Simmons Hanly Conroy has added new asbestos attorneys in its New York and California offices who previously practiced in the high profile Weitz & Luxenberg firm.

Edward Braniff joins the firm’s New York office as a shareholder and its Northeast Asbestos Litigation Manager, according to a firm press release.

Braniff has mostly focused his practice on Zoloft drug birth defects litigation. He currently serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the Zoloft multi-district litigation.

He also has trial experience in mesothelioma cases and other pharmaceutical litigation.

Braniff also has served with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York. He earned his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

Daniel P. Blouin also joins the firm’s New York office as a shareholder.

His experience has included mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.

In 2013, Blouin obtained a $190 million verdict in a consolidated mesothelioma case involving tradesmen. The verdict was the largest consolidated asbestos verdict in New York history. Additionally, the $60 million that two of the claimants received was among the largest individual sums ever awarded in a New York asbestos case.

He earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

“We welcome Ed and Daniel to our New York office, where they will spearhead the expansion of our mesothelioma litigation practice in the entire Northeast region,” managing shareholder Michael J. Angelides stated in a press release. “Although we have filed many asbestos-related claims for our clients in areas including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Ed and Daniel will be the firm’s first mesothelioma attorneys based in New York. With decades of experience in asbestos and pharmaceutical products liability litigation, they will add significant depth to our firm.”

Brent Zadorozny joins the firm’s San Francisco office. He will concentrate on asbestos and personal injury cases.

Zadorozny’s experience includes winning an $8.7 million asbestos trial verdict in the Los Angeles Superior Court and successful arbitration of various matters in non-U.S. jurisdictions, including Sweden and the Bahamas.

He earned his law degree from Seattle University School of Law.

“Brent will help us to bolster our services to clients throughout California,” Angelides said. “Brent has more than 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer and an extensive background handling asbestos and mesothelioma matters, as well as non-asbestos injury litigation.”

The Simmons firm has filed the most asbestos cases in Madison County over the past decade, and most of the cases have been brought on behalf of plaintiffs suffering from mesothelioma. The vast majority of cases filed in Madison County, the busiest asbestos docket in the country, are filed on behalf of persons from outside of Illinois.

Simmons acquired its New York office in June 2014 through the merger of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC and Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes LLP.

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