Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP attorneys Brian Panish and Deborah Chang have been named by Daily Journal as Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California for 2019. The legal publication recognized 31 lawyers across the state who brought single cases or multi-party actions in antitrust, labor & employment, environment, personal injury, privacy and data security, product defect and securities and financial fraud, using their legal skills to forge real and lasting change. This is the fifth consecutive Top Plaintiff Lawyer recognition for Mr. Panish and the third consecutive recognition for Ms. Chang.
The Daily Journal article featuring Mr. Panish includes his involvement in litigation against Southern California Gas Company and his comment on the release of a new state regulators report stating that SoCalGas failed to properly investigate leaks at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, site of the 2015 Porter Ranch Gas Well Blowout that resulted in the largest methane leak is U.S. history. Mr. Panish serves as co-lead trial counsel against the utility company, representing over 38,000 plaintiffs who filed suit following the blowout.
“We all knew they were responsible, no question,” Mr. Panish said of the defendant. “But now this report gives rise to a much stronger punitives case for us. I’ve had many cases against the gas company — they refuse to be reasonable and continually drag us into the winner’s circle.”
In October 2018, Mr. Panish and his trial team obtained a $41.8 million verdict and subsequent $46 million settlement for U.S. Air Force Captain Jason Lo who was struck by a Southern California Gas Company truck whose driver suffered a seizsure behind the wheel and attempted to flee the scene.
“The hard part for us was that Captain Lo was such a stoic individual,” Mr. Panish said in the article. “He’d served in active duty in Afghanistan, and he was so driven to recover that he was back to work in seven months. That was his character. He was scarred and disfigured, but he could walk. He minimized everything but the jury saw a man with a high quality of character who refused to complain.”
PSBR attorney Deborah Chang is also featured in Daily Journal‘s Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California for 2019. The profile on Ms. Chang features her work in Rosen v. Regents of the University of California and the recent Supreme Court determination that universities have a duty to protect students from known dangers in the classroom. Ms. Rosen was brutally attacked on campus by fellow student Damon Thompson, a diagnosed schizophrenic.
“There is always red flags,” Ms. Chang said. “…Thompson was excluded from all university housing because he was so dangerous.”
The case will now return to the Los Angeles County Superior Court with a trial setting conference scheduled in October.
Additional highlights in the article featuring Ms. Chang include her work on cases with sensitive subject matter, including those with large classes of victims such as a victory against Massage Envy and a former massuese who is accused of assaulting more than 100 female clients, as well as her earlier pro bono work in representing inmates living with HIV who were being segregated and restricted from places like the prison library.
“It literally became the guideline of how all prisoners with HIV and AIDS would be treated throughout the country,” she said. “…I realized that one case could affect so many lives.”
For a full list of Daily Journal’s Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California, click here.