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Jennifer H. Rankin

Partner

E jrankin@wfbm.com
T (714) 634-2522
| F (714) 634-0686

Overview

Jennifer Rankin’s practice primarily focuses on toxic tort defense, involving exposure to asbestos and a variety of other materials and chemicals, with an emphasis on product, premises, and contractor liability. Jennifer has more than thirteen years of experience successfully representing equipment and product manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and contractors in multiple-party complex litigation, and she participates in all aspects of case management, discovery, law and motion, and trial preparation. She also assists trial counsel on trials. Jennifer served as second-chair during the lengthy trial of an asbestos mesothelioma case that ultimately resulted in a defense verdict for the client. Jennifer is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California and has worked on a variety of general liability matters and environmental cases.

Representative Successes
  • Served as second-chair at trial and successfully secured a defense verdict on behalf of a large manufacturer of joint compound products in an asbestos mesothelioma case.
  • Successfully obtained summary adjudication on behalf of a valve manufacturer with respect to plaintiff’s claim under the California Superfund Act (Hazardous Substances Account Act) in a complex groundwater contamination case.
  • Secured a dismissal for a large supplier of construction-related materials in an asbestos-related personal injury mesothelioma case. During the deposition of the plaintiff’s primary product identification witness, the deponent recanted his prior testimony that implicated the supplier during cross-examination.
  • Secured a dismissal for a large retailer of construction products in its first and only asbestos-related lawsuit (wrongful death lung cancer case) without having to respond to discovery or produce a corporate representative for deposition.
  • Secured a dismissal for a large distributor of waterworks materials in an asbestos-related personal injury mesothelioma case after preparing a motion for summary judgment, which plaintiffs’ counsel determined they could not successfully oppose.
  • Prepared a detailed motion for summary judgment on behalf of an equipment manufacturer in an asbestos-related mesothelioma case with a large settlement demand, and obtained a tentative ruling from the court in the client’s favor, which led the plaintiff to resolve the case for nuisance value.
  • Worked on a complicated general liability matter on behalf of a refrigeration contractor involving alleged property damage totaling more than $8,000,000, where we were ultimately able to resolve the case before a trial date was set for significantly less than the settlement demand and the client’s insurance policy limits.
  • Successfully obtained summary adjudication on behalf of a structural steel contractor with respect to plaintiffs’ claims for strict products liability, fraud, and punitive damages in a complex personal injury mesothelioma case.
Industry Involvement

Recognitions/Awards:

  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Environmental Law, Fall 2002

Publications:

  • Bartnicki v. Vopper: Another Media Victory or Ominous Warning of a Potential Change in Supreme Court First Amendment Jurisprudence?”, Pepperdine Law Review, Volume 30, Page 367, 2003.
Beyond the Office

Jennifer was a Literary & Citation Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review during law school. She was also on the Dean’s List and graduated magna cum laude in the top five percent of her class.

Jennifer is also a movie buff and collector of classic horror films and movie memorabilia. She enjoys listening to loud rock music, volunteering at animal shelters, and spending time with her family, including her cats. She also has a passion for real estate and holds a real estate salesperson license in the state of California.

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