Brian Panish & Rahul Ravipudi Named Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel in Thomas Fire Cases

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PSB partners Brian Panish and Rahul Ravipudi have been named Individual Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel in the Southern California Fires Cases litigation, representing the interests of over 1,500 plaintiffs filing lawsuits against Southern California Edison as a result of the 2017 Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow in Montecito, California in January 2018. The appointment was made following a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 5 and the order signed on July 11 by the Honorable Daniel J. Buckley.

“We recognize that with this great honor comes an even greater responsibility to ensure that the voices of the victims and survivors are heard,” says Brian Panish.                                                                                                          “Utility company negligence and its culture of putting profits over the safety of people has destroyed thousands of lives and continues to put the lives of all Californians at risk,”  adds Rahul Ravipudi. “We’re ready to get to work, holding those accountable for the catastrophic losses of the victims and fighting proposed legislation that would allow utilities companies to pass the cost of their negligence on to the ratepayers.”

Serving as Individual Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel, attorneys Panish and Ravipudi as well as Robert Nelson and Lexi Hazam of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, will be responsible for directing, coordinating and managing the activities of the Individual Plaintiffs during pretrial proceedings in the complex litigation. Those duties include, but are not limited to, the briefing, filing and arguing of motions, all discovery proceedings including oral depositions and all aspects of the Class Litigation as well as preparing and distributing periodic status reports to other individual plaintiffs’ counsel and managing the selection of all cases for trial setting, in consultation with the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee.

Additionally, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorney Lyssa Roberts has been appointed to serve as Individual Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel. Her responsibilities include, among others, receiving and distributing orders, notices and correspondence from the court to plaintiffs’ counsel, as well as maintaining and making available a complete set of all filed pleadings and orders filed and/or served in the coordinated proceedings.

Read the Business Wire here.

Read the Ventura County Star article here.