Brett Vaughn grew up in the small town of Mount Vernon in Southwest Missouri, where both of his parents were teachers. He was heavily involved in sports, starting on an All-State basketball team and achieving All-State in track and field. He also enjoyed extended camping trips and canoeing rivers throughout Missouri. Brett’s favorite river is the remote Eleven Point River in the Mark Twain National Forest. Brett continues to utilize the outdoors and running as a way to clear his mind and think through complex cases.
Following high school Brett graduated with honors from Missouri Southern State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While in college, Brett was a substitute teacher for grades K-12. After obtaining his nursing degree, Brett worked as an RN at St. Johns Mercy Hospital on the rehabilitation floor in Joplin, MO. During his time at St. John’s Mercy Hospital, Brett supervised the implementation of the EPIC computer charting system, identified flaws in the system, and trained his fellow nurses on how to best transition from paper charting to computer charting. Brett’s extensive knowledge on proper medical charting and the back end of computerized charting systems has enabled him to better understand his client’s cases and maximize their case value.
Brett Vaughn’s last day as a nurse was on May 22, 2011, when an F5 tornado hit Joplin, MO and destroyed the hospital he was working at. Within minutes of the tornado hitting, Brett organized and led mass triage in a Home Depot parking lot. Pictured is Brett transporting his first patient to the Home Depot parking lot. As a result of Brett’s actions the day of the Joplin tornado and the weeks following it, he received the Community Leader Award from the Missouri Southern Nursing Honor Society.
In the months following the Joplin tornado, Brett moved to Kansas City and began law school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. Brett was among the top of his class after his first year of law school and was hired by the school to teach a study group aimed at helping new law students better understand and pass their law school exams. While in law school, Brett also worked full-time at a mass tort law firm and continued to make the Dean’s List for his high grades.
Following law school, Brett quickly became the lead litigation attorney at the mass tort law firm he was working at. In addition to leading the litigation team, Brett also lead the research, case theory development, and medical record review departments. During this time, Brett developed the theories of liability on dozens of various hernia meshes and launch what are now well-known national litigations.
In 2018, Brett was appointed by a federal judge to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and to lead the Science and Expert Committee for the Bard hernia mesh litigation, a litigation that now represents nearly 20,000 injured. Brett is also on the trial team for the Bard hernia mesh litigation, with the third bellwether trial set for later in 2023. Brett has taken several corporate and expert depositions, including ones that were later played at trial.
After demonstrating his value to the Bard hernia mesh litigation, Brett Vaughn was recommended by his colleagues and was appointed by a federal judge to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and to lead the Science and Expert Committee for the Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson hernia mesh litigation. Brett has traveled across the nation to take numerous multiday depositions of high-level employees of Johnson & Johnson. Brett is also on the trial team for the Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson hernia mesh litigation, though a definitive trial date is not yet set.
Brett Vaughn has also been appointed by a federal judge to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the valsartan litigation and to co-chair the Science and Expert Committee. The valsartan litigation involves numerous pharmaceutical companies that bought drugs from China and India that contained potent carcinogens and then sold them to patients in the United States. Brett continues to depose the defense’s experts and defend the plaintiff’s experts in the valsartan litigation. In 2023, Brett along with colleagues he works closely with on the valsartan leadership founded the law firm Nigh Goldenberg Raso & Vaughn. With Brett Vaughn came his amazing paralegal – Melisha Valenzuela.
Brett Vaughn lives in the Kansas City metro area and is married to a pediatrician. Together they have a two year old daughter who they absolutely adore.
Honors and Awards
Professional Associations and Memberships