Mark Pifko, a Shareholder at Baron & Budd, specializes in the prosecution of high-profile and complex cases against multi-national corporations. Mr. Pifko’s cases have addressed corporate fraud and wrongdoing across a broad array of business areas, including in the financial services, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries. Since joining the Los Angeles office of Baron & Budd in 2011, Mr. Pifko’s efforts have led to the return of billions of dollars to victims and have affected changes in corporate behavior.
Prior to joining Baron & Budd, Mr. Pifko spent nearly a decade representing some of the world’s largest companies in high-stakes litigation. In connection with that corporate defense work, Mr. Pifko worked with advertising agencies that helped sell his clients’ products and services, and Mr. Pifko recalls that the tag line for one such agency was, “while life is busy happening, we get people to do stuff!” Corporations spend billions of dollars a year to get people to buy their offerings. But when things go wrong, where can injured parties go to get corporations to “do stuff,” like refund money and stop unlawful practices from continuing? In 2010, Mr. Pifko left his position at a top-ranked D.C.-based international law firm so that he could devote his entire practice to his passion — representing the interests of plaintiffs. Mr. Pifko is a resource to get recalcitrant companies to make things right.
Mr. Pifko believes class action and mass-tort lawsuits provide an important way for people to protect themselves from powerful corporations. Instead of one person taking on a billion-dollar company, complex litigation allows groups of people to fight back with a collective voice.
Mr. Pifko was recognized as a 2023 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer, named in the Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers by National Trial Lawyers in 2017, identified as a “Rising Star” by Law360 in 2016, and has been included in the Super Lawyers publications dating back to 2013. In addition to his litigation work, Mark Pifko has been called upon to be a speaker on class action topics at legal industry conferences, and articles written by Mr. Pifko on class action law and consumer advocacy have been published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, California Lawyer Magazine, and Trial, the American Association for Justice’s monthly magazine.
Since 2017, Mr. Pifko has devoted a substantial amount of time working on litigation related to the opioid crisis. Mr. Pifko is part of a team of lawyers who represent approximately 700 cities and counties and nine states in cases brought against manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers of opioid products. Mr. Pifko’s work on the opioid litigation has been featured in the non-fiction book, American Cartel and a September 13, 2019 article published in The Washington Post, titled Inside the Drug Industry’s Plan to Defeat the DEA, which discussed evidence uncovered by Mr. Pifko in connection with his deposition of the pharmaceutical distribution industry trade association known as the Healthcare Distribution Alliance. Additionally, Mr. Pifko was part of a team which, in March 2019, successfully obtained an order disqualifying an international law firm and a former U.S. Attorney from the bellwether cases brought by Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and the City of Cleveland. In 2022, Mr. Pifko was co-lead trial counsel for the New Mexico Attorney General in an eight-week trial concerning the opioid crisis where the State recovered $774 million from Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Kroger, and Albertsons.
- Latara Bias, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., Case No. 4:12-cv-00664-YGR (N.D. Cal.). $50 million class action settlement in a case concerning mortgage borrowers who brought civil racketeering claims regarding an alleged scheme to unlawfully charge homeowners marked-up fees for broker’s price opinions.
- Barbara Waldrup v. Countrywide Financial Corporation et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-08833-CAS (C.D. Cal.). $252 million class action settlement in a case concerning mortgage borrowers who brought civil racketeering claims regarding an alleged scheme to charge homeowners for fraudulently generated appraisal reports.
- In Re Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation, Case No. 8:17-ml-02797-AG-KES (C.D. Cal.). $423 million class action settlement in a case against Wells Fargo and its insurance underwriter National General concerning allegations that Wells Fargo and National General secretly forced-placed duplicative automobile insurance coverage on customers’ accounts.
- In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, Case No. 1:17-md-02804-DAP (N.D. Ohio). In connection with the first bellwether cases set for trial, Mr. Pifko was one of the architects of the RICO claim and led the prosecution of the claims against the pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen. The night before trial was scheduled to begin, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson paid $215 million to settle the claims brought by the first bellwether plaintiffs.
- In Re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:15-md-02599-FAM (S.D. Fla). Multi-billion dollar class action settlement concerning allegedly defective airbags installed in millions of vehicles.
- In Re: MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation, Case No. 3:13-cv-03072-EMC (N.D. Cal.). Class action settlement obtained tens of millions of dollars for consumers in connection with a case concerning alleged defects in the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch “infotainment” systems.
- Kobe Falco v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:13-cv-00686-DDP (C.D. Cal.). Multi-million dollar class action settlement in a case concerning an alleged failure to disclose knowledge of defective timing chain system that could lead to catastrophic engine failure.
University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D., 2003)
University of California, Santa Barbara (B.S., 2000)
Bar & Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern, and Northern and Districts of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer (2023)
Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Southern California (Thompson Reuters 2013-2017)
Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2017)
Law360, Rising Stars (2016)
American Bar Association
California State Bar
Los Angeles County Bar Association