Hanson Bridgett Secures Major Victory for Long-Time Clients in Virtual Trial

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March 18, 2021 (San Francisco, CA) – After nearly seven years of litigation, Hanson Bridgett LLP recently achieved a significant trial victory in a complex class action for the firm's long-time clients, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District (District) and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA).

This victory was remarkable not only for the many complex twists and turns throughout the trial of this class action and writ, but also because it was the first virtual trial in San Francisco Superior Court and one of just a few nationwide at the time.

The litigation team, led by Hanson Bridgett Partner Alexandra Atencio, who heads the firm's Public Sector Litigation Practice, obtained a complete defense verdict for the District and BATA against a certified class alleging that BATA and the District violated the class’ due process rights in administering and operating the Bay Area’s FasTrak electronic toll collection program and, in particular, the All-Electronic Toll program on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Court awarded only minor administrative remedies against the District to two individual Plaintiffs and a total of $2 to those Plaintiffs to be paid by a co-Defendant. This case spanned nearly seven years and would have dragged on longer if the Plaintiffs decided to appeal the verdict. To avoid further expenditure of time and cost to both public entities, Atencio successfully negotiated a post-judgment settlement of all issues, including a waiver of any appeal.

"So many of our talented attorneys worked on this case over its long life. I am tremendously proud of their efforts, and of this outcome for our valued clients," Atencio said. "To obtain a victory in this extremely complex case that challenged the very way the agencies do business and to have done it through a completely virtual trial in the midst of a global pandemic is remarkable."

Trial began in December 2019 in San Francisco Superior Court, was postponed until early March 2020, and was suspended after two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, the trial resumed and was completed virtually.

The team assisting Atencio included attorneys Megan Oliver Thompson, Laurel O'Connor, David Casarrubias, Simran Mahal, and Geoff Pittman, along with support staff including Stephanie McCasey, Venisa Carter, Kate Bendick, Ambra Jackson, Tanya Williams, and Jennifer Montane-Falgout. Hanson Bridgett's IT team stepped up to assist the trial team for the all-virtual portion of the trial and many others also assisted throughout the long life of the case, including Kimon Manolius, Alexander Berline, Paul Mello, Gary Watt, Larry Cirelli, Matthew Peck, and Candice Shih.

About Hanson Bridgett LLP

Founded in 1958, Hanson Bridgett is a multidisciplinary law firm with 190 attorneys throughout the state. Our clients range from multinational Fortune 500 corporations to individuals which we serve in transactions around the world. We are a certified B Corp and are socially responsible members of our communities. Our firm is driven by a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, charitable giving, pro bono legal work, and hands-on service.

For More Information

Brandi Hewlett
Marketing Project Manager
Hanson Bridgett LLP
425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105