Thomas Vincent Girardi (born June 3, 1939) is a founding partner of Girardi & Keese, a downtown Los Angeles law firm.
In 1970, Girardi became the first attorney in the state of California to win a $1 billion-plus award for a medical malpractice case. Girardi has handled major cases against the former Lockheed Corp (now the Lockheed Martin Corp.), Pacific Gas & Electric Co, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Hollywood's seven major movie studios.
In one of his better known cases against Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility company agreed to pay $333 million to 650 residents of the desert community of Hinkley, California. The residents blamed incidents of cancer and other diseases on contaminated water leaked from a gas pumping station. This case was the inspiration for the film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts.
In another high-profile matter, Girardi was among a group of lawyers who attempted to enforce in U.S. courts a $489 million default judgment entered by a court in Nicaragua, allegedly against Dole Food and Shell Chemicals based on the effects of the pesticide, DBCP, upon exposed workers. The U.S. courts found that Girardi and others had submitted a translation of the pertinent Nicaraguan documents that was flawed in crucial respects. Girardi and others were formally reprimanded and their law firm was fined for violation of their duty of candor to the courts.
Girardi graduated from Loyola High School (Los Angeles) in 1957. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1961, his LL.B. from Loyola Law School in 1964, and an LLM from New York University in 1965.
Girardi is married to dancer, singer Erika Jayne, cast member of television's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.