Rahul Ravipudi is a partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and has spent his legal career handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases involving commercial vehicles, pedestrians, industrial or construction accidents, utility negligence, dangerous conditions of public and private property as well as victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Mr. Ravipudi also represents consumers in class actions against businesses who engage in unfair and illegal business practices.
Named 2017 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Mr. Ravipudi currently serves as Plaintiffs Lead Counsel on the Southern California Fire Cases litigation arising out of the 2017 Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows in Montecito, California as well as on the Plaintiffs Executive Committee in the California North Bay Fires litigation and on the Steering Committee in the Blythe bus crash litigation.
Mr. Ravipudi has obtained numerous landmark verdicts and settlements including a $160.5 million jury verdict for a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a vicious beating by security personnel for a nightclub, as well as a $23,500,000 settlement on behalf of the family of Paul Lee, a 19-year-old non-verbal autistic student who tragically died aboard a Whittier school bus after the driver left him behind to engage in a sexual tryst with a coworker. The Lee case was a catalyst for significant change in school transportation with Governor Jerry Brown signing the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law” in September 2016, requiring all school buses in the state of California to be equipped with a child safety alarm system that must be deactivated by the bus driver before departing the bus. The new law will go into effect at the start of the 2018-19 school year and requires bus drivers to receive training in child-safety check procedures.
Committed to serving as an advocate for his clients, Mr. Ravipudi has obtained numerous eight-figure awards including a $20,500,000 jury verdict for the mother of a high school student who was killed while walking to a bus stop, a $19,786,818 jury verdict for a man who suffered severe burn and traumatic brain injuries when his rental home exploded as a result of Southern California Gas Company negligence, a $13,935,550 jury verdict for 19-year-old pedestrian who suffered extensive injuries as a result of being struck on the sidewalk by a vehicle driven by a Los Angeles County employee, a $13,000,000 settlement for the children and parents of a woman who was killed when her car was hit by a Hawthorne, California police officer, a $11,000,000 settlement for the family of a middle school student who drowned during a school-sponsored swim party, and $10 million for the family of an independent truck driver killed by an intoxicated heavy lift operator at a stevedoring terminal in Long Beach. Mr. Ravipudi shared his insight into successfully litigating cases against the stevedoring companies in an article entitled, “Danger on the Docks – Where there is an injury or death on the waterfront, drugs or alcohol are too often involved” published in the February 2011 edition of Advocate, journal of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
Additional recoveries obtained by Mr. Ravipudi include an $8,000,000 settlement for an 81-year-old woman who suffered severe spinal cord injuries after falling at a hotel, a $6,500,000 settlement for the two minor children and friend of a Southern California man who was killed after being struck on the highway by a freight truck whose driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel, a $6,000,ooo settlement for a woman who suffered severe burn injuries when a faucet in the bathtub of her apartment detached and sprayed scalding hot water onto her body, a $5 million for an HVAC worker who suffered serious injuries when he fell through a skylight while working on a customer’s roof, a $3.3 million gross jury verdict arising out of the death of a pest control person crushed and killed when a semi-truck reversed into him at a warehousing facility, and $9 million from the State of California (Caltrans) when a 16-year-old girl on a restricted license lost control of her vehicle and collided into a guardrail damaged two days earlier resulting in a bilateral traumatic below knee amputations. This case involved significant appellate issues which led to Mr. Ravipudi’s article, “Dealing with the state of California’s first line of defense – stonewalling any meaningful discovery” published in Advocate, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles in February 2009.
In recognition of his outstanding trial efforts, some of the awards Mr. Ravipudi has received include, but are not limited to:
- 2019 Trailblazer Award – South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
- 2018 Consumer Attorney of the Year finalist – Consumer Attorneys of California
- 2017 Trial Lawyer of the Year – Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- 2017 Consumer Attorney of the Year finalist – Consumer Attorneys of California
- 2017 Top Plaintiffs Lawyers of California – Daily Journal
- 2017 Top 100 Lawyers of California – Daily Journal
- 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year finalist – Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- 2016 Consumer Attorney of the Year finalist – Consumer Attorneys of California
- 2016 Top Verdict By Impact – Daily Journal
- 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year finalist – Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- 2014 Top 20 Under 40 – Daily Journal
In addition, Mr. Ravipudi has been consistently ranked top in his profession for his work in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs with annual inclusion to Best Lawyers since 2013 and selection to the Super Lawyers list since 2014, the latter of which recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in the state. Mr. Ravipudi was previously selected as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” from 2006-2013 – an honor awarded to the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in the Southern California area under 40 years of age.
Prior to joining Panish Shea & Boyle, Mr. Ravipudi worked at another consumer law firm where his work helped recover over $4 billion for his clients. He participated as co-lead class counsel in a consumer class action case brought on behalf of all gas and electricity rate payers in the State of California against El Paso Natural Gas Company and Sempra Energy. This case arose out of the California Energy Crisis of 2000/2001 and resulted in the recovery of more than $3.5 billion in restitution to California utility customers. To date, this is recognized as one of the largest antitrust settlements in American history.
Mr. Ravipudi also participated as co-lead counsel on an antitrust class action case brought on behalf of all gas and electricity rate payers in California against Reliant Energy Services and other energy traders for manipulating the California natural gas market by engaging in wash trades, churning, and false reporting. Hundreds of millions of dollars were recovered for rate payers of the State of California as well.
In addition to serving as an Associate Editor for the Advocate, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Mr. Ravipudi actively publishes articles in various journals and trade publications and is a frequent speaker on various issues, including class action litigation and trial tactics. In 2010, Mr. Ravipudi was profiled in the California Law & Politics magazine in an article entitled “Class Act(ion)”.
An associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Mr. Ravipudi is also an active member of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the South Asian Bar Association (SABA), and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He is involved in local, statewide and national bar associations and public interest groups, serving as the Board of Governor for CAALA, Litigation Chair for the North American South Asian Bar Association, board member for the Loyola Law School Advocacy Institute and an honorary board member for the Los Angeles Trial Lawyer Charities (LATLC). He has previously served as Treasurer of the South Asian Bar Association Public Interest Foundation and is an active supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Mr. Ravipudi received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Minor in Chemistry from the University of California, Riverside and his law degree from Loyola Law School where he has served as an adjunct professor teaching Trial Advocacy since 2008. He resides in La Canada Flintridge with his three sons and wife Smitha, who serves as Chief Operating Officer at USC Care & Ambulatory Care Services at Keck Medicine of USC.