Richard A Oetheimer

Richard A. Oetheimer

Richard A. Oetheimer
+1 617 570 1259

Rich Oetheimer is a partner in Goodwin’s Products Litigation and Counseling practice, and specializes in the defense of mass tort and products liability actions, and business and real estate litigation. He has been recognized as a top-rated Products Liability and Mass Torts lawyer by The Legal 500, American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, Corporate Counsel, and The National Law Journal as a Super Lawyer for Business Litigation.

Richard has extensive experience in the defense of product liability and mass tort claims against manufacturers of prescription drugs, medical devices, chemical substances, foods and dietary supplements, cosmetics and consumer products. His experience includes defense of asbestos, talc, DES, PPA, Reglan/metoclopramide, Pradaxa, ephedra, heart valve and Dalkon Shield IUD litigation, including participation in jury trials in federal and state courts. He served as lead counsel in the US Supreme Court case that established federal preemption of generic drug failure to warn lawsuits and participated as amicus in the follow-on case finding federal preemption of generic drug design defect claims.

Richard also has extensive experience in business and financial services litigation, including defense of residential mortgage lenders in state and federal courts, and is active in all types of real estate and land use litigation, including many cases and multiple trials in Massachusetts' specialized Land Court.


Richard’s experience includes the representation of:

Products Liability and Mass Torts

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, finding federal preemption of state law tort claims against generic drug manufacturers under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the FDA Act. 564 U.S. 604 (2011)
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA in Morris v. PLIVA, Inc., and Johnson v. PLIVA, involving the prescription drug metoclopramide. The Louisiana federal district courts dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims under the Louisiana Products Liability Act and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, holding that all of the plaintiffs’ generic drug claims are preempted by federal law. 713 F.3d. 774 (5th Cir. 2013)
  • Generic Drug Manufacturers in Strayhorn v. Wyeth Pharma, Inc., successfully arguing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that the plaintiffs’ design defect and warning claims are preempted by federal law. 737 F.3d 378 (6th Cir. 2013)
  • The Generic Pharmaceutical Association in an Amicus Brief in the California Supreme Court Plavix pharmaceutical mass tort litigation that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark specific personal jurisdiction ruling in Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017)
  • A cosmetic contract manufacturer Kolmar Laboratories in litigation in multiple jurisdictions, alleging personal injury due to alleged asbestos contamination of talc used in cosmetic talcum powder products
  • Aircraft manufacturer and government contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation and shipyard owner Huntington-Ingalls Industries in asbestos personal injury litigation across multiple jurisdictions
  • Multiple clients in defense of pharmaceutical product liability claims arising from adverse events in human clinical trials and advice concerning clinical trial agreements, protocols, informed consents and liability insurance

Business, Financial Services and Real Estate Litigation

  • Bank of America in defense of litigation brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General challenging the conduct of foreclosures under state law
  • Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage in Manson v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, in defeating certification of a putative class of homeowners alleging unlawful foreclosure in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 283 F.R.D. 30 (D. Mass. 2012)
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association in arguing as amicus curiae to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Bevilaqua v. Rodriquez, involving the consequences of invalid mortgage foreclosures under state law. 460 Mass. 762 (2011)
  • Ocwen Loan Servicing in litigation and administrative proceedings related to residential mortgage servicing involving the Connecticut Department of Banking
  • Boston Properties in connection with litigation with a development partner for a New Jersey office park
  • An institute of higher education in Boston in a dispute with condominium abutters concerning egress easements, and a second institution of higher education in a land dispute with a neighboring school
  • U.S. Bank in obtaining equitable subrogation to a refinanced mortgage in a Massachusetts Land Court judgment affirmed by the Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • City National Bank in obtaining dismissal at the close of the plaintiff’s evidence at trial of a borrower’s claim that the bank committed waste as mortgagee in possession of residential apartment buildings
  • Representation of both landlords and tenants in commercial lease disputes and litigation, including disputes relating to rentable square footage determinations, common area maintenance charges, sublease and assignment, and termination and eviction
  • Eminent domain litigation, including submission of an Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London involving the use of the Taking Power to facilitate economic redevelopment
  • The redeveloper of waterfront land in Boston in connection with abutters’ challenge to the Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan and the Commonwealth’s Municipal Harbor Plan Regulations
  • A prominent national auto insurer in defense of a putative class action brought by a policyholder
  • Real Estate title disputes including retention by title insurance companies to clear title defects
  • Zoning and land use litigation including special permit appeals and legal challenges to local zoning

Professional Activities

Richard has chaired programs for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and has presented at Defense Research Institute, American Bar Association, American Conference Institute, American Bankruptcy Institute, CLE International, Boston Bar Association, and District of Massachusetts Bench/Bar Conference programs. He is a member of the Boston and American Bar Associations, ABA Section of Litigation, Products Liability Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, and the Drug and Medical Device Committee of the Defense Research Institute.

Richard is a longtime member of the Massachusetts Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, and has served as its Massachusetts pro bono litigation counsel. He also serves as a Trustee of the Needham Land Trust.




University of California, Berkeley School of Law


Boston College

(summa cum laude)



  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Recognition & Awards

Richard has been recognized by US News-Best Lawyers in the areas of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action and Product Liability Litigation, and by The Legal 500 U.S. in the area of Products Liability and Class Actions Defense, with specific reference to Toxic Torts and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices as well as Private equity buyouts. He was also named as a Top Rated Lawyer and Legal Leader: Mass Tort by Corporate Counsel, The American Lawyer and The National Law Journal. He has also been recognized as a Product Liability Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation and is recognized in Who’s Who Legal for Product Liability Defense. He has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer for Business Litigation.

Richard was named to America's Top 100 Bet-the-Company Litigators for Massachusetts in 2020.


Richard has published a variety of articles in the area of mass torts, products liability, consumer lawsuits and class actions, and mortgage and foreclosure litigation, including: