San Diego Class Action Litigation Lawyers
California Mass Torts Attorneys
Campbell, Lauter & Murphy prides itself on the defense of mass torts/class action litigation. In addition to the class actions that are part of the firm's construction defect practice, the firm has been involved in numerous matters resulting out of alleged mass torts. These cases require skilled and highly organized administrative handling. The firm has defended several pharmaceutical cases (including cases involving the ingestion of supplements such as Phen-Fen, and L-Tryptophan) and Partner John B. Campbell has successfully litigated and/or settled approximately 20 crematorium claims arising out of the operations of Pacific Cremation, Inc. in Lake Elsinore, California.
Class Action Pharmaceutical Cases:
L-Tryptophan Multi-State Litigation
(Involving thousands of plaintiffs nationwide who were allegedly injured by ingesting the supplement "L-Tryptophan")
Our attorneys succeeded in having the Japanese manufacturer ultimately settle the litigation without our retail client paying anything.
Phen-fen Multi-State Litigation
(involving thousands of plaintiffs nationwide who were allegedly injured by ingesting the weight loss supplement "Phen-Fen"):
Again representing a retail defendant, our lawyers succeeded in having the U.S. manufacturer ultimately settle the litigation without our client paying anything.
Lake Elsinore Crematorium / Disarticulation Cases:
Radovich v. Pacific Cremation Care, Inc.
(Riverside County Superior Court)
Nancy Radovich and Michael Radovich (sister and brother-in-law of the decedent) claimed that the defendants mishandled and mutilated decedent's remains - as well as sold organs and body parts, among other claims, including claims of other unscrupulous practices. When the Riverside Sheriff's office served the search warrant and conducted the search of our clients' facility in Lake Elsinore, California in March of 2001, one of the body parts recovered was the head of the decedent. As noted below, there were "several head cases" where the head of a particular decedent was discovered by the authorities in one of the freezers at our clients' crematorium. In a very emotional case, Partner John Campbell and Associate Jon Van de Grift were able to get our clients' insurance carrier to settle this case prior to trial (subject to all applicable reservations of rights) for $260,000.
Hillyer v. Brown
(San Diego County Superior Court)
Plaintiffs were Clemencia Hillyer (the widow), Mary Hillyer Rodriguez (the step-daughter) and Jose Hillyer Rodriguez (the step-son) of the decedent. Plaintiffs claimed that, instead of cremating the decedent (Mr. Hillyer) pursuant to contract, the defendants had sold his body parts. Like the facts in Radovich, Abbott and Zamazanuk, the Riverside Sheriff's office found the disarticulated head of the decedent during the search of our client's facility. Settlements were reached with two of the three plaintiffs - Jose Rodriguez and Mary Rodriguez. A settlement was also reached with the mortuary defendants, which contracted with plaintiffs for the cremation of Mr. Hillyer's remains. The final settlement demand that we received for Clemencia Hillyer - from her counsel - was $1,200,000. Accordingly, the case for damages asserted by the widow of the decedent went to trial in October of 2004. Counsel for the 25-year widow of the decedent (Ms. Clemencia Hillyer) asked the jury to award somewhere between $5,000,000-$10,000,000 - for the alleged injuries that had been sustained by the widow as a result of what had occurred. In closing argument, Mr. Campbell asked the jury to award between $300,000-$400,000 - should the jury find that there was a breach of contract that was intended to benefit the plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict only $50,000 more than argued by Mr. Campbell. As a result of pre-trial settlements and credits that were obtained from those prior settlements, the net verdict was $325,000 - only $25,000 more than had been offered to plaintiff during trial.
The above list is representative of some of the cases that have been handled by Campbell, Lauter & Murphy, Attorneys at Law, and its partners. For more information, please contact CLM directly.