William A. Kershaw

Partner

A veteran attorney with well over 40 years of experience, William “Bill” A. Kershaw is the managing partner at Kershaw, Cook & Talley. His decades in practice and the results he has secured are evidence of just how much of an influence a committed attorney can have for a client, particularly in the field of personal injury law. He has focused exclusively on representing the injured and wronged since 1983.

Bill has gained a national reputation as a personal injury attorney, particularly in the fields of mass torts, class actions, and complex litigation in state and federal courts. He has served as court-appointed counsel, both lead and liaison, in a number of such proceedings across the country. Bill has gone up against some of the largest corporations in the United States on behalf of the injured – and won. Time and time again, he has proven that an unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice can yield outstanding results for those in need.

Among his notable accomplishments include a $330 million settlement against American Honda Motor Company for RICO violations involving a nationwide bribery conspiracy and a $180 million settlement against a Richmond chemical company for releasing sulfuric acid vapor in the air in the San Francisco Bay area. Bill has also been selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list every year from 2005 to 2016 and has an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer-review service.

Notable Settlements & Verdicts

  • $330 million settlement against American Honda Motor Co – RICO Violations
  • $180 million settlement against a chemical company for release of sulfuric acid vapor
  • $87 million settlement against UPS – Wage & Hour Claim
  • $46 million settlement against Jenny Craig – Misleading Advertising
  • $45 million judgment against Ford Motor Company – Breach of Contract
  • $39 million settlement against VeriSign – Misrepresentation

Education

  • Santa Clara University, B.A. (1969)
  • Santa Clara University, J.D. (1972)

During his career, some of his notable cases, settlements, and verdicts include:

  • Currently serving as lead class counsel in a class action against PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC) alleging failure to pay PwC Audit Associates overtime and other compensation due under California wage and hour laws.
  • Currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2441) pending in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota. This MDL is in its preliminary stages with the leadership appointed during the first week in November 2013.
  • Currently serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the DePuy ASR™ Hip System Cases, California Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No 4649 pending in the Superior Court in San Francisco County. These proceedings are working cooperatively with MDL 2197, In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implants Products Liability Litigation.
  • Currently serving on the Plaintiff’s Discovery Committee for In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation “MDL No. 2244”
  • $45 Million Jury Verdict against Ford Motors Company: A $29.6 million jury verdict on behalf of eleven heavy truck dealers in the Ford Motors breach of contract lawsuit increased to $45 million in August 2012 to reflect interest accrued over the life of the suit. The case, which took 13 years of litigation, was based on allegations that Ford violated its franchise agreement for failing to supply the dealers with heavy trucks following sale by Ford of its heavy truck business to Freightliner in 1997. The eleven dealerships were located throughout the United States.
  • A $39 million settlement against VeriSign, Inc. on behalf of a nationwide class alleging misrepresentation to U.S. businesses regarding the degree of security provided by VeriSign’s Secure Site Pro encrypted security certificates.
  • An $87 million settlement against United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) on behalf of a class of 23,600 UPS drivers to recover unpaid wages based on allegations that the employer failed to provide meal and rest periods. The cases settled in 2006 for an $87 million cash payment and other benefits to class members valued at more than $4 million. This is believed to be the largest “meal and rest period” settlement in California history, and was one of the largest nationwide wage and hour settlements of 2007.
  • Multiple mass tort settlements in the $20 to $40 million dollar range involving a broad spectrum of medical devices (court protective orders preclude identification of defendants which are well-known pharmaceutical companies).
  • Served as lead counsel in a seven-month trial to verdict of a class action alleging bad faith insurance practices against the California State Compensation Insurance Fund, California’s largest workers compensation carrier.
  • A $330 million class action settlement against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. arising out of MDL proceedings on behalf of all present and former Honda dealers alleging RICO violations relating to misallocation of vehicles in a nationwide bribery conspiracy.
  • A $180 million settlement against a Richmond chemical company for release of sulfuric acid vapor in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • A $46 million settlement against Jenny Craig, Inc. for misleading advertising and improper business practices. Multiple recoveries on behalf of class members, totaling more than $75 million against the funeral industry for improper handling of human remains.
  • In Re Vicryl Sutures – Mr. Kershaw served as lead counsel in this mass tort action against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of more than 200 plaintiffs who alleged they contracted post-operative infections following the use of defectively manufactured Vicryl Sutures. The cases were consolidated in state courts in New Jersey and California and in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas. After several years of litigation, the cases settled for a confidential sum.
  • Gynecare Intergel Litigation- Mr. Kershaw served as lead counsel in a case against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, Inc. on behalf of approximately 60 women who alleged they were injured by a defective medical device known as Intergel, a product intended to reduce adhesions in women undergoing abdominal surgery. However, the device actually increased adhesions resulting in serious injury. The case was prosecuted over three years resulting in a global settlement on behalf of clients. The settlement amount and the terms of the settlement are confidential.

Honors & Accolades

  • Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine (2015)
  • Best of the Bar, Sacramento Business Journal (2014-2015)
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine (2005-2016)
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of California, Member
  • Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Member
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, President (1987-1988)
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Chairman (1986-1987)
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Secretary, Treasurer & Vice President (1984-1988)
  • California District Attorneys Association, Director & Board Member (1981-1983)
  • Rotary Club
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