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Karen Sullivan has focused her practice for over 20 years on both product liability litigation ranging from consumer to industrial products and environmental litigation. She also has a proven track record in handling aviation, construction and general liability.

Throughout her career, she has successfully represented companies and businesses by way of obtaining favorable rulings on complex and innovative dispositive and discovery motions and securing numerous dismissals through creative defense strategies. Karen has extensive experience with law and motion practice and the handling of all phases of discovery (including expert intensive cases) in both complex and single party actions. She has established a thorough understanding of complex scientific and medical epidemiology and issues resulting in much success during mediation and trial.

Karen was a member of the trial team featured on the Daily Journal’s 2013 Top 20 Defense Verdicts for its win in the carbon dioxide exposure case of Gutierres v. Balch Petroleum, et al.

In her spare time, Karen enjoys snow-skiing, watching basketball and spending time with her husband and son.


  • Ramos v. Rust-Oleum – Summary judgment granted for product manufacturer based on bankruptcy order. 

  • Hensel Phelps v. Tremco – Summary judgment granted for the product manufacturer in a complex construction case where plaintiff alleged defects in a high rise condominium building. 

  • Gutierres v. Balch Petroleum, et al. – Obtained a defense verdict for a general engineering contractor after a five-week jury trial involving claims of exposure to carbon monoxide and other exhaust fumes.

  • Sacoy v. Rust-Oleum – Summary judgment granted in favor of a leading manufacturer of specialty paints and coatings involving allegations of suffering a catastrophic brain injury resulting from a ladder fall. Client prevailed on failure to warn claim regarding its product due to preemption and since the plaintiff did not rely on the client’s warnings. 

  • Garcia-Singer v. Does 1 thru 100, et al. – Demurrer granted for a spray paint and chemical product manufacturing company in a solvent exposure case, which led to a dismissal with prejudice. 

  • Billing v. Akzo Nobel Paints LLC, et al. – Obtained summary adjudication of claims for punitive damages, breach of implied warranty, and negligence per se for a protective paint and coating manufacturing company in a case involving alleged chemical exposure. 

  • Sample v. Flint Ink Corporation, et al. – Obtained summary adjudication of a spouse’s claim, and the punitive damages claim, in a case involving alleged exposure to printing chemicals. 

  • Vega, et al. v. 3M Company, et al. – Summary judgment granted for a protective paint and coating manufacturing company in a case involving claimed exposure to printing chemicals. 


  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, JD, Traynor Honor Society, Advocacy Concentration and Am Jur in Civil Procedure, 2001
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, BA, 1997

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New Mexico

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • US District Courts of California—Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts