Tom Long is a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in complex civil litigation. He has litigated numerous cases to judgment in bench and jury trials in both federal and state court, as well as in arbitrations. His experience includes handling disputes under a number of different types of insurance policies, partnership disputes and other business disputes. Mr. Long also serves as Nossaman's risk management partner.
Mr. Long often represents public agencies and is particularly sensitive to their needs. He has served in various volunteer capacities for his home city of Rancho Palos Verdes for nearly 16 years and served as its Mayor in 2007 and 2011.
Mr. Long was named to the Daily Journal's list of "Top 100 Lawyers in California" in 2013. He is also AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was recognized as a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Business Litigation from 2010-2015.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Van Dellen (United States District Court, Central District of California 2012) Led the FDIC's professional liability investigation of the failure of IndyMac Bank and one of two resulting claims that progressed to suit, the first lawsuit filed by the FDIC in connection with the 2008 U.S. bank failures. The 18 month investigation examined dozens of large land acquisition, development and construction loans and was followed by 2 1/2 years of hotly contested litigation in federal court. Pre-trial rulings eliminated all of the defendants' affirmative defenses including the business judgment rule, mitigation of damages, regulatory conduct and the economy as an intervening cause of loan losses. Part of a three lawyer trial team that took the case though a month long jury trial before Judge Fischer. The trial brought the FDIC a unanimous jury verdict on December 7, 2012 of all of its claimed damages of nearly $169 million after less than five hours of jury deliberations. The National Law Journal ranked the verdict as number 13 in its annual national "Top Verdicts" list. The verdict was also recognized by the Daily Journal in 2012 as having the most significant impact of any plaintiff's verdict in California and for being the second largest dollar verdict in the state.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Parsons-Dillingham et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court Ongoing.) Mr. Long served as lead counsel in a complicated cost accounting bench trial involving the construction management contract for the Metro Red Line project. MTA sought recovery of defendents' overbillings for overhead expense and for improperly documented costs. Phase 1 resulted in a ruling dismissing the contractor's cross-complaint and a subsequent ruling in plaintiff's favor on liability under the complaint. The court entered judgment for the MTA on breach of contract claims on February 13, 2014 for $93.2 million. The Daily Journal recognized the verdict as one of the top 10 verdicts by dollar amount in California for 2014.
TAMCO v. South Coast Air Quality Management District. Nossaman represented TAMCO and its purchaser Gerdau in proceedings in 2014 before the SCAQMD’s independent hearing board. Gerdau had discovered TAMCO’s failure to report the majority of its Sulfur Oxide (SOx) emissions for decades shortly after purchasing TAMCO. Gerdau promptly reported TAMCO’s emissions under-reporting and was ordered by SCAQMD to amend its emissions reports. Gerdau applied for a new starting allocation for SOx emissions under the SCAQMD’s RECLAIM cap and trade program based on the amended emissions reports. SCQAMD staff denied the application and Gerdau appealed to the independent hearing board. After 7 days of both evidentiary and legal hearings before the board in which a 4-1 majority initially rejected SCAQMD staff’s motion to dismiss Gerdau’s claim, the hearing board ultimately ruled in favor of SCAQMD on a 3-2 vote with a written dissent. A favorable settlement for Gerdau was reached before any appeal was taken to Superior Court. The dispute was the first actively litigated dispute involving a starting emissions allocation under SCAQMD’s RECLAIM cap and trade program and is the only one so far.
Sonora HOA vs. Regency Skyport, et al., (Santa Clara County Superior Court 2012) Served as lead counsel defending the developer and general contractor in a major construction defect matter with related insurance coverage litigation. The dispute involved homeowner association's claims of multiple defects in a 315-unit condominium building. The accompanying insurance coverage disputes involved potential coverage under a $25 million "wrap" policy issued for the project, and additional insured coverage under policies issued to subcontractors. Nossaman attorneys negotiated favorable confidential settlements of the main action and most of the insurance disputes. The total settlement was less than half of plaintiff's original damage claims and over two-thirds of the settlement and defense costs were recovered from other parties and insurers.
SSR Marlowe LLC vs. Taisei et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court 2011) Represented public agency plaintiff in construction defect litigation relating to a 121 unit luxury apartment building. Massive defects in the building required complete reconstruction of the building envelope. Negotiated a settlement of $19.8 million which recovered the vast majority of plaintiff's out-of-pocket repair costs.
Castaic Lake Water Agency et al. v. Whittaker Corp. et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California 2010)
Assisted several water producer agencies in obtaining a favorable settlement of their contamination claims providing remediation valued at over $100,000,000 as well as obtaining insurance coverage to defend counterclaims in environmental litigation resulting in the reimbursement of over $6 million in attorneys' fees.
San Gabriel Basin Watermaster v. AISLIC (Orange County Superior Court 2007)
Represented policyholder in obtaining defense cost reimbursements and an adjudication of coverage under an environmental liability insurance policy. Established that the policy's description of covered operations as "groundwater monitoring" included the Watermaster's actions in directing pumping in the basin which other parties claimed exacerbated contaminant plumes.
Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System ("LACERS") v. Connecticut General (USDC Central District, California 2006)
Represented the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System in a dispute with its former health insurer regarding the proper treatment of reserves for incurred but not reported (IBNR) claims at policy termination and whether or not there was a reconciliation agreement for such reserves. Successfully resisted the insurer's motion for summary judgment even after the court issued a tentative ruling in the insurer's favor. Obtained settlement that recovered a significant portion of IBNR reserves withheld by the insurer.
Casmalia Resources v. Industrial Indemnity et al.(Los Angeles County Superior Court 2003)
Represented Casmalia Resources, the prior owner of California's second largest Class I toxic waste disposal site near Santa Maria, California, in an insurance coverage suit. Obtained summary adjudication establishing the insurance carriers' duty to defend despite pollution exclusions. The court's decision was one of only two decisions favorable to policyholders before the Supreme Court's decision in Montrose. (See 7 Mealey's Lit. Reports - Insurance at 3 (May 25, 1993) and at 9 (July 1, 1993))
Chemstar v. Liberty Mutual Ins., 797 F. Supp. 1541 (C.D. Cal. 1992), aff'd 41 F.3d 429 (9th Cir. 1994)
Represented an insured in a multi-party coverage action relating to construction defects that included issues under a retrospective premium plan. Obtained a favorable settlement recovering improperly charged premiums for the client.
Contemporary Services Corp. v. National Union Ins. Co., et al. (United States District Court, Central District of California 1994)
Represented the plaintiff policyholder, a security business specializing in crowd control at major sports events and entertainment venues, in obtaining a defense for unfair competition and defamation claims through a settlement and a fee arbitration under Civil Code Section 2860.