Asbestos Group Leaders
To meet with a Burnham Brown attorney specializing in Asbestos, please call (510) 444-6800 and ask to speak with a member of the Asbestos Practice Group.
Burnham Brown's experience, local knowledge and value added, result oriented approach to litigating asbestos claims on behalf of insured and self-insured clients are truly extraordinary.
Experience Dating from 1978
In 1978, Burnham Brown was first retained to defend Johns-Manville Corporation, then the world's largest manufacturer of asbestos containing materials (ACMs). This retention grew into the management of 2,500 bodily injury and wrongful death cases filed against Johns-Manville Corporation in California, including the trial of the third asbestos case to go to verdict in California. Over 30 years later, Burnham Brown continues to specialize in the defense of asbestos claims which are now handled by a dedicated practice group of 8 partners, 14 associates and 6 paralegals and clerks. Its practice has evolved to include all major classifications of defendants, i.e. original equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers; general and subcontractors, including mechanical, plumbing, insulation, drywall, electrical, and other members of the construction industry; and, premise owners including defense contractors and hotels. In 2008, Burnham Brown was involved in a trial to verdict against a plaintiff represented by the firm of Kazan McClain, et al. This matter is currently on appeal based on the trial court's refusal to permit the jury to allocate fault to the U.S. Navy. A representative listing of ACMs in cases handled by Burnham Brown lawyers is below.
Burnham Brown minimizes its reliance on common, jointly retained medical experts and, instead, conducts its own in-house evaluation of each individual plaintiff's medical records. It has developed its own stable of experienced medical and liability experts in key disciplines including, toxicology, oncology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, radiology, pathology, pulmonology, and occupational medicine. Burnham Brown and its experts have access to Burnham Brown's comprehensive web based database of plaintiff expert, defense expert and co-worker depositions from prior litigation as well as its library of key historical industry and hard to find union publications, epidemiological studies from around the world, evolving PELs for asbestos exposure under state and federal regulations and other documents bearing on key legal defenses such as state of the art and sophisticated user. Burnham Brown's resources also include a comprehensive collection of moving and opposition papers filed in support of and opposition to key in limine motions filed by both plaintiff and defense counsel. Its experience also includes an intimate knowledge of critical standards of liability and evidentiary issues, including the application of California's unique causation instruction, use of prior deposition testimony at trial; and, the burdens of proof regarding motions for summary judgment and summary adjudication as well as allocation of fault to others under California's Proposition 51.
Burnham Brown's San Francisco Bay Area location is in walking distance to Alameda County Superior Court and a 30 minute BART ride to San Francisco Superior Court. Burnham Brown is also walking distance to Aiken & Welch, the court reporting firm for a majority of the depositions taken in both counties.
Burnham Brown lawyers make court appearances for their clients in asbestos cases on a virtually a daily basis and are intimately familiar with the judges assigned to try and administer asbestos cases in both counties. It is also familiar with the tactics and negotiating strategies of all local members of the plaintiff asbestos bar. Burnham Brown lawyers are also familiar with General Orders and local rules that have been issued on a local level to administer asbestos litigation, including court mandated written discovery to which new defendants are required to respond. Burnham Brown's experience has also led to regular retentions outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, including Los Angeles Superior Court.
Value Added, Result Oriented Approach
Burnham Brown's experience and resources permit a prompt evaluation of exposure based on disease type, status of defendant, dates, sites and circumstances of claimed exposures and unique circumstances that vary from case to case. We aggressively seek dismissal of a case as soon as possible, in an effort to avoid the expenses of discovery and motion practice to the extent possible. Generally, each case is staffed with one partner and one associate with paralegal support. Only one attorney attends all proceedings with the exception of pre-trial motions and trial. In addition to its central location, Burnham Brown realizes further cost reductions by noticing depositions in our own office and use of CourtCall where possible.
Despite these benefits, Burnham Brown's services are very competitively priced, far below the rates to which large self insured corporations are accustomed to paying. Burnham Brown's rates and various efficiencies created by its skilled lawyers result in prompt, superior results.Click here to download the list of representative ACMs