HarrisMartin's Webinar Series: Medtronic MiniMed Pumps (600 Series) Litigation Faculty
Michelle A. Parfitt is a Senior Partner with the law firm of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP. Over the past thirty-eight years of her professional career, Ms. Parfitt has sought to distinguish herself as a champion of individual rights as well as a leader before the bar in the area of mass torts specializing in pharmaceutical and product liability cases. She currently heads the Mass Tort practice section of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP and has had the privilege of representing thousands of individuals in various state and federal courts across the country who have filed suit against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.
Ms. Parfitt is the past president of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. having previously served as an officer and member of the Board of Governors for that association since 1998. Additionally, Ms. Parfitt has been selected by her peers to be included in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers in Washington, DC,” Washingtonian’s “Top Lawyers” and The Trial Lawyer magazine’s “The RoundTable: America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers.” In addition, she was awarded the Clarence Darrow Award in 2013, the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from TLA-DC and is a member of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Within her practice concentration in the area of pharmaceutical and device litigation, Ms. Parfitt has earned a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in the areas of medical science and expert testimony preparation. Ms. Parfitt has been appointed to and has served on numerous Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in national mass tort and complex litigations and has held leadership positions in some of the largest mass torts in recent years. She currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Talcum Powder MDL.
For more than 25 years, Gale Pearson has represented thousands of plaintiffs in a range of complex litigation, from environmental law to pharmaceutical litigation to Qui Tam prosecution. Before receiving her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Gale attended California State University, where she studied laboratory medicine, physics, and chemistry. She spent years working in the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center and is a nationally recognized clinical laboratory scientist. As such, Gale plays a substantial role in Fears Nachawati’s representation of those who have been harmed by environmental polluters, as well as the bad acts of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Throughout her career, Gale has played a pivotal role in several MDL litigations, serving on science committees, or, as in the case of a Certified Class Action against Phillip Morris, Co. and its parent company, as lead counsel. In United States Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center Inc., she served as co-lead counsel and helped achieve a substantial verdict for her clients. In addition, she was asked to serve as Plaintiff’s liaison counsel in the Minnesota State Medtronic Cases, and was appointed to the same position in the Minnesota State Guidant Cases. A member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Gale’s legal success has earned her peer recognition across the country. In 2003, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer presented her the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award for her work with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. In 2005, she was recognized by Forbes Magazine among America’s top attorneys, and she has been named to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list by Thomson Reuters from 2015-2019. Gale is frequently invited to speak on scientific issues related pharmaceuticals, as well as complex interstate civil procedures.
A trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience litigating complex mass torts, Esther Berezofsky has devoted her career to representing communities impacted by environmental contamination and fighting for the rights of consumers, individuals and families impacted by fraud and misconduct across a range of litigation areas.
Esther focuses her practice on protecting the rights and seeking accountability for people harmed by toxic chemical exposure—environmental and occupational—as well as patients who suffer life-altering complications caused by dangerous and defective medical drugs and devices.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Esther practiced as a clinical psychologist and consultant for a national network of law firms on post-traumatic stress and community trauma arising out of environmental disasters such as Three Mile Island, Pa., and Times Beach, Mo. She currently serves on the Executive Committee as class counsel for residents exposed to lead contaminated water in the Flint water crisis litigation, in addition to litigating similar cases in Fresno, Calif. She also represents residents in Kent County, Mich., Hoosick Falls, N.Y. and Petersburgh, N.Y. in litigation against corporations such as 3M, Wolverine, St. Gobain and others accused of manufacturing and wrongfully disposing of PFAS chemicals. She was lead counsel for a cancer cluster of children in Toms River, N.J, the story of which is memorialized in the Pulitzer prize winning book: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.
I knew I wanted to be a lawyer in third grade. Even then, I saw the power of argument in helping people. Now, more than 30 years later, my drive has not changed. I am proud to represent people who have been injured by pharmaceutical products and medical devices, or who have put their trust in the medical profession and were failed.
I am passionate about trust and duty. I believe strongly that a person should be able to rely on the expertise of a medical professional or pharmaceutical manufacturer in the care and treatment of medical conditions, and that Big Pharma should share all information about risks and benefits of a drug with the prescribing doctors so the doctors can explain them to their patients. I am relentless in learning about information hidden from doctors and patients and uncovering unnecessary risks taken with patients that have led to disastrous results.
During his nearly 40 years as a litigator, James Green has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, served as an active lecturer and author for both local and national Continuing Legal Education programs, and developed a substantial national practice with Ashcraft & Gerel that has led to hundreds of exceptional verdicts and settlements for his clients.
His reputation for integrity and professionalism is borne out by the fact that he has been appointed by the judges of various federal courts to serve on multi-district litigation committees handling product liability cases for prescription drugs including Fosamax, Rezulin, Zyprexa, and many more.
Mr. Green is driven by the fulfilling and gratifying experience of changing clients’ lives for the better. It is with this mindset that he tenaciously advocates for those who’ve been injured by the negligence of others.
Drew LaFramboise has spent his entire legal career representing individuals in lawsuits against some of the country’s largest and most powerful corporations. Mr. LaFramboise leads Ashcraft & Gerel’s sexual assault and abuse practice, and is an advocate for sexual assault and abuse victims in seeking compensation from their abusers. He also handles complex products liability cases and works on nationwide mass tort litigations as a member of our pharmaceutical and medical device team. Mr. LaFramboise is an energetic and skillful attorney, who works tirelessly to ensure that his clients are treated fairly and that wrongdoers are held accountable.
While in law school, Mr. LaFramboise was the Chief Managing Editor of the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution and a moot court national semifinalist. Due to his outstanding work representing indigent clients in the Ohio State University legal clinics, Mr. LaFramboise received the school’s prestigious Clinic Award for Excellence and Service to the Community.
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Date & Time
August 18, 2020
1:00PM - 2:30PM