Heather Pigman is a seasoned litigator known for her substantial expertise and compelling approach in complex civil litigation cases and for presenting, defending, and preparing expert witnesses in highly specialized fields. Her on-point analysis and smart strategic planning on long range cases have been instrumental in the favorable resolution of numerous high-value and high-profile matters. Balancing her laser focus against her easygoing style, Heather embraces the challenge of distilling complex scientific issues into information quickly grasped by judges, juries, and corporate stakeholders.
With over twenty-five years of experience, Heather develops litigation strategies in the defense of complex civil litigation including class actions, centralized and consolidated proceedings, and high-stakes litigation involving toxic tort, pharmaceutical, tobacco, medical device, RICO, personal injury, and consumer protection cases. She successfully leads litigation and appellate teams opposing class certification or other consolidated treatments of claims. This includes the defeat of a putative $19 billion medical marketing class in pharmaceutical litigation and a first of its kind “punitive damages class” seeking recovery for millions of members in a product liability setting. Heather has authored multiple publications addressing various class certification and serial or mass action litigation issues.
In addition to her defense of centralized and consolidated claims, Heather has substantial experience defending clients in other complex litigation, including developing litigation strategies for pre-trial proceedings through trial and appeal. Her experience includes the successful resolution of personal injury claims involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other consumer products at all stages of the process.
Heather has an innate ability to learn and understand expert witnesses’ scientific disciplines in order to better explain – and help the experts explain – complex scientific or legal concepts to audiences that do not share the experts’ backgrounds. Heather routinely works with cross-disciplinary teams to formulate and coordinate medical and scientific defenses for large scale litigation matters. She also focuses on developing graphics that will help both experts and the team’s lawyers provide simple visual representations of these complex issues.
Heather’s ability to strike the right balance between complex and simple concepts stems from growing up as the daughter of two teachers and her experience as a wildlife photographer. Among other adventures, she has trekked to find mountain gorillas in Uganda, come face to face with grizzly bears in Alaska and jaguars in the Pantanal, and ridden an elephant to get a closer look at vulnerable one-horned rhinos in India. This travel takes her to remote wilderness areas around the world where good problem-solving skills, flexibility, and quick action are essential. She focuses on capturing images that immediately convey a sense of understanding of the complex interactions between animals and their environments when viewed by others not in that moment. Being in dynamically different locations also enhances her ability to re-engage her creativity both as a photographer and as a lawyer, as well as confirms her appreciation for diverse groups of people and backgrounds, which is paramount in the work she does as a litigator. Her appreciation for diversity doesn’t stop there. Heather’s passion for furthering women in the legal field led her to coauthor the article, “How young women lawyers can build their skills to make them essential to the success of their colleagues and clients,” for the ABA, Section of Litigation The Woman Advocate. She is a past member of the Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
In 2022, Heather was elected a member of the University of Central Florida Foundation’s Board of Directors. The UCF Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on philanthropic efforts to support UCF and its students.
EducationAmerican University Washington College of Law (J.D., 1997, summa cum laude) University of Central Florida (B.A., 1994, summa cum laude)
- District of Columbia
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits
- United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, and the Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida
- Super Lawyers, Personal Injury-Products Defense, 2023
- University of Central Florida Foundation Board of Directors, Member
- LCJ, Member
Insights & Events
Fifteen Hollingsworth LLP Attorneys Named to 2023 Super Lawyersnews | April 24, 2023
Heather A. Pigman Named to University of Central Florida Foundation Board of Directorsnews | July 1, 2022
How Young Women Lawyers Can Build Their Skills to Make Them Essential to Success of Colleagues and Clients.publication | May 19, 2020
Law360 — 3rd Circ. Refuses To Revive Novartis Labeling Suitnews | October 6, 2016
Law360: Novartis Ducks Zometa Failure-To-Warn Suitnews | October 8, 2015
Law360: Fla. Judge Nixes Punitive Damages In Novartis Zometa Rownews | March 28, 2013
"A Florida federal judge on Wednesday nixed punitive damages from a lawsuit alleging Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s Aredia and Zometa bone drugs caused a woman to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw, finding that New Jersey law limiting punitive damages in such cases applies."
Recent Class Certification Decisions Present New Opportunities And Challenges For Defendantspublication | May 19, 2010
LJN’s Product Liability Law & Strategy (May 2010) (Heather A. Pigman)