Thomas_F__Vandenburg

Partner

Thomas F. Vandenburg

Location

505 North Brand Boulevard
Suite 1100
Glendale, CA 91203
P (818) 551-6000
F (818) 551-6050

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Bio

Tom Vandenburg is a partner in WSHB’s Glendale office, where his legal practice focuses on environmental, toxic tort and habitability litigation. In his 26 years practicing law, he has successfully handled numerous complex litigation matters throughout California and in the states of Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Tom’s environmental practice includes high exposure multi-party CERCLA cases, Clean Water Act storm water litigation, claims brought under California’s Proposition 65, state law nuisance claims, and others. His toxic tort practice covers personal injury claims involving alleged occupational and environmental exposures to pesticides, soil fumigants, benzene, VOC’s, hexavalent chromium, metals, industrial solvents, asbestos, silica, and mold. His habitability practice includes the defense of multi-unit building owners, property managers and the owners and operators of mobile home parks.

Tom has served as trial counsel/lead attorney for many high profile clients, securing environmental, toxic tort and habitability solutions for those clients, including a major university system, numerous public entities, and many large agricultural companies, manufacturers and property owners. His most recent courtroom success was securing a $3.59 million judgment for an industrial heating client in a CERCLA cost recovery action. His experience also includes the successful defense of multiple actions for an international automotive manufacturer and the defense of numerous asbestos personal injury claims.

Education

University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1992)

University of Virginia (B.A., 1989)

Licensed to Practice in:

California
U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central, Northern and Eastern Districts of California
United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Areas

Agricultural Law
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  • Defense of agricultural service companies from claims of crop loss/damage caused by allegedly defective products and/or installations and from personal injury claims caused by alleged toxic exposure to soil fumigants.
Environmental
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  • Litigation before Federal and State courts and administrative agencies brought pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA”), the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substance Account Act (“HSAA”), the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and common law.
  • Defense of Clean Water Act storm water claims for statutory penalties and other damages concerning various industrial sites including manufacturing facilities, recycling facilities and quarries.
  • Defense of Proposition 65 “bounty hunter” claims for failure to warn brought against an international retailer involving alleged lead exposures from purses, handbags, wallets and shoes and claims brought against a regional distributor of jewelry for failure to warn of alleged exposure to cadmium.
Mold and Water Damage
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  • Defense of residential property owners and contractors in connection with personal injuries based upon alleged exposure to mold or toxic fumes from sewer lines and property damage claims resulting from water damage.
Property Management and Tenant Litigation
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  • Defense of residential property owners, management companies and contractors in connection with claims for personal injuries and/or property damage caused by alleged exposure to mold, asbestos, and toxic fumes from sewers and also claims for personal injuries and/or property damage caused by alleged negligent performance of remediation activities.
  • Defense of mobile home park owners and operators in failure to maintain litigation brought pursuant to California’s Mobilehome Residency Law and related landlord/tenant statutes and regulations.
Toxic Tort and Occupational Exposure
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  • Defense of national and regional industrial chemical manufacturers in connection with alleged toxic occupational exposure.
  • Defense of residential property owners and contractors in connection with personal injuries and property damage based upon alleged exposure to mold.
  • Experienced in all phases of asbestos litigation on behalf of products and contractor defendants. Successfully defended mesothelioma and asbestosis claims in all major California venues (San Francisco, Alameda and Los Angeles).

Publications

“Trends In Perc-Related Litigation in California” Hydrovisions, Groundwater Resources Association of California, Volume 14, No. 1 (Spring 2005)

“Considering California’s Green Chemistry Initiative” COBRA 2008 Conference Proceedings, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (September 2008)

All Publications »

Trial & Appellate Results

Tom was co-lead trial attorney for Pentair in Pentair Thermal  Management, LLC v. Rowe Industries, LLC, U.S.D.C., Northern District of California, Case No. 3:06-cv-07164 NC. In this case, Pentair brought suit under CERCLA for response costs for PCB contamination at an industrial site in Redwood City, California. After a Court trial in January 2013, the Court awarded $3.59 million to his client Pentair, finding that Rowe Industries was 100% responsible for the site contamination.

In Marsae Scott, et al. v. Lennar, et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-08-274702,  Tom was the lead attorney for Gordon Ball Construction. In this case, 18 plaintiffs filed toxic tort personal injury claims for injuries allegedly caused by grading activities at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.  He obtained summary judgment for his client against all of the Plaintiffs’ claims, and this ruling was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.

All Trial & Appellate Results »

Events, Seminars & Presentations

“Dry Cleaner Litigation – Pay Now or Pay Later!” Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, May 2, 2019 (with Elizabeth Brockman, Eleanor Barr and Alborz Wozniak)

“Hot Topics in Toxic Torts: Pesticide Litigation; Diacetyl Litigation; PCE Dry Cleaner Litigation” Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, April 27, 2018 (with Tracy M. Lewis)

“Vapor Intrusion — Regulatory Update, Technical Issues and Legal Implications” The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues, 23rd Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, September 22, 2016 (with Alborz Wozniak and Paul Nuti)

“Assessing the Roles of Regulation, Litigation, Management, and Environmental Advocacy in Protecting Groundwater Resources in the United States” Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, COBRA 2010 Research Conference, Paris, France, September 2, 2010 (with Donald Daniels and Robert Schultz)

“Green Chemistry: A New Paradigm Meant To Eliminate Hazardous Waste” CRC Care, CLEANUP 2009 — Third International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference, Adelaide, Australia, September 28, 2009

View All »

All Events »

Memberships

California State Bar, Environmental Section (formerly elected member of the Executive Committee)

California State Bar, Litigation Section

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