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Practice Areas

Retail and Hospitality

Burnham Brown represents a wide variety of clients in the retail and hospitality industries and for many years has successfully defended them in the array of civil litigation and claims that covers the full spectrum of their operations. It also continues to provide risk management and strategic advice and counsel on litigation avoidance and Medicare Reimbursement Claims. Click Here

Burnham Brown's Retail and Hospitality team continues to represent a range of clients of differing sizes across the full gamut of the retail and hospitality industries ranging from Fortune 50 retailers to regional retailers and grocers, and from iconic US chain restaurants to hotels and smaller hospitality operations. Currently, Burnham Brown is regional counsel for Home Depot headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and represents its interests in all general litigation matters throughout the Western United States including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Hawaii. The categories of cases and claims that we continue to defend include: slip/trip and falls and other garden variety negligence claims; Loss Prevention assault and battery cases that involve allegations of false imprisonment and other claims arising out of the detention and arrest of suspected shoplifters; commercial carrier, logistics and motor vehicle accident cases, including providing emergency response to catastrophic events; the defense of commercial and consumer products in design/manufacturing defect claims and California consumer warranty claims; violations of both the state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices statutes; cases involving serious injuries caused by the criminal acts of third parties; and severe food poisoning claims. Our services to our retail and hospitality clients also include prosecuting and defending contractual indemnity and vendor endorsement claims; breach of contract claims arising out of retail and hospitality lease agreements, as well as the defense of Class Action cases involving the breach of warranty of habitability claims.

The risks presented by these cases have ranged from the minor to the very serious catastrophic losses involving the multiple layers of available insurance.

Over the years our level of day in/day out experience in defending retail and hospitality clients and managing their risks has allowed us to develop the systems and expertise to handle both large and small caseloads for clients of all sizes and ensure that each file, no matter the exposure and risk it presents, is handled efficiently and economically. Our ability to successfully manage the risks presented to our retail and hospitality clients by civil lawsuits and claims is reinforced and strengthened by our skills as trial lawyers.

The Burnham Brown attorneys work with risk managers and claims professionals to proactively defend the cases and claims and move all of the parties to the decision point as quickly and efficiently as possible. If the case does not settle at that point, then our client will have the satisfaction of knowing that it has an experienced trial lawyer representing them that has a proven track record of successfully trying cases through to jury verdict. We believe that it is our broad trial experience that helps us to resolve and settle the majority of our retail and hospitality client's cases because the "value" of a case is always defined by what a jury would award as damages, or find as to liability, and we have the experience of arguing those issues to juries throughout California and seeing first hand what the true "market value" is, rather than just trying to extrapolate from jury verdict data that is obtained through research. Also, Burnham Brown's retail and hospitality clients will never pay too much on a case, because whoever is representing the plaintiff/claimant will know from our team's record that our client will be sincere if it ever has to say that it is "prepared to try the case" if they don't accept a reasonable offer of settlement.

Although sparingly used, we believe that Burnham Brown's trial experience is a tool that our retail and hospitality clients can effectively use to manage their risks.

Burnham Brown's Retail and Hospitality team works closely with the leaders of its Employment Law team, and Chair of Employment practice group, Cathy Arias.

Representative Achievements

  • Obtained a favorable jury verdict in Marin County for a national retailer in a liability case involving falling merchandise and claims of traumatic brain injury with claimed damages of $3 million. Click Here
  • Obtained a defense verdict in Santa Clara County for a national retailer in an assault and battery/false imprisonment case of a suspected shoplifter with claimed damages in excess of $1 million and a request for punitive damages. Click Here
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial in Alameda County for a national retailer in case of lumber falling off of a forklift with injuries requiring a total ACL reconstruction and claimed damages in excess of $250,000. Click Here
  • Obtained summary judgment in San Joaquin County for a franchisee of a national fast food restaurant in an E. Coli/ bacterial food poisoning case with allegations that the ingested endotoxins caused premature labor and the death of twins.
  • Recovered $1.95 million on behalf of a major retailer's insurers in a contractual indemnity action against the retailer's Landlord based on a lease provision that shifted the risk and obligated the Landlord to defend and indemnify the retailer in a lawsuit based on the location of the accident. Click Here