After 18 years as a trial lawyer practicing predominately in the defense of personal injury, product defect and complex consumer litigation, Kirk Wolden’s desire to work exclusively for those seriously injured led him pursue a practice dedicated exclusively to the representation of plaintiffs. Starting in 2005, he was a trial attorney, and Class Action and Mass Torts Department lead attorney for a Sacramento plaintiffs’ firm. In March 2013, Kirk established Carter Wolden Curtis, LLP, with Clifford Carter and Lance Curtis. Currently, Mr. Wolden represents plaintiffs in class actions, and in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.
- Kirk Wolden is Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (2014)
- B.A. U.C. Santa Cruz (1984)
- J.D. Hastings College of the Law (1988)
- Post-J.D. international studies at University of Melbourne (1990-1991); University of Auckland (1991)
- Supreme Court of California State Bar (1988)
- High Court of New Zealand (1991)
- High Court of Australia (1992)
- Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory (1991)
- Supreme Court of Queensland (Aus) (1992)
- Capitol City Trial Lawyers
- Consumer Attorneys of California (State-wide Board Member 2010-2013)
- Public Justice
- American Association of Justice
July 2017 – $24.9 Million Verdict
Solomon Mathenge, et al v. Nissan North America, Inc.
On August 29, 2012, Solomon Mathenge drove his 2004 Infiniti QX56 through a Hollywood intersection against a red light when, according to Solomon, his brakes failed to engage. The resulting broadside collision with a van, resulted in the deaths of the van’s three occupants, a mother and her two small children. Solomon himself was also almost killed. After LAPD investigators inspected the vehicle and found nothing wrong with it, Solomon was charged with three counts of aggravated vehicular manslaughter. Shortly before a criminal trial that would have likely sent him to prison for several years, the prosecuting LA District Attorney learned about a claim Mr. Wolden had been involved with which alleged a hidden braking performance-related computer software bug defect in Solomon’s vehicle. In December 2014, after learning of Solomon’s plight, Mr. Wolden was honored to undertake his representation in the civil wrongful death action filed against Solomon. Using sophisticated, proprietary equipment from the software’s supplier, Wolden and the lawyers representing the family of the deceased retrieved a code from the badly damaged QX56’s remote electronic memory which confirmed an event consistent with the software bug defect. Wolden worked with criminal prosecutors and the court to secure a dismissal of the criminal charges in December 2016. And, in June 2017 Solomon and the family of those killed in the collision, together, took their civil claims to trial against the QX56’s manufacturer, Nissan. On July 21, 2017, the jury returned a $24.9 million product defect and failure to recall verdict against Nissan. Mathenge personally was awarded $3.5 million, and was finally vindicated of responsibility for the horrific crash that took three innocent lives, and decimated his own.
Other notable verdicts and settlements include:
- $9 million verdict in contested liability collision between a truck and motorcycle
- $3.7 million verdict in truck versus car wrongful death case
- $2.4 million verdict in traumatic brain injury case
- $1 million verdict in federal motor vehicle rescission case insurance rescission case
- $18.5 million settlement of product defect case resulting in quadriplegia
- $3.5 million settlement of traumatic brain injury case against County defendant
After years of representing defendants in class actions, Kirk Wolden’s first foray into the representation of class plaintiffs came in In re Vytorin Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, MDL 1938, in which he acted as counsel for one of the named California class representatives. In 2011, Kirk was appointed Class Counsel in Keilholtz v. Lennox, a national consumer class action in the Northern District of California which settled for the benefit of the owners of approximately 600,000 dangerously defective gas fireplaces. Kirk’s noteworthy class action results also include the following:
- In re Google Gmail Privacy Litigation—National Liaison Counsel in a federal and state wiretapping case brought against Google alleging Google’s serial interception, extraction and use of email content. Case settled.
- Diamond v. Google—Co-lead counsel in a similar wiretapping case brought in California state court under California law for California non-Gmail users. Motion to Certify pending. Case settled. Mr. Wolden appointed Co-Class Counsel.
- Banks v. Nissan—Co-lead class counsel for a class of approximately 240,000 owners of 2004-2008 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles suffering from braking safety defect. Case settled. Mr. Wolden appointed Co-Class Counsel.
- Rotandi v. Miles Industries—Co-lead class counsel in this recently settled class action. Mr. Wolden represents over 32,000 owners of hazardous gas fireplaces manufactured by a Canadian company. Case settled. Mr. Wolden appointed Co-Class Counsel.
In the mass torts area, Kirk Wolden represented scores of plaintiffs in the record $4.85 billion dollar settlement in the Vioxx litigation. In 2009, he successfully represented groups of plaintiffs in pharmaceutical litigation relating to the injurious side effects of Mirapex, a prescription drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as two anti-inflammatory drugs Bextra and Celebrex. In July 2009, Kirk was appointed 1 of 7 members of the national Steering Committee in MDL 2051, In Re Denture Cream Product Liability Litigation. His work assisted in the resolution of hundreds of cases involving serious neurological injury, including more than 20 of his firm’s clients who suffered devastating injuries from zinc poisoning. He has also represented plaintiffs in mass torts involving drugs and medical devices including: Avandia, Fosamax, Chantix, Fleet, tainted Heparin, Medtronic’s Spring Fidelis defibrillator leads, and Yaz.
Kirk Wolden was born in Modesto, California in 1962. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1984. While there, he was awarded the Presidents’ Undergraduate Fellowship for his work in jury and courtroom dynamics. He graduated from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, CA in 1988. During this time, Kirk was the judicial Extern to Justice William Todd in the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Division One. After passing the California Bar in 1988, Kirk worked briefly in Stockton, California for Neumiller & Beardslee. In 2000, he moved to Australia where he practiced as a barrister and solicitor until 1994. Wolden returned to California in 1994. Kirk worked as an associate and then partner in one of two small complex litigation firms, and as trial attorney for a large plaintiff’s firm, before opening his own firm in March 2013.
Mr. Wolden and his wife of 27 years, Jennifer, reside in Roseville, California their three of their four children, Ingrid, Zara and William. The fourth, Bridget, attends Sydney University in Australia. Outside of work, his passions revolve around his family and guitars of the electric variety. Kirk admires soccer, tennis and baseball and those who play them well.