People

Fritz Zimmer is a partner in our Mass Tort and Toxic Tort and Environmental practices, and is the managing partner of our San Francisco office. Fritz's practice is primarily focused on the defense of companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and toxic substances sectors , and he also counsels clients on issues related to commercial, environmental and employment litigation.

Fritz has served as national, regional and trial counsel for a variety of pharmaceutical, environmental and other products-based companies in mass tort litigation, and his current role is as national counsel in the Onglyza Type 2 diabetes drug litigation. He also represents companies in chemical spill and other toxic substance exposure matters. He has been a member of national trial and science teams dating back to the silicone breast implant and fen-phen litigation and, more recently, in connection with various diabetes, gastrointestinal and antipsychotic medications. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, he was a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath and was previously a founding partner in Preuss Shanagher Zvoleff & Zimmer LLP.

Fritz is a past member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Defense Counsel, served as Director of the 2016 IADC Trial Academy at Stanford University Law School and is an active member of the Defense Research Institute.

He is a member of the Buck Advisory Council for The Buck Institute for Research on Aging and is a former Chairman of the Board of the American Diabetes Association’s Golden Gate Chapter. He is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to product liability and litigation strategy.

Publications and Presentations

  • “Medical Device Litigation – What Really Matters” – Medical Device Summit, Speaker, Washington, DC, October 2016.
  • “Pharma Innovation and Litigation Avoidance Strategies” – Pharma U West, Speaker, San Francisco, CA, March 2015.
  • “Evaluating Evidence Used for Pharmacovigilance Signal Detection and Legal Causation Assessments”–  – ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section – Life Science Legal Summit, Speaker, San Francisco, CA, March 2015.
  • “Product Liability Trends and Hot Topics” – Medical Device Summit, Speaker, Palo Alto, CA, September 2014.
  • “Duty to Warn in a Digital Age” – Pharma U West, Speaker, San Francisco, CA, March 2014.
  • “Showing Leadership in a High Profile Case” – IADC International Corporate Counsel College, Speaker, Paris, France, November 2013.
  • “View From the Bench: Current Judicial Views on Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation” -- ACI Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, Moderator, New York, December 2012
  • “Social Media – A Double-Edged Sword in Managing Crises” – IADC International Corporate Counsel College, Speaker, London, England, October 2012.
  • “Not Your Product?  I Still Say You are Liable: Plaintiffs’ Efforts to Target Branded Manufacturers When Generic Medications Are Used” – IADC Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee Webinar, Speaker, August 2012.
  • “The Learned Intermediary Doctrine Under Attack” - DRI Drug & Medical Device Seminar, Speaker and author of paper, San Francisco, May 2010
  • “Hot Topics: Preemption, HIPAA, CAFA, State AG Investigations, and E-Discovery” - DRI Drug & Medical Device Seminar, Speaker and author of paper, San Francisco, May 2007
  • “Who Pays for Electronic Data Translation?  A Case Analysis of FRCP 34 and CCP 2031”-  IADC Drug, Device and Biotech Committee Newsletter, March 2005
  • “Lessons Learned in 10 years of Mass Torts” - Panel Presentation on MDL coordination procedures - IADC Annual Meeting; Maui, HI, July 2003
  • “Hot Topics: Federalism, Privacy, Preemption and Discovery”- DRI Drug & Medical Device Seminar, Speaker and author of paper, San Francisco, May 2002
  • “California Summary Judgment Standards in Toxic Tort Cases: Look Before You Leap” - IADC Toxic and Hazardous Substances Committee Newsletter, January 2001
  • “A Medicolegal Evaluation of Reversible Contraceptives” - Contemporary OB/GYN, Vol. 45, No. 5, May, 2000
  • “California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute and Pharmaceutical Free Speech” - IADC Drug, Device and Biotech Committee Newsletter, April, 2000
  • “How to Avoid, Control and Limit Depositions of Top Executives” - American Conference Institute (ACI) Drug & Medical Device Litigation Seminar - New York, December, 1997
  • “Dealing with the Co-Defendant Physician: A Manufacturer’s Perspective” - American Conference Institute (ACI) Drug & Medical Device Litigation Seminar, New York, December, 1996
Full Bio

Credentials

A.B., University of California-Riverside

J.D., Georgetown University

U.S. District Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

California

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

Member, IADC Board of Directors (2007-2010) and former Vice President of IADC Foundation

