Skip to Content

Rudy R. Perrino

Partner

E rperrino@wfbm.com
T (213) 489-4820
| F (213) 489-4015

Overview

Rudy Perrino is a litigator and recognized trial attorney with significant experience defending and prosecuting claims in a broad range of areas: environmental, mass tort, toxic tort, product liability, commercial, oil and gas, and food law.

Rudy was a member of the trial team featured on the Daily Journal’s 2015 Top Defense Results for its win in Macpherson v. Pace.

Rudy also has experience litigating and trying cases involving cross-border and transnational disputes, including the defense of foreign judgment recognition and enforcement actions in the U.S. and on foreign soil. He has managed and litigated large-scale, high exposure cases in courts across the country and around the world. He also has substantial experience counseling large public and private companies on issues relating to best practices, foreign corrupt practices act, regulatory compliance and chemical safety issues.

Rudy previously served as the director of litigation at Dole Food Company, where he managed worldwide litigation. While at Dole, Rudy was the lead lawyer driving the strategy that proved a massive international fraudulent enterprise and led to the resolution of more than 20,000 claims and over 250 lawsuits in Latin America and the U.S., and positioned the company to resolve or otherwise dispose of hundreds of other lawsuits around the world.

Prior to working for Dole Food Company, Rudy worked for several years as a litigator representing chemical companies, petroleum companies, manufacturers, distributors and other various business interests, primarily in claims of toxic exposure and environmental contamination. His experience defending toxic exposure claims covers a wide spectrum of toxins, including pharmaceuticals.

Rudy’s environmental experience is similarly broad, having defended petroleum companies, chemical manufacturers, materials manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, hazardous waste generators, property owners and even food suppliers in a variety of disputes involving claims of soil, groundwater, surface water and protected waters contamination, permit violations, environmental law and regulatory violations and the like. He has even defended allegations of criminal conduct with respect to environmental issues.

Rudy is co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation’s Product Liability Committee and has previously served as co-chair of the Environmental and Energy Litigation Committee (ELC) and of the Mass Torts Litigation Committee. As co-chair of these committees, Rudy directs the day-to-day functioning of the committee and leads the thousands of practitioners around the country in the business of providing benefits to the Section’s members, such as continuing legal education seminars, publication and speaking opportunities, and networking opportunities.

Rudy is fluent in Spanish.

Representative Successes
  • Macpherson v. Pace – After an 8 week jury trial, secured a defense verdict in favor of the client, a small Bakersfield oil producer, who was sued by one of the largest California onshore oil producers, and others, for subsurface trespass and nuisance. The plaintiffs sought more than $35 million in damages relating to an alleged decrease in oil production. The jury deliberated for less than five hours before returning a verdict in favor of the client. That verdict was reported by the Daily Journal as one of the top defense verdicts for the year 2015.
  • Angel Acosta, et al. v. Shell Oil Company, et al. – Successfully represented developer Barclay Hollander in litigation of claims of more than 200 present and former homeowners claiming property damage and personal injury as a result of historical contamination by petroleum left behind after storage tanks previously owned by Shell Oil Company were demolished in the 1960s. Succeeded in obtaining dismissal order for parent corporation, Dole Food Company.
  • Tellez, et al. v. Dole Food Company, Inc., et al. – Trial of claims of 12 Nicaraguans that they were rendered sterile by the pesticide dibromochloropropane (DBCP) while working on Dole related farms. A four month trial resulted in verdicts for six, reduced to four on post-trial motions. Post-trial motions resulted in the elimination of punitive damages from this case and future cases and resulted in reduction of verdicts from $5 million to $1.58 million. On appeal, the matter was remanded pursuant to a writ of corum vobis for further proceedings on the question of fraud in the procurement of the judgment. Trial court later vacated the judgment and entered judgment for the defendants on the grounds that the plaintiffs had been trained to lie about working on banana farms.
  • Wheeler v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc. – Served as lead lawyer for the primary defendant (AvalonBay) in class action allegations for personal injuries, rent abatement and restitution under Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq. Successfully defeated class allegations at the pleading stage and prevailed on appeal. The case was subsequently settled for less than 0.1% of initial demand.
  • Afshin, et al. v. Stericycle, Inc. – Served as lead lawyer for a medical waste hauler in claims for personal injury, property damage and business losses by property owners surrounding Sunshine Canyon Landfill. Successfully settled the case for waiver of costs.
  • White v. AAD, et al. – Represented American Laundry Machinery, Inc., a machinery manufacturer and franchisor, in a citizen suit under Proposition 65 relating to alleged discharges of dry cleaning fluid to drinking water sources throughout California. The matter was defeated on demurrer.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company v. New Hampshire Insurance Company, et al. – Successfully represented a developer (Culver) in claims by property owner for damages stemming from unauthorized timber cutting. Case settled for waiver of costs.
  • San Diego Motors v. City of San Diego, et al. (Duck Pond Litigation) – Property damage case in which our client, San Diego Motors, sought costs of repair related to property purchased from the City of San Diego for use as an automobile dealership. Issues of the presence of hazardous materials complicated the evidence and analysis. A four week jury trial was settled prior to verdict.
  • People v. Pacific Custom Materials, Inc. – Resolved a claim, well short of trial and for a modest penalty, on behalf of a manufacturer of concrete aggregate products in a claim for civil penalties arising out of alleged air permit violations caused by exceedances of several regulated chemicals and metals, including lead.
  • Environmental World Watch v. Pacific Custom Materials, Inc. – Successfully resolved a claim for a nominal amount well before trial on behalf of a manufacturer of concrete aggregate products defending claims by several surrounding neighbors and community activists alleging personal injury, property damage, and various statutory violations arising out of emissions of chemicals and metals, including lead.
  • Lopez v. Volk – Successfully resolved a difficult lead exposure case involving eight children claiming exposure to excessive amounts of lead in an apartment complex.
Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Bar Foundation
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

