Tom Girardi, born 1939, is a founding partner of Girardi & Keese a downtown Los Angeles law firm that has earned a reputation as L.A. County's king of the class action lawsuit.
In 1970, Girardi became the first attorney in the state of California to win a $1 million-plus award for a medical malpractice case. Girardi has handled major cases against the former Lockheed Corp (now the Lockheed Martin Corp.), Pacific Gas & Electric Co, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Hollywood's seven major movie studios.
In one of his more well known cases against Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility company agreed to pay $333 million to 650 residents of the desert community of Hinkley, California. The residents blamed incidents of cancer and other diseases on contaminated water leaked from a gas pumping station. This case was the inspiration for the film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts.
In another high-profile matter, Girardi was among a group of lawyers who attempted to enforce in U.S. courts a $489 million default judgment entered by a court in Nicaragua, allegedly against Dole Food and Shell Chemical based on the effects of the pesticide, DBCP, upon exposed workers. The U.S. courts found that Girardi and others had submitted a translation of the pertinent Nicaraguan documents that was flawed in crucial respects. Girardi and others were formally reprimanded and their law firm was fined for violation of their duty of candor to the courts.
Tom Girardi graduated from Loyola High School (Los Angeles) in 1957. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1961, his LL.B. from Loyola Law School in 1964, and an LLM/SJD from New York University in 1965.
- Girardi & Keese member bio
- Martin, Shaun (July 13, 2010). "In Re Girardi (9th Cir. - July 13, 2010)". California Appellate Report. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
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