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Jonathan R. Gdanski


Jonathan R. Gdanski

A trial attorney with Schlesinger Law Offices, PA, Jonathan focuses his practice on complex civil trials with an emphasis on catastrophic personal injury, tobacco, and products liability cases. Jonathan has developed a national reputation as a high-level litigation strategist, case-manager and trial lawyer. He obtained verdicts totaling in excess of $350,000,000.00 and collected judgments in excess of $130,000,000.00

Jonathan graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2006 and has been with the Schlesinger firm his entire career.

In 2007, Jonathan represented 1,250 claimants pursuing claims in the Engle Trust Fund, which resulted in a net recovery of over $10,000.000.00. After that, Jonathan was appointed plaintiff’s liaison counsel for all tobacco cases pending in Broward County.

Jonathan is an experienced courtroom advocate. He has successfully tried over 40 cases to verdict, almost all of which were multi-week, complex trials. In 2012, Jonathan obtained a $75,000.000.00 verdict on behalf of an individual smoker against the four major tobacco companies. This was the first case where one smoker prevailed over all four cigarette manufacturers. More recently, Jonathan and the Schlesinger firm won a $157,000.000.00 verdict in the landmark case Rintoul v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. This was the first same sex wrongful death case tried in the United States. Other significant results include a $41,000,000.00 bicycle accident verdict, $37,851,701.00 tobacco verdict, $37,000,000.00 tobacco verdict, $35,000,000.00 tobacco verdict, $20,000,000.00 tobacco verdict, $12,000,000.00 tobacco verdict, $10,000,000.00 medical malpractice settlement, $6,000,000.00 medical malpractice settlement and a $6,000,000.00 false imprisonment verdict. Jonathan has obtained numerous other multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Jonathan is well versed in handling cases in both state and federal court. In 2009, Jonathan, along with Scott Schlesinger, obtained class certification on behalf of those who purchased the 2007 Lexus ES 350 in Florida. This litigation resulted in a nationwide settlement that covered more than 100,000 vehicle owners. In 2011, Jonathan successfully tried a food poisoning case in the southern district of Florida, resulting in a positive outcome for his client. In 2017, Judge James Browning, U.S. District Judge in New Mexico, appointed Jonathan to the Executive, Discovery, Expert Witness and Trial Committees in the multi-district litigation regarding Santa Fe Natural Tobacco cigarettes.

More recently, Jonathan and the Schlesinger firm have developed a specialized focus in electronic cigarette litigation that aims to combat the growing youth nicotine addiction epidemic created by JUUL and Philip Morris U.S.A. In December of 2019, Judge William Orrick, who presides over the centralized JUUL multi-district litigation, appointed Jonathan to the steering committee to help manage all JUUL litigation pending in federal court. Judge Orrick made this appointment after receiving dozens of applications from attorneys across the country.

Jonathan is also proud to have contributed to the academic literature regarding nicotine addiction. In 2018, Jonathan published an article in the peer reviewed Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research that explored the history of the warnings on tobacco products and the tobacco industry’s role in crafting and manipulating current warning labels. Jonathan has presented at national legal conferences and has also appeared in national media outlets including CNN, USA Today, Law.com, Bloomberg News and various local media outlets.

Jonathan is on the Board of Beth Israel Congregation in Miami Beach where he lives with his wife and four children.

In The News

  • Broward County Justice Association
  • Attorney Information Exchange Group
  • B’Nai B’rith Justice League
  • American Association of Justice
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, 2014 – 2019
  • Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 2006
    • J.D.

  • Yeshiva University, 2003
    • B.A.

  • Genesis Jerusalem Institute, 2000
    • B.A.

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Assumption of Risk and the Role of Health Warnings Labels in the United States – May 24, 2019