Meet Our Team

Barbara S. Hodous


Barbara S. Hodous is a partner with Berkes Crane Santana & Spangler LLP. She received her B.A. in political science from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She received her J.D. from University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Ms. Hodous has practiced for over thirty years as trial and appellate counsel in a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including insurance coverage litigation involving “long tail” claims such as construction defect, asbestos or hazardous waste liability and insurance bad faith; probate and trust litigation such as will contests, representing, among others, various religious organizations and other charities; wrongful termination claims; representation of dozens of automobile dealerships (everything from product liability claims to allegations of fraud, as well as employment matters). She has tried bench trials and jury trials, as well as arbitrations.

Ms. Hodous has also been appellate counsel on numerous cases, including in more recent years:

  • American Motorists, Inc. v. Thomson Inc., 2011 WL 380612, (involving choice of law principals as to hazardous waste sites)
  • Armstrong World Industries Inc. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Company, 45 Cal.App.4th 1 (1996) (involving trigger and scope of coverage for asbestos bodily injury and asbestos building cases)
  • Baek v. Continental Casualty Company, 2014 WL 4966020 __Cal.Rptr.3d__ (involving whether alleged sexual assault falls within the scope of employment or while performing duties related to business for purposes of named insured definition)
  • Collin v. CalPortland Company, 228 Cal.App.4th 582 (2014) (involving burden of proof regarding asbestos bodily injury claims)
  • Continental Insurance Company v. Rockwell Collins, Inc., 2013 WL 5651274 (involving equitable contribution issues where insured has indemnified an insurance company)
  • Fuller-Austin Insulation Company v. Highlands Insurance Company, 135 Cal.App.4th 958 (2006) (involving duties of excess insurers for asbestos claims under a section 524g bankruptcy plan)
  • Navcom Defense Electronics, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Company, 2011 WL 3435391 (involving coverage for post-policy acquisitions)
  • State of California v. Allstate Insurance Company, 45 Cal.4th 1008 (2009) (involving determination of relevant discharge and concurrent cause principles in context of “sudden and accidental” pollution exclusion)
  • State of California v. Continental Insurance Company, 55 Cal.4th 186 (2012) (involving allocation of damage and availability of stacking of limits in continuous property damage claim)
  • Thomson, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Company, 982 N.E.2d 4 (Ind. App. 2012) (involving insurance coverage for hazardous waste sites)
  • Montrose Chemical Corporation of California v. Superior Court, 14 Cal.App.5th 1306 (2017) (involving insurance coverage for hazardous waste site)
  • Montrose Chemical Corporation of California v. Superior Court, 9 Cal. 5th 215 (2020) (involving horizontal v. vertical exhaustion for purposes of excess policy attachment)
  • Foster Wheeler LLC v. Superior Court [Ghazanfarpour v. Certainteed, et al], case A151394 (July 7, 2017) (Petition for Writ of Mandate that resulted in the First District Court of Appeal ordering the trial court to apply Iranian law in an asbestos personal injury case)
  • State of California v. Continental Insurance Company,15 Cal.App.4th1017 (2017) (involving standards for awarding prejudgment interest)
  • Santa Fe Braun, Inc. v. Insurance Company of North America, 52 Cal.App. 5th 19 (2020) (involving vertical v. horizontal exhaustion at primary level and burden of proof regarding exhaustion)
  • Stephens v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 935 F.3d 852 (9th Cir. 2019) (involving standards for liability for alleged exposure to asbestos from parent and use of expert testimony in connection with exposure and causation)
  • Jack, et al v. DCo, et al, 837 Fed.Appx. 421 (9th Cir. Feb. 2021) (involving standards for liability for alleged exposure to asbestos from parent)
  • Piontkowski v. Fluor Enterprises, Inc., 2023 WL 4194533 (involving contractor liability for industrial accident and admissibility of expert testimony)