Since trying the first asbestos case to go to verdict in California in 1980, Burnham Brown has employed trial attorneys who are prepared to and have gone to the mat, including a trial with the Kazan McClain office – for a reasonable hourly fee. Our office has utilized creative approaches to minimize liability and exposure to our clients:
- Investigating past insurance issued to an asbestos defendant or its predecessor; and enforcing its commercial arrangements, including vendor's endorsements and express and implied indemnity rights to make it another entity’s problem;
- Performing choice of law analyses to apply the most favorablestandards for liability and causation based on adetermination of the place of injury and not necessarily the location of plaintiff's lawsuit. Also, is federal court an option?
- Evaluating key issues related to duty, failure to warn and elements of strict liability as case law continues to evolve regarding the doctrine of sophisticated user, an original manufacturer's responsibility for replacement and affixed parts, the scope of recoverable medical expenses, as well as an estimation of set-offs against the plaintiff's verdict for past settlements with other defendants and payments received from settlement trusts of bankrupt tortfeasors.
- Reducing exposure by allocating fault to co-defendants (who will be long gone at trial), bankrupt parties and non-parties (such as the U.S. Navy and others).
- Understanding an entity’s obligation to protect Medicare's interest in plaintiff's claim and of the mandatory notice and reporting requirements under federal law.
- Creation of and access to databases utilized for purposes of attacking an opposing party’s experts, establishing the liability of commonly sued defendants, identifying co-workers and reconstructing the scope of work and materials used on many past major construction projects.
- Local knowledge of court procedures, the judges assigned to asbestos departments and the tendencies of local plaintiffs' firms and their experts. Burnham Brown's Northern California office is walking distance from Alameda County Superior Court and a 35 minute BART ride to San Francisco Superior Court. And it doesn't hurt that one of its partners is was past President of the Alameda County Bar Association.