CaseyGerry is the oldest plaintiffs’ law firm in San Diego. Founded in 1947 by respected trial lawyer David S. Casey, Sr., the firm has remained true to its original mission: protecting the rights of consumers who have been severely injured or lost loved ones.
For more than 70 years, the firm has represented quality, integrity, compassion and professionalism – setting the gold standard for plaintiffs’ law in San Diego and beyond, with a colorful and compelling history marked by pioneering attorneys, precedent-setting cases, landmark verdicts and much more. Following are some highlights:
Firm – originally called The Law Offices of David S. Casey, Sr. – founded by David. S. Casey, Sr., a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant and son of a St. Louis attorney, to provide quality service for plaintiffs in civil litigation and personal injury cases. The first offices were located in Pacific Beach. When Casey, Sr., opened his firm, there were 400 attorneys practicing law in San Diego; now there are more than 16,000.
Richard Gerry begins a long and distinguished law career for $300 a month in the office of Melvin Belli, the “King of Torts”
The jury system was under fierce attack by the press, legislators, judges and scholars – California’s then Governor, Edmund “Pat” Brown, suggested a commission to hear workers’ compensation, liability and other civil cases. With the civil jury system threatened, a handful of young lawyers founded the American Board of Trial Advocates, dedicated to preserving the civil jury trial. David S. Casey, Sr., was the second president of the San Diego chapter.
David S. Casey, Sr., founds and serves as the first president of the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association – now the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego – a San Diego based organization of trial lawyers dedicated to preserving and protecting the legal rights of consumers.
California Plaintiff Trial Lawyers Association (now the Consumer Attorneys of California) founded – California’s first and still is the only statewide professional association of lawyers who represent plaintiffs in civil actions, such as wrongful death, personal injury, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, elder abuse, civil rights violations, product liability, environmental degradation and financial fraud – with David S. Casey, Sr., a founding member.
David S. Casey, Jr. joins David S. Casey, Sr. during the groundbreaking ceremonies for construction of the new office building located on Laurel Street.
David S. Casey, Sr., runs for a Superior Court Judgeship.
After relocating to San Diego from Brazil, where he lived with his family and worked as a cattle rancher for two years, Richard Gerry joins the firm, then known as Casey McClenahan, Fraley and Hauser.
David S. Casey, Sr., elected to the board of directors of the California State Bar.
David S. Casey, Sr., receives the San Diego Press Club Headliner Award for Law and Justice.
David S. Casey, Sr., became the first plaintiff’s lawyer and the second San Diegan to be elected president of the State Bar of California. The firm was at the time named Casey, McClenahan, Fraley and Hauser.
Richard Gerry named partner and the firm becomes Casey Gerry and Westbrook.
Richard Westbrook, also a former city prosecutor, joins the firm as partner.
After graduating from USD School of Law and working as a prosecutor for the San Diego City Attorney’s office, David S. Casey, Jr., joins firm as partner.
Richard Gerry elected president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now American Association for Justice), the world’s largest trial bar.
The late former partner Richard Westbrook recognized in the San Diego County Bar Association’s Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Fund.
Firm partners obtain a $3 million verdict from Volkswagen, after plaintiff is rendered paralyzed when a motorcycle crashed into the side of a ’72 Beetle in which the victim was a passenger.
Firm partners help obtain $1.6 million in damages for a Mira Mesa woman severely injured when a truck filled with concrete blocks rolled off a freeway shoulder and crashed into her car.
San Diego Trial Lawyers Association names former partner T. Michael Reed (now of counsel) “Trial Lawyer of the Year”.
David S. Casey, Jr., obtained what was at the time the largest personal injury settlement in history against the City of San Diego, when the San Diego City Council approved the payment of $9.5 million to a young woman who was left a quadriplegic and brain-damaged when her car was struck by a speeding police car.
Firm tapped to represent fisherman in lawsuit against Exxon, following massive oil spill which resulted from crash of Exxon Valdez oil tanker. Partner Dick Gerry spends six months in Alaska in trial.
Los Cerritos Shopping Center – represented by firm attorneys T. Michael Reed and Thomas Penfield – was awarded $14.15 million by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury that found United States Mineral Products responsible for the removal of cancer-causing asbestos fireproof material found in the mall
CaseyGerry one of the firms selected by Governor Gray Davis to pursue a private attorney general action against Big Tobacco on behalf of all Californians. The case was included in the national settlement of $206 billion by the tobacco industry, whereby California received $25.2 billion. The firm also served as co-counsel in representing Californians in a class action against the tobacco companies for unfair business practices.
