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Bio

Bijan Esfandiari is a pharmaceutical product liability litigation attorney and senior shareholder at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman in Los Angeles. Since joining the firm in 2007, Bijan has worked as lead counsel on several cutting-edge pharmaceutical and medical device cases. His legal work has helped thousands of clients secure compensation for their injuries and shaped the law for the benefit of those harmed by dangerous drugs and medical devices.

Bijan spent the first five years of his legal career as a defense attorney at a major national law firm. While working on a variety of cases spanning multiple disciplines, including entertainment law, intellectual property, and toxic torts, he became discontented with representing corporate polluters. Recalling that he went to law school to help those who were harmed by the greed and neglect of others, Bijan left the defense firm and joined Baum Hedlund, where he immediately found a committed group of lawyers and colleagues that shared his dedication to helping people harmed by corporate malfeasance.

Since his arrival, Bijan has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts across the nation at both the trial and appellate level in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. Utilizing the discovery process, he has fought to de-designate internal corporate documents demonstrating that pharmaceutical manufacturers intentionally concealed dangers associated with their products simply to maintain sales and profits. In a noteworthy case against drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Bijan obtained, examined, and presented evidence to the Court, which later ruled that: “internal GSK documents suggest that Defendant acted with a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of its consumers…Given such evidence, Plaintiffs may be able to establish at trial that Defendant knew of the risks of pediatric use of its drug yet failed to warn solely to increase the commercial profitability of Paxil.” The ruling allowed Bijan’s clients to proceed with claims for punitive damages and resulted in a successful resolution of the case.

Bijan routinely works on challenging cases for severely injured clients that other law firms refuse to represent due to the costs and legal hurdles. His efforts have not only helped these clients that other attorneys turned away; they also led to precedent-setting legal rulings that have benefited all plaintiffs and consumers.

Many of these precedential successes came in the form of defeating pharmaceutical and medical device companies’ claims that they are immune (preempted) from liability by virtue of their products being approved by the FDA. In 2014, Bijan successfully briefed and argued the first and only medical device preemption case at the time before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. In an issue of first impression, the three-judge panel in McCormick v. Medtronic, Inc., 219 Md. App.485, unanimously agreed with Bijan’s arguments that the device manufacturer was not entitled to immunity and held that the plaintiff could proceed with his claims against the medical device manufacturer. This appellate success led to thousands of other similarly injured plaintiffs being able to successfully bring and maintain claims against the device manufacturer.

In a similar proceeding, Bijan successfully briefed and argued the first drug preemption case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The three-judge panel in Mason v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 596 F.3d. 387 unanimously agreed with Bijan’s arguments, finding that plaintiffs’ claims against the drug manufacturer were not preempted by federal law.

The significance of these and other landmark rulings cannot be overstated. They ensure that drug and medical device companies that engage in deceptive or impermissible conduct are not entitled to immunity and that they can be held accountable in a court of law for any injuries they or their products cause to consumers.

Aside from obtaining substantial monetary recoveries for his clients, the cases Bijan and his colleagues have worked on helped give the public and medical community a chance to learn more about previously undisclosed risks associated with drugs, devices, and products. In multiple instances, his casework helped lead to labeling changes or dangerous products being removed from the market to prevent consumers and patients from suffering harm.

The son of an infectious disease scientist, Bijan was surrounded by members of the medical community from a young age. In addition to the joy he receives from representing and obtaining justice for his clients, a favorite part of Bijan’s legal practice is that it allows him to learn from some of the world’s leading medical experts in their respective fields, retained in the pharmaceutical and medical device cases he handles.

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., cum laude, 1999)
  • University of California School of Law, Los Angeles, California (J.D., 2002)
  • Member, UCLA School of Law Moot Court Honors Program

Court Admissions

  • California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2021
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, 2021

Awards and Honors

Member

  • State Bar of California
  • American Association for Justice: Leader’s Forum
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
  • Member, UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs
  • Contributing Author to The Docket, a UCLA School of Law Publication

Presentations / Speeches

  • Topic: Co-Chair Welcome; Gardasil Litigation; Gardasil and Autoimmune Injury: Diving Into the Science

    Organization: HarrisMartin

    Event: HarrisMartin’s MDL Conference: Recalled Infant Formula and Gardasil

    Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Date: May 25, 2022

  • Program: Medtronic InFUSE Litigation Group

    Topic: Status of Cases That Have Survived Preemption Motions and Discovery Strategies and Different Venue Options

    Organization: American Association for Justice

    Event: 2014 AAJ Annual Convention

    Location: Baltimore, Maryland

    Date: July 26 – 30, 2014

  • Topic: “Status of the Infuse Litigation”

    Organization: Mass Torts Made Perfect

    Event: Medtronic Infuse Litigation Update

    Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

    Date: October 10, 2013

  • Topic: Panel: Corruption

    Organization: Selling Sickness

    Event: Selling Sickness, People Before Profits, Session VI

    Location: Washington, D.C.

