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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Alexandra B. Cunningham

Alexandra B. Cunningham

Partner

Expertise

  • Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Asbestos Litigation
  • Benzene Litigation

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Virginia, U.S.A.

Profile

Litigation and risk management practice focuses on product liability, toxic tort and environmental litigation, food contamination claims, and wrongful death and personal injury defense, including mass torts, class actions and multidistrict litigation.

Ms. Cunningham is co-head of the firm’s products liability and mass tort litigation practice group. She represents major corporate clients in all aspects of product liability, mass tort and toxic tort and environmental litigation, including successfully defending catastrophic injury and death claims; asbestos, benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, solvent and silica-related premises and product liability claims; large-scale environmental toxin and exposure claims, involving PFAS, PAHs, fluorides, coal combustion residuals and hexavalent chromium; and claims of bacterial contamination in food and beverage products. Ms. Cunningham also advises clients on legal issues related to COVID-19, including potential claims risk and mitigation, wrongful death, personal injury and nuisance claims defense strategies, and is actively defending companies in COVID-19 litigation. She also represents clients in general product liability and commercial litigation.

Ms. Cunningham is admitted to practice in Virginia, Georgia, New York and West Virginia, and before the federal courts in those jurisdictions and many others. She has appeared as trial counsel in state and federal courts around the country, and has led appeals to the Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and United States Supreme Courts. Ms. Cunningham has also led arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce and American Arbitration Association.

Relevant Experience

  • National coordinating counsel, national regional counsel, trial counsel and local counsel for several Fortune 100 and 500 companies in mass tort and toxic exposure litigation.
  • Provides strategic premarket and workplace litigation risk advice to product manufacturers and industrial employers, including guidance on potential risks of product or manufacturing operations or changes, regulatory compliance, investigations, litigation avoidance, and risk management and incident response for product failure, fatalities, crises or other catastrophic events, including COVID-19 fatalities or outbreaks.
  • Substantial experience in representing international companies in US-based litigation, including forum and jurisdictional-based defense strategies and international discovery.
  • Trial counsel in asbestos and mass tort cases around the country, including New York, California, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia, where served as trial counsel for consolidated trial of 1,300 asbestos claims—the largest asbestos trial in Virginia history.
  • Led successful defense and won dismissal of a high-profile federal lawsuit involving allegations of unsafe COVID-19 working conditions brought against one of the largest meat processing companies in the United States.
  • Argued successful motion to dismiss on lack of legal duty in first “take home” asbestos exposure case filed in Arizona state court.
  • Trial counsel in environmental exposure and other matters, including jury trial involving allocation of environmental liabilities under asset purchase agreement in Illinois federal court. Case settled on favorable terms before verdict.
  • Led and argued multiple appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia on tort and workplace exposure issues.
  • Argued successful plea in bar in Newport News Circuit Court on novel issue of Virginia law resulting in dismissal with prejudice of multimillion-dollar asbestos wrongful death claim.
  • Primary drafter of Virginia Supreme Court pleadings and petition for writ of certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court challenging mass consolidation of asbestos cases.

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • New York
  • Virginia

Education

BA, University of Virginia, Psychology, 1996
Areas of Practice

Asbestos Litigation | Benzene Litigation | Business Litigation | Chemicals, Products and Hazardous Materials | Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation | Commercial Litigation | COVID-19 Litigation | Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts | Glyphosate Litigation | Litigation | Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Litigation | National Business Tort and Product Liability | PFAS Interdisciplinary Team | Product and Mass Tort Litigation | Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation | Retail | Retail and Consumer Products Litigation | Silica Litigation

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • National Coordinating Counsel, national regional counsel, trial counsel and local counsel for Fortune 500 companies in mass tort and toxic exposure litigation.
  • Member of strategic national trial team for Fortune 500 Company.
  • Provides strategic pre-market litigation risk analysis for product manufacturers, including guidance on potential risks of product or manufacturing changes, regulatory compliance, investigations, litigation avoidance, and risk management advice for product failure, crises or catastrophic events.
  • Trial counsel in consolidated trial of 1300 asbestos claims - the largest asbestos trial in Virginia history.
  • Argued successful motion to dismiss on lack of legal duty in first "take home" asbestos exposure case filed in Arizona state court.
  • Tried jury trial in federal court in Illinois involving dispute over allocation of environmental liabilities under Asset Purchase Agreement.  Case settled on favorable terms before verdict.
  • Argued before Supreme Court of Virginia.
  • Argued successful plea in bar in Newport News Circuit Court on novel issue of Virginia law resulting in dismissal with prejudice of multi-million dollar asbestos wrongful death claim.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a multi-million dollar premises liability/negligence action in federal district court.
  • Represented major insurance company in unfair trade practices class action lawsuit.
  • Primary drafter of Virginia Supreme Court pleadings and Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court challenging mass consolidation of asbestos cases.
  • Represented Virginia Child Support Enforcement Division as pro bono trial counsel in dozens of child support enforcement trials.


Professional Associations

  • Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 2017
  • Member, American, Virginia and Georgia Bar Associations
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Board of Directors, YMCA of Greater Richmond
  • Board of Directors, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
  • General Counsel, Virginia Association of Independent Schools
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Richmond School of Law, teaching “Appellate Advocacy”
  • Managing Partner, Hunton & Williams – Charlottesville Pro Bono Office

Professional Activities and Experience

  • “Rising Star” in Civil Litigation Defense, Virginia Super Lawyers (2008, 2009, 2011–2014). A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.
  • “Best Lawyers”, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, The Best Lawyers in America, 22nd and 23rd Edition (2016-2017). A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • “Top Peer Nominated Lawyer,” Women in the Law, Best Lawyers (2016 and 2017). A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • E. Randolph Williams Pro Bono Award

Articles

EPA Warns Against Potentially False and Misleading COVID-19 Disinfectant Claims
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, June 2020

A consumer advisory issued on June 1, 2020 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarifies which hard-surface disinfectant products may legally make claims regarding expected efficacy against the COVID-19 virus. The advisory, titled “What You Need to Know Regarding Products Making Claims to Kill the Coronavirus Causing COVID-19,” also warns retailers of potential enforcement actions if they sell non-compliant products...

Additional Articles

  • Formaldehyde Status Increases Litigation Risk, Risk Management
  • Unpredictability of TSCA chemical risk evaluation process increases litigation risk for companies, Thomson Reuters
  • Out with the Old, in with the New: What to Expect in Asbestos Litigation in 2018, Westlaw Journal Asbestos
  • Causation and the Use of Experts in Toxic Tort Cases, chapter in Toxic Tort Litigation, ABA
  • TSCA Regulatory Action Raises Retailers’ Litigation Risk, Law360
  • Expert Analysis: 4 Personal Jurisdiction Questions Defendants Should Ask, Law360
  • 5 Ways Retailers Can Mitigate Product Liability Litigation Risk, Law360
  • 2019 Retail Industry Year in Review

Blogs

Blockchain Legal Resource
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 

Analysis and Insight in Blockchain Law

Pipeline Law
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 

Connecting You To the Flow of Latest News and Industry Information

Privacy and Information Security Law Blog
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 

Global privacy and cybersecurity law updates and analysis. Computerworld magazine has named Hunton & Williams the top firm for privacy for the fourth consecutive year based on a survey of more than 4,000 corporate privacy professionals. In addition, Chambers and Partners rated Hunton & Williams the...

The Nickel Report
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 

Trends and Developments in Energy and Environmental Law

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