Paul J. Napoli is a nationally renowned personal injury, medical malpractice, and mass tort litigation attorney with more than 25 years of experience in the legal field. As a top injury attorney, he aggressively defends the rights of his clients in courtrooms throughout the country, fighting to ensure they get the maximum amount of compensation they deserve. Trusted by those he represents and respected by his colleagues in the legal field, he has a well-earned reputation for integrity and honesty, and a dedication to ensuring justice is served.
With his well-documented track record in achieving the most successful outcomes in legal cases, Mr. Napoli rates a score of 10 out of 10 on AVVO, the highest possible ranking from the nation’s leading lawyer referral and rating service. He is well-known for consistently achieving jury awards and settlements involving multiple millions of dollars for plaintiffs, and he brings his particular brand of excellence, his high- powered legal skill, and his tenacious approach work on behalf of clients.
Representing Injured Workers and First Responders from 9/11
Mr. Napoli became particularly well-known in the aftermath of 9/11, through the work he did both in contributing to recovery efforts, as well as in assisting those demolitions workers and first responders who were injured on the site.
Mr. Napoli was appointed by the United States District Court as Co-Liaison Counsel representing more than 11,000 first responders and other rescue and recovery workers who became ill or were injured during the rescue, recovery, and debris-removal activities at the World Trade Center site in the months following 9/11. Mr. Napoli was instrumental in obtaining settlements that are today valued at more than $900 million for his clients and others.
His efforts on behalf of 9/11 workers and their families left him with a deep, abiding passion to work towards changes in the existing social and legal system. He became heavily involved in 9/11 charitable organizations and advocacy groups, while speaking out on the legal issues facing victims and their rights pertaining to settlements after 9/11.
In addition to his personal efforts and using his skill as an attorney to help those impacted, Mr. Napoli also lobbied New York State and the U.S. Congress for two important pieces of legislation to assist WTC-injured workers, downtown residents, and office workers. These include:
- An amendment to New York’s General Municipal Law §50-I, (known as “JIMMY NOLAN’S LAW”), that provided a one-year savings statute for otherwise time-barred first responder claims. This effectively extended the amount of time for those injured in 9/11 rescue, clean up, and recovery efforts to seek compensation from public corporations.
- The JAMES ZADROGA 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION ACT OF 2010 (“Zadroga Bill”), which extended the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program Fund indefinitely and allowed individuals and family members of deceased workers to continue to file claims for compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. This provides for medical monitoring, medical treatment, and cash awards for injured first responders and other WTC survivors, local office workers and community members injured by the post-9/11 fallout of over $2.8 billion dollars.
While passing this legislation played an important role in ensuring victims of the 9/11 attacks received the financial support they and their families deserved while they recovered, Mr. Napoli’s efforts did not stop there. Mr. Napoli has been a generous contributor to the 9/11 Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and other organizations working to support first responders and other WTC-injured workers.
The National September 11th Memorial Museum
As a strong supporter of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, Mr. Napoli’s efforts help to ensure that the event that occurred that fateful day and the lives that were lost or changed forever are not forgotten.
The Memorial itself, which is directly on the WTC site, serves to help remember and honor the thousands of people murdered by the acts of terrorism, both in the first attack that occurred there on February 26, 1993, and as a result of the devastation resulting from 9/11. It recognizes the site as a sacred place, in the hopes that the lives lost and the acts of bravery and deeds of courage that took place there will inspire us all to have a deeper respect for life, to work harder to defend our freedoms, and to continue to confront hatred and intolerance, wherever it occurs.
Also located on the site is the National September 11th Memorial Museum, which serves as the country’s principal institution to chronicle the events of that fateful day and how those events continue to impact the world in which we live. The Museum honors victims and those involved in recovery and cleanup efforts through a series of interactive displays and a growing collection of artifacts, personal stories, photos, and videos.
Mr. Napoli’s charitable and civic involvement, his advocacy efforts, and his legal work on behalf of 9/11 and World Trade Center victims have led him to become nationally recognized as an expert on the various issues surrounding that day. Mr. Napoli was profiled in the published book “City of Dust,” a journalistic account of the rescue, recovery, and debris removal activities at the site of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks, authored by former New York Times columnist Anthony DePalma. Due to his extensive knowledge of the attacks, the cleanup and recovery efforts, and the legal obstacles in obtaining settlements, his name is now synonymous with 9/11 responder claims.
