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Baron & Budd, a History of Client Advocacy
A long record of compassion, tenacity, and client results
Since it was founded in 1977, the nationally acclaimed law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has received substantial praise for its work on cutting-edge litigation against corporate malfeasance of all kinds. Here is a look at some of the significant roles the firm has played in cases of great importance to Americans in all fifty states.
Focused on Protecting What’s Right
Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant lawsuits against negligent companies on behalf of hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Over the past four decades, the firm has tried hundreds of cases to verdict and settled tens of thousands of cases, expanding its cornerstone asbestos practice into areas of litigation as diverse and significant as highly addictive pharmaceutical drugs, defective medical devices, destructive wildfires, environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, dangerous motor vehicles, federal and state whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues. Below are just some of the many cases for which the firm has achieved nationwide recognition.
Wildfire devastation in California
Since 2015, Baron & Budd has been retained by thousands of individuals and businesses affected by wildfires and related mudslides in California. Baron & Budd’s Wildfire Recovery attorneys are not just fighting in the courts for their clients, but also at state levels, rebuffing efforts by negligent utility companies and large corporations to take away the rights of fire and mudslide victims.
In addition to families and businesses, the Baron & Budd Wildfire Recovery Team represents numerous municipalities for losses incurred by wildfires and mudslides when electric utilities failed to recognize the new normal caused by climate change. These utilities neglected to maintain their equipment, as well as the foliage that surrounds their equipment, which led to devastating conflagrations.
Notably, Baron & Budd has represented more than fifty public entities affected by utility-caused wildfires and has recovered more than $1.45 billion for its public entity clients alone. Past public entity wildfire settlements include $25.4 million for the 2015 Butte Fire, $415 million for the 2017 North Bay Fires, $150 million for the 2017 Thomas Fire, $582 million for the 2018 Camp Fire, and $210 million for the 2018 Woolsey Fire, among other settlements.
The Wildfire Recovery Team led lobbying efforts in the 2018 and 2019 California State Legislature to preserve California’s inverse condemnation rights for public entities and wildfire victims. Baron & Budd lawyers were appointed Co-Lead Counsel for public entities multiple times in multiple cases and have been featured on CNN and HBO’s Vice News for wildfire policy, litigation, and legislation. And, in December 2019, the firm announced an historic agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to reimburse federal and state disaster relief funds, the first accord of its kind in the nation.
Deadly Oil Spills
In 1989, when the Exxon-Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, Baron & Budd took action to seek restitution for those harmed by Exxon’s failure to repair the tanker’s Raycas radar system, which would have warned the crew of an impending collision. In 1993, Baron & Budd was awarded the Public Justice Award for “outstanding contribution to environmental protection and public interest” for its work representing the National Wildlife Federation in the Exxon Valdez litigation.
Immediately after the 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caused the massive BP/Amoco oil spill along the Gulf coast, Baron & Budd got to work, helping individuals, businesses and public entities that sustained economic and/or physical damages. The firm played a prominent role in litigation against BP and other companies responsible for the explosion and spill, including Transocean and Halliburton, which had an estimated settlement value of $14 billion.
And in 2015, when an oil spill caused by a ruptured oil pipeline extending more than ten miles along the Santa Barbara coastline in California allowed 143,000 gallons of crude oil to flow onto Refugio State Beach and into the Pacific Ocean, Baron & Budd represented the City of Santa Barbara in a claim against pipeline operator Plains All American, filed under the Oil Pollution Act. In addition to helping authorities secure indictments against Plains All American on 46 criminal counts, including four felony charges of knowingly discharging a pollutant into state waters, Baron & Budd’s experienced environmental attorneys successfully negotiated a settlement of $2.5 million for Santa Barbara.
Contaminated Water and Soil
The essentials of life – our water supply, the air we breathe, the soil in which we grow our food – these elements are so fundamental to our existence, one wonders how safeguarding them could even come into question. Baron & Budd’s fight to protect our environment is among the most important battles it takes on.
The firm has achieved unprecedented results in environmental cases, recovering well in excess of $1 billion dollars for its clients. For example, Baron & Budd led the fight against the entire oil industry, which contaminated much of the nation’s drinking water with the fuel additive MTBE. Baron & Budd attorneys compiled a successful liability case against BP/Amoco by analyzing thousands of company documents and deposing key oil company personnel. The firm was able to prove exactly what BP did to conceal the environmental risks of MTBE and, in 2008, was instrumental in obtaining a $422 million national settlement with the major oil companies, including BP/Amoco.
In 2012, Baron & Budd successfully settled with corporate giant Syngenta for $105 million on behalf of more than 1,000 community water systems to address Syngenta’s nationwide water contamination with atrazine. As a result of its work, approximately 42 million Americans received compensation and now drink from safer water systems. No other firm in the country has achieved such results.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation
When patients are prescribed a medication by their doctors, they expect it to be well-tested, safe, and fit for the purpose for which it is prescribed. Yet despite being approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration, many prescription medications and medical devices have been found to have side effects which can cause lasting problems. Baron & Budd has successfully represented thousands of men, women and children who were harmed by medications and devices that they were told would help them.
