John A. Girardi

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

Girardi | Keese
 | 1126 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-977-0211
Fax: 213-481-1554
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1972
Practice Areas:
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    John Girardi is a trial lawyer who has represented the interests of plaintiffs for over four decades and is one of the founding members of Girardi Keese.  He has tried over 100 civil jury and non-jury matters, representing the interests of individuals or businesses that have suffered a loss at the hands of another.  He specializes in pharmaceutical litigation, employment, product liability including automobile design, government entity liability, negligence matters, matters involving the sexual victimization of minors and class actions.

    Girardi has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Loyola Law School where he serves on the Board of Directors, Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Southern California SuperLawyers since 2006 by Los Angeles Magazine and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California in the area of personal injury.  He has also been nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the Consumer Attorneys of California.  He has over 175 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1,000,000.  In 2019 he became a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  He is also a member of American Board of Trial Advocates and in 2016, he received the American Board of Trial Advocates' Lee B. Wenzel Civility and Professionalism Award.  He has been recognized for his work as a volunteer mediator by the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  He has received the Cahalan Award as an alumnus of his high school, Loyola High School of Los Angeles, where he has served on the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2019 and was Chairman of that school's Sesquicentennial celebration committee.  Girardi is one of the founding Board members of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School.  He also served as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Football Foundation, Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of Loyola Productions, Inc., and since 2014, has served on the Board of Save the Children Action Network, a national organization advocating on behalf of children's issues.  Girardi is involved with several other Boards while maintaining a full time practice of law.  He is also a co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The LawBusiness Insider

    Girardi and his wife, Denise, have two sons, Patrick, who is the Director of Alumni at Loyola High School and Vincent, who is the Assistant Athletic Director and Associate Admissions Director at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai. 

    Practice Areas
    • 30%Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff
    • 30%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
    • 20%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
    • 10%Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff
    • 10%Civil Litigation: Plaintiff


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 16 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021

    Certificates and Credentials

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    About John Girardi

    Admitted: 1972, California

    Professional Webpage:


    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2017 - present
    • City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, City of Lancaster, Los Angeles County Sheriff and the California State Assembly, Recognition of Achievement
    • Consumer Attorneys of California, Trial Lawyer of the Year nominee, 2006
    • Loyola Law School, Board of Directors, 2008 - present
    • Southern California SuperLawyers, 2006 - 2016
    • National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Outstanding Chapter Leadership, 2012
    • Loyola High School, Loyalty Award, 1965
    • Loyola High School, St. Ignatius Order of Merit, 2015
    • American Board of Trial Advocates, Lee B. Wenzel Civility and Professionalism Award, 2016
    • Loyola High School, Board of Directors, 2009 - present
    • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Trial Lawyer of the Year (Employment), 2010
    • Loyola Law School, Distinguished Alumnus, 2007
    • American Board of Trial Advocates, 1985 - present, rank of Advocate
    • Loyola High School, Cahalan Award, 2012
    • Verbum Dei High School, Community Partner Award, 2010
    • Pacific Institute for Community Organization, Pedro Arrupe, S. J. Award, 2005
    • Loyola High School, President's Award, 2015
    • Participant as a mediator or arbitrator in over 1,000 civil matters for Los Angeles County Superior Court
    • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Trial Lawyer of the Year, four time nominee
    • Loyola Law School Immigrant Justice Clinic, Chairman and member of the Founding Board of Directors, 2014 - present
    • Southern California Top 100 Lawyers, 2013, 2014
    • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyer, 2018
    • Consumer Attorneys of California, Presidential Award of Merit, 2008
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court, Outstanding Volunteer Contributions for Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2009
    • Loyola High School, Alumni Association Award of Appreciation, 2013