Paul Napoli has deep roots and strong personal and professional ties to the city of New York, where he began his legal education and career. Paul is a 1992 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and holds a B.S. from Fordham University (1989) in accounting. He is admitted to practice both in New York and Illinois and holds “pro hac vice” admissions in several other states.
Protecting the Public
Prior to Mr. Napoli’s work with 9/11 victims of the World Trade Center attacks and their families, he broke ground in becoming one of the leading voices for patient advocacy in debates over the safety of diet pills and the responsibility of physicians in providing their patients with these medications. The controversy focused on the diet drug Fen-Phen, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports has been linked with cases of cardiovascular disease in patients.
In groundbreaking pharmaceutical malpractice and medical malpractice litigation involving thousands of clients, Mr. Napoli played a critical role in holding the drug manufacturers and the physicians who prescribed these drugs accountable, netting roughly $22 billion in settlements for victims.
Paul Napoli’s passion is to shine a light on issues that put the well-being of the public in danger and sharing his knowledge and experience to inform others in the legal field has been a hallmark of his career. Mr. Napoli has written on physician liability for diet drug injuries, which was published in the New York Law Journal, and on “The Cost of Contamination” for the American Water Works Association Journal, November 2012.
As a leader in the fight to protect the public against potential dangers due to unsafe and potentially illegal practices, he has extensively litigated as an environmental lawyer on behalf of municipal clients for contamination to land and water supplies resulting from petroleum and related chemical spills. While easy access to safe, clean drinking water is crucial to the health of us all, numerous reports in recent years have brought to light concerns over water contamination. Once water is tainted, it is often impossible to completely eradicate the problem, and it is crucial for water suppliers to take a proactive approach in monitoring and addressing potential problems.
A Life Dedicated to Helping Others
In pursuing a career in the legal field, Mr. Napoli follows in the footsteps of his father Joseph Napoli, himself a highly successful and well- known personal injury attorney who has played a critical role in assisting clients involved in cases in the New York State and Federal Court of Appeals.
It was while Paul Napoli was seeking his legal degree at St. John’s University that he met his future wife, Marie. Alongside her husband, Mrs. Napoli has over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury, medical malpractice, and mass tort litigation involving complex litigation skills, and her proven track record of success led to her becoming one of the very few female partners in a mass tort litigation firm.
Together, Mr. and Mrs. Napoli have made significant impacts on the legal community in general and have contributed generously to their alma mater. Their commitment to each other, to their family, and to the principle of helping others was highlighted in an SJU alumni magazine issue entitled ‘Heart to Heart’. It outlined how they met on campus, their illustrious careers since, and their generous contribution in establishing the Paul and Marie Kaiser Napoli Lecture Hall in the SJU School of Law. Today, the Napoli’s and their children remain active members of their local community and continue to forge new legal ground.
- Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP
*Results May Vary Depending On Your Particular Facts and Legal Circumstances*
- $600 Million Settlement in the Flint Water Litigation (subject to court approval)
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, as co-liaison and negotiating counsel in the Flint Water Litigation, along with interim class counsel and representatives of the State of Michigan Attorney General’s office, reached a landmark wide- reaching $600 million settlement with the State of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy), City of Flint, former Governor Richard Snyder, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and several other State and City employees in the Flint Water Crisis Litigation on behalf of the citizens of Flint, Michigan.
- $320 Million Opioid Settlement
This landmark settlement was reached on behalf of Cuyahoga County (Ohio), one of the bellwether plaintiffs in the National Opioid Litigation, against four of the key players responsible for the opioid epidemic.
- In re: World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, 21 MC 100 (AKH), United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Appointed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel. Napoli negotiated a historic settlement of more than ten thousand workers’ claims against the City of New York, its contractors and other defendants in the mass tort litigation where first responders, construction workers, and laborers became ill as a result of toxic exposures suffered during the debris removal and clean-up operations at the World Trade Center and related sites following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- In re: MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Napoli attained more than $50 million in the settlement with ExxonMobil Corporation and other defendants on behalf of numerous municipalities and municipal water districts whose potable drinking water sources were endangered and contaminated by leaks of petroleum additive.
- In Re: Nassau County Consolidated MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) Products Liability Litigation, Master Docket No.: 601516/09
- Theodore Garille, Exec. Dir. for the Pascoag Util. Dist. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al. Providence Superior Ct., Case No. 02-2437 (Janice St. Ours v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al. Providence Superior Ct., Case No. PC03-0079);
- Gladys Marshall, et al., v. CSX Transportation, Inc., et al.;
- In re: Diet Drug (Phentermine, fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine) Products Liability Litigation, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Achieved a half-billion dollar settlement on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs injured as a result of their ingestion of defective diet medications.
