Nathan A Schachtman

Bar Admissions:

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (discontinued)

Professional Associations and Honors:

Elected member: American Law Institute

Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Law clerk to Honorable H. Emory Widener, Jr., Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit (1982-1983)

Memberships: American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association.

Martindale-Hubbell av rated

Super Lawyer (PA 2007; NY 2009 – 2019)

Who’s Who Legal – Product Liability Defence (London, U.K.)

Significant Cases and Emphasis of Practice:

For over 35 years, my practice has focused on the defense of products liability suits, with an emphasis on the scientific and medico-legal issues that often dominate such cases. I have tried over 60 cases, and over 12 Daubert hearings. I have briefed and argued appeals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and New York, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals. My trials, hearings, and appeals have been in cases involving prescription and over-the-counter medications, medical devices, and exposures to toxic substances from products and environmental sources.  I have taught a course in probability and statistics in the law, at the Columbia Law School.

Pharmaceutical Litigation

For over 20 years, I have been involved in a diverse pharmaceutical products liability practice. Some of the more prominent cases in which I have been involved include estrogen and testosterone hormone therapies, PPA, Rezulin and other oral anti-diabetic medications, anti-depressants, and silicone gel.

Hormone Therapy Litigation

For several years, I worked on the preparation and defense of Pfizer’s hormone therapy cases, in which women have claimed that they have suffered breast and ovarian cancers, strokes, heart attacks, emboli, and other adverse events after their use of postmenopausal estrogen and progestin medications. I was designated as trial counsel for what was to be Pfizer’s first case set for trial, in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, in 2007 — Coleman v. Wyeth et al.  After I argued the motion for summary judgment based upon the statute of limitations, the trial court entered judgment on the eve of trial.  Coleman v. Wyeth Pharms., Inc., 2007 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 262, at *32 (Pa. Com. Pl. Sep. 24, 2007).  After I left McCarter & English, other lawyers took over the case.  Coleman v. Wyeth Pharms., Inc., 2010 Pa. Super. 158, 2010 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2629 (Aug. 30, 2010) (reversing judgment entered below).

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Litigation

In the fall of 2003, Novartis found itself, without trial counsel, facing its first New Jersey trial in which a plaintiff claimed that her catastrophic stroke was caused by use of Tavist-D (PPA) medication. With two other partners, I formed a trial team that stepped into the breach and successfully defended the company in a jury trial in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Kronfeld v. Novartis Consumer Healthcare, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Div., Middlesex Cty., L-003034-02 MT (no cause of action, Jan. 16, 2004) (trial counsel) (unanimous jury verdict in phenylpropanolamine case on design defect and failure to warn claims), aff’d App. Div. (Sept. 2005). See “Defenders Rack Up Wins in Nine High-Stakes Cases,” The National Law Journal (March 30, 2005).

Rezulin Litigation

In March 2000, Pfizer withdrew Rezulin, an oral anti-diabetic medication, from the market, after reports of severe liver toxicity. Pfizer was targeted with lawsuits around the country, but especially in New Jersey, where the manufacturer, Warner-Lambert, had been located before Pfizer’s acquisition.  I served on several trial teams for these New Jersey cases.

Silicone Gel Breast Implant Litigation

In this nationwide litigation, I served as national trial counsel for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, including its representation before the court-appointed National Science Panel of experts, in the breast implant Multi-District Litigation. In November 1998, that Panel delivered its findings that there was no reliable evidence that silicone caused autoimmune diseases. See, e.g., (trial testimony of court-appointed expert immunologist, Dr. Betty Diamond, and my cross examination)

Within the role of national trial counsel, I was responsible for managing expert witnesses, preparing cross-examinations of adverse expert witnesses, as well as planning, briefing, coordinating, and conducting Daubert challenges to plaintiffs’ expert witnesses in the breast implant litigation, throughout the country. We challenged a wide variety of expert witnesses, including scientists and physicians, testifying on behalf of the claimants, on immunology, epidemiology, toxicology, polymer and analytic chemistry, rheumatology, neuropsychology, and other areas of clinical medicine. I was also responsible for assisting public relations efforts on medico-legal issues, as well as briefing congressional leaders and their staffs about the scientific issues. I tried cases for Bristol-Myers Squibb around the country.