    Date: February 20 – 22, 2013

  • Topic: “Living with the Mensing Decision”

    Organization: Mass Torts Made Perfect

    Event: Actos and Pelvic Mesh Litigation Update

    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Date: February 8, 2012

  • Topic: “Legal Implications of Pharmaceutical Ghostwriting”

    Organization: Faculty of Law’s Conference

    Event: The Ethics of Ghost Authorship in Biomedical Research: Concerns and Remedies Workshop

    Location: University of Toronto

    Date: May 4, 2011

  • Topic: “Oral Advocacy Competition Participant”

    Organization: American Bar Association

    Event: ABA Forum on Communications Law – Media Advocacy Workshop

    Location: Key Largo, Florida

    Date: February 8, 2007

  • Topic: “Strategies for Litigating Copyright Cases When Infringement is Uncontested”

    Organization: San Fernando Valley Bar Association

    Event: Intellectual Property, Entertainment Law & Internet Law Section

    Location: Woodland Hills, California

    Date: February 17, 2006

Author

Pro Bono and Civic Activities

  • Member, Representative Assembly of the Palms Neighborhood Council
  • Public Counsel Volunteer Attorney, 2007

Published Cases

  • Hricik v. Stryker Biotech, LLC, 89 F. Supp. 3d 694 (E.D. Pa. 2015) (granting plaintiff’s motion to remand the case back to state court)
  • Boutte v. Stryker Biotech, LLC, 67 F. Supp. 3d 732, 734 (M.D. La. 2014) (denying defendant’s motion to dismiss and permitting plaintiff to proceed with his products liability claims against medical device manufacturer)
  • McCormick v. Medtronic, Inc., 219 Md. App. 485, 101 A.3d 467 (2014) (unanimously reversing the trial court’s preemption/dismissal ruling and holding that injured patient’s claims arising out of medical device manufacturer’s off-label promotion of its medical device were not preempted by federal law and thus allowing plaintiff to proceed with his meritorious claims)
  • Cabana v. Stryker Biotech, LLC et al., Case No. BC465313, 2012 WL 3729227 (Cal.Super. Ct., August 20, 2012) (holding that injured patient’s state law claims arising out of medical device manufacturer’s off-label promotion of its bone morphogenetic protein [Infuse] were not expressly nor impliedly preempted by federal law)
  • Dorsett v. Sandoz, Inc., 699 F.Supp.2d 1142 (C.D.Cal. 2010) (denying defendants’ preemption motion and holding that both name-brand and generic drug manufacturers have an affirmative duty to issue warnings)
  • Tucker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 701 F.Supp.2d 1040 (S.D.Ind.2010) (denying defendant’s learned intermediary defense and further allowing plaintiffs’ experts to testify regarding the causal association between antidepressants and increased suicidal behavior)
  • Mason v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 596 F.3d 387 (7th Cir. 2010) (unanimously reversing the trial court’s preemption ruling and allowing plaintiffs’ claims to proceed to a trial on the merits)
  • Forst v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 639 F.Supp.2d 948 (E.D.Wis.,2009) (holding that plaintiffs’ claims are not preempted by federal law)
  • Forst v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 602 F.Supp.2d 960 (E.D.Wis. 2009) (holding that Wisconsin has not adopted the learned intermediary doctrine and allowing all of plaintiffs’ claims, including, negligence, fraud and punitive damages to proceed to the jury)
  • Cunningham v. SmithKline Beecham, 255 F.R.D. 474 (N.D.Ind. 2009) (ordering defendant to produce documents and awarding sanctions)
  • Knipe v. SmithKline Beecham, 583 F.Supp.2d 602 (E.D.Pa. 2008) (holding that a drug manufacturer owes a duty to warn regarding risks associated with off-label uses and allowing plaintiffs’ claims for compensatory and punitive damages to proceed to the jury)
  • Knipe v. SmithKline Beecham, 583 F.Supp.2d 553 (E.D.Pa 2008) (holding that plaintiffs’ claims are not preempted by federal law)
  • Tucker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 596 F.Supp.2d 1225 (S.D.Ind. 2008) (granting plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and holding that plaintiff’s claims are not preempted by federal law)
  • Berg & Berg Enterprises, LLC v. Sherwood Partners, Inc. (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 802

Notable Media Appearances

TV

  • KABC News Los Angeles
  • KCAL News Los Angeles
  • KCBS News Los Angeles
  • KNBC News Los Angeles
  • KTTV Fox 11 News Los Angeles

Radio

  • KPCC 89.3 Southern California Public Radio

News

  • Andrews Litigation Reporters
  • Bloomberg News
  • BNA (Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)
  • California Lawyer Magazine
  • Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
  • FDA News: Devices & Diagnostics Letter
  • Law 360
  • Law.com
  • Lawyers USA
  • Mass Device Blog
  • Mealey’s Emerging Drugs & Devices
  • Mealey’s Litigation Report: Antidepressant Report
  • MedPage Today
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • National Law Journal
  • Nature
  • Pennsylvania Law Weekly
  • Pharmagossip
  • Pharmalot
  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Sciencedaily.com
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • The Legal Intelligencer
  • The Legal Intelligencer
  • The Star Ledger
  • Toronto Star
  • TRIAL magazine
  • Westlaw Journals

Additional Languages

  • Farsi
  • German (conversational)

  • 15+ Years of Experience
    15+ Years of Experience
  • Best Lawyers - Bijan Esfandiari
    Best Lawyers - Bijan Esfandiari
  • Law360 California Powerhouse
    Law360 California Powerhouse
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Product Liability Trial Lawyers Assn – Top 25
    Product Liability Trial Lawyers Assn – Top 25
  • Super Lawyers 5 Years - Bijan Esfandiari
    Super Lawyers 5 Years - Bijan Esfandiari
  • Super Lawyers - Bijan Esfandiari
    Super Lawyers - Bijan Esfandiari
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
    Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • Leaders Forum - Patron
    Leaders Forum - Patron

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