Christopher P. Bisgaard

Partner

  • location icon Los Angeles, CA
    633 West 5th Street
    Suite 4000
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

Christopher Bisgaard is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation. Mr. Bisgaard focuses his practice on major civil litigation with a very heavy emphasis on toxic tort and environmental law, including CEQA matters. He has been involved in many of the major environmental litigations in Southern California for nearly thirty years.

Mr. Bisgaard's experience includes:

  • Representation of public entities, including the City of Beverly Hills, the City of Los Angeles, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the Board of Airport Commissioners for Los Angeles, World Airways, and the County of Orange
  • CERCLA litigation and counseling, both in connection with defending clients against governmental cleanup actions and in cost recovery cases against former owners of clients' property

Legal Experience

  • Lead trial counsel for the Stringfellow parties in all of the Federal and State court actions involving the Stringfellow Class 1 Hazardous Waste Site. The "Stringfellow case" was one of the earliest Superfund cases brought by the United States and has been one of the highest profile CERCLA cases in the country since 1983. Acted as one of three lead trial counsel in two Federal court trials conducted in 1989 and 1992. Successful in having the site's owner/operator found to have zero percentage of responsibility under state law claims (with the State of California being found to be 100 percent responsible). Lead trial counsel for the Stringfellow parties in both the Newman v. Stringfellow and Austin v. Stringfellow state court actions. These cases involved the claims of literally thousands of residents living in the area of the Stringfellow site.     
  • Lead trial counsel for the City of Beverly Hills in defending the City against claims brought by former students at Beverly Hills High School who claimed they had suffered personal injuries as a result of being exposed to contamination from oil wells located on the high school campus.  A judgment of dismissal was entered in favor of the City following a successful motion for summary judgment.    
  • Lead trial counsel for the Oxnard Shores defendants in a massive toxic tort case filed in Ventura County by homeowners who bought property built over a former oil field disposal area. The case was originally brought by 175 plaintiffs in certain consolidated actions. The case proceeded to trial against the non-settling plaintiffs. The matter was tried to a defense verdict in the longest civil jury trial in Ventura County history. The landmark case of Cottle v. Superior Court arose out of this matter. It is the leading reported appellate case requiring plaintiffs to establish a prima facie case of medical causation before they can proceed to trial in a toxic tort case.
  • Represented Stanford University in a successful cost recovery case against a major petroleum company.
  • Represented Sumitomo Chemical Company in a massive toxic tort/product liability action brought by hundreds of flight attendants and pilots claiming personal injuries as a result of exposure to pesticides used to kill mosquitos on airplanes traveling to and from certain foreign countries. The case was eventually dismissed by plaintiffs following the court granting a Cottle motion.
  • Lead trial counsel for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles in a number of lawsuits brought by residents of the William Mead Homes wherein claims are made that the residents suffered personal injuries, including cancers, as a result of exposure to chemicals in the soil.
  • Lead trial counsel for Watt Industries in the toxic tort cases brought on behalf of hundreds of residents living adjacent to the BKK landfill in West Covina, California. The case was settled on the eve of trial after years of pretrial preparation and motions.           
  • Represented the County of Orange with respect to its closed landfills and claims related to them. This has included defending the County against cost recovery actions and toxic tort litigations. It has also involved a substantial amount of work with regulatory agencies, including prosecuting an appeal to the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Represented The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, California in a number of CEQA matters, including:
  • The Los Angeles Conservancy v. The City of Los Angeles, et al. This matter involved the efforts by Petitioner to prevent the demolition of the St. Vibiana's Cathedral without a full Environmental Impact Report being conducted. We were retained after the Petitioner had obtained a TRO against the demolition and our role was primarily directed to the issue of attorney's fees and costs.
  • The Spirit of the Sage Council, et al., v. The City of Los Angeles, et al. This matter was brought by certain Native American petitioners challenging the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's development of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Issues raised included CEQA, land use and First Amendment rights. The decision of the trial court in favor of the respondents was upheld on appeal.

Admissions

California

Associations

  • Former President of the Board of Trustees of Flintridge Preparatory School
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee
  • American Bar Association- Litigation and Environmental Law Sections

Awards & Honors

Named one of the 100 most prominent business attorneys in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles Business Journal

Education

University of California at Los Angeles School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1972

University of Southern California

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1969

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