Insight

Big Wins From Coast to Coast

Founder Michael S. Burg discusses how Burg Simpson’s lawyers secured major verdicts in some of the nation’s most unique cases in 2019.

Michael S. Burg Best Lawyers 2020
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Justin Smulison

March 4, 2020 08:00 AM

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is one of the country’s most successful plaintiffs’ law firms. Headquartered in Denver, CO, with offices in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wyoming, the firm represents clients nationwide and focuses on cases that include mass tort, class action, personal injury, construction defects, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, and complex business, and commercial litigation. Since its inception in 1976, the firm’s accomplishments include thousands of favorable verdicts and settlements that exceed $1 billion.

The trial lawyers at Burg Simpson completed 2019 with a significant victory by securing a verdict of $58.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages for families who had donated bodies of their deceased loved ones to Biological Resource Center (BRC). The lawsuit was led by shareholders Michael S. Burg, David K. TeSelle, and Holly B. Kammerer, and the verdict is one of the largest civil case results in Arizona history.

The complaint alleged that BRC led a black-market industry scheme in which they profited from selling and trafficking human body parts that donors had intended for scientific study. Burg Simpson filed a claim against the owners of BRC for mishandling remains of donated bodies and in November 2019, secured the Maricopa County Superior Court jury verdict for 10 of the 21 plaintiffs.

Burg Simpson founder Michael S. Burg said, “The jury sent a loud and clear message to body brokers across the nation that failing to treat donated bodies with dignity and respect and selling off body parts for profit without full informed consent from the donors will not be tolerated in our society.”

Also in 2019, Burg Simpson announced another significant victory when they helped to secure a $143 million class action settlement for the victims of the Merrimack Valley, MA, gas explosions. An agreement was reached between Columbia Gas, its parent company NiSource, Inc., and the lawyers representing multiple groups of plaintiffs in both mass tort action and class action lawsuits following the fires and explosions that rocked the communities of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover on September 13, 2018.

Burg Simpson and the firm’s trial lawyers have received numerous accolades from the legal community. The firm has a national Tier 1 ranking from U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs and was recognized as Tier 1 in Colorado for Construction Law; Litigation - Construction; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs; Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs; Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs; Professional Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs; and Workers’ Compensation Law - Claimants.

This year, 27 Burg Simpson attorneys were listed in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Additionally, Best Lawyers recognized the following Burg Simpson lawyers as 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” honorees: Scott J. Eldredge (Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs, Denver); Angela McGraw (Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Denver); Valerie M. Sullan (Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs, Denver); and Janet G. Abaray (Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Cincinnati).

Michael Burg founded the firm as a solo practitioner and was fueled by confidence, dedication, and a passion to fight for people’s rights. He has since been recognized by Law Week Colorado as Lawyer of the Decade from 2000-2010. In 2016, he was admitted to the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame and authored a riveting memoir, Trial by Fire. Most importantly, as the leader of a law firm with more than 40 years of experience and offices in seven states, his firm now has more than 60 lawyers and 140 employees who are also dedicated to the mission of securing justice for thousands of victims and their families.

“We are a consumer advocate firm and as long as corporations act without regard for the safety of others, we will continue to be a voice for the victims,” Burg said. “The trust our clients continue to place in us is sacred, and it fuels us as we continue to bring the fight to corporate bullies. We fight hard, and often win big.”

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