Adrienne brings valuable knowledge of business goals and corporate vision into her litigation practice. Adrienne defends manufacturers. She is a litigator. She counsels her clients from product inception and development through trial. Adrienne’s work focuses on medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, and women’s health, as well as liability in the context of the practice of medicine. Her product liability experience also includes consumer and personal care products, food and beverage labeling, Proposition 65, slack fill, component part manufacturing, design and construction, fire cause and origin, and fighting mass tort fraud and abuse.
Adrienne helps her clients avoid litigation by benchmarking industry best practices, forecasting and mitigating risks, and resolving conflicts early. In 2016, she was on loan with a global pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer, handling mass tort, personal injury, and commercial cases. She has expertise dealing with U.S. and foreign regulators, media, sales, marketing, medical affairs, patient advocacy and public policy, suppliers, and insurance claims resolution. With in-house perspective, Adrienne’s practice embodies her clients’ corporate vision.
Adrienne’s work includes serving as national coordinator of high-stakes product liability litigation, representing major product manufacturers on trial teams, and managing large dockets and teams in federal multidistrict litigation. She defines early case strategy by how a lawsuit will be won at trial. She regularly takes and defends depositions, prepares witnesses, argues motions, and negotiates settlements. She enjoys the narrative, investigative, and creative aspects of the practice of law.
Outside the courtroom, Adrienne is committed to advancing women and diverse attorneys in the legal profession, as well as mentoring young lawyers. Adrienne is the 2019 inaugural awardee of Shook’s Junior Women’s Management Council, Diversity Sponsor Award, and was featured in "Working Mother Recognizes Shook's Culture and Ranks Firm Among Best Law Firms for Women."
In 2014, as an associate, she was awarded the firm’s SHB Mosaic Award, as “an intelligent and educated advocate focused on increasing our recruitment of diverse talent.” It was remarked how “She gives of her time to mentor other associates and advance diversity in the workplace in addition to her other firm citizenship commitments and her busy workload.”
Adrienne serves as lead counsel for Sanofi in the In re Taxotere Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2740, where Adrienne and her team secured dismissal of three of the first four bellwether plaintiff trials. See, e.g., In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 16-2740, 2019 WL 2995897 (E.D. La. July 9, 2009).
The Taxotere trial team then won the first, plaintiff-pick case able to proceed to trial: Earnest v. Sanofi (E.D. La. Sept. 2019). See First Taxotere Bellwether Trial Ends in Defense Verdict, Law.com (Sept. 2019).
Adrienne was successful at arguing for limitations on admissible expert testimony at the trial. See In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 16-2740, 2019 WL 3554211, at *1 (E.D. La. Aug. 5, 2019), available at Taxotere Court Excludes Expert Opinion on How the Medical Community Would Have Reacted to a Different Warning.
Adrienne has also been an architect of affirmative, social media and ESI-driven plaintiff discovery strategies, leading to extensive pretrial orders and imposition of sanctions on plaintiffs. See, e.g., In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, 2018 WL 4002624 (E.D. La. Aug. 22, 2018) (sanctioning plaintiff that had instructed third-party health care providers to ignore and disobey discovery; evidence of these transgressions being first discovered in that plaintiff’s social media). See also Ediscovery for Defendants in Practice.
Adrienne and her team have also eliminated the second putative trial case in Taxotere in their client’s favor, on a statute of limitations dismissal.
Other Jury Trials. Adrienne has been a trial team member in a number of cases, including:
- a three-week bellwether pelvic mesh injury trial that concluded in the first defense jury verdict for any mesh manufacturer (Albright v. Boston Scientific Corp.); and
- a three-week pelvic mesh jury trial in Texas (Salazar v. Boston Scientific Corp.).
Appeals. In one notable example, Adrienne and her team persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that multiple groups of fewer than 100 plaintiffs filing suit in the city of St. Louis and seeking joint trials created federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act. (Atwell v. Boston Scientific Corp., 740 F. 3d 1160 (8th Cir. 2013))
Pretrial Successes. Adrienne and her teams recognize that early legal and discovery victories can narrow litigation before trial. Notable successes include:
- Melvin v. Wal-Mart, No. 11-2542 (M.D. Fla. 2013) (granting motion to compel financial information on a proof of purchase)
- Smothers v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-4078, WL 3495977 (S.D. W.Va. July 11, 2014) (dismissing case on statute-of-limitation grounds)
- In re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Mesh Repair Sys. Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 12-2326 (granting motion to compel against medical lien company involved in scheme to fund device removal surgeries); and
- Thornton v. Blitz, 850 F.Supp.2d 1374 (S.D. Ga. 2011) (denying plaintiff's motion for sanctions and finding that no evidence that any relevant material was destroyed as a result of failure to implement a litigation hold).
Presentations and Publications
Taxotere Plaintiffs Taken Down By Their Own Expert—Again, Drug & Device Law, July 3, 2020.
Sanofi May Assert Lack of Knowledge of Taxotere Hair Loss Risk, Bloomberg Law, July 2, 2020.
Sanofi Exits Some Taxotere Suits, More Dismissals Expected, Bloomberg Law, June 3, 2020.
Sanofi Boots Some Plaintiffs From Chemo Hair Loss MDL, Law360, June 2, 2020.
Sanofi Beats Taxotere Claims Over Post-2015 Hair Loss Warnings, Bloomberg Law, May 28, 2020.
Clock Has Run Out For Hair-Loss Patients In Chemo MDL, Law360, January 24, 2020.
Speaker, ACI, 24th Annual Conference on Drug and Medical Device Litigation, New York, New York, December 9-11, 2019.
Chambers, Trends and Developments: Predicting Mass Court Filings, July 2019.
Adrienne Byard and Alyse Zadalis, Shook Shorts: Women's Health Litigation, Podcast, August 2019.
Eric Anielak, Jordan Baehr, Adrienne Byard and Harley Ratliff, Busier Than a Centipede at a Toe-Counting Contest: Exponential Mass Tort Case Filing Volume as a Function of Bogus Trigger Dates, States' Statutes of Limitations, and Profit Potential, Update of the Law CLE, Kansas City, Missouri, June 13, 2019.
Bryan Pratt, Adrienne Hernandez and Amanda Tamayo, Emerging Theories of Product Liability, Shook, Hardy & Bacon's 11th Annual Update of the Law (2014).
Bryan Pratt and Adrienne Hernandez, Inside the Courtroom on Class Certification, Litigation Exchange, New York (2013).
Mark Hegarty and Adrienne Hernandez, Clinical Trials on Trial, Drug Information Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, June 24-28, 2012.
Mark Hegarty and Adrienne Hernandez, Clinical Trials on Trial, Drug Information Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, June 19-23, 2011.