Janet G. Abaray

Janet G. Abaray

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in Cincinnati, OH

Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh & Jardine, P.C.
 | 312 Walnut Street, Suite 2090
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-852-5600
Fax: 513-852-5611
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (40%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Business Litigation (20%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

Janet Gilligan Abaray acts as managing shareholder for the Cincinnati office of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. She graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Cincinnati School of Law where she was Business Manager of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Ohio, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Abaray served as one of 20 public members of a Commission formed by the State of Ohio to consider modernization of the Ohio constitution.  She acted as  Chair of the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice Committee for the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission throughout the pendency of the Commission. This Committee was responsible for reviewing the Ohio Constitution in regard to issues affecting the judicial system, and providing recommendations to the full committee for consideration.

Ms. Abaray has litigated extensively in the area of pharmaceutical products liability, beginning her career as defense counsel for Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the Bendectin products liability class action and multi-district litigation (MDL), where she acted as third chair trial counsel. Since 1987, she has represented plaintiffs in many over-the-counter and prescription drug cases, including the L-Tryptophan MDL, the Copley Albuterol class action litigation, where she acted as co-lead trial counsel, and the Fen-Phen/Redux diet pill class action and MDL, where she acted as lead trial counsel for plaintiffs at the Interneuron class action fairness hearing. Ms. Abaray and Michael Burg were appointed by the Court in 2005 as Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. In 2008, Ms. Abaray was appointed by the Court to the Executive Committee for the Heparin Product Liability Multi-District Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Ms. Abaray also served as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee for the Ephedra Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation in the Southern District of New York. Ms. Abaray is Co-chair of the Science Committee in the Yaz/Yasmin Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2100, currently pending in the Southern District of Illinois, where she has been responsible for development of the epidemiologic and pharmacologic evidence. Her current focus is on mass tort claims involving the drug Depakote, for which she was appointed as one of three national Co-Lead Counsel in 2016.

Ms. Abaray also represents plaintiffs in many insurance and contract disputes. She was the co-lead trial counsel on behalf of 8000 farmers in the Chubb drought insurance class action litigation, participated as trial counsel on behalf of 2000 Cincinnati area physicians in the ChoiceCare HMO litigation, and represented Cincinnati area newspaper carriers in consolidated actions against the Cincinnati Enquirer. She represented 40,000 season ticket holders of the Cincinnati Bengals football team in a successful class action concerning their seat licenses in Paul Brown Stadium. Ms. Abaray has established national precedent in the area of employment discrimination, successfully arguing in litigation against Ernst & Young to broaden the scope of persons protected by the federal age discrimination statute.

Cincinnati Magazine recognized Ms. Abaray as one of Cincinnati’s best litigation attorneys in 1995, and she has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, 2005-2017. She was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Carl B. Rubin Legal Society in 2013. Ms. Abaray has achieved the highest rating from her peers for quality of legal work, professionalism, and ethics by receiving an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Ms. Abaray is also listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. Ms. Abaray has also met the standard of excellence for selection as one of The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Lawyers.

Ms. Abaray has been frequently selected by members of the national legal community as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation. Best Lawyers publishes a book each year listing those individuals who are recognized as professionals who continue their education in an effort to stay current in their chosen profession and continue to distinguish themselves among their peers. The book is considered to be, professionally, the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Ms. Abaray was chosen as a member of this distinguished group because she has displayed an exemplary commitment to her profession, her community and to her clients.

Ms. Abaray has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and lectures frequently in the areas of products liability litigation, trial techniques and epidemiology. She has published articles in journals of the American Bar Association, Litigation Section, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers Association, the University of Cincinnati Law Review and the University of Dayton Law Review.



 Practice Areas

  • Complex Litigation
  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Breach of Contract
  • Dangerous Drugs, Medical Devices, Defective Products and Diseases


Honors & Accolades

  • AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® – Lawyer of the Year 2014 for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Cincinnati
  • Best Lawyers® in America, 2011 - 2016
  • Top 100 Attorney, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Jewish National Fund Judge Carl. B. Rubin Legal Society Attorney of the Year, 2013
  • Recommended Attorney, the U.S. Legal 500, 2013 and 2014
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Order of the Coif
  • Business Manager, University of Cincinnati Law Review, 1981-1982
  • Best Lawyers in America, Cincinnati – Plaintiff Class Action and Mass Torts 2014
  • Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers®, 2005-2016
  • Distinguished Service Award, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998


Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal, Third, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois



  • J.D., 1982, University of Cincinnati School of Law

  • B.A., 1979, University of Cincinnati, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, summa cum laude


Professional Affiliations

  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association (Member, Annual Convention Committee, 2004)
  • American Association for Justice
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • Chair, Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, Sub-committee on the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice (served through June 2017)


Publications & Media

About Janet Abaray

Admitted: 1982, Ohio

Professional Webpage: http://www.burgsimpson.com/attorney/janet-g-abaray/


  • Attorney of the Year, Carl B. Rubin Legal Society, 2014
  • Burg Simpson ranked Number 1 products liablity firm in the United States in 2012., Martindale Hubbell, 2012
  • Janet Abaray selected for Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, exclusive to women lawyers who have achieved the Highest Possible Rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards:  AV Preeminent., Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbel, 2011
  • Top 100 Attorney, American Trial Lawyers Association 2008; 2009; Distinguished Service Award, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998, 2010; Phi Beta Kappa 1978; Order of the Coif 1982; Business Manager, University of Cincinnati Law Review, 1981-1982.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission was created to make recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly concerning potential revisions to the Ohio Constitution.  Chair of the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice Committee., 2012

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Because patients now play an active role in their medical care decisions and drug companies have many means to communicate risks and benefits directly to patients, the rationale for imposing the "learned intermediary" defense no longer applies. , Author, Modern Realities Render the Learned Intermediary Doctrine Obsolete, ABA, Section of Litigation, Products Liability Vol 21, No.1, 2010
  • Review of reliable evidence, FDA criteria and "gold standard" of proof in prescription drug litigation., Proof of Causation in Prescription Drug Litigation

Industry Groups

  • American Association For Justice

Articles about Janet G. Abaray appearing in Super Lawyers

Office Location for Janet G. Abaray

312 Walnut Street
Suite 2090
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Janet G. Abaray:

Last Updated: 4/30/2018

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