For decades, Sedgwick has been on the forefront of successfully handling specialty and catastrophic torts defense litigation for our clients. Our attorneys have litigated thousands of cases involving allegations of extensive property damage, serious personal injury, purposeful infliction of injury and wrongful death. We regularly represent national and international companies in these high-risk and potentially controversial matters, and our reputation for favorable outcomes is reflected by our long list of clients. Members of this practice group regularly appear in both state and federal courts throughout the country on behalf of our clients, who rely on us to protect their interests in expanding geographic markets.
Sedgwick’s specialty tort practice has developed from decades of defending catastrophic injury cases. Our demonstrated ability to defend and try the most difficult cases in some of the most challenging jurisdictions and under the most sensitive of circumstances has earned us the reputation as the “go-to” trial firm on unique liability and high exposure claims. Our attorneys are skilled in protecting the interests of clients in courts of law and, when necessary, courts of public opinion.
Our clients include corporations, real estate developers, property management companies, national nonprofit membership organizations, youth groups, churches, schools, insurance companies, government agencies, contractors, small businesses and individuals.
Sedgwick attorneys have protected the rights of businesses, nonprofit organizations and property owners in actions involving allegations of assault and battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and physical and sexual abuse of children and the elderly, including claims of euthanasia by medical professionals. We also defend and prosecute defamation cases involving libel and slander, and have protected businesses accused of destroying professional athletic careers resulting from positive steroid tests. Sedgwick’s knowledge and experience have proven effective not only in court, but in counseling clients on procedures that can minimize the risk of litigation.
Catastrophic Injuries and Wrongful Death
We represent a wide range of clients when serious injury to employees, customers, visitors and other individuals puts our clients at risk for high-cost judgments. Injuries in these cases can include disfigurement, brain damage resulting in permanent functional disability, and death. We have also represented transportation companies and others in cases involving multiple-vehicle highway accidents, train derailments and other large-scale catastrophic events such as in multiparty gas explosions involving public utilities.
Sedgwick represents many local and national property owners and managers in premises liability and negligence claims based on allegations of inadequate security and involving injuries suffered in common areas, elevators, lessee space and other areas. We also represent residential landlords in cases involving injuries suffered by tenants and guests on premises, including carbon monoxide and lead-based paint liability claims.
Commercial / Property Damage Claims
Our attorneys have vast experience representing commercial landowners and their insurance companies concerning property damage claims, which include fire damage, as well as catastrophic water damage to retail spaces, inventory and warehouses.
Early Case Resolution and Litigation Avoidance
Sedgwick attorneys recognize that many product liability and specialty tort cases may be successfully and economically resolved short of trial. We have developed strategies for discovery and pretrial practice, which have resulted in the entry of defense judgments pursuant to motions. We also consult with in-house counsel and risk managers to develop risk avoidance strategies and programs that empower businesses to avoid litigation altogether, or to maximize the factual and legal defenses available, if sued. Our counseling services include actual or threatened product recalls where the issues are often critical to the success of underlying litigation, as well as the clients’ legal and business interests. Sedgwick attorneys also prepare risk analyses, assess advertising liability and develop pre-loss programs and effective procedures for receiving and responding to customer complaints and government agency inquiries. Sedgwick also prepares product warning labels, product literature, and instruction and policy manuals.
Representative Specialty Tort Engagements
- Representation of transportation companies in cases involving multiple-vehicle highway accidents.
- Defense of property owners in multiparty gas explosion cases involving public utilities.
- Defense of the largest youth organization in the United States in all its problem tort and special risk matters, including cases involving allegations of sexual abuse and molestation.
- Representation of California regional religious organization in California coordinated clergy sexual abuse litigation under an extended statute of limitations.
- Counseling and defense of youth organizations, religious and church groups, and schools on a variety of liability matters.
- Defense of medical facility accused of criminal and civil misconduct in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- Counseling on all aspects of managing crises associated with catastrophic accidents and/or significant and mass personal injuries.