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Managing Complex Litigation 2014: Class Actions; Mass Torts & MDL

Author(s): Hon. Carl J. West (Ret.), Cathy Yanni
Practice Area: Litigation
Published: Oct 2014
ISBN: 9781402423178
PLI Item #: 57588
CHB Spine #: H964

Hon. Carl J. West (Ret.) joined JAMS following eighteen years on the bench, spending the most recent ten years as a judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s complex litigation panel. The complex litigation program, distinguished by its early judicial involvement and hands-on case management, promotes early identification of issues and focused discovery to permit significant issues to be resolved and to encourage settlement. Judge West held hundreds of settlement conferences for disputes that spanned the legal spectrum, often working closely with parties to bring them together and foster resolution of even the most complex and difficult cases.

Cathy Yanni has extensive experience with class actions and multi-district litigation (MDL). In addition to extensive experience mediating class action matters, Ms. Yanni also acts as Special Master in large class actions and MDL. In her role as a Special Master, she has structured the case management process and supervised discovery. As Settlement Special Master in large class actions and MDLs, Ms. Yanni has designed, managed, and adjudicated settlement proceedings and allocation processes.

Representative Matters Include:
Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Medical Device Mass Torts

  • Special Master: administration and implementation of the settlement in the In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. Appointed by The Hon. David A. Katz
  • Special Settlement and Discovery Special Master: appointed by The Hon. Dan Polster, Northern District of Ohio, in Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Product Liability Litigation, settled MDL and state court cases involving allegations of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death
  • Mediator: appointed mediator by The Hon. Richard Kramer, SF Superior Court, in Gadolinium Medical cases MDL proceedings involving mediation and allocation; pharmaceutical manufacturers involved included Bayer, General Electric and Mallinckrodt
  • Mediator: appointed mediator in PPA MDL by the Hon. Anthony Mohr, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, for all remaining PPA cases (Phenylpropanolamine)
  • Mediator: appointed Federal Mediator in Baycol MDL by The Hon. Michael J. Davis, District of Minnesota
  • Mediator: Avandia, and allocated claims
  • Allocator: allocated claims arising out of the Yaz and Yasmin litigation
  • Mediator: over 1,000 Fen-Phen diet drug related cases
  • Settlement Special Master: Bextra MDL to allocate and distribute multi-million dollar settlement proceeds
  • Settlement Special Master: Ortho Evra MDL to design and implement allocation of multi-million settlement
  • Settlement Special Master: Zyprexa I, II MDL by the Hon. Jack Weinstein, Eastern District of New York, to design and implement claims administration process and allocation of over $800 million dollar settlement
  • Mediator: appointed Federal Mediator in Silicone Gel Breast Implant Litigation by The Hon. Denise Hood, US District Court Eastern District Michigan, to mediate cases arising out of the Dow Corning Settlement

Consumer Class Actions

  • Special Master/Mediator: consumer class actions involving multiple high-tech companies, Apple,Toshiba, Palm: claims concerning operating systems, iPod nano, iTunes gift cards, iPhone antenna smart phones, iPad data plans, privacy, apps, desktop and notebook computers, software, computer displays, and digital music players
  • Mediator: class actions involving elder abuse claims and nursing home understaffing issues
  • Mediator: Polo Ralph Lauren California wage and hour and overtime pay class action lawsuit
  • Special Master/Mediator: wage and hour class actions involving financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, automotive dealers, and vehicle rental companies; designed settlement process, allocated and adjudicated claims

Commercial Class Actions

  • Mediator: California Business and Professions Code §17200 cases involving financial institutions and automotive dealers
  • Mediator: class action (mediated in Guam) involving citizens of Guam and distribution of $90 million dollars of earned income tax credits
  • Mediator: cross-border, multi-national class action (mediated in Japan) involving Japanese conglomerate, Siapan, and U.S. companies’ banking dispute regarding transfer of assets

Background and Education:  Panelist, JAMS, San Francisco, 1998-present; Disovery Referee, San Mateo Superior Court, 1994-1997; J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law; Editor, Law Review; B.A., Mount Holyoke College; Dartmouth College; Honors Commendation