The county of San Diego ordered to pay $1.9 million of a $3.47 million jury award in favor of a jogger – represented by Gayle Blatt and David S. Casey, Jr. – who suffered brain damage after being struck by a car on Sweetwater Road in 1989. The jury in Superior Court Judge Mack Lovett’s courtroom found the county 35 percent responsible – for failing to protect pedestrians on a road where cars travel at 50 mph. – the rest of the liability was attributed to driver Patrick Garza, Jr.
Following eight years as a board member, Frederick Schenk elected president of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.
Following a four month trial, jury awards a class of 32,000 plaintiffs a verdict in excess of $5 billion in Exxon Valdez case. Led by Richard Gerry, firm attorneys represented 1,000 fishermen, and were instrumental in resolution of the case.
The Consumer Attorneys of San Diego renames its coveted Trial Lawyer of the Year recognition the “David S. Casey, Sr., Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.” Now bestowed in his memory, this award is given to the lawyer who demonstrates outstanding skill and commitment, qualities which Mr. Casey practiced throughout his career.
Frederick Schenk obtains a $2.4 million verdict in punitive damages as well as economic losses – the largest verdict ever against an asbestos manufacturer in the County of San Diego – against Owens Corning Fiberglass.
Thomas D. Penfield receives the Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award from the Sierra Club’s San Diego Chapter.
Firm partners achieved a high profile settlement after successfully representing thirteen Honda dealers as plaintiffs in a civil proceeding arising from a case the U.S. Attorney described as “the largest commercial bribery case in U.S. history”
Consumer Attorneys of San Diego names a standing award the “David S. Casey, Jr., Consumer Advocate Award” in recognition of to Casey’s dedication to the cause of justice for all consumers and the preservation of the Trial Lawyers profession.
David S. Casey, Jr., honored with the 18th Annual Edward I. Pollock Award in recognition of his many years of dedication, outstanding efforts and effectiveness on behalf of the Causes and Ideals of the Consumer Attorneys of California.
David S. Casey, Sr., elected to CASD’s Lawyer’s Hall of Fame. During his career, Casey. Sr., tried over 700 jury trials. He was a diplomat in the American Board of Trial Advocates, of which he was the second president of the San Diego Chapter, was a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.
Frederick Schenk named a Contributing Editor, California Pleading and Practice Volume 8; Automobiles.
Richard Gerry and Marcia Hughes retire from the firm and it is renamed Casey Gerry Reed & Schenk.
Frederick Schenk elected president of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center of San Diego.
Richard Gerry, a founding partner of the firm, inducted into the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego’s (CASD) Past Presidents’ Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section honors David S. Casey, Sr., with its first ever Pursuit of Justice Award, which recognizes lawyers and judges who have shown outstanding merit and who excel in providing access to justice for all.
Gayle M. Blatt, Thomas D. Penfield and Robert J. Francavilla named firm partners.
David S. Casey, Jr., then vice president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now American Association for Justice), plays a pivotal role in creating the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund mandated by the U.S. Congress, and setting in place the largest pro bono program in the history of American jurisprudence, helping thousands victims after 9/11. That program results in the compensation of several billion dollars successfully going to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.
David Casey, Jr., named a fellow of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyer.
David Casey, Jr., receives Peacemaker Award from the San Diego Mediation Center. Honoring San Diegans who have devised peaceful solutions during a year marked by random violence event was themed “Responses to Terrorism,” and honored Casey his work on behalf of victims of the World Trade Center disaster.
David S. Casey, Sr., recognized in the San Diego County Bar Associations Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Fund.
David S. Casey, Jr., elected president of ATLA–the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the nation’s largest trial bar. CaseyGerry is now the only firm in San Diego to have had two partners serve as ATLA president (Dick Gerry was president in 1981).
David S. Casey, Jr., honored by the University of San Diego (USD) with the Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award.
Following appeals, Federal District Judge H. Russell of Anchorage Alaska ordered Exxon Mobil Corp to nearly $7 billion in punitive damages including interest, as retribution for the massive oil spill following the 1989 crash of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker.
David S. Casey, Jr., honored with the Daniel T. Broderick III award – named after Dan Broderick, a highly regarded local attorney who met an untimely death in 1989 – at the 20th Annual Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers Dinner
In an effort to help residents reclaim millions in damages – money that was allegedly mischarged for sewer services – firm partners join forces with consumer advocate Michael Shames and Capretz & Associates to file a class action lawsuit against the City of San Diego
To reflect new partners, Firm changes name from Casey Gerry Reed & Schenk to Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP.
Robert J. Francavilla elected president of Consumer Attorney of San Diego.
Richard Gerry recognized in the San Diego County Bar Association’s Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Fund.
Robert J. Francavilla elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an organization comprised of the country’s leading plaintiff and defense trial counsel.
David. S. Casey, Jr., Named one of Top 100 attorneys in California by Daily Journal.
