Cathy Yanni

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287
Class Action/MDL/Mass Tort

Cathy Yanni has extensive experience with class actions, mass torts, and multi-district litigation (MDLs). In addition to mediating class actions, mass torts, and MDLs, Ms. Yanni has also been appointed as a Special Master by both federal and state courts. In her role as a Special Master she has assisted courts with case management and has designed, managed, and adjudicated settlement proceedings and allocation processes.

Representative Matters

Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Medical Device Mass Torts

  • Settlement Special Master for the Abilify MDL. Appointed by the Hon. M. Casey Rodgers, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Appointed following the joint recommendation of the plaintiffs and defendants settlement committee
  • Settlement Special Master for Medtronic Infuse. Appointed by the Hon. John D. Minton, Kentucky Supreme Court, to assist with the mediation and to design the process for allocation of the settlement funds
  • Mediator/Special Master: Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Cases. Appointed by The Hon. Joseph Goodwin, Southern District of West Virginia as Special Master to assist with the administration, implementation, and allocation of multiple settlements in the Boston Scientific, Covidien, Coloplast, AMS, and BARD MDLs. Mediated and resolved thousands of cases that were a part of the associated MDLs
  • Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Riata Lead Wire Medical Device Litigation. Retained by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and St. Jude as Mediator and Special Master. Cathy’s mediated thousands of claims and created the process for allocation of settlement funds including hearing appeals and serving as the final arbitrator
  • Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Medical/Eon Mini Model Cases. Retained by the plaintiffs and St. Jude Medical as Mediator and resolved hundreds of cases. Acted as Special Master for allocation of settlement funds, hearing appeals and serving as the final arbitrator
  • 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, Northern District of Ohio to assist with distribution of $2.45 billion settlement; Special Master/Mediator CA JCCP: assisting the court with resolving the claims
  • Special Master: Kelly v. Xoft. Mediated and allocated funds for claims arising out of alleged tungsten migration used in breast cancer treatment
  • Special Master: Medtronic Infuse, appointed by The Hon. Wynne Carvill, Alameda County Superior Court, California, to oversee, administrate and allocate inventory settlement
  • Mediator: Medtronic Infuse, resolved approximately 480 claims
  • Mediator: Zimmer Biomet Hip Litigation
  • Mediator: Wolf Morcellator Litigation
  • Mediator: resolved Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Limited cases
  • Mediator/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, allocated inventory settlements. Appointed Special Master/mediator by The Hon. Richard Kramer in The Gadolinium CA JCCP proceedings
  • Mediator: appointed by the Hon. Anthony Mohr, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, for PPA cases (Phenylpropanolamine, an additive in over the counter diet and cold medications), settled Federal Multi-District litigation and state court cases, allocated inventory settlements
  • Mediator: appointed Federal Mediator in Baycol MDL by The Hon. Michael J. Davis, District of Minnesota, settled MDL and state court cases
  • Mediator: Avandia, mediated 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 proceeds to claimants
  • Settlement Special Master: Zyprexa I, II MDL appointed by the Hon. Jack Weinstein, Eastern District of New York, to design and implement claims administration process and allocation of 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
  • Mediator: Quinine Litigation, settled lawsuit and allocated funds

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, iPad data plans, privacy, apps, desktop and notebook computers, software, computer displays, and digital music players
  • Mediator: food products including food additive and supplements, false advertising claims including raw milk, coconut water, eggs, chickens, and yogurt
  • Mediator: class actions involving elder abuse claims and nursing home understaffing issues
  • Mediator: privacy claims

Employment

  • Mediator: Polo Ralph Lauren California wage and hour and overtime pay class action; case involved protracted negotiations and settled two weeks into trial
  • Mediator: employment discrimination class action involving African American claimants against a Fortune 500 company
  • Special Master/Mediator: wage and hour class actions including PAGA claims involving financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, automotive dealers, and vehicle rental companies; designed settlement process, allocated and adjudicated claims

Mass Actions

  • Special Master: designed, implemented, and allocated the Oso Landslide cases settlement.  The slide killed 43 people when a rural neighborhood was destroyed in Oso, northeast of Seattle. It remains the deadliest landslide in the nation
  • Mediator/Special Master: Americans with Disabilities Act class actions against major public and private universities; monitoring of post-settlement consent decrees

Commercial Class Actions

  • Mediator: California Business and Professions Code §17200 cases involving financial institutions and automotive dealers
  • Mediator: class action (mediated in Guam) involving the 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

Special Master: designed, implemented, and allocated the Oso Landslide cases settlement.  The slide killed 43 people when a rural neighborhood was destroyed in Oso, northeast of Seattle. It remains the deadliest landslide in the nation

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016
  • Recognized as "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • Recognized as a "Top California Neutral," Daily Journal, 2003-2008, 2010-2012
  • Recognized as AV Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings
  • Woman of Achievement Award, Legal Momentum, 2008
  • Past President and Board of Directors, Academy of Court-Appointed Masters (ACAM)
  • Board of Directors, The American College of e-Neutrals (ACESIN)
  • Lecturer, Mediation and Negotiation, Stanford Law School, University of California Berkeley School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, Golden Gate Law School, Hastings College of the Law, University of San Diego School of Law, Duke University Law School
  • Sedona Conference: E-Discovery Dispute Resolution Program for Special Masters & Mediators
  • Conducts CLE seminars on ADR: Mediation, Negotiation, Ethics, Bias, Employment, Insurance, Special Masters and Referees, Intellectual Property, and e-Discovery
  • "Big Cases, Personal Touch," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, May 30, 2014

Background and Education

  • Panelist, JAMS, San Francisco, 1998-present
  • Discovery Referee, San Mateo County Superior Court, 1994-1998
  • Litigation Partner, major San Francisco law firm
  • Mediation Workshop, Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers
  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law; Editor, Law Review
  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College; Dartmouth College; Honors Commendation

Disclaimer

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