Tom Vandenburg is a partner in WSHB’s Glendale office where his legal practice focuses on environmental, toxic tort and habitability litigation. In his 29 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 property owners, property managers and the owners and operators of hotels and 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.
- 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.
- University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1992)
- University of Virginia (B.A., 1989)
Licensed to Practice in
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- An Agreement to Toll under CEQA Requires the Input and Agreement of all Necessary and Indispensable PartiesCase Updates, 7.30.21
- Newsroom, 1.23.17
Events, Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- “Trial and Litigation Themes in Environmental and Coverage Litigation: Depositions, Motion Practice, Mediation and Trial” Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, April 22, 2022 (with Alex Potente and Todd Betanzos)
- “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)
- California State Bar, Environmental Section (formerly elected member of the Executive Committee)
- California State Bar, Litigation Section