Brenda S. Fulmer
Brenda Fulmer has successfully battled some of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations in the country, but what she’s most proud of is how her work helps real people. She cites her involvement in the Fen-Phen and Vioxx litigation as being some of her most rewarding cases, as they played a huge role in ensuring public safety.
“Anytime we can get a dangerous product off the market, that’s a tremendous victory,” Fulmer said. And, she said, being able to show what’s going on behind the scenes with some of the corporations in these cases can sometimes have the added benefit of inciting other companies to “come clean.”
Being a trial lawyer is personal for Fulmer, who says seeing the impact her work has on her clients’ lives is what keeps her going. She keeps a drawer full of cards and letters she has received from clients that she can read through on tough days. One of the letters is from a woman who, thanks to Fulmer’s help, was finally able to buy a comfortable car to accommodate her disability. Another is from someone who, with the help of their settlement, was able to put their daughter through college.
Fulmer’s passion for helping people carries over to her extensive volunteer work. She has volunteered as a foster parent and an exchange-student host parent, and has been an active volunteer with a number of charitable organizations.
Fulmer also lobbies on anti-consumer issues, such as federal preemption, as these are some of her biggest hurdles to helping harmed patients.
“It’s hard having to explain to a family how they don’t have any rights, that their rights were taken away,” she said. “You would think patients come first, but that’s not always the case.”
Other areas give her reason for hope.
“For the first time in a decade, the FDA is making changes that are tremendously helpful,” she said. For instance, recent rule changes have made drug label updates more efficient. “It seems we are finally getting beyond partisan issues to make positive changes.”
Fulmer said her volunteer work with AAJ’s “Trial Lawyers Care” for victims of 9-11 was a career high. She represented two families who lost loved ones. Fulmer found the challenging work edifying.
“Out of so much tragedy, I was glad I could do something to make a difference,” she said.