Maja C. Eaton
MAJA C. EATON is a partner in Sidley’s Chicago office, a member of the firm's Executive Committee and a practice area team leader for the Products Liability and Mass Torts practice. 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 in 2013 and 2014, 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 in 2013 and 2014. She is also featured as a Life Sciences Star in LMG Life Sciences 2012–2014 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 (2008–2015), which praised her as being “very good with clients and thinking ahead to the big picture.” She is also recognized 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 (2008–2015) , which has described her as “a phenomenal medical, scientific and legal thinker.” She is also named in Who’s Who Legal 2010–2014 for Product Liability Defense, in Who's Who Legal 2014 for Life Sciences, as a “Litigation Star” nationally in Product Liability by Benchmark Litigation 2010-2015, and she is mentioned as a “local star” for Illinois in Benchmark Litigation 2011–2015. Ms. Eaton is recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Actions – Defendants in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
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, and as national counsel to a medical device manufacturer in litigation involving cardiac leads. 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.
Ms. Eaton serves as firmwide co-chair of the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women, and she is also 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.
- "Q&A with Sidley Austin's Maja Eaton," Law360, (April 18, 2013).
- Defending a Medical Device Case When the Product Is No Longer Available, In-House Defense Quarterly, (Summer 2008).
- Defense Research Institute, member
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Lawyers for Civil Justice
- Legal Assistance Foundation, Board of Directors