- $52 Million Dollar Settlement For Environmental Contamination Of Municipal Water Supplies Of MTBE By Petroleum Refiners And Retailers
- $875 Million Dollar Settlement On Behalf Of Users Of A Pharmaceutical That Caused Heart Defects
- $118 Million Dollar Settlement On Behalf Of Users Of A Pharmaceutical That Caused Heart Defects
- $220 Million Dollar Settlement On Behalf Of Users Of A Pharmaceutical That Caused Heart Defects
- $712.5 Million Dollar Settlement Of Injuries Sustained By Rescue And Recovery Workers At Ground Zero From Toxic Dust.
- $24.5 Million Dollar Settlement Of Injuries Sustained By Rescue And Recovery Workers At Ground Zero From Toxic Dust At Fresh Kills Landfill
- $28 Million Dollar Settlement Of Injuries Sustained By Rescue And Recovery Workers At Ground Zero From Toxic Dust While Working On The Barges And Piers
- $47.5 Million Dollar Settlement Of Injuries Sustained By Rescue And Recovery Workers At Ground Zero From Toxic Dust Recovered From The Port Authority Of New York And New Jersey
- Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel in In Re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2:18-mn-2873-RMG) by United States District Court Judge Richard Mark Gergel for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division
- Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel in the West Virginia Opioid Litigation (Civil Action No. 17-C-248) by Honorable David W. Hummel, Jr. of the Second Judicial Circuit Court, Division 2 of Marshall County, West Virginia
- Liaison Counsel in the Colorado PFOA / PFOS Toxic Tort Litigation (Bell, et al. v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 1:16-cv-02351-RBJ) by Honorable R. Brooke Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
- Co-Lead Counsel in the New York Opioid Cost Recovery Litigation by Justice Jerry Garguilo of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for Suffolk County
- Appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of New York as a Liaison Counsel for the New York State Consolidated Diet Drug litigations In re: Diet Drug (Phentermine, fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine) Products Liability Litigation
- Plaintiffs’ Discovery Committee for In re: MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) Products Liability Litigation (MDL-1358), United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Shira Scheindlin) on Environmental Contamination of Municipal Water Supplies of MTBE by Petroleum Refiners and Retailers
- New York Court Appointed Member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for In re Rezulin Products Liability Litigation (removed from the US market 3/21/2000)
- Plaintiff’s Co-Liaison Counsel for In re: World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, 21 MC 100 (AKH) settled in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein
Awards & HonorsMr. Napoli’s dedication, success, and service to his clients is recognized throughout the legal community and he has been honored throughout his illustrious career to have received many awards from his peers and commendations from professional organizations. These include:
America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2018
American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA), Member
The American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Attorneys in the New York Metro Area, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, which recognizes excellence in legal practice based on peer reviews and client feedback
The American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2008, 2016, 2017; Top 100 Trial Lawyers: New York, which recognizes a high degree of success in litigating cases
AV Preeminent ™Martindale-Hubbell® Top Rated Lawyers, a designation considered as the gold standard for peer and client reviews
Best of the Best Attorney’s Top 10 Personal Injury Law Attorney, 2020
Best Law Firms in New York, U.S. News & World Report, 2019
The Best Lawyers in America©
Corporate Counsel Top Ranked Law Firms, 2015
Law360 MVP Award: Environmental Category, 2020
MVP: Napoli Shkolnik’ S Paul J. Napoli, Law360 (October 23, 2020)
Lawyers of Distinction, 2016
The Legal 500 United States, Top Tier 2014, which uses extensive background information and research to determine the top 500 lawyers and law firms each year
Legal Elite Top Rated Lawyer in New York, New York Magazine, 2015
Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Senior Fellow
Order of Centurions
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys (NAOPIA), 2020
The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2016-2019
National Law Journal Top 50 Elite Trial Lawyer, a prestigious honor awarded to a select number of attorneys for having the highest total recoveries
New York Super Lawyers® 2007-2021, Top Attorneys in the Metro New Yok area, which uses a multi-phase selection process to determine the best lawyers in the New York area
Trial Law Institute, Member
Trial Lawyers Board of Regents Litigator Awards, 2015 & 2016, Ranked Top 1% of Lawyers
As a recognized leader in the application and practice of law, Mr. Napoli shares his experience and skill with others in the legal field, and uses his vast knowledge to further the pursuit of justice for victims. He was honored to have served on the Board Of Directors of the New York Trial Lawyers Association, is active in numerous bar associations, has been interviewed on numerous television shows, in newspaper and magazine articles and is frequently consulted by attorneys around the country on a variety of legal issues.
