Insight

The Winning Edge

In its 40th year, Frantz Law Group finalized history-making settlements for clients in California and nationally.

Frantz Law Group
JS

Justin Smulison

November 13, 2020 08:00 AM

For more than 40 years, Frantz Law Group has been one of the premier plaintiffs’ law firms in the United States bringing compassion, experience, skill, and intergrity to the fight for justice on behalf of those who have been severely injured or died through the negligence of others.

Frantz Law Group has litigated, tried to jury verdict, or settled nearly every imaginable type of personal injury claim. The legendary firm and its attorneys have never lost sight of what drew them to the practice of law in the first place. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Through careers spent righting the wrongs of carmakers, trucking companies, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, public utilities, and more, the attorneys at Frantz Law Group continue their fight to level the playing field for everyday people who face a significant tragedy in their lives caused by the recklessness and negligence of others.

The core of the firm’s philosophy centers around broader accountability and changing the bad behavior of individuals and institutions in order to limit the reoccurrence of catastrophic events.

For example, since 2017, the firm has been representing thousands of plaintiffs in lawsuits against (PG&E) after the utility’s equipment caused 21 major fire disasters in northern California, killing 45 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Moreover, PG&E’s absolute reckless failure to inspect and maintain its electrical equipment led to the almost complete annihilation of the town of Paradise in 2018, killing 85 adults and children and severely injuring scores of others. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were destroyed.

While working hard to make sure that the wildfire victims are well compensated, Frantz Law Group (along with the California Governor Gavin Newsom and other involved plaintiffs’ counsel), supported legislative change to enhance PG&E’s overall safety practices. The final result is a magnificent victory for California Residents. State Assembly Bill 1054 establishes a $20 billion fund to provide compensation for future fire victims including restitution for destruction of homes and businesses. The Assembly Bill also requires enhanced safety protocols to be implemented by all California public utilities.

Institutional change at PG&E is especially warranted due to the serious civil and criminal allegations wherein PG&E knew that its electrical tower (near the City of Paradise) was dangerously defective and had been in disrepair for almost ten years. But each year PG&E evaluated the risk and declined to repair so as to enhance profits!

Frantz Law Group also represents more than 1,000 victims of the 2017 Southern California Thomas fire/Montecito mudslides and 2018 Woolsey fire. Southern California Edison’s alleged negligence caused the destruction of more than 3,000 homes and businesses and killed 26 adults and children.

In other historic litigation concerning the dangerous dietary supplement Ephedra, the work of Frantz Law Group was a significant factor with respect to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s final decision to permanently ban the sale of ephedra-based dietary supplements. Ephedra was linked to heart attacks and strokes. In fact, Frantz Law Group (and co-counsel) won an $18.5 million verdict in an ephedra-related trial, proving that ephedra-based products were dangerous to humans, and the claims of safety were false and misleading.

Mr. Frantz was asked to testify, before Congress, about his ephedra-related verdict. He provided congressional testimony concerning factual findings (by the Court) that ephedrine alkaloids were unsafe and responsible for numerous serious injuries and deaths in the U.S.

Five months after the congressional testimony of Mr. Frantz (and other prominent medical experts), ephedrine alkaloids were permanently banned across the nation.

Vaping Epidemic

The team of attorneys and dedicated staff at Frantz Law Group are now battling to achieve a similar outcome (monetary damages and injunctive relief) against JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL) and related e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors.

JUUL’s internal documents reportedly evidence that it (and others) are using the insidious and deceptive marketing strategies of Big Tobacco to promote their highly addictive vaping products to children, as young as 8 years of age. In an effort to “hook” children and youth into using their product, it is reported that JUUL maximized the nicotine concentration in each nicotine pod so each pod contains the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes (which explains the high addiction rate).

It is further reported that students and other users have been (and continue to be) induced to vape these products with JUUL’s introduction of enticing flavors such as crème brûlée, mint, mango, and fruit medley. Now, more than one million high school students reported vaping daily and the numbers are increasing!

According to a Harvard professor of pediatrics, “nicotine addiction can take hold in only a few days, especially in the developing adolescent brain that is particularly vulnerable to addiction to nicotine.” Recent studies have shown that even brief exposure to low doses of nicotine can produce lasting behavioral changes in the adolescent brain as well as cause significant lung disease and cognitive impairment.

JUUL purportedly downplayed the dangers of nicotine and worked to position its brand that vaping is “cool and safe” thereby luring youth into a false sense of security. Initial packaging did not even disclose the presence of any nicotine in the product!

The Firm currently has been retained by more than 1,300 schools nationwide to prosecute claims in California Federal and State Court to assist the school districts in their ongoing struggles to address the significant disruption of their educational programs (as a result of nicotine vaping both inside the classroom and on campus).

In addition, Frantz Law Group is seeking reasonable compensation for the schools to enable the districts to recover the significant vaping (monitoring) costs necessary to restrict vaping, as well as get funding for the substantial costs to employ behavioral and health experts (to counsel students).

Moreover, nicotine addiction is of paramount concern to Frantz Law Group (and its school district clients). Collectively, the districts and this firm ultimately seek to drastically reduce the escalation of student vaping, on and off campus, thereby potentially mitigating these serious health effects.

Finally, the firm on behalf of all of its JUUL clients seeks injunctive relief to ban JUUL nicotine vaping in its entirety. Ultimately, “there is a lot at stake for our clients in the various types of litigation we are prosecuting (including JUUL),” James Frantz says. “We are methodical in how we prepare our cases and leave no stone unturned. We are passionate about our work and totally committed to win and make our communities safer.

Headline Image: David Hartig

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