Edward J. Riffle

SUMMARY

Edward J. Riffle is a trial attorney at the firm’s South Pasadena office, litigating cases throughout California. Mr. Riffle’s practice focuses on prosecuting and defending cases on behalf of contractors, suppliers, property owners (restaurants, stores, night clubs and other businesses), common/commercial carriers (trucking companies, cabs, and others), lawyers/law firms, design professionals, and other businesses. Mr. Riffle has handled a wide range of cases through trial, including bodily injury, professional liability, construction, and breach of contract cases. A major focus of Mr. Riffle’s practice has been on general liability matters, including catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases, often involving large numbers of parties. Mr. Riffle has also provided valuable excess exposure consulting services for excess/umbrella carriers on many large exposure cases, including death and catastrophic injury cases that have occurred at places such as the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor facilities, various industrial plants throughout California, and facilities owned or maintain by many utilities in California.

Additionally, Mr. Riffle serves as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, currently assigned to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate of the 79th TSC in Los Alamitos. While deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008, he was the Deputy Chief, Contractor & Fiscal Law at MNSTC-I (the military advisors command in Iraq). He is the father of four and has coached many of his children’s sports teams.

EXPERIENCE

Defense Verdict for General Contractor in Personal Injury Suit: Airline pilot claimed he suffered career-ending injury due to alleged code-violating condition during ongoing construction at major airport. Obtained defense verdict for client.

Obtained Under-Budget Resolution for Trucking Company Following Catastrophic Accident: Catastrophic multi-vehicle wrongful death freeway accident claim as brought against trucking company client, involving significant indemnity, insurance coverage, and related factors, as well as the criminal conviction of the independent contractor driver. After lengthy mediation negotiations, motion practice, and initiation of declaratory judgment action, resolved matter under budget, well below trial exposure, and within policy limits.

Reached Favorable Resolution for Architect in Construction Defect Suit: Plaintiff claimed multi-million dollar project cost overruns allegedly due to design defects and design coordination issues at community college campus. Resolved matter post 1.5 month arbitration with vast majority of resolution funded by indemnity obligations owed to architect by multi-prime contractors.

Summary Judgment for General Contractor In Severe Injury Matter: A second tier subcontractor employee was severely injured on multi-unit urban infill project when a large board fell on his dead. Exited case by way of Privette-based summary judgment motion and had all defense costs reimbursed by multiple carriers for subcontractors.

Negotiated Dismissal of Subcontractor In Fraud Matter: Government agencies filed suit in shoes of defunct low income housing company based upon alleged fraud by developer and contractor entities. Through detailed settlement negotiations and presentation of evidence, negotiated our client’s dismissal from case for a waiver of costs. Later settlement by others exceeded $1 million.

Obtained Nominal Settlement On Behalf of Factory Equipment Manufacturer: Worker in factory suffered severe injury cutting all tendons in his dominant-hand’s wrist when trying to unjam a food bagging machine. While summary judgment motion was pending, resolved matter for a nominal amount in part by obtaining a waiver of worker’s compensation carrier’s claim in intervention by demonstrating factory owner to be the true primary cause of injury.

Negotiated Nominal Resolution for Attorney in Legal Malpractice Lawsuit: Plaintiff alleged that attorney failed to properly and timely raise defenses to summary judgment motion filed by former client, resulting in substantial judgment against the former-client. Negotiated nominal resolution to case while summary judgment motion pending demonstrating attorney’s former-client’s actions as the true and sole cause of damages awarded against the former-client.

Favorable Settlement Reached on Behalf of Landscape Designer: Plaintiff presented multi-million dollar claims of cost overrun and design defects at estate involving design of main house and guest house renovations and redesign of surrounding grounds and gardens. Substantial insurance coverage issues impacted litigation. A settlement was reached well within policy limits after over a week of trial.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • State Bar of California
  • Pasadena Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Engineering Contractors Association
  • Professional Liability Underwriters Society
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • U.S. Army JAG Corps
PUBLICATIONS/SEMINARS
  • Mechanic’s Liens Law Changes
  • Discovery Under the Radar
  • Insurance and Liability Considerations in the Construction Industry
  • An End to Plaintiff Windfall Medical Damages – Only Amounts Paid or Incurred are Recoverable!
  • Federal Dollars, Participation Requirements and Prop 209: Bidder Beware
  • Professional Liability vs. General Liability
  • An Insurer’s Duty to Defend Extends to Claims that May Fall Outside the Policy
  • The Changing Face of Indemnity: Meaner and Uglier!