HarrisMartin's MDL Conference: Zantac, Sex Trafficking and Emerging Mass Tort Litigation Faculty

Co-Chair Neil D. Overholtz, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, Pensacola, FL Show/Hide Bio

Co-Chair Neil D. Overholtz

Neil D. Overholtz specializes in pharmaceutical litigation, and has successfully handled thousands of defective drug and medical device cases, including fen-phen, Rezulin, Baycol, Bextra/Celebrex, Vioxx, Medtronic Defibrillators, and Guidant Defibrillators.

Recently, Mr. Overholtz has the distinction of having been appointed as national counsel on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees for several federal products liability MDL’s (Mullti-District litigations), including the Trasylol MDL pending in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, before the Honorable Judge Middlebrooks, the Viagra MDL in the District Court in Minnesota, before the Honorable Judge Magnuson, as well as the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Lead Wire MDL before United States District Court Judge Richard Kyle. Additionally, Mr. Overholtz has served as co-lead counsel in the In Re America Online, Inc Version 5.0 Software Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1341 (S.D. Fla), helping to negotiate a cash settlement for affected AOL members in excess of $15 Million as well as significant injunctive relief.

Mr. Overholtz has also recently served as co-chair of the Defective Medtronic Pacemakers and Defibrillators MDL discovery committee, and lead the firm’s efforts in national litigation, which resulted in a settlement of over $100 Million dollars. United States District Judge James Rosenbaum appointed Mr. Overholtz, to serve 25 of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee Fee Committee. Mr. Overholtz also served a key role on the Guidant Defibrillators and Pacemakers MDL, which resulted in a settlement of over $200 Million dollars.

Co-Chair Aimee H. Wagstaff, Andrus Wagstaff, Denver Show/Hide Bio

Co-Chair Aimee H. Wagstaff

In 2010, Aimee became a founding partner of Andrus Wagstaff. Since that time, she has dedicated the entirety of her professional life fighting against pharmaceutical and medical device companies who harm her clients by continually putting profits before safety. The vast majority of Aimee’s litigation is done through national mass tort consolidations, usually multidistrict litigations (MDLs) or Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCPs). In that regard, Aimee has been appointed by federal and state court Judges across the country to co-lead four national litigations by the age of 40, such litigations representing tens of thousands of injured claimants.

In 2016, the Honorable Vince Chhabria appointed Aimee to serve as national Co-Lead counsel of MDL 2741- In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, situated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In that MDL, Plaintiffs allege that exposure to Monsanto’s billion dollar weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer. Because Roundup is sprayed on (an estimated) 80 percent of the food we eat, the case has generated considerable media attention. Here are a few of the articles: “EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study”, “Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents”, “Monsanto Ghostwrote Cancer Studies of Its Own Weed Killer, Plaintiffs in Lawsuit Say.”

In 2015, Aimee made MDL history when the Honorable Judge Kathryn H. Vratil appointed her to serve as Co-Lead counsel of the first ever majority women MDL plantiffs’ steering committee (PSC) – MDL 2652: In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, situated in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The morcellator litigation involves women and their families all over the United States who have been diagnosed with devastating and permanent injuries, including leiomyosacroma (“LMS,” a deadly form of cancer), following the use of Ethicon’s power morcellator during a fibroid removal or hysterectomy surgery. That MDL was also historic for its pace of resolution, within a year.

Recently, the Honorable Judge Highberger appointed Aimee to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of JCCP 4775: In Re Risperdal Product Liability Case, situated in Los Angeles County, California. To date, hundreds of cases have been filed in JCCP 4775 alleging Risperdal and/or Invega caused boys and young men to suffer from gynecomastia.

