Partners Dennis S. Ellis and Christopher W. Arledge, Senior Counsel Nicholas J. Begakis, and Associate Dalmacio V. Posadas, Jr. were recognized in the Daily Journal’s “Top Verdicts of 2022” for their successful representation of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) in the case of PG&E v. Alexander et al., Kern County Superior Court No. BCV-15-101623.
Ellis and his team represented PG&E in litigation related to a 2015 natural gas explosion in Kern County. The explosion occurred when a bulldozer operator “deep ripping” a field to prepare for almond planting struck a PG&E gas transmission line. Ellis and his team successfully obtained an injunction preventing the excavation company from digging near PG&E lines. This prompted the owner of the excavation company, Jeff Alexander, to file a cross-complaint claiming he was defamed by a PG&E press release. Alexander, who was represented by a preeminent plaintiff’s firm in his defamation claims, was seeking over a billion dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. The Daily Journal quotes Ellis: “[t]hey thought they had a factual case they could win, along with other negative facts that would bias a jury and cloud their judgment.” As the Daily Journal reports, “Ellis and his team proved them wrong, persuading the judge to reject any claim to punitives and the jury to render a complete defense verdict on Alexander’s cross-complaint.” Thanks to the unparalleled talent of the EGC lawyers, the team was able to provide a victorious outcome for PG&E in its first significant case since it emerged from bankruptcy.
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