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Gregory P. O’Dea

Gregory P. O’Dea – Summary Of Significant Litigation

Complex Environmental Litigation

Aerojet v. McDonald Douglas – Defense of County of Sacramento in environmental litigation (CERCLA, State Statutory and Common Law Theories) arising out of contamination at two former municipal landfills located on Aerojet property.

Prager/Westerberg v. County of Sacramento – Defense of County of Sacramento in inverse condemnation, nuisance and trespass action arising from allegations that the County’s operation of Keifer Landfill caused contamination of adjacent private land.

Tudesko v. County of Sacramento – Defense of County of Sacramento in inverse condemnation, negligence, nuisance and trespass action arising from allegations that the County’s operation of Keifer Landfill caused contamination of adjacent private land.

Cummings v. Aerojet (Aerojet v. County) U.S. District Court, Case No. CIV-S-95-651 WBS GGH – Complex environmental contamination case involving contamination of hundreds of acres of land adjacent to Aerojet within Sacramento County. This was a multi-party multi-defendant federal court case that presented complex issues under federal and state statutory law including CERCLA and RCRA. The County of Sacramento licensed, permitted and franchised two disposal sites known as White Rock North and White Rock South during the 1950s and 1960s, which were the predecessors to the current Kiefer landfill.

Sacramento Savings Bank v. County, U.S. District Court, Case No. CIV-89-1564 EJG PAN – Complex environmental contamination case involving toxic contamination at a disposal site operated by the County of Sacramento in the 1950s, known as the “Old Fair Oaks Dump.”

State of Washington v. County of Sacramento – TheState of Washington brought claims against the County for PCE contamination in Yakima, Washington, allegedly resulting from the regeneration of contaminated carbon utilized by the Regional Sanitation District at the Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant. Washington sought in excess of $4 million from the County. The County was delisted as a PLP in exchange for payment of no sums.

Atkinson v. County, U.S. District Court, Case No. CIV-S-91-1493-EJG-GGH – Complex environmental contamination case involving contamination at a former County of Sacramento corporate yard.

Inverse Condemnation And Flood Litigation

McMahan v. State – Defense of Reclamation District 784 in complex inverse condemnation and tort litigation arising from the failure of the west levee of Reclamation District 784 on January 2, 1997, causing widespread catastrophic flooding in Yuba County.

Travelers/Thousand Trails v. Reclamation District 17 – Defense of Reclamation District 17 in inverse condemnation and tort litigation arising from the widespread flooding occurring in San Joaquin County in January and February 1997. Obtained Judgment in favor of District 17, see Thousand Trails v. RD17 (2004) 124 C.A. 4th 450.

Abeleda v. City of Sacramento, Sacramento Superior Court; Case No. 95AS05080 – Class action involving over 100 plaintiffs and 75 dwellings within the City and County of Sacramento during January and March, 1995. This case involved the overflow of several creeks, the overtopping and erosion of levees and the operation and failure of operation of several pumping facilities. County dismissed with prejudice.

Akins v. State – Multi-party inverse condemnation litigation involving in excess of 400 plaintiffs and several public entity defendants arising out of wide-spread flooding occurring within the City and County of Sacramento and the County of Sutter during 1986. This case presented issues regarding the design, construction and maintenance of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project and local flood protection systems. County settled for $45,000 with a good faith settlement. Case subsequently tried against the State and two other parties resulting in a finding of liability. Case subsequently settled for over $20 million dollars.

March v. State and County – Dangerous condition and negligence class action involving in excess of 100 plaintiffs and multiple defendants arising out of flooding occurring in the Cal Expo area in the City and County of Sacramento. Issues presented included the design and construction of the American River Levee System, the design, construction, maintenance and operation of American River Pumping Station Number One, and the design, construction and maintenance of drainage channels and local storm drainage facilities. Defense verdict after trial.

Mini Storage Association v. State and County, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 346461- Inverse condemnation and negligence class action arising out of the flooding of a mini storage warehouse arising from the overflow of adjacent drainage channels and drainage systems. County dismissed with prejudice.

Morgan v. County, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 350348 – Multi-party inverse condemnation and negligence litigation involving the flooding of several duplexes, apartments and office buildings. Issues presented included the design, construction and maintenance of pumping facilities and drainage channels. Motion for summary judgment granted as to County.

Olson v. County and State, Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 344877 – Multi-party inverse condemnation and negligence action involving a planned unit development. Issues presented included the design, construction and maintenance of pumping stations, levee systems, drainage channels, and local storm drainage systems, and the approval and inspection of development. County dismissed with prejudice after filing motion for summary judgment.

Toxic Exposure

Andrejewski v. County, Sacramento County Superior, Case No. 95AS03539 – Toxic exposure. The plaintiff was the resident watchman at the Kiefer landfill and alleged that he developed cancer as a result of exposure to contaminants at the landfill.

