Webinar Details

Litigation and Claims Trends for the Life Sciences Industry: The 2017 Year in Review and Forecast for 2018

Previously Recorded on December 13, 2017

In this year's annual year-end wrap up, Sonia Valdes, Medmarc's Vice President of Claims, and respected products liability defense attorneys, Lisa Rice and Laurie Sherwood of the Walsworth firm, will summarize the significant life sciences cases, verdicts, and settlements of 2017.  They will also detail recent regulatory activity and what it all means for the industry. Hot industry topics such as priorities under FDA Commissioner Gottlieb, drug availability and pricing, and the potential end of litigation tourism will be discussed.  Finally, the panel will offer up some predictions on what the future holds for this dynamic area and identify some emerging product issues for 2018 and beyond.

The webinar will address:

  • The opioid crisis: defense issues and coverage implications

  • Supreme court guidance on jurisdiction and what it means for non-residents’ claims in plaintiff-friendly forums

  • The Trump administration: healthcare goals and the new FDA

  • Significant drug and device verdicts in 2017

  • Predictions of emerging products liability issues for 2018 and beyond

Sonia Valdes is Vice President of Claims for Medmarc Insurance Group, Chantilly, VA. She is responsible for medical device claim investigation and settlement oversight, defense counsel selection, litigation management, trial preparation/supervision, and claim reserve audits and assessments. Her responsibilities also include managing Medmarc’s staff of claim professionals, overseeing of the claims department practices and procedures, and providing counsel to Medmarc's underwriters regarding life sciences products liability and litigation trends. In addition, Sonia has extensive experience in evaluating coverage and liability issues in environmental, mass tort, and drug and medical device litigation.

Prior to her position at Medmarc, Sonia served as Worldwide Claims Manager for Chubb’s life sciences line of business. Prior to Chubb, she held Home Office Manager positions at Home Insurance Company and AIG. She was also previously employed in private practice, litigating personal injury and employment cases.

Sonia is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and is a member of the IADC and ALFA. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Rutgers University and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Sonia is a frequent speaker and contributor of articles on issues of interest to the life sciences industry.​ 

Lisa M. Rice is a partner at Walsworth and chair of the Life Sciences Practice. Throughout her 20+ year career, she has focused on products liability, life sciences, toxic tort, general liability, and business litigation. She has successfully represented a wide variety of entities including manufacturers, distributors, premises owners and large national retailers, in both individual lawsuits as well as multiple-party, complex, mass tort, and class action litigation involving medical devices, pharmaceutical products, herbal and dietary supplements, chemicals, metals,  and other products. Lisa acts as both national and local counsel.

Lisa understands her client’s unique business needs and works proactively to provide clients with an early assessment of potential exposure. She manages all aspects of litigation from discovery, to settlement negotiations, and trial. Lisa and her team pride themselves on a solid case work up to position each matter for the most cost-effective and beneficial resolution consistent with client goals. Her record of success on dispositive motions and ability to negotiate favorable resolutions is recognized by clients and opposing counsel alike.

Laurie E. Sherwood focuses her practice on life sciences litigation. Her science background lends itself to her life sciences practice. She has successfully represented manufacturers, distributors and retailers in litigation involving pharmaceutical products, herbal and dietary supplements/products, medical devices and other related products. She takes a proactive and cost-effective approach to this litigation, and seeks the most effective and beneficial resolution for her clients. On behalf of her clients, she has secured early dismissals in several cases by thinking “outside of the box.” Laurie manages all phases of litigation from pre-litigation to discovery, and through ADR and trial. Laurie also practices all aspects of employment including advisory/counseling work, agency claims, and litigated matters.

For nearly 25 years, Laurie has successfully represented corporations, employers, manufacturers and distributors in complex and multi-party federal and state litigation. She has tried cases to defense verdicts, arbitrated and mediated numerous cases, and engaged in effective law and motion practice.

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