Pamela J. Yates co-chairs the firm's Product Liability Litigation practice group. Ms. Yates is a highly successful life sciences and product liability trial lawyer internationally recognized as a "Life Science Star." She tries cases in multiple state and federal court venues, and has extensive experience in MDL and class action work. Ms. Yates has successfully acted as national coordinating counsel in various mass tort cases, responsible for all aspects of litigation, including trial, trial preparation and strategy, science, and overall Daubert strategy.

Ms. Yates represents Bayer, currently leading its Xarelto science team and previously securing summary judgment for the client in a low-dose aspirin case (July 2016). She also recently won a unanimous defense verdict for Philip Morris USA (February 2016), which was featured among the Daily Journal's "Top Verdicts" of the year. This win followed her numerous trial successes for Philip Morris in several Engle progeny cases in Florida state and federal courts. For Pfizer, Ms. Yates successfully led Pfizer's expert science teams, securing two major Daubert victories excluding plaintiffs' general causation experts in complex MDL proceedings relating to Zoloft, and before that, hormone therapy (HT) products.

Born and raised in England, Ms. Yates came to the US on a tennis scholarship. She is a three-time NCAA Women's Tennis Division II champion as well as a two-time recipient of All American Honors. Additionally, Ms. Yates was a recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in recognition of her academic and athletic achievements.

Experience

  • In January 2015, Ms. Yates was retained by Bayer Corporation as national counsel defending their oral anticoagulant prescription medicine, Xarelto. The cases have been coordinated in an MDL proceeding before Judge Fallon in the E.D. LA. Discovery is ongoing with the first trials anticipated in early 2017. In re: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation.
  • Lead counsel for Bayer Corporation in a case involving claims of toxicity against low dose aspirin. The case resulted in a complete victory for the client when Judge Real (U.S.D.C. Central District, Cal.) granted summary judgment on all claims in June 2016. Steen v. Bayer et al., C.D. Cal.
  • Currently acting as lead trial counsel for Philip Morris USA defending Engle class action progeny and non-Engle personal injury tobacco cases. In February 2016, a jury reached a unanimous defense verdict after deliberating for under two hours finding a former smoker's lung cancer was not caused by her smoking. Pooshs v. Philip Morris et al., N.D. Cal. This verdict followed a series of successful verdicts in Engle progeny cases tried in Florida state and federal courts, including a June 2014 unanimous defense verdict. Surico v. Philip Morris USA Inc.
  • Currently acting as coordinating science counsel (working with national counsel) for the science defense in Zoloft cases for Pfizer Inc. These efforts have resulted in two significant Daubert victories for the client. Indeed, Ms. Yates was recognized for her thorough cross examination of the plaintiffs' only causation expert in a week-long Daubert hearing (April 2014). On June 27, 2014, Judge Rufe issued an opinion and order stating that the methodology and reasoning underlying Dr. Berard's opinion is not scientifically valid and excluding all of the opinions as being based on a "novel methodology." In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline) Products Liability Litigation, E.D. Pa. A second Daubert hearing took place in September 2015 when plaintiffs were permitted to substitute a new causation expert, Dr. Nicholas Jewell. As with the first expert, Ms. Yates cross-examined Dr. Jewell. After a three-day hearing, Judge Rufe issued a second opinion and order, excluding this replacement expert. Id.
  • Currently acting as co-national counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., with her NY partner Andrew K. Solow, in product liability litigation, including an MDL, involving TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) products defending against claims of heart attack, stroke and related cardiac issues.

  • Previously served as national and local counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Qualitest in the successful defense of lawsuits relating to a recall of several oral contraceptive products. Ms. Yates coordinated all phases of the litigation and led her team to several successes, including successfully opposing formation of an MDL proceeding, and defeating three purported class actions in California, Georgia, and Illinois.
  • Previously acted as national counsel for Pfizer Inc. in the HT litigation. Responsibilities include acting as lead trial counsel, creating, coordinating, and implementing the science defense and handling all phases of litigation, involving several hormone therapy products.
  • In May 2012, Ms. Yates, along with Andrew K. Solow (Partner in the New York office), served as co-lead trial counsel for Pfizer units, Wyeth, Inc., and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. in US District Court (Connecticut) and obtained a defense verdict on all counts related to a wrongful death suit involving Wyeth's hormone therapy (HT) medications Premarin and Prempro. After a three-week trial, the jury dismissed all four of the alleged claims. This decision marks Ms. Yates and Mr. Solow's second win in less than one year regarding both HT medications. Lynn Gardner Moss, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al.
  • In July 2011, Ms. Yates, along with Andrew K. Solow, served as trial counsel for Pfizer units, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., and obtained a defense verdict in a case involving claims of injuries from the client's HT medicines. After a three-week trial, the jury found that the HT prescription medicines did not cause the plaintiff's breast cancer and that the plaintiff's claims were time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Notably, this was the first defense verdict for Pharmacia & Upjohn in the hormone therapy litigation. Hines v. Wyeth, et al.
  • Served as national and local counsel for Pfizer Inc. (Warner-Lambert) in the Rezulin (diabetic medication) litigation. Responsibilities covered all aspects of litigation. Ms. Yates obtained unanimous defense verdicts against all plaintiffs in the first in the nation consolidated plaintiff trial. All three plaintiffs claimed liver injury from exposure to the medication. This verdict was featured in The National Law Journal's "The Defense Hot List: Sizing Up Defense Firms with Big Wins" (August 22, 2005).

Recognition

Benchmark Litigation
Top 250 Women in Litigation (2017)
Best Lawyers
Biotechnology Law and Product Liability Litigation (2016 and 2017)
Chambers USA
Nationwide: Product Liability & Mass Torts (2015 and 2016)
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Credentials

Education
  • JD, Southwestern University School of Law, 1988
  • BS, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, 1985, cum laude
Admissions
  • California
  • US District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California
Activities
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
Overview

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