Top Settlements and Verdicts

Our past performance, verdicts and settlements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of future cases.  Past results obtained or overall performance must be confined to that particular case, its factual and legal circumstances and legal surroundings.  Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has resolved thousands of cases worldwide, obtaining more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. With a decades-long track record of success handling commercial transportation accidents, pharmaceutical drug injuries, product liability cases, harmful consumer products, whistleblower claims and class actions, our firm has earned a reputation for handling complex cases with considerable dedication, experience and skill, holding negligent companies accountable and obtaining maximum compensation for our clients.

In 2019, our firm and co-counsel won the historic $2 billion Roundup verdict against Monsanto (now Bayer) on behalf of Alberta and Alva Pilliod, a couple who sprayed Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer for 30 years on their properties. The jury determined that Roundup exposure caused the couple to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that Monsanto failed to warn of the cancer risk. This was the third successful verdict against Monsanto concerning Roundup. As a result of this verdict, Brent Wisner, co-lead trial counsel for the Pilliods, has been awarded 2019 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer of the Year by the National Trial Lawyers and ALM and listed in the Top 40 Under 40 Attorneys in California by the Daily Journal, Winning Litigators by The National Law Journal and America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by Trial Magazine and The National Law Journal. Our firm was a also a finalist in 2019 for Elite Trial Lawyers Mass Torts Law Firm of the Year, for the third year in a row.

top 10 jury verdictAfter procuring the first verdict against Monsanto on behalf of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 awarded our trial team and co-counsel with “2019 Trial Team of the Year.” In addition, The National Law Journal and Trial Lawyer Magazine named trial attorney Brent Wisner, co-lead trial counsel on the Johnson case, one of “America’s Most Influential Trial Lawyers” and the Daily Journal recognized Brent in the “Daily Journal Top 100 Lawyers for 2018.”

The National Law Journal and ALM Media also awarded our firm two years in a row with the distinguished honor of “Elite Trial Lawyers” first place winner for Pharmaceutical Litigation based on our firm’s work in a high-profile generic Paxil suicide case against drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline and first place winner for the Mass Torts category for the Johnson and Hardeman Roundup verdicts.

Aviation Accident Settlements

For decades, our firm has represented victims in some of the worst aviation disasters in history. We have handled more than 700 aviation accident cases around the world and have extensive experience in litigating complex major airline crashes, small plane crashes, and helicopter accidents.

Our top settlements and verdicts include:

  • $17.5 million settlement for the death of a passenger in a major US plane crash
  • $14 million settlement for the death of a passenger in a major US plane crash
  • $12 million settlement for an injured passenger in a helicopter crash
  • $10 million settlement for the death of passenger in a major foreign plane crash
  • 146 aviation cases settled for $1 million or more
  • Caused first known public apology from a major airline

One of the firm’s most significant aviation trials took place in Southern California against Bell Helicopter for a tail rotor failure. We represented the families of three Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics who were killed in a rescue helicopter crash. When Bell attempted to use an exemption for older helicopters to dismiss our case, our lawyers found evidence that they had hidden information about similar crashes from the US government. Armed with this information, our firm successfully challenged aviation product liability law, exploiting an exemption for inaccurate reporting, and allowing our case to proceed.

Another noteworthy achievement recognized by Elite Trial Lawyers was when our aviation attorneys obtained a significant ruling in Selke, et al. v. Germanwings GMBH, et al. (Case No. 1:17–cv–00121–GBL–TCB). Our lawyers were able to win jurisdiction for our American clients in the United States against a foreign air carrier for a crash that occurred in the French Alps.

View the animations prepared for Baum Hedlund to be shown as evidence during the 2006 product liability trial at Los Angeles Superior Court against Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., and Bell Technical Services, Inc.

helicopter crashOur firm also litigated a case involving unsafe helicopter fuel tank issues, shortly after which the Federal Aviation Administration required changes to improve safety concerning the helicopters with defective fuel tank design.

