MAJA C. EATON is a partner in Sidley’s Chicago office, a global coordinator for the Products Liability and Mass Torts practice, and the firmwide co-chair of the Committee for the Retention and Promotion of Women. She has defended and tried a wide variety of products liability cases, ranging from the defense of toxic tort litigation to cases and mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. Ms. Eaton’s background in the sciences lends itself well to this practice area, and she has substantial experience in the development of trial themes, expert witnesses and company defenses involving a variety of scientific and medical disciplines.
Ms. Eaton was awarded “Top Female Litigator of the Year” for the Midwest by Benchmark Litigation at their inaugural Awards event in January 2013. She was also named as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation, published by Benchmark Litigation, the first magazine devoted to honoring the achievements and issues facing female trial lawyers in the United States. Additionally, this publication named her as one of the Top 10 Female Litigators in the nation. She is also featured as a Life Sciences Star in the inaugural edition of LMG Life Sciences 2012 for her outstanding litigation work. Ms. Eaton is ranked as a leading lawyer nationally in Litigation-Products Liability by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – The Client’s Guide (2008-2012), and as a Leading Lawyer in “Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices” by The Legal 500 – The Clients’ Guide to the US Legal Profession (2008-2012) , which has described her as “a phenomenal medical, scientific and legal thinker.” She is also named in Who’s Who Legal 2010 and 2011 for Product Liability Defense, as a “Litigation Star” nationally in Product Liability by Benchmark 2010-2013, and she is mentioned as a “local star” for Illinois in Benchmark 2011-2013.
Ms. Eaton has served as national coordinating counsel and member of the national trial team for a major client in asbestos litigation, and in 2005 secured a defense verdict for the client in a significant asbestos case tried in Madison County, Illinois. She currently serves as trial counsel to a client in cases in the MDL and state court litigation involving gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents. Ms. Eaton has also successfully defended trial court level victories in both state and federal appellate courts. She has delivered a number of presentations at national and international law conferences on topics relating to the defense of drug and medical device claims, including challenging the use of circumstantial proof of defect in medical device cases, proof of general versus specific causation in toxic exposure and drug cases and a primer on U.S. product liability law for foreign in-house counsel. Ms. Eaton has also taught products liability law as an adjunct professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
In addition to her responsibilities as firmwide co-chair of the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women, Ms. Eaton is an active member of the firm’s Recruiting Committee, Pro Bono Committee, Professional Risk Management Committee and the Committee on Assignment and Compensation of Associates. Ms. Eaton also co-chaired Sidley’s mentoring program for several years. Maja is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Legal Assistance Foundation (2012-2014). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Iowa Law School Foundation. Ms. Eaton is a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago-based Legal Assistance Foundation. She is also the firm’s representative to Lawyers for Civil Justice.