Elizabeth Middleton Burke



Office: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Phone: 843-727-6500
Toll Free: 888-293-6883
Fax: 843-216-6509
E-mail: bburke@rpwb.com


Elizabeth Middleton Burke uses the law and science to help people injured by pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices and other medical errors.

Burke proudly advocates on behalf of consumers who rely on the pharmaceutical industry for safe and effective treatments. As a member of RPWB’s pharmaceutical and medical device team, she enjoys the challenge of investigating, organizing and litigating science-based cases for the benefit of clients who were not warned about the serious side effects they experienced.

She was born in Hartsville, South Carolina, and grew up in Lake City. As an undergrad, Burke was preparing for medical school when she decided her academic strengths were better suited for law school. She clerked for the Hon. Paula H. Thomas before beginning her career in pharmaceutical litigation at Suggs & Kelly in Columbia. She joined RPWB in 2003.

Many of the cases Burke works are on behalf of female patients who have been seriously injured by prescription medication. Pharmaceutical cases are inherently complicated and involve defendants with tremendous resources at their disposal. Burke has successfully stood up to the world’s largest corporations on behalf of consumers throughout the country.

In addition to pharmaceutical cases, Burke also accepts medical device, medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases.

Burke is married and has a daughter. She is active with the Southern Trial Lawyers Association as well as the College of Charleston Alumni Association and Past Presidents Association. She is a parishioner of The Church of the Holy Cross on Sullivan’s Island and enjoys going to the beach as often as possible.

  • 1997, South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • University of South Carolina, J.D., 1997
  • College of Charleston, Honors College; B.A., English, 1994
  • South Carolina Bar
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ) (Formerly ATLA)
    • Membership Oversight Committee, 2008-2011
    • Convention Planning Committee, 2008-2016
    • National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees, 2005-2008
    • New Lawyers’ Division, Secretary, 2000-2001, Communications Committee, 2003-2005
  • South Carolina Association for Justice SCAJ (Formerly SCATLA)
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association (STLA), 2010 to Present; Board of Governors, 2013 to Present, Secretary 2015
  • Federal Bar Association
  • College of Charleston Alumni Association
    • Immediate Past President, 2011-2012
    • President, 2010-2011
    • President Elect, 2008-2010
    • Vice President, 2007-2008
    • Board of Directors, 2003-2006, 2007-2012
  • College of Charleston Foundation Board, Ex-Officio Member, 2010-2011
  • College of Charleston Friends of the Library Board, 2013-Present
  • College of Charleston Honors College, Distinguished Alumni Award, 2011
  • University of South Carolina Law School Alumni Council, Gold Compleat Lawyer Award, 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2017 (Mass Tort Litigation)

Lipitor Multidistrict Litigation

Burke is co-chair of the Lipitor MDL bellwether committee. The drug used to treat high cholesterol is alleged to cause some women to develop diabetes. RPWB is lead counsel of the MDL.

Breast Implant Multidistrict Litigation

Thousands of women were adversely affected by faulty breast implants produced by a number of manufacturers. Burke was instrumental in many implant cases, including the MDL against Dow Corning that resulted in a $3.2 billion settlement for 400,000 women.

Chantix Multidistrict Litigation

The smoking cessation drug Chantix causes serious psychological problems for some patients. Pfizer has settled or is in the process of settling more than 2,700 cases with a total projected settlement amount of $291 million. RPWB was co-lead counsel of the MDL. Burke prepared the bellwether cases for trial and worked extensively to establish that the drug caused the side effects.

Zyprexa Multidistrict Litigation

The anti-depressant drug Zyprexa causes some patients to develop diabetes or worsen their pre-existing diabetes. RPWB served on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee of the MDL. As a result of the litigation, Eli Lilly agreed to pay $1.2 billion to 28,500 individuals.

Ortho Evra

The birth control medication delivered to women via a patch provided inconsistent dosages and led to an increased risk of blood clots. In addition to representing clients, Burke deposed many expert witnesses in the case and worked to establish causation between the drug and the side effects it caused.