Austin G. Ward
Austin G. Ward is a trial lawyer and focuses his practice on representing plaintiffs in a variety of complex civil cases involving claims of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, and pharmaceutical related injuries in California. Mr. Ward prides himself in helping victims of such injuries pursue their legal rights and obtain full and complete compensation from government entities and large corporations that deny responsibility and minimize the harm they have inflicted on his clients. He has successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars in jury awards and settlements for his clients in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and throughout Southern California.
In Johnson/Allen/Cascio v. City of Beverly Hills, Mr. Ward was part of the legal team that obtained a landmark $32,500,000 settlement on behalf of two clients who were catastrophically injured and two clients whose father was killed in two collisions on Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Plaintiff Eric Johnson was seriously injured when his loaded cement truck lost its brakes while driving down Loma Vista Drive, causing him to crash into parked vehicles to stop his runaway descent. Only one week later, on May 9, 2014, LAPD Detective Ernest Allen, Sr. was killed when a cement truck operated by Plaintiff Brandon Cascio on Loma Vista Drive lost its brakes, ran off the road at a sharp curve, and rolled over on top of Detective Allen’s pickup truck. As a result of his injuries, Mr. Cascio is now in a persistent vegetative coma.
In Rabb v. State of California, et al., Mr. Ward was part of the trial team that represented Jerry Rabb, a 57 year old husband and father of three, who lived in El Centro, California. Mr. Rabb sustained a below the knee amputation and a litany of orthopedic injuries as a result of being struck by a negligently driven truck owned by the State of California. Mr. Ward also represented the victim’s wife in her loss of consortium claim. Mr. Ward, alongside attorneys Deborah Chang and Tom Schultz, obtained a $9.9 million dollar jury verdict on December 10, 2015. This is the highest jury award for a personal injury lawsuit in Imperial County Superior Court.
In Sheaffer v. NuCo2, et al., Mr. Ward, alongside Brian Panish, Deborah Chang, and Tom Schultz represented 27 year old Ph.D. candidate Russell Sheaffer, who had sustained severe facial injuries and a mild traumatic brain injury after being involved in a six-vehicle collision caused by a negligently driven NuC02 truck. The trial team successfully obtained a $17.4 million jury verdict in a Vista, California court on June 3, 2015. This is the highest amount ever awarded by a jury in a personal injury case in the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court.
In Rennie v. FedEx Ground, et al., Mr. Ward was a part of the trial team that represented a grieving mother who had lost her only child when her daughter, Chelsea Joy Kashergen, was fatally struck by a negligently driven FedEx Ground home delivery vehicle. Ms. Kashergen was an accomplished musician, writer, and a 2012 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Cal State Fullerton. At the time of her death, she was President of the New Orleans Jazz Club of Southern California and played Dixieland Jazz in a variety of venues. Mr. Ward, alongside Brian Panish and Deborah Chang, obtained a $7.5 million jury award on December 17, 2014, which is the highest amount ever awarded by a jury in Orange County Superior Court for the wrongful death of an adult child.
Mr. Ward has been recognized by legal publications and organizations for his dedication to the law and his clients. In 2017, he was a finalist for the coveted Consumer Attorney of California (CAOC) Streetfighter of the Year Award for helping a woman who had fled violence in Guatemala to stay in the United States. He has also been named to the Super Lawyers list of Southern California Rising Stars for 2017 and 2018 – no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state are named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list each year.
Prior to joining Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, Mr. Ward completed an internship with the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He is a member of the State Bar of California, and is licensed to practice law in federal district courts in California as well.
Mr. Ward received his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, graduating cum laude and is also a member of the Order of the Barristers. In law school, Mr. Ward was Lead Articles Editor for the Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary. While participating in interschool moot court and mock trial teams at Pepperdine University School of Law, Mr. Ward won multiple national and international competitions, receiving the highest honors for his oral and written advocacy. During his final year of law school, Mr. Ward was honored with the 2013 “Top Gun” award, given to the top 16 student trial advocates in the nation.