Bus Crash Settlements

We have a long history of handling bus accident cases. Over the past 25 years we have represented bus passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists in more than 90 bus crash cases in the United States and abroad.

Our bus crash settlements include:

  • $10 million settlement for school bus crash in Orange County, California
  • $6.2 million settlement for a child killed in a bus crash
  • $1.9 million settlement for a tourist killed in a foreign bus crash
  • $1.8 million wrongful death settlement for a tour bus passenger
  • $1.7 million for a child killed in a school bus crash
  • Represented 27 passengers in a single bus accident
  • US jurisdiction received in multiple foreign bus crashes

In 2017, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman reached a settlement of nearly $10 million with Orange Unified School District (OUSD) in California on behalf of families of children who sustained serious injuries when an OUSD school bus left the roadway and crashed.

The lawsuit alleged that OUSD ignored warning signs that its bus driver had a condition which should have prohibited him from being behind the wheel of a school bus. According to the complaint, OUSD was accountable for the accident for allowing a medically unfit driver to operate the school bus and failing to appropriately train and supervise their bus drivers, which would have prevented this crash.

One of our landmark cases stemmed from a crash in Carrollton, Kentucky that ultimately led to tighter safety standards for school busses. After a drunk pickup truck driver hit a school bus filled mostly with children returning from a church outing, the unprotected fuel tank ruptured and set a fire that would claim the lives of 27 people and seriously injure many more. Our exhaustive efforts to get to the bottom of this tragedy were documented in the book Reckless Disregard. We acquired a Ford school bus and conducted a post-crash fire test, and together with a team of bus structure, safety, and fire experts discovered that multiple defects in the bus’s structure and fuel tank placement were to blame for the extreme loss of life. After the case was resolved, we continued to work with our clients to promote bus safety across the United States and in Canada by creating information packets that explained the issues with fuel tank placement to bus manufacturers and school officials across the country and beyond. The overwhelming response we received and the subsequent safety improvements made to school busses everywhere, have remained one of our most enduring and far-reaching successes.

Monsanto Roundup Verdicts

Since the beginning of the Monsanto Roundup litigation, our firm has been at the front lines serving on the trial teams for the first three cases to go before juries.

In May of 2019, the jury in the case of Pilliod et al. v, Monsanto Company ordered the agrochemical giant to pay $2.055 billion in damages to the plaintiffs, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a Bay Area couple in their 70s. R. Brent Wisner served as co-lead trial attorney for the Pilliods, delivering the opening and closing statements and cross-examining several of Monsanto’s experts. Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman managing partner, Michael Baum and attorney Pedram Esfandiary also served on the trial team in the Pilliod case.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman attorneys also served on the trial team in the case of Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, which resulted in an $80 million jury verdict for the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman.

Our firm represented Dewayne “Lee” Johnson in the first Roundup cancer lawsuit to proceed to trial. On Aug. 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $39.25 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages to Mr. Johnson, a former groundskeeper who alleged exposure to Monsanto’s herbicides caused him to develop terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Months after the jury verdict, the judge overseeing the trial reduced the punitive damages to $39.25 million. Mr. Johnson decided to accept the remittitur, bringing the adjusted amount awarded to Mr. Johnson $78.5 million.

“We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer,” said co-lead trial attorney, R. Brent Wisner.

“Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits.”

Prescription Drug and Medical Device Settlements

We have been at the forefront of harmful drug and medical device litigation for more than 25 years and have faced off against some of the largest drug companies in the world.

Our prescription drug and medical device settlements include:

In one of our pharmaceutical projects, our firm litigated the improper drugging of children with a drug, Paxil, its manufacturer knew did not outperform sugar pills.  Years of document analysis and depositions of company employees and academics linked to the promotion of falsified efficacy data led to government investigations, a widely publicized study exposing the actual data in the renowned British Medical Journal and settlements for both parents and insurance companies that paid for the ineffective pills.  Our litigation and consumer advocacy helped lead to the eight-figure results and widespread publication of the fraudulent enterprises.  We have also provided testimony and evidence to the FDA, State Senate, Congress, and even foreign governments to assist in exposing certain fraudulent practices of Big Pharma in promoting harmful drugs and medical devices.

