Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award Recipients

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Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award Recipients 

The Sharp Public Service Award is presented annually to attorneys and clients whose cases tell the story of American civil justice and help educate state and national policy makers and the public about the importance of consumers’ rights. This award is named for Steven J. Sharp of Richland, Oregon who lost both arms at the age of 17 because of a defective tractor hay baler. The tractor manufacturer knew one person had been mangled and another decapitated by this defectively designed product. Company executives did nothing, however, even though a small, 70-cent part would have fixed the problem.  At the time of Steven's case, legislation was pending that would have barred him from taking his case against the manufacturer to court. He spoke out to show lawmakers how legislation to limit access to the courts would deprive people like him of justice.  Steven's case had a positive effect on Capitol Hill and ultimately led to the defeat of this unfair legislation.

  • 2010 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Larry Coben and client Jeremy Warriner, recognized for their advocacy on behalf of victims injured by defective vehicles who had their claims extinguished by the bankruptcies of Chrysler and GM. Also receiving the award was Keith D. Jones, recognized for his efforts in lobbying congress about the inadequate remedies provided by the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and advocating for proper compensation for victims of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

  • 2009 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys Richard Rubin and David Frederick, and their client Diana Levine, recognized for their Supreme Court victory against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which increased the ability of patients throughout the country to hold drug manufacturers accountable for the safety of their products.

  • 2008 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Ray Boucher, and their client Manny Vega, recognized for their role in helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse expose their offenders through litigation and pushing the California state legislature to pass a bill that created a one-year window for all sexual abuse claims against any institution that allowed abuse to occur.

  • 2007 Sharp Award Recipients

    Brent Coon and Eva Rowe Honored with The Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award

  • 2006 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Carlene Rhodes Lewis, posthumously recognized for her crucial role in exposing the dangers of the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx. Also receiving this award were her clients Carol Ernst and Louise Bell, both of whom sought legal counsel to hold the manufacturer accountable.

  • 2005 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Richard R. Ruggieri and his client, Brandon Maxfield, recognized for bringing a landmark case against “Saturday Night Special” gun manufacturer Bryco Arms.

  • 2004 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Michael Abourezk, his co-counsels Michael White, Peter Kahana, and Richard Friedman, and their client, Kay Bergonzi, a breast cancer survivor and single mother, recognized for their fight on behalf of all the cancer patients shortchanged by Central States Health & Life Company of Omaha (CSO).

  • 2003 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys Glen H. Johnson and Gregory A. Eiesland, Rapid City, S.D, and their clients, Martin, S.D., residents Vernon and Shawnna Gardner, recognized for their roles in pushing for greater patient safety to prevent incidents of medical malpractice.

  • 2002 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Laura R. Rose, Martinsburg, West Virginia, and her client -- the village of Blairton, West Virginia -- recognized for their role in ensuring that a multi-million-dollar corporation did not shut off water service to Blairton and remove residents from their homes.

  • 2001 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Joe Nicholson was among a group of attorneys recognized for their role in helping to substantially advance the knowledge of the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire catastrophe that led to the recall of millions of Firestone Tires in  August of 2000.

  • 2000 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorney Elizabeth Kuniholm of Raleigh, North Carolina, and her 15 clients involved in a case against an HMO doctor recognized for exposing the exploitative and abusive actions of the physician.

  • 1999 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys René Haas and David Perry of Corpus Christi, Tex., and client John Caballero of Victoria, Tex., recognized for their roles in improving safety in the workplace and encouraging responsible corporate decision making.

  • 1998 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys Brian D. Monaghan and Sherry Bahrambeygui of San Diego, California, and their client Thomas W. Self, M.D., and attorney Jeffrey P. Foote of Portland, Oregon, and his client Linda McCathern recognized for "making sure that our state and national policymakers fully understand what's at stake when corporations and the medical and insurance industries push for radical liability limits and other changes that limit the legal rights of all Americans."

  • 1997 Sharp Award Recipients

    Attorneys Stanley M. Chesley, Terrence Goodman and Theresa Groh of Ohio and client Lola Reinhart, attorney Michael D. Padilla of California and clients Kathy and Scott Olsen, and attorneys John Edwards and David Kirby of North Carolina and clients Sandy and David Lakey recognized for work to "assure that our state and national policymakers fully understand what's at stake when corporations and the medical and insurance industries push for radical liability limits and other changes that limit our legal rights."

Inaugural Award (January 1997)

Attorney Bill Manning of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and his client Steven J. Sharp

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