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Federal Bar Association
    • Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals Board of Advisors, 1998 - 2016
    • South Bay Bar Association
    • Attorneys Information Exchange Group
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court Settlement Officer, Burbank, Central, Long Beach, Pomona, Santa Monica, San Fernando, Torrance  and Van Nuys Districts
    • American Bar Association
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court Ad Hoc Committee on Jury Service, 1995
    • Irish American Bar Association
    • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
    • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
    • Beverly Hills Bar Association
    • Orange County Bar Association
    • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court Arbitration Committee, 1988 - 1991
    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    • Italian American Bar Association
    • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Governors, 1987, 1988, 2005 - 2012:  Legislative Review Committee, 1987 - 2016
    • California Employment Lawyers Association
    • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
    • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Board of Directors, 2009 - 2012
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Pro-Tem; Los Angeles County Municipal Court Judge Pro-Tem
    • American Association for Justice
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Loyola Law School, Board of Directors, 2008 - present
    • Angel's Nest, Board of Advisors, 2012 - 2013
    • Little Sisters of the Poor, Board of Advisors, 2004 - 2016
    • Loyola Productions, Inc., Board of Advisors,  2007- present Co-Chairman, 2015
    • Loyola Law School, Immigrant Justice Clinic Board of Advisors, Chairman, 2014 - present
    • Loyola High School, Alumni Association, Vice-President, Class Leaders, 2009 - 2013
    • Dolores Mission, Advisory Committee, Chairman, 2007 - 2010
    • Loyola High School, Board of Directors, 2009 - 2019
    • Save the Children Action Network, Board of Directors, 2014 - present
    • Angel's Flight, Board of Advisors, 1998 - 2012
    • National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Los Angeles Chapter, 1999 - present; President, 2009 - present
    • Loyola High School, Sesquicentennial Committee, Chairman

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Presentations to the following: California Judicial College, Loyola Law School, Pepperdine Law School, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angele, Consumer Attorneys of California, National Business Institute, Dependency Court of Los Angeles County, California Continuing Education of the Bar, Los Angeles Superior Court, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • "Guantánamo Close Up", Interview with Attorney Dicky Grigg, published in Verdict Magazine (October 2007)
    • "Premises Liability--What's New for 2002" published in The Advocate (July 2002)
    • "Psychotherapist Responsibility in Notifying Individuals at Risk for Exposure to HIV", published in The Journal of Sex Research Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 1 - 27 (February 1988)
    • "Proof Positive:  Pornography in a Day-Care Center" published in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 75 - 86 (1997)
    • "Sargent Shriver and the Ordered Quest for Justice", Interview with Mark Shriver published in Verdict Magazine (October 2012)