Shaw v Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Multnomah Cty., Oregon, No. 9312-08347 (March 1996) (trial counsel for punitive damages phase; argued appeal)

Hall v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 947 F. Supp. 1387 (D. Or. 1996) (representing BMS before state and federal judges, who sat with a panel of appointed expert advisors, in Daubert hearings)

In re Breast Implant Cases, 942 F. Supp. 958 (E. & S.D.N.Y. 1996) (representing BMS before state and federal judges in Daubert hearings and summary judgment motions)

Brusca v. The Cooper Companies, N.Y. Supreme – Trial Division Part 20, Index No. 128115/93 (1997) (Frye hearing; lead counsel)

In re Breast Implant Litigation, 11 F. Supp. 2d 1217 (D. Colo. 1998) (argued Daubert and summary judgment motions for BMS)

Burch v Surgitec, Inc., New Mexico, County of Bernalillo (2d Judicial District) CV-92-10922 (1998) (Daubert hearing; argued on behalf of BMS)

Benigno v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York Supreme Court – Trial Part 39, Index No. 115431/96 (June 1998) (trial counsel)

Allison v. McGhan, No. 93-CV-2051-RLV, (N.D. Ga. 1998) (argued on behalf of BMS), aff’d, 184 F.3d 1300 (11th Cir. 1999)

Grant v. Bristol Myers Squibb Co., 97 F.Supp. 2d 986 (D. Ariz. 2000) (argued on behalf of BMS)

Toledo v. Medical Engineering Corp., 50 Pa. D. & C.4th 129 (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas 2000) (Frye hearing; argued)

Welding Fume Litigation

For over 10 years, I have represented a group of welding manufacturers that have been targeted by claims that constituents of welding fume cause brain damage. My representation involves the preparation and deployment of epidemiologic evidence in defense of these claims, in state and federal courts around the country.

Silica Litigation

For over three decades, I have represented silica sand mining companies and suppliers in trials and appeals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Illinois, California, and Texas. I served as liaison counsel for the sand suppliers in the coordinated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania silica litigation. These cases typically involve sophisticated-employer defenses, as well as controversial medical causation issues.

Rickicki v. Borden Chemical, 2007 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 239; 237 N.Y.L.J. 15 (Cattaraugus Cty. N.Y. Sup. Ct., Jan. 11, 2007) (granting summary judgment and dismissing all claims on grounds of sophisticated-user doctrine), rev’d and remanded, 60 A.D.3d 1276, 876 N.Y.S.2d 791 (2009); renewed summary judgment granted (Feb. 20, 2015), rev’d and remanded, Rickicki v. Borden Chem., 159 A.D.3d 1457 (4th Dep’t 2018).

Tompkins v. U.S. Silica Co., Jefferson County, Texas; Trial Cause E-162, 276 (2001) (trial counsel), aff’d 92 S.W.3d 605 (Tex. Ct. App. 2002), rev’d and remanded, 156 S.W.3d 578 (Tex. 2005)

Tunstall v Exolon Corp., U.S. District Court Civil Action No. 92-3770 (E.D.Pa. 1993), 1993 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 2921

Phillips v. A.P. Green Refractories Co., 428 Pa. Super. 167, 630 A.2d, 874 (1993) (trial counsel), aff’d, 542 Pa. 124, 665 A.2d 1167 (1995) (gaining recognition for sophisticated user defenses in silica cases in Pennsylvania)

Environmental Medical Monitoring Torts

Harman v. Nick Lipari, et al., Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Gloucester County, Docket No. GLO-L-1375-95, Order of Nov. 3, 2000 (supervising and preparing challenges to reliability of plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, and obtaining Order, which barred plaintiffs’ expert witness, in this class action for medical monitoring, based upon claimed environmental cancer risks)

Asbestos Litigation

From 1984 on, I have tried over three dozen asbestos products cases and supervised hundreds of trials. I have written and argued the appeals in many of these cases. These asbestos cases have involved claims of cancer causation for several organ sites, state of the art defenses, sophisticated employer defenses, among other issues. I have instructed, guided, and supervised lawyers in many hundreds of asbestos cases, in several states. For one client, I shouldered primary responsibility for its representation before the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the transferee MDL 875 court. I was also responsible for assisting public relations efforts on medico-legal issues, as well as selecting and preparing expert witnesses to present testimony to congressional committees and their staffs about medical issues in connection with proposed remedial legislation. The cases noted below are a sample of my experience in this litigation.

Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Prods. Co., New York Ct. Apps., No. 123, Slip op. (Nov. 27, 2018) (counsel for amici curiae Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., Business Council of New York State, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, New York Insurance Ass’n, Inc., Northeast Retail Lumber Ass’n, National Ass’n of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A., American Tort Reform Ass’n, American Insurance Ass’n, and NFIB Small Business Legal Center Supporting Defendant-Respondent Ford Motor Company)

Ieropoli v. A.C. & S Corp., 842 A.2d 919 (Pa. 2004)

Wilson v. Flintkote, 2002 Pa. Super. 294; 807 A.2d 922 (2002) (upholding summary judgment in mesothelioma case; rejecting challenge to frequency, proximity, and regularity requirement in mesothelioma case)

