Lauren Elliot is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of the Firm’s Litigation Practice and its Product Liability, Class Actions, Intellectual Property and Life Sciences Practice Groups.
Ms. Elliot has litigated a wide range of complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional product liability, patent infringement and commercial cases in trial and appellate courts around the country. Throughout her career, she has advised and defended companies across a broad spectrum of industries in cases, including numerous class actions, involving products such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, asbestos, benzene, contraceptives, lead pigment, medical devices, NSAIDs, pesticides, tranquilizer guns and vaccines.
Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Elliot was a partner in the New York office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
Ms. Elliot graduated from Brown University in 1989 with honors (International Relations) and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1993. She is a member of the Committee on Drugs and Medical Devices for the Defense Research Institute, and served two terms as a member of the Product Liability Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Ms. Elliot is admitted to practice in New York.
Mass Torts and Product Liability Litigation
- Managed team of litigators who served as national trial and appellate counsel to Wyeth (now Pfizer) in its defense of close to 400 product liability litigations concerning neurological injuries (such as autism spectrum disorders) allegedly associated with the use of the preservative thimerosal in childhood vaccines. Argued in courts around the country for Wyeth and presented and cross-examined expert witnesses in the first Frye hearing (conducted over a two-week period), in which Wyeth successfully attacked plaintiffs’ theories and the qualifications of plaintiffs’ proffered expert witnesses. Responsible for responding to relentless and well-coordinated attacks by advocacy groups through the Internet and in the media.
- Led the team that secured a summary judgment dismissal for a Georgia tranquilizer gun manufacturer in New York Supreme Court, Kings County, in “bet-the-company” litigation.
Wage-And-Hour Class Action Litigation
- Representing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in three separate wage-and-hour class action lawsuits pending in California and New York: Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 2:06-cv-02376-LKK-AC (E.D. Ca. 2006) (class of close to 2000 unlicensed accountants in PwC’s Assurance line of service in California asserting misclassification claim under California labor law); Kress v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 2:08-cv-00965-LKK-AC (E.D. Cal. 2008) (putative and certified classes of employees in PwC’s Assurance, Advisory and Tax lines of service asserting misclassification claims under California labor law and the Fair Labor Standards Act “FLSA); Commisso v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Index No. 650273/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013) (putative class of unlicensed accountants in PwC’s Assurance line of service in New York asserting misclassification claim under New York labor law.). Ms. Elliot directs the discovery and pre-trial efforts in all three cases. Most recently, the court in Kress granted PwC leave to conduct opt-in depositions, twice rejecting plaintiffs’ argument that PwC should be ordered to use a sampling methodology to select the deponents. The court refused to limit PwC to any particular methodology in its selection of deponents.
- Secured a dismissal of Commisso v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 11 Civ. 5713 (S.D.N.Y. August 2011), a proposed class action under New York labor law on behalf of close to 4000 unlicensed accountants in PwC’s Assurance line of service in New York, for failure to satisfy the Class Action Fairness Act jurisdictional requirements, and secured a denial of plaintiff’s motion to create federal jurisdiction by amending the complaint to add a FLSA claim. By virtue of prevailing in this jurisdictional dispute, the plaintiff may not pursue a claim for liquidated damages on behalf of the class.
- Substantial experience handling controversies involving co-development and joint marketing agreements and in connection with joint ventures. Was lead trial counsel for ZG Nevada Partnership in a three-week bankruptcy court trial that successfully secured client’s prior recovery (from a NY Surrogate’s Court proceeding litigated by Ms. Elliot) of a multi-million dollar advance made in connection with a prospective joint venture. No appeal was taken from the judgment of the Bankruptcy Court, which found in favor of ZG Nevada Limited Partnership on all issues.
Intellectual Property and Licensing Litigation
- Significant experience litigating and trying patent infringement and inventorship disputes in pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device cases. Also represented fashion designers and clothing distributors in licensing disputes in state court and in arbitration. In one such dispute, Ms. Elliot successfully defeated attempts by a distributor to restrain the conduct of her client’s business in the United States.
Publications, Speech Engagements & Programs
- Lead author, “Food Litigation: The New Frontier,” New York Law Journal (GC Edition, July 8, 2010)
- Lead author, “No Small Matter: Indemnifying Prescribing Physicians and the Issues that Must be Considered,” DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar (May 2005)
- Guest Lecturer, Ethics: Discovery and Litigation, University of Chicago Law School (2008-2010)
- Speaker, “No Small Matter: Indemnifying Prescribing Physicians and the Issues that Must be Considered,” DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar (May 2005)
* Representations occurred prior to attorney’s association with Gibson Dunn