    • Minninberg v. Standard Insurance:  This matter involved a claim of bad faith and wrongful termination.  The plaintiff was a sales agent of the same insurance company with whom he maintained a disability insurance policy.  The plaintiff became disabled due to depression after which time the insurance company terminated his disability benefits and later prevailed upon the agency for which the plaintiff worked to terminate his employment.  After a three week trial, the jury returned a verdict for compensatory and punitive damages on both the bad faith and the wrongful termination causes of action.
    • Sundquist v. Coach USA:  This civil action arose out of a collision of a truck and a bus on Interstate 5 in the Newhall area.  Cheryl Sundquist endured a series of epidural injections in the neck and back and ultimately underwent two spinal surgeries and was a candidate for a third.  The plaintiff had an extensive history of low back issues which included surgery a short number of years prior to the accident.  The lawsuit ultimately resolved for a total of $2,750,000.00.
    • Rhodes, et al. v. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Inc.:  This was a civil action in which an inebriated driver struck the vehicle in which the plaintiffs were riding.  Plaintiffs sustained serious injuries and nine months after the accident, one of the plaintiffs died.  Evidence was developed that the death from pneumonia was of a consequence of the orthopedic injuries received months earlier in the accident.  Evidence was also developed that the defendant driver had been drinking with the principals of Trinity Broadcasting Network earlier in the evening at a business dinner before the incident occurred.  After nearly two years of litigation, the matter was resolved for $4,500,000.00.
    • In RE: Bisphosphonate Litigation:  This litigation included approximately 177 individual actions most of which were consolidated in an MDL (1760 in Nashville) and in the New Jersey mass tort Court.  Novartis manufactured two drugs, Aredia® and Zometa® that were prescribed by oncologists to stage four cancer patients to reduce the possibility of fractures (which is not an uncommon effect of cancer metastasizing to the bone).  The plaintiffs alleged that both the research and clinical testing indicated the risk of development of osteonecrosis (death) of the jaw bone and that this risk was not identified to the FDA nor in any warning on the drug.  Plaintiffs also developed evidence that when the problem became wide spread and was reported in professional literature, the manufacturer dissembled and refused to acknowledge that the drugs could cause such a problem.  Twelve cases ultimately proceeded to trial (with the plaintiffs obtaining seven verdicts, including a verdict for $2,160,000.00 in the Central District of California).  Additional cases were settled on the cusp of trial.  Following seven years of litigation, all the remaining actions settled on a global basis for a confidential amount.
    • Welch v. City of Anaheim:  This was an action for disability discrimination and retaliation brought by a lieutenant who had been a member of the Anaheim Police Department for over 25 years.  Injured in the line of duty, he was entered in a modified work program but was to receive meaningful work and remain eligible for promotion.  Neither occurred and after enduring this situation for several years, he filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  The Police Department then retaliated with reassignment to a different location and an even more reduced workload.  The lieutenant submitted a resignation at age 51 and four years prior to when he intended to retire.  The jury returned a verdict for economic damages of $215,000.00 which represented his loss of earnings over those four years less that which he was to receive in his pension.  The jury also returned a verdict for non-economic damages in the amount of $5,000,000.00.  This was reported to be one of the largest non-economic damage awards for an employment case in Orange County.
    • Sellers v. Porsche:  This jury trial involved the crashworthiness of a 914 Porsche.  The plaintiff was unbelted and under the influence of alcohol while traveling with the right of way on Pacific Coast Highway when another vehicle cut across his path.  In the ensuing collision, there was substantial intrusion to the passenger compartment of the plaintiff’s Porsche vehicle.  After a six week trial, the jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict on defect, causation and total damage but could not reach a verdict on the assessment of fault so that a mistrial was declared.  The plaintiff later received a substantial settlement.  This was one of the earliest cases tried under the theory of lack of "crashworthiness" in Los Angeles County.
    • Glenn v. MW Equipment:  This was an automobile collision case in which the plaintiff sustained a closed head injury with what appeared to be a good recovery.  He was at the time of the incident a Three Star Admiral in the United States Navy.  The principal claim of the lawsuit was his failure to be promoted to a Four Star Admiral and a Fleet Commander.  There was no economic damage.  After extensive discovery utilizing retired Navy personnel, the matter settled for the policy limits of $1,200,000.00.
    • In Re:  Film Lab Litigation:  This matter involved the representation of forty-seven employees in a lawsuit alleging various degrees of personal injuries against the studios that processed film stock for the movie industry as well as the manufacturers and suppliers of the chemicals used in the process.  There were approximately forty defendants.  This lawsuit was pursued in the Los Angeles Superior Court.  It was settled in an amount in excess of $1,700,000.00.
    • Valdespino vs. the State of California, et al.:  This was an action for the dangerous condition of public property in which the plaintiff was driving his vehicle northbound on U.S. Highway 395 in Inyo County.  Another vehicle travelling southbound turned left at an intersection of the open highway.  Plaintiff developed evidence that the line of vision for the other driver was obscured by the placement of a highway information sign on the center median.  The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were a widow and three children, ages 10 to 16.  The lawsuit settled for $1,825,000.00.
    • In Re:  MTA Litigation:  This is a series of a dozen lawsuits naming approximately 350 plaintiff entities, including property owners, business owners and tenants who suffered damages caused by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a result of the subway construction.  Settlements in excess of $7,500,000.00 were obtained.
    • Carlson, et al. vs. Southern California Edison:  This is an action for negligence against Southern California Edison on behalf of approximately 100 homeowners who suffered fire damage to their homes and property in 2007 as a result of a wildfire in the Grass Valley section of Lake Arrowhead, California.  The plaintiffs succeeded on a Motion for Summary Adjudication on liability issues and later the matter settled for a confidential amount well in excess of eight figures.
