Thomas C. Corless Partner

     

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Tom Corless has focused his career of over 30 years on litigation in toxic tort, environmental, product liability, professional liability and general casualty cases. He has also provided coverage analysis and litigation representation for liability insurers. Tom has volunteered in local courts as an arbitrator and small claims judge. Prior to joining the firm, he was a partner in another premier litigation firm in Los Angeles and worked as Vice President and Associate General Counsel of PrimeCare International, which owned and operated medical groups and facilities in three states.

Tom takes great care to keep his cases on track and avoid unnecessary battles and expense. Demonstrating absolute loyalty to his client, he monitors and communicates frequently with counsel for co-defendants and plaintiffs. Tom’s mastery of initial case evaluation sets the pace for early resolution or a successful conclusion at trial. In addition to his prior affiliations, Tom brings to the table two years of experience living in Brazil as well as community involvement with scouting and youth athletic programs.

Areas of Focus

Toxic Tort, Environmental & Energy
Tom has represented clients in massive CERCLA and groundwater contamination cases, including the Stringfellow Acid Pits in Riverside County, the Aerojet facility near Sacramento and acid mining contamination near Redding. He has defended businesses in individual and consolidated toxic tort cases involving benzene, asbestos, diacetyl, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, mold, silica, solvents, paints, formaldehyde and vaccines. He has also represented many landlords in habitability lawsuits brought by their tenants. He has also handled several major landslide cases.

Complex Tort & General Casualty 
Tom handles tort claims involving practically any personal injury or property damage, such as product liability cases, truck collisions, premises liability claims and landslides. In his early days of practice, he honed his skills defending a local bus line and has handled cases of all sizes and complexities.

Insurance Coverage Issues / Disputes
Tom has served as coverage counsel for primary and excess liability insurers in many environmental, construction defect, fire and advertising injury claims. This includes making the initial decision on coverage, drafting reservation of rights letters and monitoring the litigation to its conclusion.

Professional Liability / Legal & Medical
Tom has represented lawyers in malpractice actions since his early days of practice. This has included claims arising out of his clients’ practice in estate planning, bankruptcy, personal injury cases and transactional matters. Tom has also represented doctors and medical groups in medical malpractice matters ever since handling the litigation matters for PrimeCare International as its Vice President and Associate General Counsel.

Representative Matters

Represented governmental entities countersued under CERCLA claims for groundwater, surface water and air exposure from a closed industrial waste disposal site involving many contaminants such as DDT, TCE and hexavalent chromium.

Lead counsel for governmental entities sued under inverse condemnation and tort theories for underground perchlorate and NDMA contamination.

Represented a supplier of mineral spirits in more than 40 benzene cancer cases coordinated for handling in Los Angeles involving a tool-cleaning solvent.

Represented a supplier of diacetyl (a butter flavor) in cases brought by flavoring industry workers claiming bronchiolitis obliterans (a lung injury often requiring lung transplant).

Represented a supplier of epoxy coatings and adhesives in benzene cancer cases brought by employees of military contractors in the aerospace industry.

Represented a manufacturer of aluminum powder in a serious burn case arising out of an explosion caused by combustion of the aluminum powder.

Represented a manufacturer of asbestos cement pipe (containing crocidilite and chrysotile) in mesothelioma and lung cancer cases.

Represented an asbestos fiber mining company in various asbestos cases.

Represented general contractors and property owners in mesothelioma and lung cancer cases.

Represented various homeowners sued by their neighbors in landslide cases involving several adjoining properties.

Represented a chemical manufacturer in a wrongful death claim involving an allegedly defective trailer underride guard.

Represented a manufacturer of aerial work platforms in a product liability claim involving serious injury from a fall by a motion picture grip worker.

Represented a restaurant in a wrongful death claim arising out of an alleged sale of alcoholic products to a minor.

Represented a law firm sued for an allegedly inadequate prenuptial agreement, with the claim that this caused the plaintiff business owner to pay his former wife nearly half of the value of his business as community property as part of the divorce.

Represented a psychologist sued for sexual contact with a patient.

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