Law Office of

Hugo & Associates, PLLC

One Catherine Road
Framingham, Massachusetts  01701
(617) 448-4888

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About Michael Hugo
Michael R. Hugo

Michael R. Hugo, the Principal Attorney in Hugo & Associates, practices environmental and consumer protection law on behalf of plaintiffs. Mr. Hugo has regularly been involved in high profile cases involving some of the most egregious instances of corporate negligence. He is engaged in an active practice on an international level and has been practicing in the environmental and pharmaceutical litigation arena for more than 30 years.

A graduate of Boston College, Mr. Hugo earned his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the New England School of Law in 1982.

Between 1986 and 1995, he was an attorney with Schlichtmann Conway Crowley & Hugo, the firm upon which the best-selling non-fiction novel and box office hit, A Civil Action, was based. A Civil Action depicts the firm’s efforts to win compensation for children and adults who were poisoned as a result of toxic chemical spills in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Mr. Hugo subsequently became a partner in a number of prominent plaintiff litigation firms specializing in environmental and pharmaceutical litigation, including Brent Coon & Associates, a law firm with 17 offices throughout the United States. He was the chair of that firm’s Mass Tort Department, overseeing the pharmaceutical docket in all 17 offices.

Prior to starting his own firm in 2011, Mr. Hugo was Senior Litigation Counsel with Parker Waichman Alonso, LLP, in New York. He managed that firm’s Alien Tort Statute practice, handling cases in countries such as Indonesia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Clients included family members of people who were killed by paramilitary and terrorist groups receiving support from American corporations. He also headed the firm’s environmental litigation at Ft. Detrick, MD and Camp Lejeune, NC, and represented children sickened by lead poisoning in La Oroya, Peru.

During the course of his career, Mr. Hugo has tried hundreds of cases and won verdicts and settlements totaling tens of millions of dollars. Considered a pioneer in vaccine litigation, his work led directly to the abandonment of the traditional DTP vaccine and the eventual licensing and marketing of the safer DTaP vaccine by the large commercial manufacturers. Although he was litigating against the pharmaceutical industry in court, he joined with the industry to successfully lobby the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

He was one of the leaders in the silicone gel breast implant litigation, serving as a member of the Settlement Advisory Committee appointed by the Honorable Sam C. Pointer, Jr., in the Northern District of Alabama. In this role, Mr. Hugo assisted in the facilitation of one of the largest global settlements of a mass tort ever.

Mr. Hugo has also been active in the litigation of many of the most high profile pharmaceutical cases in the United States. He was instrumental in the litigation surrounding Rezulin, a diabetes drug used at one time by over one million people that the Food and Drug Administration withdrew from the market after determining it caused liver damage. As a co-lead deposition counsel, he took the deposition of the former President of Parke-Davis, revealing key information that led to many successful verdicts and settlements.

He was very active in the multidistrict litigation for Baycol, a statin drug found to have caused deaths and paralysis, and was a crucial member of the discovery committee in national litigation on Vioxx, a pain relief medication causing heart attacks and strokes once used by two million Americans. His Vioxx work contributed to the declassification of thousands of documents over which the manufacturer Merck had improperly claimed attorney-client privilege. 

Most recently, Mr. Hugo has led the charge to protect consumers from Chantix, an anti-smoking drug that can cause depression and suicide. He was the first attorney in the nation to present a speech on Chantix in a major seminar. He also currently is helping to lead multidistrict litigation for victims of toxic chemical poisoning at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and for plaintiffs from Colombia bringing suit against Chiquita for human rights violations.

Mr. Hugo has lectured internationally in pharmaceutical products liability and toxic & environmental torts. He has been a regular lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as at several law schools, and has written many papers for professional publications on those subjects. Within the legal profession, he is considered an authority on mass tort cases, and is the lead author of the chapter on Multidistrict Litigation in the leading multi-volume treatise, Litigating Tort Cases, by West Publishing Co. Mr. Hugo is a President’s Club member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) (formerly ATLA), has served on the Executive Committee, and has been a member of the group’s Board of Governors for many years.

Mr. Hugo is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, as well as the bars of several federal jurisdictions. He has been admitted to practice before the courts of over 30 states and federal jurisdictions.

  • New England School of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
  • Harvard University, post-graduate study
  • Boston College, B.S. Business/Economics 

Bar Admissions
  • Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Claims Court/U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Select Publications

Hugo, M., "Alien Tort Statute Cases: Will the Supreme Court gut one of the oldest statutes in our codified system of laws to protect its greedy corporate friends?" (2012).

Hugo, M., "Litigating Toxic and Environmental Cases Against the Federal Government: Is it OK with you if I sue you?" (2012).

Hugo, M., "Regulation of State Compounding Pharmacies: A State or Federal Matter?" (2012).

Hugo, M, Helinski, S: "Multidistrict Litigation," Chapter 8 of Litigating Tort Cases, West Publishing Co. 2003 and supplements in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009.

Hugo, M., "Financing Mass Tort Cases in the Small Office," Proceedings of ATLA 2002 Annual Meeting.

Hugo, M., "Product Promotion Versus Product Warnings, And The Learned Intermediary Defense," in Products Liability Litigation: Product Studies (Lowe, JA, Ed.), Clark Boardman Callaghan Publishing, 1996.

Hugo, M., "No Fault Mass Tort Litigation: A Futuristic Idea Whose Time has Passed: The vaccine compensation experience," Proceedings of ATLA 1992 Annual Meeting.

Leadership & Other

American Association for Justice - President's Club (2003 - present), Board of Governors (1997 - present)

New England Super Lawyer 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Framingham, Massachusetts Board of Health - Chair (2008 - present), Member (2005 - present)

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