PublicationsJohnson & Johnson and How Companies Attempt to Escape Product Liability, Medium (August 23, 2021)
Product Liability Law: Another Weapon in The Arsenal Against Environmental Contamination, Medium (June 16, 2021)
The Price of Profiling, Medium (May 6, 2021)
Counties Affected by PFAS As Covered By
New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC)
National Association of Counties (NACo)
Antitrust Case of the Century in Generic Pharmaceuticals, National Association of Counties (NACo) (June 22, 2020)
Law Firm of the Month: Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, Attorney at Law Magazine (October 31, 2019)
Litigation Combats Hazards of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Products, American Water Works Association (AWWA) Opflow Magazine (August 2019)
PFAS: A New Frontier for Waste Management and Landfill Leachate, New York State Association for Solid Waste Management (NYSASWM) (Volume 24 | Number 2 | Summer 2019)
PFAS and Their Implications for Landfills
Talk of the Towns & Topics Vo. 33 No. 3 May/June 2019
NYSASWM Newsletter (March 1, 2019)
Statute of Limitations in Toxic Tort Cases: CPLR 214-f and Beyond, Paul Napoli and Michelle Greene, New York Law Journal (January 9, 2019)
September 11th, the Zadroga Act and World Trade Center Health Program, China Press (September 11, 2018)
*This article is in Mandarin-Chinese.
Opioid Crisis Costs: Is There a Cause of Action?, The New York Law Journal (November 16, 2017)
The Emerging Crisis of PFAS Exposure, The New York Law Journal (October 6, 2017)
“The Cost of Contamination,” American Water Works Association Journal, What’s New in Water and Waste Water, November 2012
Compensation through legislation for 9/11 responders and victims: An analysis of Zadroga (Co-Author Brian Crosby), Westlaw Journal – Toxic Torts, Volume 29, Issue 8 / June 2011
“Physician Liability In Diet Drug Litigation,” New York Law Journal (April 20, 1998)
Mundy, Alicia, Dispensing with the Truth: The Victims, The Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle Over Fen-Phen, St. Martin’s Press, 2001.
Depalma, Anthony, CITY OF DUST: ILLNESS, ARROGANCE AND 9/11, FT Press, 2010
Speaking EngagementsFeatured Speaker, “A Cost Recovery Program: PFAS Water Contamination”, American Water Works Association (AWWA) Webinar Series (October 22, 2020)
Speaker, “PFAS Class Action Lawsuit”, Rural Water Association of Utah: 2020 Annual Conference (February 27, 2020)
Speaker, PFAS & Your Local Landfill: Managing Risk and Preparing for Regulations, New York State of Associations (NYSAC) (November 14, 2019)
Speaker, “PFOAS and PFOS Contamination in NYS”, New York State City/County Management Association (NYSCMA), (May 29, 2019)
Panelist, “Avoiding Surprise: Unregulated Chemicals and Risk”, Perrin Conferences, (May 14, 2019)
Speaker, “PFAS Water Contamination”, National Organization of Black County Officials (NOBCO), (May 1-4, 2019)
Speaker, “PFOA – The Hot Documents”, HarrisMartin’s Water Contamination Litigation Conference, 2018
Faculty Member, “Groundwater Contamination Litigation: Proving and Defending Against Liability: Demonstrating Nexus, Causation and Injury to Recover Damages”, Strafford Webinars (June 5, 2018)
Speaker, “Opioids – The Latest Information and Strategies”, Masters of Mass Tort Seminar (January 17-19, 2018)
Speaker, “Flint Water Crisis: Get in the Know about Lead Poisoning and How It’s Litigated”, Perrin Conferences
Professional AffiliationsAmerican Bar Association
American Association for Justice (Former Founder)
Diversity Law Institute, Member
Law360’s 2020 Editorial Advisory Boards: Environmental
Nassau County Bar Association
National September 11th Memorial & Museum (Board Member)
New York State Bar Association
Suffolk County Bar Association
Trial Law Institute, Member
Trial Lawyers of Puerto Rico, Chairman of the Board of Directors
St. John’s Loughlin Society (Benefactors’ Council)
St. John’s University School of Law Dean’s Advisory Counsel
Fordham University President Council