John Roddy Named to 2020 Lawyers of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly


Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has named BG Partner John Roddy a 2020 Lawyer of the Year in recognition of his work representing those affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in Lawrence, Massachusetts. John led a team of lawyers appointed by Massachusetts Superior Court Judge James F. Lang to represent the class of people and businesses in greater Lawrence, Massachusetts who were devastated by the Columbia Gas disaster.

As co-lead counsel, John spearheaded the pleadings, briefing, and negotiation which ultimately resulted in a “historic” $143 million class action settlement providing significant compensation to victims of the September 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions caused by Columbia Gas. The settlement was crafted over six months of mediated negotiations. The court praised the settlement’s design, noting that “the majority of compensation will appropriately go to those who are most adversely impacted by the event, those in or near the impact zone. “

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly also recognized John for his work representing a class of Uber riders for whom he and his co-counsel secured a $3 million settlement with Uber after it charged riders to Logan Airport a bogus $8.75 “Massport surcharge” —Massport had no such fee. The trial court dismissed the case based on Uber’s arbitration clause. But John, along with BG Partner Elizabeth Ryan and appellate co-counsel Matt Wessler prevailed at the First Circuit, which found the arbitration clause so inconspicuous that it could not bind a reasonable consumer. The $3 million Uber settlement represented 80% of the maximum damages available.

In addition to these cases, John represents consumers in class actions challenging unfair and deceptive business practices, and serves as relator’s counsel in qui tam “whistleblower” actions. In the last two decades the settlements in cases he has litigated have returned more than $1 billion to consumers harmed by marketplace misconduct.


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