PHILADELPHIA - May 14, 2021 - Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that a trial team led by Paul Leary has been chosen as a winner of one of the Top 20 Verdicts in California in 2020. Leary, co-vice chair of the firm’s Business Litigation Group, and team were awarded this recognition for the $3 million verdict in the Vopak North America Inc. v. CMAC Construction Co case. The top verdicts list comprises various case types that were tried either in state or federal courts of California.
Leary and his team represented the plaintiff, Vopak North America, a global enterprise that handles and stores petroleum products. Cozen O'Connor filed suit against CMAC Construction, a company that Leary claimed mishandled a hydrostatic pressure test — which checks for pipeline strength and leaks — on a major pipeline, resulting in a significant oil spill in the Los Angeles Harbor. The spill was significant enough to be investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
CMAC Construction disclaimed all responsibility for the spill and called investigators to testify against Cozen O’Connor’s client at trial. During the five-day trial, Leary and his team examined 25 witnesses, including experts, under court-imposed time restrictions. The jury then returned a unanimous $3 million verdict in the client's favor.