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One of America’s Top Trial Lawyers Opens New Law Firm

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From Larna MacHutchin

April 18, 2005

One of America’s Top Trial Lawyers, Brian J. Panish, Opens New Law Firm – Panish Shea & Boyle LLP

Los Angeles — Brian J. Panish, recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential trial lawyers in America, is leaving Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler to open a new firm, effective April 18, 2005, where he will continue to represent plaintiffs in complex litigation, and catastrophic injury and death cases.

The new firm will be Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. Joining Mr. Panish will be Adam K. Shea and Kevin R. Boyle.

Mr. Panish, who was with Greene Broillet for 18 years, has a track record of winning multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements against corporate giants. He is responsible for some of the largest personal injury verdicts in history. Mr. Panish was the lead trial attorney in a product defect case against General Motors that resulted in the largest personal injury verdict in history. The case, Anderson v. General Motors, ended with a $4.9 billion verdict for Mr. Panish’s clients, who were horribly burned by a defective fuel system.

Mr. Panish has been honored by numerous trial lawyer organizations, including the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles as Trial Lawyer of the Year, for his consistent success representing consumers against corporate wrongdoers. Mr. Panish has been recognized for the past several years by California’s leading legal publication, the Daily Journal, as one of California’s 100 most influential lawyers. Mr. Panish is also a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, which is an invitation only group of the top 100 civil trial lawyers in America.

Mr. Panish described his philosophy for the new firm, stating “We will be making a difference for our clients by fighting corporate greed and companies that place their profits over the safety of consumers.”

Mr. Shea was also a Greene Broillet partner and had been with that firm for 14 years. Mr. Shea’s work resulted in over thirty-five verdicts and settlements exceeding $1 million including a verdict of $55.3 million that was the largest verdict in U.S. history in a case involving a tire defect.

Mr. Boyle, who had been with Greene Broillet for the past four years, started his legal career with a prestigious clerkship for United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and also worked at Kirkland & Ellis’ Washington D.C. office. In the last year he has tried three cases to verdicts in excess of $10 million each.

The three attorneys have worked together to obtain record breaking verdicts and settlements in hundreds of cases including cases involving automotive defects (General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Continental Tire, Goodyear Tire), commercial air crashes (Alaska Airlines Flight 261 and Singapore Airlines Flight 006), and various business torts.

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP will have offices in West Los Angeles. The firm will continue representing catastrophically injured and damaged plaintiffs in complex litigation involving product defects, business litigation, aviation disasters, pharmaceutical liabilities, corporate fraud, governmental liability, general personal injury, and wrongful death.

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP will focus their practice in California, while also teaming with firms from across the country on cases in other states.

Additional information concerning Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is attached

Brian J. Panish began his legal career with Engstrom and Lipscomb back in 1984, working directly for Walter Lack. In 1987, Mr. Panish joined Greene, O’Reilly, Broillet, Paul, Simon, McMillan, Wheeler & Rosenberg. That firm eventually became Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler.

Mr. Panish teamed with Browne Greene to obtain numerous multimillion dollar jury verdicts. In 1989, Mr. Panish and the attorney tried the case of Rastello vs. City of Torrance. After a two month trial, the jury found that the Police Chief and five other members of the Torrance Police Department conspired to cover-up the fact that the death of an 18 year-old was caused by an alcoholic detective. The jury returned the largest verdict in a police misconduct case in United States history at the time — $6,000,000.

Later in 1989, Mr. Greene and Mr. Panish teamed up again to win a $15,600,000 verdict for a 26 year-old construction worker who was shot at a South Gate hotel and rendered a quadriplegic. As of that time, that verdict was the largest ever for a quadriplegic.

In 1993, Mr. Panish became a partner in Greene, Broillet, Taylor, Wheeler & Panish. Since that time he has obtained more than 100 verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars, including 11 over ten million dollars. In 1998, Mr. Panish won a $10,000,000 verdict for a preschool teacher who was injured in a rollover crash of a church van.

In 1999, Mr. Panish gained national recognition by serving as lead trial counsel in the landmark case of Anderson vs. General Motors, where he obtained a $4.9 billion dollar verdict for four children and two adults burned on Christmas Eve as a result of a defective automobile fuel tank. At the end of a three month trial the jury found General Motors was guilty of pulling profits over safety in the design of its “behind the axle” fuel system in GM passenger vehicles such as the Chevy Malibu. The case received worldwide attention and was the largest jury verdict ever in a personal injury case, and the first billion dollar personal injury verdict in history. In 1999, Mr. Panish was voted Trial Attorney of the Year by his peers at the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.

