Deborah S. Chang

Deborah S. Chang

Athea Trial Lawyers LLP

Recognized since 2013

El Segundo, California

Practice Areas

Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
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Deborah Chang, one of the founding members of Athea Trial Lawyers, has won record-breaking verdicts and settlements in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases across the country. As if this wasn’t enough, she’s also a partner at Los Angeles firm Chang | Klein LLP. As a trusted advocate at two powerhouse firms, Deborah has made a name for herself as an attorney capable of fighting complex and high-profile cases.

At Athea Trial Lawyers, Deborah has been involved in some of our most significant trials. As the first legal team to address certain issues, our work has been essential in setting precedents and informing policy. The impacts of Deborah’s work have rippled out to affect individuals and industries across America:

  • Along with a record-winning $17 million verdict, Cuhbertson v. LACMTA also resulted in industry-wide changes to ensure visually impaired train riders would not fall into gaps between cars.
  • The California Supreme Court awarded a hard-won decision in Rosen v. The Regents of the University of California requiring colleges and universities in the state to protect students from known dangers in the classroom.
  • The National Commission on AIDS cited a class action lawsuit that established medical, programming, and housing protocols in prison based on the complaints of a population of maximum security prisoners who had AIDS. Deborah’s work on this case informed the legislation she drafted for Connecticut to permit the release of terminally ill prisoners.
  • Just 2 years after the Violence Against Women Act was voted into law, its constitutionality was challenged. While Deborah won the issue in the first federal court to consider the law, the United States Supreme Court ultimately overturned that decision. However, her work earned her multiple invitations to national shows, where she raised awareness of gender-based violence.
Notable Results

Even when she’s not making waves nationwide, Deborah has helped multiple individuals and families find justice after being wronged. She has fought for, and received:

  • $160.5 million for the victim of a traumatic brain injury who was injured while at a nightclub
  • $37.5 million to help multiple victims who were injured in a pair of truck accidents in Beverly Hills, CA
  • $24 million in a products liability complaint
  • $20.5 million for the family of a child who was tragically killed while in a school crosswalk
  • $20 million for a biker after dangerous roadway conditions caused a serious accident
  • $17 million for the family of a visually impaired man who fell into the gap between rail cars at a Los Angeles Metro station
  • $14.9 million for a motorcyclist struck by a negligent driver
  • $8.1 million for a motorcyclist who was in an accident after running into a paper roll that was dropped on the roadway.

Her skill as an advocate has helped multiple families find justice, and she’s done so in record-breaking ways:

  • She won the largest non-economic wrongful death verdict in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties for the death of an adult child
  • The largest personal injury verdict in North County (San Diego) was awarded to one of her clients
  • She has also won the largest personal injury verdicts in both Imperial County (El Centro) and San Francisco

Over the course of her career, Deborah has earned many notable settlements and verdicts

  • In 2019, she received 2 of the top 100 personal injury settlements in the U.S.
  • In 2019, she also received one of the top 50 motor vehicle accident settlements in the U.S., and two of the largest motor vehicle accident settlements in California
  • In 2019, she was behind the second-largest premises liability settlement in California, which was also one of the top 10 premises liability settlements in the U.S.
  • In 2017, her client received the second-largest settlement awarded in California that year
  • In 2015 and 2015 both, she was behind 4 of the top 25 verdicts
  • In 2014, she earned the 2 largest wrongful death settlements in California
  • In 2014, she also received the largest motor vehicle settlement in California
Prior Experience

Deborah started her legal career representing plaintiffs and defendants in suits involving products liability, commercial litigation, professional liability securities fraud, and complex torts. She has served counsel at the local and national levels for a variety of large corporations and insurers including AIG and Ford. This experience has contributed to her legal success: With an insider’s knowledge of how insurers analyze and prepare cases, Deborah can help her clients prepare for some of the challenges their claims may face.

Deborah has also sought to develop her experience by participating in jury research and focus group programs. In 2000, she helped create and launch one of the first companies to facilitate online focus groups. Multiple trial lawyers and insurers used the service to test their arguments for prominent cases; the National Law Journal recognized its value as a tool for lawyers. Though she only served as CEO and General Counsel for just over a year, Deborah brings with her the invaluable knowledge gathered from everyday Americans during that time.

Contact & Links
  • 126 Lomita Street
    El Segundo, CA 90245

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Los Angeles (2022)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Personal Injury Litigation

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Athea Trial Lawyers

by Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers is a nationally recognized firm who has received record-breaking victories throughout the country on behalf of personal injury victims.

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