Frederick Schenk, elected the new president of the board of directors of the Civil Justice Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to preventing consumer injury and defending consumer access to justice. During his tenure, Schenk helped oversee and support the organization, which has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants to dozens of grassroots consumer advocacy groups seeking systematic change
Gayle M. Blatt named one of Top 25 San Diego Women Super Lawyers.
The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law announces donation of $250,000 from Lisa and David S. Casey, Jr. – a member of USD Law School’s class of 1974 – to help establish a Trial Advocacy Scholarship fund.
Gayle M. Blatt elected president of Consumer Attorneys San Diego.
Thomas D. Penfield appointed chair of the Task Force on Plaintiff’s Involvement of the Tort, Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA), the leading national bar association for United States attorneys.
David S. Casey, Jr., honored at American Lung Association’s “Evening in the Sky” gala for his contribution to protect the air quality in San Diego.
David S. Casey, Jr., selected to oversee Senator Dianne Feinstein’s vetting committees for nominees to be U.S. District Court Judges, U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals in California.
David S. Casey, Jr., receives Consumer Watchdog’s Lifetime Legal Achievement Award at Rage for Justice Event.
Thomas D. Penfield named president of the Bar Association of North San Diego County (BANSDC), a Vista, Calif.- based organization focused on promoting the development of the legal profession.
The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section honors David S. Casey, Jr., with the Pursuit of Justice Award, which recognizes lawyers and judges who have shown outstanding merit and who excel in providing access to justice for all.
Frederick Schenk elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), which with more than 55,000 members is the world’s largest trial bar.
Thomas Luneau recognized as an “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for his trial victory on a Civil Rights case.
Frederick Schenk honored by the American Association for Justice – the nation’s largest trial bar — with the Wiedemann Wysocki National Finance Council Award.
Frederick Schenk elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a prestigious organization comprised of the country’s leading judges and plaintiff and defense trial counsel.
Gayle M. Blatt appointed by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as Liaison Counsel for the growing number of Hydroxycut personal injury cases in Multi-District Litigation (MDL 2087), now pending in the Southern District of California.
Firm partner Thomas D. Penfield joins forces with Newport Beach-based Capretz & Associates to file a class action lawsuit against the City of Chula Vista, Calif., demanding restitution as a result of continued collection of a controversial tax on cell phone calls.
In a case that reaffirms the right to safe public access for the physically disabled, Robert J. Francavilla helps obtain a $1.25 million out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit involving the country’s longest survivor of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – a disease in which victims progressively lose muscle control. Marilyn Cooper, who has had ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – for 36 years, suffered serious injuries after a fall at the exclusive Crosby Estates’ Sports Center in Rancho Santa Fe, just north of San Diego.
Frederick Schenk, Gayle M. Blatt and Robert J. Francavilla – honored as “Outstanding Trial Lawyers” by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego during a special “Evening with the Trial Stars” dinner.
Jason Evans joins the firm as an associate attorney.
More than four years after teenager Scott Eveland collapsed on a San Marcos, Calif., high school football field – suffering a traumatic brain injury – CaseyGerry and attorneys for the defense reached a nearly $5 million settlement on his behalf. Robert Francavilla and David S. Casey, Jr. represented Eveland, and said the money will help support the disabled athlete for the rest of his life. More than 250 depositions were taken in this case, a record for any personal injury case in San Diego.
Partner Frederick Schenk represents the firm on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee overseeing national MDL litigation against the National Football League (NFL) alleging that multiple concussions can lead to long-term brain injuries. Also playing a role is partner Robert Francavilla, who serves on the medicine and science sub-committee.
After NIH researchers determined that Junior Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), David S. Casey, Jr. and Frederick Schenk partnered with Steve Strauss of Cooley LLP to bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family of the former football great. The Seau suit claims that the former star linebacker’s suicide stemmed from chronic brain trauma, and that “the NFL knew for decades of the harmful effects of sub-concussive and concussive injuries on a player’s brain.”
In a complex premises liability case, a woman injured in poolside fall was awarded $7.5 million in damages. According to Robert J. Francavilla, his client fell at a resort pool and twisted her ankle, resulting in a serious sprain which developed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – a chronic condition that causes searing pain and difficulty with motor function.
Our attorneys helped attain $9.5 million in awards for victims of the deadly Reno Air Show accident, which involved the crash of a World War 11-era P-51D Mustang fighter plane into a crowd of spectators during the 2011 air races at Reno-Stead Airport in Nevada.
Frederick Schenk elected president of the Board of Directors, 22nd District Agricultural Association (San Diego County Fair Board).
Gayle M. Blatt appointed by U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia to serve as co-liaison counsel for the Incretin Mimetic Products Liability Litigation case.
