer fraud, environmental issues, and products liability. She served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the successful national consumer fraud class action brought against General Motors Company over allegedly defective air conditioning systems, and has a similar role in the more recent similar product defect case against Mercedes over their allegedly defective vehicle HVAC systems.
Annika represented individuals, property owners, and business owners across the Gulf Coast in class action litigation against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other companies responsible for the 2010 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig which resulted in the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Annika was deeply involved in negotiating, implementing, and gaining court approval for the economic and medical class action settlements with BP that are compensating hundreds of thousands of victims of the tragedy.
Annika has also represented plaintiffs with physical and economic injuries arising from GM vehicles with defective ignition switches, and patients nationwide suffering from the widespread outbreak of meningitis and other serious maladies caused by contaminated medication. Annika is the current co-chair of AAJ’s Class Action Litigation Group.