Saturday, February 24, 2007

Passing of Class Action Expert David Berger

Article in the Chicago Tribune -- Class-Action Lawsuit Pioneer Berger Dies.  Here's an excerpt:

David Berger, a class-action lawsuit pioneer who won major cases in the Three Mile Island nuclear accident as well as disputes with oil companies, has died. He was 94.

Berger died Thursday at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., from complications of pneumonia, said one of his sons, Jonathan Berger.

In 1971, he filed a nationwide class-action suit against all major oil companies, demanding that service station operators get the right to sell any brand of gasoline. In a 1984 settlement, his 50,000 clients won that right along with $37 million in damages.

"He was a bright, bright lawyer," said Richard A. Sprague, a prominent Philadelphia criminal attorney who practiced with Berger in the 1970s. "The world didn't realize the potential of class-action litigation until Dave Berger came along."

He helped win $25 million for people who lived near the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant following the partial meltdown at the plant in March 1979. He also won $5 million for a public health fund to study the effects of low-level radiation exposure they had experienced.


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