Ross M. Petty

Ross focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on defending products liability and health effects claims.

What do you focus on?

For two decades I have represented large and small businesses across a wide range of industries, including energy companies, vehicle manufacturers, contractors, distributors and property owners. A significant part of my work includes national strategy and coordination of mass tort personal injury litigation.

From trials to appeals, I defend a variety of health effects and property damage claims, including asbestos, silica, mold and catastrophic accidents. I also have substantial experience in insurance coverage matters related to health effects and environmental damage claims.

What do you see on the horizon?

The green chemistry movement continues to build steam. Five years in the making, California’s green chemistry regulations are moving toward implementation. This broad regulatory scheme could have a significant impact on any company selling consumer goods in California, including requiring the reformulation of products determined to contain hazardous chemicals.


  • “Uphill Battle for Bisphenol A Claims?” Law 360, February 12, 2009 (Ross M. Petty)
  • “California Supreme Court Clarifies Limits On Recovery of Medical Expenses in Tort Actions,” Nixon Peabody Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation Alert, August 23, 2011 (Lauren M. Michals and Ross M. Petty)
  • “Green Chem Regs—Coming to Products Near You?” Law 360, January 25, 2011 (Lauren M. Michals and Ross M. Petty)
  • “Spoliation and the Testing of Returned Product—Ethical and Practical Issues,” Defense Research Institute Seminar Course Book, Drug and Medical Device Litigation, April 1999
  • “Reimbursement Disputes Can Be Avoided,” Business Insurance, September 1998

Representative Experience

  • Counseled Fortune 100 corporations on national strategy and coordination in defending asbestos-related personal injury litigation.
  • Defended product manufacturers, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, distributors, construction contractors, and premises owners in hundreds of asbestos and silica exposure personal injury cases.
  • Defended chemical manufacturer in polybutylene tubing case brought by municipal water utility.
  • Defended chemical manufacturer in mold exposure personal injury and property damage cases related to plastic tubing used in plumbing systems.
  • Defended aerospace contractor in catastrophic injury cases involving high grade explosives.
  • Represented vehicle repair facilities related to insurance coverage for alleged environmental damage at CERCLA Superfund site.


Ross M. Petty


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8382

Fax: 866-294-5789

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., Assistant Comment Editor, Pacific Law Journal, 1992-93; Comment Staff Writer, Pacific Law Journal, 1991-92)

University of California, Los Angeles, B.S.


U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Ross was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 and 2021 in the field of Commercial Litigation.

Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
Bar Association of San Francisco
Alameda County Bar Association, Lawyer in the Library Program

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