Multiple Lieff Cabraser attorneys will be participating in HarrisMartin’s Southern California Wildfires and Mudslide Litigation Conference on May 8, 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Ray, California.
Conference co-chair and Lieff Cabraser partner Lexi J. Hazam will be speaking on the “Inverse Condemnation and Other Common Legal Issues” from 10:45-11:30am PST and subsequently on “Business Claims and The Economic Loss Rule” from 11:30am-12:00pm. Firm partner Sarah R. London will also be a featured panelist on the “Business Claims and The Economic Loss Rule” panel, and partner and fellow conference co-chair Robert J. Nelson will participate in the panel discussing “Class Claims” from 3:00-3:30pm.
Other topics of discussion at the conference include: Fire Litigation 101, Factual Background to Thomas Fire & Mudslides, Science of Mudslides, Public Entity Claims, and What’s Happening in Sacramento: Legislative Update.
About the 2017 Southern California Wildfires & Lethal 2018 Mudslides
In October and December 2017, Cal Fire and the National Weather Service issued a series of warnings highlighting imminent impending wind conditions that carried serious risks of spreading and intensifying fires throughout southern California, including “the potential for very rapid spread…and extreme fire behavior.” Subsequently, on December 4, 2017, fires broke out in at least two locations across Ventura County, fires that would spread and combine to become known as the Thomas Fire, which would ultimately grow into the largest and seventh-most destructive fire in the history of California.
Along with other fires in the region, some of which were still burning over a month later, the areas affected by the Southern California Wildfires were declared a national disaster in January 2018, with over 1,000 structures damaged and at least two related deaths, and over 230,000 residents forced to evacuate their homes. The Thomas fire alone has burned an area larger than New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco combined.
Lieff Cabraser is investigating a wide range of legal claims on behalf of displaced and injured residents and employees and business and home owners. As with PG&E in the October 2017 Wine Country fires, early signs point to potential responsibility of Southern California Edison (SCE), the local public utility, for the fires, including witness reports of high-voltage transmission lines snapping and transformers exploding as the fires were breaking out.
About Lexi Hazam
An emergent leader within the plaintiffs’ bar, Lexi Hazam represents clients in mass torts cases and qui tam actions, as well as complex class actions. In addition to her leadership roles in the Abilify MDL litigation, she has also been appointed by the court overseeing the nationwide Benicar MDL litigation to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee therein and serves as Co-Chair of the Benicar MDL Plaintiffs’ Science and Experts Committee. Lexi has also spoken at several conferences on the Abilify cases, along with Benicar injuries and lawsuits and recent cases filed by Lieff Cabraser on behalf of victims of the 2017 California fires and related mudslides.
About Robert Nelson
A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office and the Chair of the firm’s False Claims Act practice group, Robert Nelson served as lead trial counsel in a false claims case against the University of Phoenix that settled for $78.5 million, among the largest FCA settlements without government intervention. He previously negotiated a $46 million settlement, a record amount under the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, in a suit against Sutter Health. Nelson is a two-time recipient of the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award.
About Sarah London
A member of the CAOC Convention Leadership Committee and a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Ms. London is a determined, skilled, and experienced advocate for the injured, employees, and consumers. She is experienced in all aspects of trial work, from drafting and arguing motions in limine, opposing Daubert challenges to plaintiffs’ experts and deposing defendants’ experts, and serving as lead trial counsel to writing successful post-trial and appellate briefs. Ms. London’s case work involvement includes: the Florida Tobacco litigation, Zofran Infant Injury lawsuits, the Toyota Sudden Acceleration litigation, and the Norvir antitrust case. A Super Lawyers Rising Star for five consecutive years and 2015 finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California Streetfighter of the Year Award, Sarah has held multiple leadership positions in CAOC.