Rod J. Cappy is Of Counsel in Selman Breitman’s Los Angeles office and is a member of the firm’s Toxic Tort/Environmental, Trucking and Transportation, Products Liability, and General Liability practice groups. Rod represents manufacturers and suppliers of construction materials in cases arising out of exposure to asbestos and toxic substances; trucking companies in transportation and cargo matters; corporations in automotive product liability litigation; and food companies in food-related matters.

Rod’s extensive experience in Products Liability matters provides him with a unique ability to handle all matters in his field. Over the years, Rod has worked as Regional Counsel for Chrysler, handling automotive product liability cases, has taken lead in well over one thousand depositions, and has been involved in numerous trials involving automotive, trucking, component parts and toxic tort matters. 

Rod's legal skills are widely respected, and Super Lawyers has selected him as one of the top 5% of attorneys in his field. Due to his impressive record of litigation successes, he has been asked to give presentations on how to properly prepare for a deposition, deposition questioning, common mistakes made in a deposition, and issues relating to expert depositions and Kennemur issues.

Rod is originally from the Detroit area and resides in Sherman Oaks, California. When not helping clients with their legal needs he spends his time traveling all over the world, collecting and drinking wine, hiking and playing bad tennis.

Representative Matters
Mass/Toxic Tort

  • Represented various manufacturers and suppliers of construction materials in cases alleging toxic exposure to asbestos. Many cases resulted in an early dismissal of the client after depositions were taken, while others resulted in favorable settlements well before trial.
  • Participated as part of a defense team in securing an unanimous defense verdict, in proving that plaintiff's claim that he purchased asbestos-containing brake parts from the defendant was false.
  • Dismissal was obtained of a friction defendant in an asbestos case, despite the fact the defendant was identified during plaintiff's deposition, based upon research that plaintiff could not have purchased the alleged asbestos-containing product from the defendant.

Litigation

  • As co-defense counsel, obtained a defense verdict in a month-long fire case in Superior Court.
  • Attorneys' fees and costs of over $1,000,000 were obtained against plaintiff for a car manufacturer after a defense verdict, as a result of proving up requests for admissions that were not deemed admitted, and as a result of plaintiff not beating defendant's 998 offer.
  • Summary judgment was obtained for various car manufacturers in air bag, crashworthiness and component part cases, based upon issues ranging from a lack of a manufacturing or design defect to causation.
  • Favorable settlement was obtained five times under medicals in an admitted liability case after proving that plaintiff's claimed injury occurred before the subject incident occurred.
  • Received over $100,000 in a breach of contract action involving cargo stolen from a truck yard.
  • Settlement of under $100,000 was obtained for a trucking manufacturer while defendant's motion for summary judgment was pending, in a brain damage case involving an 8-year-old who had over $4,000,000 in medical specials.
  • Serving as co-trial counsel, obtained an unanimous defense verdict in Superior Court in a six-week rollover quadriplegic case.
  • Very favorable settlement of personal injury claim against a popular racetrack was obtained after the jury submitted questions during deliberations suggesting that a defense verdict was likely.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Truck Industry Defense Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

Awards

  • Super Lawyers: 2011-2019
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell

Bar Admission

  • California, 1988
  • Nevada, 1993
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California

Education

Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, J.D., 1988

Florida State University, B.S., Cum Laude, 1985

Major: Political Science