Train Accident Settlement

The lawyers at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman have handled more than 80 commuter and Amtrak train accident cases across the United States.

Our train accident settlements include:

  • $3.5 million settlement for the death of a train passenger
  • $2.8 million wrongful death settlement for a train passenger
  • $2 million settlement for the death of a train passenger

After the 2005 Glendale Metrolink derailment, train accident attorney, J. Clark Aristei, was appointed as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel for the committee that oversaw and managed the 100+ cases that resulted from the deadly crash. Senior partner, Paul J. Hedlund, who is also a mechanical engineer, was the only attorney allowed to testify before the California State Assembly about the inherent dangers of pushing passenger trains instead of pulling them as well as improvements needed in rail passenger car crashworthiness. After this crash, passengers were banned from sitting in the first car of the train if it is being pushed by the locomotive. While we consider this a great success in terms of improving safety we are still advocating for the elimination of push train usage altogether. We also continue to advocate for the use of Positive Train Control throughout the passenger train network and more vigorous inspection and replacement of worn track.

Truck Crash Settlements

Since the late 1980s, our firm has successfully litigated over 250 truck crash cases across the nation and helped families deal with the aftermath of these tragedies.

Our truck crash settlements and verdicts include:

  • $15 million settlement for a person gravely injured by a major truck company
  • $8.5 million wrongful death verdict against food industry company, Tyson Foods
  • $6.9 million settlement during trial against a major truck company
  • $6 million settlement for a wrongful death case in a truck crash
  • 70+ truck accident cases settled for $1 million or more

On our truck accident trial team is Diane Marger Moore,  a triple board-certified trial attorney with specialty certification in three categories by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate, a Board Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate and a Board Certified Truck Accident Attorney. Ms. Marger Moore is also on the Board of Regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.

A successful truck accident trial was conducted in Ohio, where our firm successfully brought to trial a commercial truck accident case against Tyson Foods, where our clients were awarded $7,028,687 for the loss of their son, a single young adult.

Daniel-BrumfieldTyson Foods disagreed with the verdict and asked the court for a new trial or reduction of the verdict since it was one of the largest verdicts for the death of an unmarried person in Ohio’s history. The judge not only denied Tyson’s request for a new trial or reduction, but based on the evidence and testimony presented by our firm at trial, the judge granted prejudgment interest, increasing the total amount awarded to about $8.5 million.

Another one of our successful truck accident trials took place in Madison, Wisconsin. After a semi-truck drove over a stopped car, killing two of its occupants and injuring the third, one of our attorney’s took the case all the way to trial. The trucking company admitted fault before trial, but insisted that the damages were no more than $2.1 million. Our firm continued in pursuit of justice for the three victims over a four day trial until the case finally settled for $6.9 million. The settlement came just before the jury was about to announce their verdict, which according to later interviews, would have been $6.5 million.

Whistleblower Claims

Our whistleblower team is dedicated to protecting the nation from losing billions of dollars due to the fraudulent actions of corporations, as well as protecting the brave individuals that come forward to point out that fraud.

Our whistleblower settlements include:

One of our more successful whistleblower lawsuits was against the Boeing Company. Boeing paid $18 million to settle our client’s case, which alleged the company violated the terms of its defense contract with the US government. Our firm presented evidence showing that the Boeing Company charged the government for maintenance costs while their employees were out at lunch or on extended breaks. Boeing overcharged the government for more than seven years before a whistleblower came forward and exposed the fraud. The whistleblower, our client, received a $3 million reward for his part in bringing the allegations to the government’s attention.