Baron & Budd has taken the lead in representing clients against negligent pharmaceutical companies. The firm was responsible for a landmark $177 million settlement in a case brought by seven states against GlaxoSmithKline over its diabetes medication, Avandia. Not only did the firm’s lawyers obtain a significant monetary settlement for victims, the company was forced to change the way the drug is marketed to include full-risk disclosures in packaging, advertising, and marketing to physicians.
In addition to harmful drugs, Baron & Budd has been responsible for obtaining important judgments against the makers of defective medical implants and devices. These restorative marvels are, in many cases, lifesaving miracles. However, some of them, such as ICV filters, heater-cooler devices used during open-heart surgery, and hernia mesh, like Ethicon’s Physiomesh, have been found to pose significant and sometimes irreversible health risks. Baron & Budd has been at the forefront of negotiating successful claims for its clients against the manufacturers of these products and others.
Aggressive marketing by opioid manufacturers and distributors
Everywhere in the country, local municipalities, cities, counties, states, and even tribal nations are taking legal action against opioid distributors and manufacturers for causing or contributing to the opioid epidemic. Similar to the successful lawsuits launched against tobacco companies decades ago, these lawsuits seek compensation for tremendous societal costs, such as increased healthcare expenses, emergency medical services, rehabilitation programs, law enforcement, and so much more.
Baron & Budd attorneys and their co-counsel represent more than 500 public entities across the country in litigation against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors. Their litigators have decades of experience successfully representing government entities and have been appointed to prominent leadership roles in the ongoing multi-district national prescription opioid litigation, including serving on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, the Settlement Committee, and as liaisons between the States’ Attorneys General and the Plaintiffs Executive Committee.
Defective Vehicle Litigation
When a significant number of plaintiffs join a legal action against a negligent manufacturer, they become a powerful force for change, wielding enough influence to force wrongdoers to alter negligent or fraudulent behavior for the good of all Americans. Such is the reasoning behind filing a class-action claim.
The Consumer Protection Attorneys at Baron & Budd have filed significant class-action lawsuits on behalf of owners and lessees of vehicles about which manufacturers misrepresented and/or failed to disclose material safety information. These class actions allege, for instance, that Nissan failed to disclose its knowledge of a defective engine component that could lead to catastrophic engine failure, and that Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles with MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch/MyMercury Touch systems using Microsoft’s “Sync” software, an in-car communication system, put drivers at risk of an accident.
Baron & Budd, along with co-counsel, also filed the nation’s first lawsuits in the Southern District of Florida and the Central District of California regarding the recall of Takata-brand airbags. The firm’s seasoned litigators also represent owners of Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” vehicles in cases concerning allegations that Volkswagen installed software in these cars that allowed the vehicles to “cheat” emissions tests. Volkswagen is in the process of settling these claims, with settlement values and fines expected to total in the billions of dollars.
America’s government relies on taxpayer dollars to fund protection and services for all Americans. With a massive budget and thousands of programs, agencies, and the U.S. military to manage, the government often finds itself the victim of scams. Unscrupulous individuals and companies use schemes and lies to take advantage of government programs to put taxpayer money in their own pockets. When these swindlers defraud the government, they are stealing from all of us, the taxpayers. Standing up for what’s right takes courage. Whistleblowers are brave individuals who choose to come forward to provide inside information and evidence of scams committed against our government.
Baron & Budd’s experienced whistleblower attorneys represent those who courageously come forward with information about fraud across a broad range of areas, including healthcare, government contracts and procurement, securities and tax fraud, and more. The whistleblowers who step up to bring these cases are tremendously valuable to our government and its citizens. The dedicated attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower team have worked on behalf of clients in cases returning more than $6.0 billion to federal and state agencies, achieving whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%.
Protecting What’s Right
Across our great nation, individuals, neighborhoods, municipalities and government entities face ever-growing threats from unscrupulous corporations that seek to deceive and defraud the innocent in furtherance of their own greed-driven agendas, without regard to the expense and harm, sometimes catastrophic, that their fraudulent activities or negligence causes to our citizens and fragile environment.
The compassionate lawyers at Baron & Budd fight tirelessly to protect children, families, businesses and municipalities from the shattering effects of unsafe medications, addictive drugs, dangerous medical devices, catastrophic wildfires, mudslides, oil spills, water, soil and air contamination, defective vehicles, those who would steal our hard-earned taxpayer dollars by committing fraud against the government, and so much more.
Baron & Budd is one of the largest, oldest and most revered plaintiffs’ law firms in the nation. The firm is proud that its mission of “Protecting What’s Right” spans the protection of people in virtually every aspect of their lives. For a free case review, contact us online or call 866-723-1890.