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Practice Areas

Class Action

One of the most substantial litigation threats to corporate America is posed by class actions and other mass-claimant proceedings.  To meet the challenge, Burnham Brown has pooled its considerable experience in defending class and other multi-plaintiff actions within its Class Action Group.  This interdisciplinary team works closely with leading experts in medicine, product design, human resource and employment, hazardous substances and materials and construction.  Burnham Brown serves as regional and national counsel in mass tort actions and has coordinated the defense of numerous state and federal lawsuits throughout the United States.  Our attorneys also function successfully as local counsel in California state and federal litigation and work regularly with national counsel and client representatives worldwide.

Our class action lawyers have defended local and national based companies in a broad range of industries, including retail, restaurants, transportation, construction, manufacturing and real estate.  Burnham Brown's experience includes defending numerous complex wage and hour matters, environmental torts, product liability, consumer and unfair business practices claims.  Our attorneys are also frequent presenters at local and national seminars on class actions and multi-claimant proceedings, and also regularly author articles on these subjects. 

Burnham Brown works with its clients to develop a strategic plan for cost effective litigation, a risk based assessment, and to bring successful results to our clients.  For those claims which cannot be resolved voluntarily, our clients are well postured because our class action attorneys regularly try complex cases. 

Products Liability

  • Defended refrigerator manufacturer and parent companies in nationwide class action alleging violations of consumer fraud & unfair competition statutes.  The class action lawsuit, which followed an extensive federal government recall, required Burnham Brown to create a comprehensive ESI database of relevant information and claims filed in all 50 states.  The class action lawsuit also involved claims of alter ego.  Burnham Brown has also defended multiple individual product liability lawsuits arising out of alleged defects in these refrigerators.  We coordinated nationally with law firms defending individual product liability claims in other states.  Burnham Brown was a leader in the creation of a nationwide team of highly qualified scientific experts who strongly rebutted the defective product claims.
  • Represented Texas based plastic supplier, the target defendant, in a $2 billion multi-state product liability class action lawsuit involving ABS-DWV plumbing pipe.  Appointed defense liasion counsel in case involving 150 defendants and cross-defendants.
  • Defended large manufacturer in a product liability class action alleging application of defective window system to thousands of residential and commercial structures.

Mass Torts

  • West Coast Trial Counsel for Major Chemical Company and Steering Committee Members in Multidistrict Mass Tort and Class Actions Litigation which implicates a number of specialty chemicals used in the semi-conductor industry as causing cancer and birth defects.
  • Served as coordinating defense counsel in large nationwide mass tort litigation involving breast implants and Phen-Fen diet pills.
  • Represented an apartment complex owner in one of the first toxic mold cases brought on in California on behalf of almost 100 residents.
  • Participated in an asbestos class action brought by class of individual property owners who claimed their properties were damaged following construction of an asbestos contaminated levee.


  • Defended national based food chain and defeated certification of purported wage and hour class action involving allegations that over 100 fast food restaurant managers were misclassified as exempt and owed unpaid overtime, and meal/rest break penalties.
  • Defeated certification of purported prevailing wage class action involving allegations that employees of a large construction company were improperly classified as laborers and not electrical workers.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement for two national retailers of children's clothing from class action claims that managers were not paid for overtime, and missed meal breaks.
  • Defended national food distributor in a wage and hour class action and obtained order dismissing the class' overtime claims.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement of class action claims made by tow truck drivers alleging multiple violations of California Labor Code.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement on a regional wage and hour class action on behalf of a flooring installation company.

Premises Liability

  • Defended owners and managers of real property in purported class actions concerning habitability, personal injury, and security deposit accounting.  We also have successfully defended class certification motions for same.

Consumer/unfair Business Practice

  • Functioned as national consulting counsel on California Unfair Competition Law Claims.
  • Successfully defended a European-based mobile content provider in a multi-million dollar consumer class action which alleged illegal billing practices.

Civil Rights

  • Served as local counsel for a major oil company in a nationwide disability access class action settlement which ended years of individual lawsuits brought on behalf of the disabled community.
  • Participated in the Oakland Riders litigation, a complex multi-million dollar police misconduct civil rights lawsuit involving 120 plaintiffs.
  • Represented property owners where class of tenants alleged that apartment complex was not habitable

Burnham Brown welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate that it has the attorneys and resources necessary to successfully solve your problems associated with the defense of class actions and other multi-party tort and commercial litigation.