    • Carter v. C. B. Richard Ellis:  This was a lawsuit for age and gender discrimination.  The plaintiff was a 30 year employee whose job duties grew from secretary to assistant vice-president.  In a purported reorganization of the business, the plaintiff's job responsibilities were limited and a new compensation plan removed plaintiff's bonus compensation.  These changes affected primarily one class of workers who were females over forty.  The Orange County jury returned a verdict of $1,000,000.00 including compensatory and punitive damages.
    • Levinson v. Friedland:  This was a medical negligence case involving the wrongful death of a husband and father of three children following spinal surgery.  The jury verdict of over $1,000,000.00 remains one of the largest medical negligence verdicts in the Van Nuys District of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
    • Rivera v. First Transit:  This matter involved a claim for wrongful death of a husband and one of his sons as they were sitting in a lawfully parked van when it was struck by a City of Los Angeles Dash bus.  The head of the household was a citizen of Mexico who had lawfully resided in the United States for approximately 20 years.  His reported income averaged about $14,000.00 per year.  In addition to his immediate family, he was the father of two children out of wedlock.  While the circumstances leading to the accident were clear, discovery yielded information that the driver of the bus was not qualified to operate the vehicle, had requested the day before the accident to be re-trained and that the company had no program for re-training.  During the pendency of the case, claim was made for punitive damages based upon this information.  Shortly before the trial, the case was resolved for a sum of $4,000,000.00.
    • In Re:  Medtronics Litigation:  This involved three separate actions against Medtronics, Incorporated, the manufacturer of a medical device implanted in the patient’s brain to reduce intractable pain.  Extensive discovery yielded the failure to adequately test the device and erroneous information provided over the course of the application process to the Food and Drug Administration.  Each of the three separate lawsuits was resolved after extensive litigation for a substantial recovery for each plaintiff.
    • Mason v. Mercury Casualty:  This was a lawsuit for breach of contract and bad faith.  This verdict represented one of the first reported jury verdicts for bad faith and punitive damages based upon the insurance carriers handling of a property damage claim to a vehicle.
    • Harvey v. City of Newport Beach:  Harvey is a 27 year veteran of the Newport Beach Police Department.  After attaining the rank of sergeant he tried on six occasions over 10 years to be promoted to lieutenant.  The promotional process involved both a written and oral exam as well as evaluations from the command staff (that is lieutenants and captains).  Harvey's yearly evaluations consistently showed superior work.  The anonymous evaluations in the promotional process graded Harvey poorly for his lack of leadership and problems with subordinates.  Harvey was 48 years of age and never married.  He was perceived by many members of the department to be gay and was the subject of rumor, innuendo and gay slurs.  Also, Harvey had filed charges against several other police officers all of which concluded with discipline and in some circumstances termination.  Of those officers, eleven current and former lieutenants and captains as well as the current and former police chief testified that they had no knowledge whatsoever that Harvey was perceived to be gay; further, promotion is not a right and Harvey did not demonstrate appropriate leadership skills.  An Orange County jury returned a verdict on Harvey's behalf for discrimination, retaliation and the failure to prevent discrimination awarding economic damages of $600,000.00 and non-economic damages of $600,000.00.  The Court also awarded attorney fees in excess of $700,000.00.
    • Georges v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation:  This civil action was tried in District Court in the Central District of California.  Georges was a stage 4 cancer patient who was prescribed the drugs Aredia® and Zometa®, drugs containing bisphosphonates prescribed in order to decrease the chances of a skeletal related fracture which can occur in stage 4 cancer patients.  The unwarned consequence of the drugs was the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw.  Without an adequate warning as to this serious risk or clear instructions as to dosage and duration of prescription, the plaintiff's oncologist provided intravenous dosages of the drug on a monthly basis for several years.  Following some dental work (which for reasons not understood may act as a trigger) the plaintiff developed osteonecrosis of the jaw with subsequent development of bone chips, infection and drainage.  A course of dental care to resolve the infection by excising the tissue took place over several years.  Following a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict on behalf of the plaintiff against Novartis for a total of $2,160,000.00.
    • Hedgpeth v. City of Anaheim:  This was a civil action for breach of contract and retaliation.  The plaintiff was a 26 year veteran with the City of Anaheim Police Department and rose to the rank of Captain.  Because of disagreements with the Chief of Police, he was charged with internal affairs violations and himself filed grievances ultimately leading to a separation agreement.  The separation agreement called for confidentiality and an agreement to provide specific information to the plaintiff's subsequent employers.  Two years after the plaintiff separated the defendants prevailed upon other policing agencies not to use the plaintiff as a trainer for mounted equestrian police units.  The action involved an issue of whether or not there could be retaliation by a former employee against his previous employer.  The jury found damages for both breach of contract and retaliation.  The award which later included attorney fees and costs exceeded $940,000.00.
    • Borbor v. Isabel Nursery School:  This matter involved the representation of twenty-two children from sixteen families as plaintiffs in an action against a nursery school in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles.  Approximately one-half of the children had been sexually victimized by the taking of inappropriate photographs.  The matter was litigated for approximately eight years and in addition to the liability issues against the operators of the school there were four different declaratory relief actions regarding insurance coverage which led to three appellate decisions-- a fourth was pending at the time of settlement.  This Los Angeles Superior Court action was resolved for slightly less than $4,000,000.00.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Co-host radio Law Business Insider, 2007 to present

    Educational Background:

    • Juris Doctor - Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, 1972
    • Bachelor of Arts - University of Notre Dame, 1969
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    Office Location for John A. Girardi

    1126 Wilshire Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Phone: 213-977-0211

    Fax: 213-481-1554

    John A. Girardi:

    Last Updated: 7/21/2020

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