Witcher v. County, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 527754 – Toxic exposure. Plaintiff alleged exposure to solvents that had been disposed of at a paint disposal site operated by the County of Sacramento in the 1970’s. Plaintiff alleged he developed asthma and reactive airways syndrome, such that he could no longer work, and was forced to rely on bronchodilators and oxygen for the rest of his life. County contended plaintiff had a preexisting asthmatic condition (which had been poorly documented in prior medical records) and that the particular chemical plaintiff was exposed to, Toluene, should not have caused the injury alleged.

General Municipal Liability

Berry v. State, 2 CalApp 4th 688, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 513681 – Plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic when she dove from a tree stump into the American River. The County was dismissed on a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on the basis of the immunity of Government Code § 831.7. Plaintiff appealed. The State subsequently filed a demurrer incorporating the County’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Plaintiff appealed. The appeals were consolidated and resulted in the published opinion at 2 CalApp 4th 688.

Hoellwarth v. County, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. CV540367 – Dangerous condition, road and signal design. Plaintiff was severely injured in an automobile collision at the airport. Motion for summary judgment granted on the basis of immunity of Government Code § 830.4 and affirmed on appeal.

Dentinger v. Calzona Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 525412 – Dangerous condition, road design and signage. A tanker truck overturned on Fair Oaks Boulevard, spilling gasoline into a residential neighborhood. The gasoline ignited and exploded causing the loss of several homes and numerous claims for physical and emotional injury, including wrongful death. County was dismissed with prejudice after filing a motion for summary judgment on design immunity.

Unlawful Detainer

Crystal Cove v. State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation, Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 757698 – Retained by State to evict occupants of 35 cottages at Crystal Cove Historic District, Orange County, California. Crystal Cove Association sued to prevent the eviction, raising CEQA and other issues. Case settled pursuant to an agreement stipulating to eviction and judgment in favor of the State.

Coverage Matters

Cummings and Tsakopoulos v. County of Sacramento – Environmental litigation brought against the County of Sacramento involving the operation of two former County of Sacramento landfills during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Researched, investigated, and collected information concerning the County of Sacramento’s insurance coverage history from 1955 to the present. As a result of the information obtained, and following extensive interaction with the carriers, obtained complete defense and indemnity from the carriers providing coverage of Sacramento County in the 1950′ and 1960’s.

Favero v. City of Sacramento – Retained by the City of Sacramento for its defense in environmental litigation involving a former city fueling facility during the 1970’s. Investigated insurance coverage history of the City of Sacramento during the 1970’s to the present and obtained reimbursement of defense costs incurred to date as well as assumption of the defense of the city of Sacramento through the conclusion of trial. Trial verdict in favor of City of Sacramento.

Averitt v. County of Sacramento – Inverse condemnation and dangerous condition litigation arising out of the 1986 floods in Sacramento. The County maintained a $1 million SIR with excess coverage in the amount of $10 million provided by First State Insurance Company. At the later stages of the litigation, First State asserted coverage positions adverse to the County including the application of various exclusions and the contention that there were multiple occurrences requiring the County’s SIR to be applied to each occurrence. Successfully refuted First State’s contentions and settled the case with the appropriate contribution from First State.

County of Sacramento v. First State – Bad faith coverage and declaratory relief action brought by the County of Sacramento against First State Insurance Company to obtain reimbursement for an appropriate percentage of the County’s attorney’s fees and litigation costs arising out of the County’s defense in the Averitt litigation. Settled the case for the appropriate contribution from First State.

Nelson v. Federated – Declaratory relief and coverage action involving coverage of an independent fueling company for the costs of defense and settlement of third party litigation and clean up costs associated with a significant fuel spill. Succeeded in obtaining complete defense, indemnity, and contribution to clean up costs despite an initial and protracted denial of all responsibility by Federated Insurance Company.

Atlantic Insurance Company v. Wallis – Declaratory relief, coverage and bad faith action involving claims of patent infringement, unfair business practices and theft of trade secrets brought against a research veterinarian. Action successfully resolved.

Seven Hills Golf Course Litigation – Fraud and misrepresentation action brought by hundreds of homeowners regarding denial of promised access and play rights to the Rio Secco Golf Course in Las Vegas. Represented the interests of the excess carrier for the developers after exhaustion of all primary limits by the payment of settlement by the primary carriers.

VARIOUS – Numerous cases involving coverage analysis, preparation of coverage opinion letters and reservation of rights or declination letters on issues involving self insured retention, excess and primary insurance rights, trigger of coverage, existence and number of occurrences, property damage, advertising injury, personal injury, additional insured matters and the interpretation and application of exclusions in a variety of factual settings including construction defect, bodily injury, fraud and misrepresentation, intellectual property, punitive damages, statutory liability, mold, toxic and environmental contamination, landslide, water damage, asbestos, employment, sexual harassment and discrimination.

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