Director, 2016 IADC Trial Academy and Faculty Member, 2002 IADC Trial Academy

Member, DRI Drug & Medical Device Steering Committee

Member, Buck Advisory Council (BAC); The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Past Chairman, Golden Gate Chapter, American Diabetes Association (ADA)

One of the top 10 most highly regarded individuals in the United States for Product Liability Defense. Lauded for his “bespoke solutions” and “technical expertise.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2016

One of the top 10 most highly regarded individuals in the United States for Product Liability Defense. “Peers and clients are effusive, claiming he has an exhaustive knowledge of the market and is peerless in court.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2015

“Counsel of choice for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and a ‘leading light’ in this field.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2014

Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation


Best Lawyers in America, 2014

Northern California Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers

Matters

Represented a manufacturer in a three-month trial in Los Angeles relating to alleged PCB contamination of a natural gas pipeline.

Defended numerous manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, alendronate, phentermine, cisapride, rosiglitazone, rosuvastatin and saxagliptin.

Obtained a unanimous defense verdict as co-trial counsel in a wrongful death pharmaceutical product liability action following an eight-week jury trial in Napa County, California.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented a manufacturer in a three-month trial in Los Angeles relating to alleged PCB contamination of a natural gas pipeline.

Defended numerous manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, alendronate, phentermine, cisapride, rosiglitazone, rosuvastatin and saxagliptin.

Obtained a unanimous defense verdict as co-trial counsel in a wrongful death pharmaceutical product liability action following an eight-week jury trial in Napa County, California.

Lead trial counsel in a living mesothelioma case in New York Supreme Court where trial began, but was halted following successful removal of action.

One of trial counsel in two Los Angeles pharmaceutical cases involving Type II diabetes medication, which resolved during jury selection and pre-trial motions, respectively.

Defended numerous manufacturers of medical devices, including breast implants, IUD’s, intraocular lenses, tampons, blood glucose monitoring equipment, knee and hip prostheses and sutures.

Defended manufacturers in several toxic substances matters, including matters involving PCBs, asbestos-containing products, CERCLA claims, and chemical spills.

Defended wrongful termination/employment disputes, laboratory testing/contract disputes, other commercial litigation, and related matters for a variety of clients.

Matters

Represented a manufacturer in a three-month trial in Los Angeles relating to alleged PCB contamination of a natural gas pipeline.

Defended numerous manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, alendronate, phentermine, cisapride, rosiglitazone, rosuvastatin and saxagliptin.

Obtained a unanimous defense verdict as co-trial counsel in a wrongful death pharmaceutical product liability action following an eight-week jury trial in Napa County, California.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented a manufacturer in a three-month trial in Los Angeles relating to alleged PCB contamination of a natural gas pipeline.

Defended numerous manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, alendronate, phentermine, cisapride, rosiglitazone, rosuvastatin and saxagliptin.

Obtained a unanimous defense verdict as co-trial counsel in a wrongful death pharmaceutical product liability action following an eight-week jury trial in Napa County, California.

Lead trial counsel in a living mesothelioma case in New York Supreme Court where trial began, but was halted following successful removal of action.

One of trial counsel in two Los Angeles pharmaceutical cases involving Type II diabetes medication, which resolved during jury selection and pre-trial motions, respectively.

Defended numerous manufacturers of medical devices, including breast implants, IUD’s, intraocular lenses, tampons, blood glucose monitoring equipment, knee and hip prostheses and sutures.

Defended manufacturers in several toxic substances matters, including matters involving PCBs, asbestos-containing products, CERCLA claims, and chemical spills.

Defended wrongful termination/employment disputes, laboratory testing/contract disputes, other commercial litigation, and related matters for a variety of clients.

Credentials

A.B., University of California-Riverside

J.D., Georgetown University

U.S. District Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

California

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

Member, IADC Board of Directors (2007-2010) and former Vice President of IADC Foundation

Director, 2016 IADC Trial Academy and Faculty Member, 2002 IADC Trial Academy

Member, DRI Drug & Medical Device Steering Committee

Member, Buck Advisory Council (BAC); The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Past Chairman, Golden Gate Chapter, American Diabetes Association (ADA)

One of the top 10 most highly regarded individuals in the United States for Product Liability Defense. Lauded for his “bespoke solutions” and “technical expertise.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2016

One of the top 10 most highly regarded individuals in the United States for Product Liability Defense. “Peers and clients are effusive, claiming he has an exhaustive knowledge of the market and is peerless in court.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2015

“Counsel of choice for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and a ‘leading light’ in this field.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2014

Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation


Best Lawyers in America, 2014

Northern California Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers