Strategy and Resilience

Easton & Easton partners discuss how innovating during 2020’s uncertainty led to stronger injury cases, new practice areas, and greater success.

Easton & Easton

Justin Smulison

November 12, 2020 08:00 AM

Easton & Easton is comprised of a family of personal injury litigators known for standing tall in the face of adversity, and that reputation transcended the courtroom in 2020. The firm was in various stages of litigation on several high-profile matters when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency in March. But the Orange County-based law firm had contingencies in place that demonstrated true resilience.

“Despite the sudden impact of the COVID crisis, the familial nature of our firm allowed us to adapt quickly and efficaciously to the situation,” says Founding Partner Doug Easton, who has secured hundreds of millions of dollars for the injured during his 50-year legal career alongside his sons Brian, Matt, and Travis. “When Orange County basically shut down in March, we had already spent years preparing our office to go remote in the event of earthquakes and other natural disasters. We adapted those plans for the pandemic and added staggered schedules, masks, and social distancing to mitigate the disruption,” adds Co-Managing Partner Matt Easton.

That strategy was clearly effective, and Easton & Easton seamlessly transitioned to a mostly remote operational plan in the early spring and then safely reopened their office during the summer in accordance with local guidelines. Their ability to continue successfully advocating remotely through video conferencing has greatly benefited their clients, who were still suffering immense losses and trauma. It further exemplified why, for the past three years, the firm has been ranked Tier 1 in Orange County for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.”

High-Profile Litigation in 2020

Easton & Easton currently represents a construction worker whose arm was nearly torn off his body in a construction accident when the general contractor failed to follow the required safety protocols for servicing the elevator. While the client was greasing the worksite elevator, it suddenly began running without warning, catching his arm in the process. The man now suffers from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

“The defendant tried to cut corners at the expense of worker safety, and we intend to hold them fully accountable for these life-altering injuries and the constant agony our client now suffers,” Co-Managing Partner Brian Easton says. “We are also fighting to ensure they take corrective measures to prevent anything like this in the future.”

The firm also represents the family of a victim who drowned in a boating accident at the Catalina Sea Ranch. A broken mussel-farm line, which was tethered to the sea floor, had been negligently tied off so that it floated up near the ocean surface and caught the rudder of the victim’s boat, causing it to capsize. The victim, a husband and father, drowned after suffering from hypothermia while waiting for Coast Guard rescue in the open sea.

“The Catalina Sea Ranch invited boaters to come fish near the mussel farm even though they knew they had numerous broken lines that they could not properly secure,” Partner Travis Easton says. “They filed for bankruptcy as a result of the company’s mismanagement and our litigation—which is another hurdle we are clearing as we fight for maximum compensation on behalf of our client’s family.”

Expanding and Looking to the Future

The firm’s leadership also saw opportunity amid the cacophony. While many cases were still pending and the injury landscape was changing due to COVID-19, the firm expanded its offerings. They saw large groups of people who still needed representation and began accepting mass-tort litigation claims.

Unrelated actions against the manufacturers of the antacid Zantac and of the weed-killer Round-Up are in their early stages, says Matt Easton. “We were considering expanding our practice beforehand to help more people and since mass torts involve similar steps on a larger scale. It has been a natural progression,” Matt notes. “We remain true to our mission of fighting for the injured and are now in a position to use the familial synergy at the heart of our firm to make an even bigger impact for more clients, both in personal injury and mass-tort litigation.”

Headline Image: Christopher Todd

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