In re Collins, 233 F.3d 809 (3d Cir. 2000) (upholding MDL practice of refusing to remand punitive damage claims with cases to transferor courts), cert. denied sub nom. Collins v. MacMillan Bloedel, Inc., 532 U.S. 1066 (2001)

DeClerico v. Bell Asbestos Mines, 137 Montg. Cty. L.R. Part II 277 (2000) (enforcement of settlements and agency issues) (argued)

Simmons v. Pacor, Inc., 543 Pa. 664, 674 A.2d 232 (1996) (eliminating claims of fear and increased risk of cancer in nonmalignant asbestos personal injury cases)

Rothermel v. Owens-Illinois, 542 Pa. 358 (1995) (apportionment of damages between defendants’ products and tobacco products) (argued)

Ligatti v. E.I. DuPont Corp., 430 Pa.Super. 656, 630 A.2d 469, appeal dismissed as improvidently granted, 542 Pa. 359, 667 A.2d 213 (1995)

Scola v. AC & S, Inc., 540 Pa. 353, 657 A.2d 1234 (1995) (forum non conveniens)

Caterinicchio v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 127 N.J. 428, 605 A.2d 1092 (1992) (standards for reliability and sufficiency of epidemiologic evidence) (trial and appellate counsel)

Norman v. Johns-Manville Corp., 406 Pa. Super.103, 593 A.2d 890 (1991)(state-of-the-art defense and choice of law issues)

Urbasik v. Anchor Packing, 111 Dauphin County 230 (1991)(defense verdict on medical causation between chrysotile asbestos exposure and plaintiff’s mesothelioma)(trial counsel), aff’d 423 Pa. Super. 649 (1992), allocatur denied, 532 Pa. 665 (1992)

Schulz v. Celotex Corp., 942 F.2d 204 (3d Cir. 1991)

Ron Hill v. Carey Canada, Inc., Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division – Camden County, NO. L-051429-84 (July, 1990) (defense verdict on medical causation between chrysotile exposure and plaintiff’s mesothelioma)(trial counsel for Carey Canada)

Howell v. The Celotex Corp., 904 F.2d 3 (3d Cir. 1990)

O’Donnell v. Celotex Corp., PCCP July Term 1982, No. 1619; May 1989 (defense verdict in all-issue trial involving sophisticated employer and state-of-the-art defenses in case brought by naval shipyard worker with asbestosis) (trial counsel)

Wisniewski v. Johns-Manville Corp., 1986 WL 3858 (E.D.Pa. 1986), aff’d, 812 F.2d 81 (3d Cir. 1987) (excluding claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and limiting availability of punitive damages in asbestos cases) (argued)

Ross v. Johns-Manville Corp., 766 F.2d 823 (3d Cir. 1985) (choice of law issues) (argued)

Lowe v. Johns-Manville Corp., 604 F. Supp. 1123 (E.D. Pa. 1985)


In re Estate of John Merriam, Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, PA, Orphan’s Court Division No. 94-1526 (trial counsel on competency issue arising from death-bed gifts)

TCI v. Dayco Products, 177 F. Supp. 2d 332, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15838 (E.D.Pa. 2001) (barring economist’s expert witness opinion testimony under Daubert), aff’d, (3d Cir. 2002)

Job Experience:

Nathan A. Schachtman, Esq., PC

(January 2010 – present)

Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School

(January 2009 – 2016)

Phillips Lytle LLP

Partner (2007 – December 2009)

McCarter & English LLP

Partner (1989 – 2007); Associate (1984-1988)

Bondurant, Miller, Hishon & Stephenson

Atlanta, Georgia; Associate (1983-1984)

Honorable H. Emory Widener, Jr.

Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit, Abingdon, Virginia; Law Clerk (1982-1983)


Rutgers Law School (Camden) (J.D., magna cum laude 1982)

Articles Editor of Rutgers Law Journal  (April 1981 – June 1982)

Dean’s List (1979-80; 1980-81; 1981-82);

Corpus Juris Secundum Award (1981); American Jurisprudence Awards in Equity and in Criminal Law

Teaching Assistant to Professor Steven Friedell (1981);

Research Assistant to Professor Paul H. Robinson (1980-81)

Undergraduate Education:

Rutgers College (A.B. 1975, Philosophy, Biological Sciences)

Honors and Activities: Research Assistant in Department of Pharmacology, in the University of Medicine and Dentristy of New Jersey (Piscataway, NJ) (role of tubulin in mutagenetic models), National Science Foundation Scholarship, Fencing Team

Other Interests:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Rutgers School of Law Alumni Association (Former Board Member)

New York Mineralogical Club, Bancroft Mineral Club

Mineralogy Publications

“Wavellite in Pennsylvania” (1994) (1st Place Prize from American Federation of Mineralogical Societies)

“A Fluorescent Chabazite Locality near Bancroft, Ontario,” 11 Mineral News 4 (January 1995)

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