Practice/Industry Group Overview
Morris Polich & Purdy’s substantial and diverse experience in asbestos litigation sets us apart from other law firms. With 30 years of involvement in asbestos litigation in Northern and Southern California, we have the resources, trial experience and commitment to manage, litigate and resolve any issue. We have handled or have monitored the handling of over 5,000 asbestos claims in both federal and state courts.
DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE
Our asbestos litigation experience goes back to the 1970s, when the initial asbestos personal injury claims were filed in Los Angeles County. MPP attorney Douglas Purdy represented a defendant in the first asbestos lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. He was a member of the first defense steering committee – he participated in drafting the standard, court-approved written discovery, case management orders and case evaluation forms that are still in use today, as well as interviewing and retaining defense experts. Another MPP litigation partner, Dean Olson, one of the Firm’s five ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) members, has tried more than 35 jury trials to verdict, including mesothelioma cases. Dean has extensive asbestos experience throughout his 25 years with Morris Polich & Purdy.
Our extensive experience makes us aware of the historical nuances of asbestos litigation, and has earned us the respect of major plaintiffs’ firms. This is of great benefit to our clients; we are often able to cut through posturing and negotiate favorable settlements, or to obtain reliable information, without having to resort to expensive discovery. In fact, many plaintiffs’ firms no longer include our clients in their complaints.
MPP partners have litigated numerous asbestos cases through trial. Douglas Purdy has tried over 50 cases to verdict or judgment, and has obtained successful verdicts, or otherwise favorable judgments, in over 90% of these cases.
Dean Olson has tried over 35 state and federal jury trials to verdict. In the last 12 months alone, Dean has obtained numerous summary judgments, settlements, and successful verdicts. As a whole, the Firm has recently tried multiple asbestos jury trials to verdict.
STRATEGIC PLANNING EXPERTISE
MPP has substantial experience as national counsel. We are also regional coordinating counsel for a large manufacturing company, and have worked with their management since 1979 to formulate their national strategy. We are also one of two firms that acted as national coordinating counsel to a large insurance company in connection with its nationwide environmental litigation. MPP has also been national coordinating counsel for clients in the medical device and pharmaceutical arena, including multi-district latex glove litigation. We appreciate the importance of implementing a consistent national strategy in litigation of this nature.
A SAMPLE OF OUR INVOLVEMENT IN ASBESTOS LITIGATION
- In the 1970s when the initial asbestos personal injury claims were filed in Los Angeles County, we were members of the first defense steering committee charged with the responsibility of coordinating and drafting standard, court-approved written discovery, case management orders and case evaluation forms that are still in use today. We also participated in interviewing and retaining common defense experts.
- We have either handled or monitored the handling of over 5,000 asbestos claims in federal and state courts throughout California. In addition to Los Angeles, we have represented clients in cases venued in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Monterey, Orange and San Diego, and are therefore familiar with the case management orders and procedures followed in these jurisdictions.
- We have served as regional counsel for a major manufacturing firm, coordinating the handling of asbestos claims in Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii. In this regard, we retain local counsel, monitor the handling of claims by local counsel and, as necessary, become involved in settlement negotiations.
- Our asbestos trial experience includes obtaining favorable results in personal injury and wrongful death trials involving claims of disputed asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. We recently obtained a defense verdict in a personal injury case involving two plasterers who claimed they contracted asbestosis from exposure to stucco products.
- We have extensive experience acting as lead counsel at hundreds of plaintiff depositions, as well as depositions of experts such as industrial hygienists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists and oncologists.
- The types of products we have defended include: high temperature thermal insulation, cement, gaskets, stucco products, talc, pumps, roofing materials, floor covering and textiles.
- We have handled cases for diverse industries, such as: the military, shipyards, residential and commercial construction, refineries, appliance repair, automotive repair and tire manufacturing.