Michelle A. Parfitt Senior Partner
Over the last 31 years, Michelle Parfitt has distinguished herself as a champion of individual rights as well as a leader before the bar in the area of mass torts, with a specialty in navigating complex pharmaceutical, medical device and product liability cases.
Ms. Parfitt has represented thousands of individuals in various state and federal courts across the country that have filed suit against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. She has won numerous trials and appeals in a wide variety of cases, including medical malpractice cases, pharmaceutical and medical device cases and construction liability cases.
Ms. Parfitt is held in high regard for her commanding knowledge in the areas of medical science and expert testimony preparation, as demonstrated by the fact that judges in several federal district courts have appointed her to guide complex federal multi-district litigation cases in a variety of leadership posts.
In what is generally considered the worst U.S. mining disaster in over four decades, the explosion of Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners and injured many more, Ms. Parfitt led the plaintiffs represented by Ashcraft & Gerel through this emotional, complicated and high-profile case.
Her unparalleled dedication to seeking justice for her clients, which showed itself when she decided to assess and collect evidence herself in the still unstable mine, helped pave the way for a legal victory against mine owner Massey Energy.
During litigation, Ms. Parfitt and her peers condemned Massey for making production more of a priority than the safety of their own workers. They determined that the mine operator had allowed highly-explosive gases and dust to accumulate, which was fueled by sparks created by equipment in poor condition.
Ultimately, victims of the event received a substantial multi-million dollar verdict.
Outside the Courtroom
Ms. Parfitt is an active lecturer as well as an author on mass tort litigation and topics tied to scientific and medical evidence in pharmaceutical and medical device cases. She has presented talks and prepared papers for the American Association for Justice, State Bar Associations and numerous national continuing legal education programs.