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W&L on Top Verdict 2021 California Lists

May 26, 2022
Home Firm News W&L on Top Verdict 2021 California Lists has ranked Weitz & Luxenberg among its top California Lists for 2021. Our firm is #1 for personal injury settlements and #12 for California verdicts. The list includes cases filed in a state or federal court, as well as those settled prior to going to trial.

  • $1.8 billion settlementRobin Greenwald and Devin Bolton, along with an impressive group of like-minded firms, faced off against Southern California Gas Company. Key lawsuit claims included business losses, personal injury, nuisance, property damage, and negligent maintenance of the gas storage field. The hard-fought settlement took six years to achieve. Ms. Greenwald is a W&L partner and co-chair of our Environmental, Toxic Torts, and Consumer Protection Litigation group. Ms. Bolton is an associate attorney in that group and was instrumental to case’s successful resolution.
  • $27.4 million trial verdict — Danny R. Kraft, Jr., Joseph J. Mandia, and Benno Ashrafi took on Johnson & Johnson in a notable asbestos-contaminated, talc exposure case. Key complaints included failure to warn, personal injury, product liability, defective product, talc exposure, mesothelioma, negligent tort, and strict liability. The trial lasted just under 40 days. Mr. Kraft and Mr. Ashrafi are partners at W&L. Mr. Mandia is an associate attorney who joins them on our Mesothelioma and Asbestos Practice Group team.

Southern California Gas Company Leak

Southern California Gas Company’s 2015 natural gas leak forced thousands of California residents to leave their homes. The settlement is expected to resolve roughly nearly 35,000 claims.

The leak occurred at the company’s Standard Sesnon 25 well in Aliso Canyon, northeast of Los Angeles. The leak at the well continued for almost four months.

Close to 100,000 tons of methane along with other toxic substances were released into the air. According to the Environmental Defense Fund estimates, it was the largest release ever in the U.S. of greenhouse gases.

Thousands of people living in and around the Porter Ranch community were relocated for months. The leak caused many of them to suffer serious health consequences.

Our lawsuits accused the companies of failure to safely construct, maintain, and operate their gas storage well. W&L attorneys also alleged that, following the well blowout, residents were purposely kept in the dark about the leak and its effects.

Mesothelioma from Talc Contaminated with Asbestos

Our 61-year-old client developed terminal mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc. The electrical engineer and father of seven children got it from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder.

He used the product on himself for years, from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. In addition, he used the product on his own children starting around 1985 and continuing through to 2019.

Following the trial, jurors determined that J&J was negligent. They concluded the company had not acted in a reasonably careful way. Jurors also agreed the product contained a manufacturing defect and its design was defective. Another key element in the verdict was failure to warn.

When jurors examined all of these factors and how they worked against our client, they did not hesitate in concluding the product led to our client’s terminal diagnosis. The jury also decried J&J’s managing agents, corporate officers, and directors, concluding they “acted with malice and fraud.”

W&L Prepared to Fight at the National Level

Weitz & Luxenberg was founded in the mid-1980s, W&L was founded to stand up against large corporations that knowingly put the health of their employees at risk every day by exposing them to asbestos.

Through our team’s efforts, W&L has become a national leader in asbestos litigation. We have represented more than 35,000 victims of asbestos exposure over the years, holding irresponsible companies accountable.

And we have secured more than $19 billion on behalf of our 55,000 clients who have been harmed by the injurious actions of others.

Over the years, our firm has doubled down on its mission to hold irresponsible, sometimes unscrupulous companies accountable. Whether environmental pollution and toxins, to contaminated water, to consumer fraud, to defective and dangerous products and substances, we are prepared to take on the largest corporate offenders on behalf of our clients.

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