James A. Frederick

Mr. Frederick represents clients in sophisticated product liability, commercial and mass tort litigation. His current practice is focused on the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device product liability, mass tort, and consumer fraud lawsuits. He has defended individual health care providers and institutions in professional liability matters, residential property owners in toxic tort cases, corporations in intellectual property actions and he has assisted with the prosecution of a complex antitrust suit. Current and former clients include Pfizer Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., Howmedica, Inc., Bayer Corporation, AstraZeneca, LP, Eisai Inc., Biomet, Inc. (ZimmerBiomet), The Rockefeller Foundation, The Hershey Company and others. Mr. Frederick has expertise in all aspects of major litigation, including strategy development, mass tort and MDL coordination, fact and expert depositions, expert development, Daubert strategy and trial. He has tried cases to verdict as both first and second chair trial counsel and has argued before the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 




Professional Experience

From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Frederick served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland where he represented the United States in various civil matters including cases alleging medical malpractice, employment discrimination, constitutional torts as well as in Immigration and IRS enforcement matters.

Professional Associations

  • Products Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc. (Co-Chair Product Liability Committee, 2002 - 2003)


Representative Matters

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Products Liability

Pfizer Inc

Antidepressants – Co-national counsel for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc and Pfizer Inc in litigation alleging birth defects resultant from first trimester use of anti-depressant Effexor XR®.  Prepared, defended and conducted direct examination at deposition of multiple current and former executives.  Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the entire MDL proceeding.  In re: Effexor (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation (ED PA 2015).

Active member of the national team representing Pfizer Inc in MDL and state court litigation alleging birth defects from use of Zoloft® during pregnancy. Accomplishments: The MDL team succeeded, following two separate Daubert proceedings, in excluding plaintiffs' general and specific causation experts which led to summary judgement.  In re Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation (EDPA 2016).  Primary work-up counsel in Porter v. Smithkline Beecham, et al. (Phila. Ct. Comm. Pleas 2015). Successsful Frye challenge by defense team to plaintiffs' experts before J. Bernstein. Summary judgement granted.  Affirmed on appeal.  (In the Superior Court of Pennsylvania No. 3516 EDA 2015) Primary work-up counsel for two cases pending as part of consolidated litigation in West Virginia state court.  Team secured summary judgement in both matters.  Currently on appeal.  M.M. by her mother Jeanette Maskill and I.H. by her mother Angela Hughes.

Diet Drugs – Counsel in Federal court mediation, assisted with developing and implementing national strategy, and primary work-up counsel in several individual matters for Wyeth/Pfizer Inc in national litigation alleging development of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) related to ingestion of weight-loss medicines. Deposed case specific experts and assisted with the development of defense experts, including coordination of Rule 26 reports.  

Hormone Replacement Therapy – Work-up counsel on numerous individual cases for Wyeth/Pfizer Inc in MDL and state court litigation challenging the adequacy of warnings for hormone replacement medicine.  Responsibilities included deposing numerous plaintiffs, prescribing physicians, treating physicians and fact witnesses as well as Plaintiffs’ lead general causation expert.  

Developed and defended at deposition, national experts in various scientific and medical specialties including mammography, pathology and oncology. 

Served as the Trial Team Captain for a multi-plaintiff case pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, which included coordinating, drafting and arguing pre-trial motions, arguing deposition designations and other pre-trial matters.   

Duracon Uni-Knee – Defended Howmedica Inc. in state and federal lawsuits brought by plaintiffs who allegedly received defective orthopedic knee replacements.  Deposed plaintiffs and family members, implanting surgeon as well as Plaintiff experts.  Developed and defended materials science, and medical experts at deposition.  Second chair trial experience during state court proceeding in Fairfax, Virginia.  


HIV/HCV - Defended Bayer Corporation in national litigation where plaintiffs alleged that they contracted HIV and/or hepatitis C from biologic blood products.  Participated in preparing corporate defense strategy, deposed plaintiffs, treating and prescribing physicians as well as plaintiff experts.  First chair role in evidentiary hearing related to statute of limitation (prescription) issues in Louisiana. 

Fluroquinolones – Currently work-up counsel for individual MDL cases alleging development of peripheral neuropathy due to use of fluroquinolone antibiotics (Avelox ® and Cipro ®).  Responsibility for case analysis, identification of target deponents and follow through with depositions of plaintiffs, family members as well as prescribing and treating doctors.  


Serves as part of the team defending Biomet in litigation relating to its M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip implant.  Current responsibility involves deposing numerous plaintiffs as part of the implementation of master settlement agreement. 

Lead counsel in Maryland state court case involving a partial foot amputation allegedly caused by use of a cryotherapy device.  Deposed Plaintiff and numerous fact witnesses, deposed Plaintiff’s liability and medical causation experts, prepared and defended corporate executive depositions, secured defense liability and medical causation experts and presented them for deposition, conducted multi-party mediation and prepared for trial.  Arriaga v.  Biomet, Inc., et al., Case No: 24-C-13-002077OT, Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City (2013). 


Work-up counsel for cases alleging development of diabetes/metabolic syndrome following ingestion of Seroquel ®.  Numerous depositions of plaintiffs and fact witnesses as well as preparation of company executive for deposition.  


The Hershey Company – Defended consumer fraud “slack-fill” case initially filed in Superior Court of Los Angeles and removed to federal court.  Plaintiff alleged violations of California consumer protection laws (UCL and FAL).  Greenstein v. The Hershey Company, et al., Civil Action No: 2:17-cv-01152-GW-JPR, USDC CDCA (2017).

Mass Tort

The Rockefeller Foundation - Defense of mass tort asserting common law claims and violations of the Alien Tort Stature revolving around alleged responsibility for deviations from medical ethics and public health norms in the mid-20th Century.  Estate of Arturo Giron Alvarez et al. v. Johns Hopkins University, et al., Civil Action No: 1:15-cv-00950-MJG, USDC MD (2015). 


Eisai, Inc. – Represented Eisai in antitrust action (Sherman 1 & 2; Clayton 3) in New Jersey federal court where defendant competitor controlled greater than 90 percent of the US market for low molecular weight heparin. Contributed to litigation strategy and motions practice.  Deposed defendant corporate executives, science and medical experts as well as health care institutions who were customers in the relevant market.  Prepared Eisai executives and science/medical experts for deposition as well as defense of those depositions.

Medical Professional Liability

Mr. Frederick has defended physicians, individual health care providers in numerous medical specialties, as well as community hospitals and academic medical centers throughout the state of Maryland.  Representative clients have included Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Medical System, Mercy Medical Center, MedStar Health and its affiliated institutions, Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society, and the United States (National Naval Medical Center – Bethesda; Veterans Affairs Medical Center – Baltimore; Community Health Centers, Department of Health and Human Services).  Mr. Frederick has tried numerous professional liability cases to verdict (both first and second chair experience) in the Circuit Courts of Maryland as well as the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Toxic Tort

Beginning in the early 1990’s Mr. Frederick has been involved in the defense of Baltimore residential property owners in cases of alleged lead-paint poisoning.  Mr. Frederick has represented clients in all aspects of this litigation and has extensive trial experience with such cases.


Honors and Awards

  • Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences 2017