David S. Casey, Jr. appointed to serve on the board of directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Following a four-day trial, the Honorable Larry H. Burns, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of California renders a verdict totaling $5.4 million in damages against the United States Government in favor of motorcyclist John B. Hendrickson – represented by Robert Francavilla — whose severe injuries due to a collision with an on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent resulted in a leg amputation.
David S. Casey Jr. and Frederick Schenk received top honors at The American Association for Justice (AAJ) 2014 annual convention in Baltimore – with Casey receiving the AAJ New Lawyers Division (NLD) Defender of Justice Award and Schenk earning recognition as a Diplomate of Trial Advocacy.
Srinivas Hanumadass joins the firm as an associate attorney.
Following a three-day trial, a Vista Superior Court jury orders San Diego company to pay $425,741.67 in damages to Carlsbad resident Haley Shook – represented by Casey Gerry attorneys Thomas Penfield and Robert Francavilla — who was seriously injured after being hit by a company truck while traversing a Carlsbad cross walk.
Robert J. Francavilla and David S. Casey, Jr. recognized among California’s Top Plaintiff’s Lawyers by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal – the leading daily California legal publications.
David S. Casey Jr. appointed to the national VW Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee overseeing litigation targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal.
Gayle M. Blatt and Jeremy Robinson both honored with the “President’s Award” by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (CASD), during the organization’s Annual Awards and Installation Dinner.
Adam Levine joins the firm as an associate attorney.
Srinivas Hanumadass recognized as one of California’s Top 40 Attorneys under the age of 40 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
CaseyGerry files a negligence and product liability lawsuit on behalf of the family of San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn. Filed in San Diego Superior Court, the lawsuit seeks to hold the tobacco industry accountable for Gwynn’s death from cancer at age 54.
Frederick Schenk lauded for his community service work at the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2016 annual Service Awards Luncheon.
Thomas D. Penfield and Thomas Luneau elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a prestigious organization comprised of the country’s leading judges and plaintiff and defense trial counsel.
David S. Casey Jr. inducted into the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego’s Past Presidents’ Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
David. S. Casey, Jr. Named one of Top 100 leading attorneys in California by Daily Journal.
Thomas D. Penfield and Robert J. Francavilla honored as “Outstanding Trial Lawyers” by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer approves the $14.7 billion deal, one of the largest settlements in U.S. history, paving the way for German auto giant Volkswagen to make amends with U.S. owners of VWs (Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Passats) as well as Audis impacted by the emissions cheating scandal.
Robert J. Francavilla named 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (CASD) during the organization’s 58th Annual Awards event. The CASD Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is given to a San Diego County-based attorney who has achieved outstanding jury verdicts involving a civil or criminal matter.
California Governor Jerry Brown announced the reappointment of CaseyGerry partner, Frederick Schenk, to the 22nd District Agricultural Association, San Diego County Fair Board of Directors.
CaseyGerry’s managing partner David S. Casey Jr. selected to receive the prestigious Witkin Award for Excellence in the Practice of Law.
CaseyGerry partner Robert Francavilla inducted as a fellow in the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, (IATL).
CaseyGerry’s managing partner David S. Casey, Jr. has been recognized with a 2018 “California Lawyer of the Year” (CLAY) Award by the Daily Journal and California Lawyer, leading legal publications in California.
The family of deceased baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn reached a settlement with the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company.
for inflated claims of fuel economy on some of their vehicles. Casey, Jr., was appointed by the federal court to serve on the Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC).
David S. Casey, Jr. was appointed by the federal court to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee tasked with leading the litigation on behalf of the vehicle owners across the nation.
For a physician who has been wheelchair-bound since 1983, when his neck was fractured in a diving accident.
CaseyGerry attorney Meagan L. Verschueren inducted as the incoming co-president of The Tom Homann LGBT Law Association (THLA).
CaseyGerry managing partner David S. Casey Jr. awarded the 2019 Hughes McClenahan award for civility in the practice of law by the San Diego Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
CaseyGerry attorney Srinivas Hanumadass elected to the board of directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).
Gayle M. Blatt, a longtime partner with CaseyGerry, is named one of the Daily Transcript’s Top Influential Women for 2019.
CaseyGerry partner Frederick Schenk named one of 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego by The Daily Transcript.
CaseyGerry partner Gayle M. Blatt has been elected president of the board of directors of the San Diego County Bar Foundation (SDCBF), the charitable arm of the San Diego County Bar Association.
Partner Gayle M. Blatt appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) In Re: ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation.
CaseyGerry Managing Partner David S. Casey, Jr. among others launch Pro Bono Program To Help Civil Litigants In Face Of Covid-19 Crisis.
CaseyGerry partners Jeremy Robinson and Thomas Luneau, and associate Jillian F. Hayes win appeal against retail giant in Bolger v. Amazon.com.