In 2001, Mr. Panish teamed with Mr. Shea to win a record verdict in Lampe v. Continental General Tire. The plaintiff was a 34-year old who had been rendered quadriplegic due to a defective tire, causing a tread separation. The jury returned a verdict of $55,300,000–the largest verdict in U.S. history involving a defective tire.

In 2003, Mr. Panish teamed with Mr. Boyle to obtain two simultaneous jury verdicts in one trial for over $10,000,000, including a finding of punitive conduct, in Witham/Garcia v. Avjet. These two cases were brought by parents who lost their daughter, and an elderly grandmother who lost two adult grandsons, against Avjet, a well-known plane charter company, for crashing a Gulfstream III into a mountain near Aspen, Colorado. The case settled before the punitive phase for over $13,000,000.

A few months later, in 2004, Mr. Panish won the largest product liability verdict in California history for a single plaintiff in Griggs vs. Westpak — $58,000,000. Mr. Griggs had been severely burned while on the job due to a defective o-ring on the fuel system of a Caterpillar tractor. The two o-ring manufacturer defendants had rejected demands to pay insurance policy limits of $1 million.

Mr. Panish immediately followed the Griggs trial by teaming with Mr. Boyle to win a $15,000,000 wrongful death verdict in United States District Court in a case against Singapore Airlines brought by the two adult children of a couple killed in the crash of Flight 006 in Taipei, Taiwan. This verdict was for non-economic damages only.

A few weeks later, Mr. Panish and Mr. Boyle again teamed up to win a $13,000,000 wrongful termination and punitive damages verdict for a 58 year-old salesman fired by the computer company StorageTek.

In 2004, Mr. Panish was admitted into the Inner Circle of Advocates, which limits its membership to the top 100 Plaintiffs attorneys in the United States. In 2001, Mr. Panish was named one of the nations top ten litigators by the National Law Journal. Mr. Panish has been named by the Daily Journal as one of the top 100 attorneys in California every year since 1999.

Adam K. Shea, partner at Greene Broillet, is a nationally recognized leader in the field of automobile and tire product defect cases. Mr. Shea’s work with Mr. Panish on the Lampe v. Continental Tire case resulted in a verdict of $55,300,000 — which is the largest jury verdict in U.S. history in a case involving a tire defect.

Mr. Shea has represented plaintiffs in more than 35 cases that have resulted in jury verdicts or settlements in excess of one million dollars.

Mr. Shea teamed with Bruce Broillet to win a $32.5 million settlement on behalf of a teenager seriously injured when a bus turned left in front of her vehicle.

Mr. Shea teamed with Browne Greene to win several multimillion dollars verdicts and settlements, including the case of Cellamare v. Laidlaw, which resulted in a jury verdict for $5.6 million. Mr. Shea also represented plaintiffs with Mr. Greene in a case involving spoliation of evidence by an insurance company which resulted in a multimillion dollar settlement, and a case involving negligence by a trucking company which resulted in a multimillion dollar settlement.

Mr. Shea teamed with Mr. Panish and Tim Wheeler to win a multimillion dollar settlement against the State of California and a private individual for the dangerous condition of the Culver City Department of Motor Vehicles.

Mr. Shea has also handled non-personal injury cases, including a case involving water rights and title insurance that was tried for three weeks in Orange County Superior Court before settling for a confidential amount.

As a result of his work with Mr. Panish on the Lampe v. Continental Tire case, Mr. Shea was a finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California’s Trial Lawyer of the Year award.

Kevin R. Boyle LLP was an associate at Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler. In 2004, Mr. Boyle was nominated to be the Consumer Attorneys of California’s Trial Lawyer of the year for his involvement in three trials brought by individuals against corporations, each of which resulted in verdicts in excess of $10,000,000. Mr. Boyle was profiled that year as a Rising Star lawyer in California Law & Politics magazine. Mr. Boyle has been a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee on major mass-tort cases, including the cases involving the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, and the Burlington Northern – Metrolink train crash. Mr. Boyle is a former law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and to U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Melvin Brunetti. Prior to starting with the Greene Broillet firm, Mr. Boyle practiced with the Washington D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP will open its doors with a series of major cases, including a fuel system defect against Ford which caused five people to burn to death and a Grand Canyon tourist helicopter crash that resulted in the death of nine people.

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Disclaimer: The personal injury, product liability, catastrophic injury, or other legal information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. Please note that you are not considered a client until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted by us.


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