After 18 years as a trial lawyer practicing predominately in the defense of personal injury, product defect and complex consumer litigation including class actions, Kirk Wolden’s desire to work for those seriously injured in their pursuit of justice led him to a practice representing exclusively plaintiffs. Starting in 2005, he was the head of the Class Action and Mass Torts Department and a senior trial lawyer for a Sacramento plaintiffs’ firm. In March 2013, Mr. Wolden 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.
After years of representing defendants in class actions, Mr. 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, Mr. Wolden was appointed Class Counsel in Keilholtz v. Lennox, a national consumer class action in the Northern District of California which settled on behalf of the owners of over approximately 600,000 dangerously defective gas fireplaces. Mr. Wolden’scurrent class practice includes the following notable examples:
- 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. Motion to Certify pending. Mr. Wolden has been nominated to act as Co-Class Counsel.
- 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. Mr. Wolden has been nominated to act as Co-Class Counsel.
- Banks v. Nissan—Co-lead class counsel for a class of approximately 100,000 owners of 2004-2008 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles suffering from braking safety defect. Motion to Certify has been granted with formal written order pending.
- Rotandi v. Miles Industries—Co-lead class counsel in this recently settled class action. Mr. Wolden represents over 32,000 owners of hazardous gas fireplacesmanufactured by a Canadian company. Final approval of the settlement set for January 2014.
In the mass torts area, Mr. Wolden represented scores of plaintiffs in the record 4.85 billion dollar settlement in the Vioxx litigation. In 2009, he successfully represented groups of plaintiff in pharmaceuticallitigation relating to the injurious side effects of a prescription drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease as well as two anti-inflammatory drugs Bextra and Celebrex. In July 2009, Mr. Wolden was appointed one of seven 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 own personal 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, taintedHeparin, Medtronic’s Spring Fidelis defibrillator leads, and Yaz.
Mr. Wolden also maintains a significant personal injury practice. He regularly tries cases for injured plaintiffs. In the last few years, his notable verdicts and settlements include:
- $7.2 million verdict in contested liability collision between a truck and motorcycle
- $3.7 million verdict in truck versus car wrongful death case
- $2.7 million verdict in traumatic brain injury case
- $1 million dollar 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
Mr. 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, Mr. Wolden 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, Mr Wolden work briefly in Stockton, California for Neumiller & Beardslee where he was second chair in the successful defense of his clients in the ten month federal trial in the noted case, FDIC v. Main Hurdman, et al. in the Eastern District of California. He then moved to Australia where he studied comparative law at the University of Melbourne and University of Auckland, New Zealand practicing as a barrister and solicitor in Australia until 1994 when he returned to California. For the next ten years, Mr. Wolden worked as an associate and then partner in one of two small complex litigation firms. Mr. Wolden returned to his native Central Valley for good in 1997.
Mr. Wolden and his wife of twenty four years, Jennifer, reside in Roseville, California their four children, Bridget, Ingrid, Zara and William. Outside of work, his passions revolve around his family and guitars of the electric variety. He admires golf, tennis and baseball and those who play them well.