Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho (“GBDH”) has been in the forefront of the struggle for civil rights and workers’ rights since 1972, evolving into one of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ class action law firms devoted to the protection of the interests of workers, consumers, and others who are subjected to discrimination and abuse.
David Borgen, who has been Of Counsel since 2016, started the firm’s wage and hour practice in the late 1990’s and current named partner Laura L. Ho joined the firm in 1998 to help grow the new practice area. Together with Linda M. Dardarian and other members of the firm, they have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid wages for workers in California and the United States, including from IBM ($65 million settlement for technical workers), Oracle ($35 million settlement for technical employees), Countrywide ($30 million settlement for loan officers), Siebel ($27.5 million settlement for software engineers), Automotive Club of Southern California ($19.5 million settlement for salespeople), and Sysco ($18 million settlement for delivery drivers).
Ms. Dardarian pioneered the firm’s disability rights practice, which she started in 1994. Since then the firm has represented hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities all over the country, expanding their rights to fully and equally participate in mainstream social, economic, and civic life. Some of the firm’s groundbreaking achievements include Willits v. City of Los Angeles, requiring the City of Los Angeles to spend more than $2 billion to make its pedestrian right of way accessible to residents and visitors with mobility disabilities, and Nevarez v. Forty Niners Football Co., requiring upgrades to Levi’s Stadium and its surrounding sidewalks and creating a $24 million damages fund for visitors with mobility disabilities who had been denied full and equal enjoyment of the Stadium during sporting events and concerts. GBDH’s award-winning efforts on behalf of the firm’s clients have also resulted in the installation of talking ATMs for persons with visual impairments nationwide; accessible patient rooms, exam tables and diagnostic equipment at a major California hospital chain for people with mobility disabilities; accessible curb ramps in major cities along the West Coast; talking pedestrian signals throughout San Francisco; and talking pill bottles for blind patients at major hospital and pharmacy chains across the country.
Along with Of Counsel, Morris J. Baller, Ms. Ho has helped lead GBDH’s award wining voting rights practice, which has garnered significant changes to local election systems throughout California. Their work was recently highlighted in California’s Top Boutique Law Firms by the Daily Journal.
The firm also maintains an active consumer law practice, protecting consumer rights in myriad facets of everyday life – including challenging unlawful automatic renewal subscriptions, excessive airline fees, privacy violations, and illegal housing costs.
GBDH has had a long history of winning landmark discrimination cases. Firm highlights include a case begun by Of Counsel Barry Goldstein against the Shoney’s Restaurant chain that culminated in a $137 million settlement that created jobs and promotional opportunities for African American employees; Kraszewski v. State Farm, 38 FEP Cases 197 (N.D. Cal. 1985), which culminated in a $250 million settlement and increased the number of female State Farm agents in California from the single agent at the time the suit was filed to over 50% of the agent workforce; Home Depot, a settlement that provided for a $87 million class damages fund and innovative programs designed to increase the hiring and promotion of women in what was then a traditionally male dominated company; Ridgeway v. Denny’s a race discrimination case which resulted in the then-largest public accommodations class action settlement in the history of Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, requiring Denny’s to pay $34.8 million to patrons who had been denied service because they are Black, and requiring employee training and investigation of customer complaints; and McClain v. Lufkin Industries, obtaining $14 million and extensive injunctive relief after a trial in the district court and multiple appeals to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2022, GBDH celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The firm continues its commitment to enforcing state and federal laws designed to protect individuals from abuses in the work place and beyond through class action and complex litigation. See details about our current cases.
More information about GBDH’s history can be found in the following materials:
- California’s Top Boutique Law Firms by the Daily Journal
- National Lawyers Guild Honors Partners’ Three Decades of Leadership, San Francisco Daily Journal, April 2, 2008
- The Denny’s Story: How a Company in Crisis Resurrected Its Good Name, Adamson, J. (Wiley & Sons: 2000)
- The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire, Watkins, Steve (1997)