Additionally, the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, recently appointed Aimee to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of: (1) MDL 2187: In Re C.R. Bard, Inc, Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation; (2) MDL 2325: In Re American Medical Systems, Inc. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation Repair; (3) MDL 2326: In Re Boston Scientific Corporation, Pelvic Repair System products Liability Litigation; (4) MDL 2327: In Re Ethicon, Inc, Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation; (5) MDL 2387: In Re Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Product Liability Litigation; (6) MDL 2440: In Re Cook Medical, Inc. Pelvic Repair System Product Liability Litigation; and (7) MDL: 2511 In Re Neomedic Pelvic Repair System Product Liability Litigation (collectively, transvaginal mesh (TVM) MDLs). Judge Goodwin also appointed Aimee to serve on the eight-member national executive committee overseeing the TVM MDLs and to serve as national co-lead of MDL 2326 against Boston Scientific Corporation. To date, Juries across the County, in several different jurisdictions have awarded TVM Plaintiffs over $240,000,000.00. Aimee was part of the trial team against Boston Scientific wherein a jury from the Southern District of West Virginia awarded 4 TVM Plaintiffs $18,500,000.00 after determining that Boston Scientific’s Obtryx product was defectively designed. The TVM MDLs will be remembered as one of the biggest (both in volume and value) product liability cases in American jurisprudence.

For her first leadership appointment, the Honorable Judge Andler from the Superior Court of California, County of Orange appointed Aimee Plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel of the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP) 4615 In Re: Infusion Pump Cases. JCCP 4615 is a products liability proceeding against several medical device manufacturers after several hundred patients developed chondrolysis following the placement of a pain pump catheter after shoulder surgery.

In March 2013, Aimee founded and hosted the first annual “Women En Mass” (WEM) retreat that was held in Aspen, Colorado. WEM is an annual working retreat for amazing women in mass torts — a time to relax and enjoy each other’s company while creating new, and fostering old, relationships. If you are interested in attending, check out WEM’s website or contact Aimee directly, she would love to include you on the next invite/distribution list. If you are a social media type, “Like” Women En Mass on Facebook.

Prior to founding AW, Aimee gained invaluable experience with the defense bar as she billed countless hours working as a green associate for a large defense firm.

Aimee earned her undergraduate degree in Marine Science and Communications from the University of San Diego, where she played on the women’s soccer team.

Kimberly Lambert Adams, Levin Papantonio, Pensacola, FL

Thomas R. Anapol, Anapol Weiss, Philadelphia

Katherine E. Charonko, Bailey Glasser, Charleston, WV

Erin K. Copeland, Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, Houston

Cristina Delise, The Lanier Law Firm, New York

Kimberly A. Dougherty, Andrus Wagstaff, Boston

Elizabeth Fegan, FeganScott, Chicago

E. Samuel Geisler, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, Pensacola, FL

Marlene Goldenberg, GoldenbergLaw, PLLC, Minneapolis

Anna Greenberg, Blizzard Law PLLC, Houston

Sri Gupta, International Litigation Services (ILS), Pensacola, FL

Jennifer Hoekstra, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, Pensacola, FL

Bradley D. Honnold, Goza & Honnold, LLC, Overland Park, KS

Francisco R. Maderal, Colson Hicks Eidson, Coral Gables, FL

Tracy A. Finken Magnotta, Anapol Weiss, Philadelphia

Jennifer A. Moore, Moore Law Group, Louisville, KY

Mike Morgan, Morgan & Morgan, Orlando, FL

Christopher Princis, VP, Business Development, Consumer Attorney Marketing Group (CAMG), Chicago

Daniel Nigh, Levin Papantonio, Pensacola, FL

Justin Parafinczuk, Parafinczuk Wolf Susen, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Paul J. Pennock, Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., New York

Shannon Pennock, Pennock Law Firm LLC, Jersey City, NJ

Kristian Rasmussen, Cory Watson Attorneys, Birmingham, AL

R. Jason Richards, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, Pensacola, FL

Yechezkel Rodal, Levin Citron Rodal PLLC, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Jack Rutherford, The Rutherford Law Firm, Los Angeles

Carmen S. Scott, Motley Rice LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC

Marcus Susen, Parafinczuk Wolf Susen, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Daniel Thornburgh, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC, Pensacola, FL

R. Brent Wisner, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C., Los Angeles

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January 29, 2020

7:30AM - 6:15PM


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