Katherine concentrates her practice in defense of complex, often bet-the-company litigation including multi-district litigation. This practice includes pharmaceutical, cosmetic and medical device defense, and other product liability defense. She is best known for her passion for her clients, their problems and the law, and her aggressive approach to defending clients.
Claims that she routinely defends include product liability, consumer fraud, UCC (breach of warranty), breach of contract and statutory liability. She often works in teams with counsel in other jurisdictions serving as either national or local counsel. She currently serves on national counsel teams for several products and companies.
She is comfortable with a variety of resolution options for her clients including pre-suit settlement, business solutions, dispositive motion practice, trial and appeal. She has successfully obtained summary judgment for clients on a variety of issues including:
• Learned intermediary
• Lack of product defect/Daubert
• Lack of causation/Daubert
• Statute of limitations
• Insurance coverage
• Medical monitoring
• Premises liability
• Lack of privity of contract
• Punitive damages
She has defended clients as a first chair in both jury and bench trials, including a 2004 jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, which resulted in a defense verdict for her two individual clients facing multiple counts including negligence, fraud, and deceptive consumer sales. Although Katherine enjoys trial work, she is committed to helping her clients avoid trial or litigation altogether in many instances. She routinely advises pharmaceutical and other clients on risk management and litigation avoidance.
A native of Lincoln, Neb., Katherine has made her home in Indiana since 1982. She received her bachelor's degree from Butler University while studying journalism, business administration and French. After managing deadlines as a news reporter and editor for a daily newspaper and then developing the publications for a statewide education not-for-profit, she entered law school, received her juris doctorate degree, magna cum laude, from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1997 and then joined Ice Miller. At Ice Miller, she has served on the professional development committee, the personnel committee and the attorney evaluation committee.
She is admitted to practice in the state of Indiana, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Pro Bono Involvement
Katherine has accepted civil pro bono appointments in state and federal courts, primarily in the area of adult guardianships or fraud in transactions involving adults with diminished capacity.
Reported and Representative Cases
Monroe Guaranty Ins. Co. v. Langreck, 816 N.E. 2d 485 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004).
Tucker v. SmithKlineBeecham Corp., 2006 WL 753128 (S.D. Ind., March 21, 2006).
Hunt v. Unknown Chemical Manf. No. 1, 2003 WL 23101798 (S.D. Ind. November 5, 2003).
Meharg v. I-Flow, Inc., No. 1:08-cv-184 WTL-TAB, 2010 WL 711317 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 1, 2010).
JM McCormick Co., Inc. v. International Truck & Engine Corp., No. 1:05-cv-146 RLY-TAB, 2008 WL 3925444 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 21, 2008).
Hiatt Enterprises v. IKON Office Solutions, Inc., No. 1:06-cv-1110 WTL-LJM, 2007 WL 2904074 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 10, 2007).
"Asserting Amount in Controversy Post—the 'Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act': A Trip to Wonderland?" The Seventh Circuit Rider, Vol. 12, May 2012, pp. 31-34. Co-author: Audra J. Ferguson-Allen.
"To MDL or Not to MDL: Strategies for Getting One, Defeating One and Which is Best?" Conference Presentation and Manuscript, May 5-6, 2011, DRI Drug and Medical Device Annual Seminar, Chicago, Ill.
"The 2009 Amendments to Rule 15(a)- Fundamental Changes and Potential Pitfalls for Federal Practitioners," The Seventh Circuit Rider, Vol. 10, April 2011, pp. 34-37.
"Don't Step on My Toes - The Use of the Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction as a Defense in Tort Litigation," ABA Mass Torts Litigation Committee Newsletter, Winter 2008.