Speaking Engagements:

  • Co-chair, “Precision Advocacy: Reinventing Motion Practice to Win”
  • “Listeria or Hysteria: Investigating and Defending Food-Borne Illness Claims”
  • “Benzene Litigation: From the Mountains to the Sea”
  • “Litigating in the Mass Torts Media Spotlight”
  • “‘Judicial Quasi-Class Actions’ – Managing MDL and Mass Tort Litigation through Judicial Control Over the Appointment of Lead Counsel, Attorneys’ Fees, and Settlements”
  • “The Latest Trends & Tactics in Prosecuting & Defending Foreign Mass Accident Litigation,” 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar, New York Bar Association/American Bar Association, New York, NY, June 2, 2011
  • “Roundtable: Does International Arbitration Meet General Counsels’ Needs?”
  • “Aguinda v. Chevron: The Case of Chevron in Ecuador”
  • “Understanding Medical Monitoring Damages”
  • “Litigating International and Cross-Border Claims”
  • “Cross Border Discovery: Considerations, Challenges, and Consequences”
  • “Mediation with the Masters”
  • “Legal Tactics to Use with Suspected Baseless or Fraudulent Claims: Threshold Challenges Based on Lone Pine, Daubert-Lite, and Science-Day”
  • “Avoiding Discovery Pitfalls – How to Manage Your Document Productions and Reviews in a Way that Will Satisfy Your Client and Win Your Case”
  • “Anatomy Of A Bellwether Case: Nicaraguan Workers v. Dole”
  • “Punitive Damages: Gone But Not Forgotten?”
  • Panelist, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Luncheon, Newport Beach, CA, February, 2007
  • “Issues in Mass Tort Litigation”
  • Cook, et al., “CAFA Litigation Deskbook”, American Bar Association Press, 2013
  • Perrino, “Does Daubert Apply to Expert Evidence Submitted at the Class Certification Stage?”, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Mass Tort Committee Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 3, Summer 2011
  • Christianson, J. Green, R. Perrino, D. Weiner and F. Wisner, “The Latest Trends & Tactics in Prosecuting & Defending Foreign Mass Accident Litigation,” 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar written materials, New York Bar Association/American Bar Association, New York, NY, June 2, 2011
  • Perrino, “Medical Monitoring Claims: A Primer,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Mass Tort Committee Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 1, Fall 2010
Beyond the Office

In his spare time, Rudy enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, traveling, camping, playing golf, running and skiing.

In The News