Maria (Mia) Lathrop Winter Of Counsel




Mia Winter takes a strategic approach to serving clients engaged in life sciences, frequently joining multidisciplinary teams composed of colleagues with a breadth of experience in defending health care providers, clinics and hospitals in all aspects of health care delivery, civil litigation, regulatory matters and licensing investigations. 

Mia is focused on extricating clients from litigation early and efficiently, and vigorously defending them in court when the situation demands. Along the way, she educates medical providers about how they can communicate more effectively with their patients with a goal of providing quality care and in turn preventing future claims. She has established relationships with physician and nursing experts in a variety of medical subspecialties at tertiary care centers throughout California. These expert consultants are called upon to review the care provided and render opinions or testimony to successfully resolve cases. 

Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Mia practiced at a small civil litigation defense firm in Chico, California. She is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation-only organization in which members must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience. Members also must exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism by following the board’s Code of Professionalism and Principles of Civility. 

Career Objective
Mia joined Wilson Elser to expand her knowledge base in the area of medical product liability and to apply her skill in the defense of medical professionals. As a defense attorney for her entire career, she has always been an advocate for medical providers. According to Mia, “These professionals render treatment in our hospitals and medical practices in an increasingly challenging climate. Their job is difficult and nuanced. They are intelligent, highly educated individuals who are striving to provide high-quality care to each patient. They are also human and sometimes make mistakes.”

Areas of Focus

Medical Malpractice
For 26 years, Mia has defended physicians, nurses, midwives, clinics, hospitals and other health care professionals in medical professional liability actions in state and federal courts throughout Northern California. She is adept at handling all aspects of medical malpractice cases from the pleadings stage through written discovery, depositions, mediation, settlement and trial. 

During her career, Mia has participated in 11 jury trials with a 90 percent win rate for the defense. Her trial work has included the successful defense of orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, cardiologists and family practitioners. These cases included allegations of inadvertent surgical injuries, delayed diagnosis, medication errors and wrongful death. 

Elder Abuse & Neglect
Mia defends physicians and facilities accused of elder abuse and neglect under the California dependent care laws. 

Professional Licensing Defense
Mia also represents a variety of health care professionals in state licensing investigations and administrative actions before the Medical Board of California and the Board of Registered Nursing. 

Municipality Code Enforcement
Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Mia held a long-term contract position as an administrative hearing officer presiding at hearings on cases brought by Butte County Code Enforcement. These actions involved alleged failure by property owners to follow the county’s nuisance abatement and fire suppression statutes. Serving as a hearing officer informed her practice on behalf of defendants and gave her insight into effective advocacy for her health care clients.

Representative Matters

Obtained defense verdict in medical negligence/ wrongful death suit against obstetrician who nicked the patient’s bowel during an ovarian biopsy, which caused sepsis and death in a 73-year-old woman.

Obtained defense verdict for general surgeon accused of negligent performance of sigmoid colon resection on patient with Crohn’s disease.

Successfully defended orthopedic surgeon at trial against allegation of negligent performance of a hip replacement, which resulted in a two-inch leg length discrepancy.

Resolved case at mediation on behalf of psychiatrist accused by female patient of sexual harassment and battery.

Obtained a public letter of reprimand from the Medical Board of California on behalf of an obstetrician, and avoided a probation, suspension or revocation of his license after infant suffered severe brain injury during delivery.

Negotiated reasonable settlement at mediation on behalf of health clinic sued by a former physician who alleged wrongful termination of his contact over narcotics prescribing problems that resulted in patient deaths.

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of bariatric surgeon accused of negligent performance of weight loss surgery resulting in complications requiring dozens of additional surgeries and hospitalizations for the patient

Filed successful motion for directed verdict on behalf of physician at trial, resulting in dismissal of the action after the plaintiff’s presentation of evidence.