Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is nationally known for aggressive advocacy in complex litigation. The State of Hawai‘i selected the Galiher law firm to represent Hawai‘i taxpayers in the lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Our efforts resulted in a $1.38 billion settlement for Hawai‘i’s residents against the tobacco industry.
We can help.
The best Personal Injury Law Firms in the United States were selected
Our firm joined forces with the nation’s other preeminent personal injury law firms to hold the tobacco companies accountable in the United States legal system. The Galiher law firm’s close contacts with some of the best personal injury litigation firms in the nation greatly benefited Hawai‘i. We proudly represented the state of Hawai‘i in the lengthy and involved litigation with the tobacco industry.
The Master Settlement Agreement for Tobacco Manufacturers
In 1998, after extensive legal maneuvering, our firm helped Hawai‘i, 46 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia enter into a Master Settlement Agreement, a legal contract, with participating tobacco manufacturers. Presently, over 40 tobacco product manufacturers have signed the contract.
We held the Tobacco Industry accountable
Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman is not only proud at helping secure $1.38 billion to Hawai‘i residents, but is also pleased at ensuring that the tobacco industry adopted new restrictions and prohibitions in its practices. For example, the Master Settlement Agreement included restrictions on advertising, such as the use of cartoon and all advertising targeting youth, brand-name sponsorship of sporting and other events, and outdoor advertising.
Through the tobacco litigation on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i, the once accepted culture of smoking has been forever changed. We at the Galiher law firm are immensely proud to have been at the forefront of this lawsuit that will have long lasting effects on the health and welfare of the citizens of our state.
L. Richard DeRobertis
Partner & Lead Appellate Lawyer
L. Richard DeRobertis joined the firm in 1983 and serves as the lead appellate lawyer in the firm. Rick has helped to preserve and expand the legal rights of Hawai’i workers, mesothelioma victims and consumers, and represents them in court appeals against manufacturers and large corporations.Meet Rick
Born and raised in Hawai'i, Ilana Waxman joined the Galiher team in 2007 and focuses her practice on clients with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. She also represents the families of children born with birth defects due to chemical exposures, Hawai'i residents suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma as a result of Roundup exposure, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and other catastrophic injury cases.Meet Ilana
Born and raised in Hawaii, Allison Aoki attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and Keio University in Tokyo before returning to attend the University of Hawaii for law school. Her practice focuses on representing victims of asbestos disease, pesticide exposure, and other catastrophic injuries. She approaches every case with sensitivity and determination as she works to help local families seek justice.Meet Allison
Alyssa R. Segawa
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Alyssa Segawa’s practice concentrates on asbestos litigation, personal injury, product liability, Roundup litigation, appellate and federal practice matters. She has a particular interest in helping victims of mesothelioma seek justice through the legal system as her grandfather passed away from mesothelioma when she was 16.Meet Alyssa
Peter A. Kraus
Partner Peter Kraus focuses on toxic torts, whistleblower qui tam cases and pharmaceutical litigation. He has tried numerous asbestos, benzene exposure, and pharmaceutical cases including many multimillion-dollar verdicts and is an ardent supporter of consumer and victims’ rights.Meet Peter
Christopher L. Johnson
Chris Johnson represents plaintiffs involved in toxic tort and complex civil matters. He focuses on helping victims achieve justice after suffering catastrophic injuries from dangerous products and toxic substances. This includes people dealing with mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure.Meet Christopher
About Our Founder
Gary O. Galiher
Gary Galiher, the late founder of Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman, began practicing law in 1977 and started his own law firm the following year when he took on the first mesothelioma case in Hawai’i. We are proud to carry on his legacy, his personal commitment and his willingness to take on big organizations and companies on behalf of our clients.
Our Core Values
We take your case personally and put your needs first. That means you will receive individual attention from our attorneys who work as a team. We leverage our vast experience and resources to ensure you get the best possible results, even if that means going to court. No kou pono drives our resolve — everything we do is on your behalf. And at the end of the day, nothing is more important to us than honesty and integrity.
We fearlessly take on large companies on behalf of locals and win. With over $1 billion in recoveries our track record speaks for itself. For decades, we’ve negotiated substantial settlements, obtained successful verdicts at trial and have been successful at appeal.
No Recovery, No Fee
If there’s no recovery in your case, you will not
have to pay a fee. We handle everything on a
Mobilizing for Maui Fire Disaster Victims, Lahaina Emergency Response
The legal team and staff at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman are actively working with victims of the Maui Fire Disaster, as well as Hawai‘i community and aid organizations. Firm managing partner Ilana Waxman — who was born and raised on Maui — is working closely with the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, the Hawaii Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice to provide legal assistance to victims of the fire, which destroyed the city of Lahaina. Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman lawyers on the ground in Hawai‘i are also coordinating with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Lawyers Care Maui” fund to coordinate fundraising and legal assistance. Click here to learn more and donate to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong Fund.”Read More
The U.S. Never Banned Asbestos. These Workers are Paying the Price.
The stories about the dangers of asbestos exposure are horrifying and all too common: mesothelioma, lung, laryngeal and ovarian cancer, and ultimately death. But despite the well-known risks of the dangerous and deadly carcinogenic fibers, the United States still has not banned asbestos. While dozens of other countries have outlawed asbestos, the United States allows hundreds of tons each year from Brazil to benefit two major chemical companies, OxyChem and Olin Corp. The companies say asbestos is crucial to chlorine production and that their protocols for handling it keep workers safe from exposure. But those workers claim otherwise. More than a dozen former workers from OxyChem’s plant in Niagara Falls, New York, told ProPublica that asbestos dust hung in the air, collected on the beams and light fixtures and built up inches thick. Workers often were without protective suits or masks and the dust collected on their coveralls and boots. The Environmental Protection Agency and Congress accepted the companies’ claims that workers were safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration let the companies into a special program that limited the frequency of inspections at their plants, ProPublica reported. OxyChem declined ProPublica’s requests for an interview. The company said in a...Read More
Pesticides Linked to Climate Change, Despite Declining Efficacy
Pesticides are a key contributor to climate change – posing risks to the environment, public health, and food security – while their effectiveness is declining, according to a recent study. Developed by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), the study describes a vicious cycle: pesticides add emissions to the air that contribute to climate change, and as temperatures rise, so do the number of pests and insects. More insects encourage agricultural workers to use more pesticides. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that greenhouse gas emissions from pesticides are understudied and underestimated. The Environmental Impact of Pesticides Producing one kilogram of pesticides requires about 10 times more energy than one kilogram of nitrogen fertilizer, an agriculture chemical with known negative environmental impacts. Meanwhile, some pesticides like sulfuryl fluoride are themselves greenhouse gasses – emitting one ton of sulfuryl fluoride is equivalent to emitting nearly 5,000 tons of CO2. According to researchers, the issue is further complicated by oil and gas companies, which profit from pesticides. Ninety-nine percent of synthetic pesticides are derived from petroleum. Higher Demand, Questionable Efficacy As temperatures rise, crops become less resilient due to heat stress, changing rainfall patterns, and more pests. This leads to...Read More
Recognizing Symptoms of Mesothelioma: The Earlier, The Better
According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually. The current consensus is that mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium or lining of certain internal organs. There are three main types of mesothelioma to watch out for based on the location of the mesothelium affected: pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which attacks the membrane around the stomach; and the last type is located in the lining of the heart, known as pericardial mesothelioma. Each of these forms of mesothelioma has its own targeted set of symptoms to monitor. While mesothelioma may currently be incurable, it is possible to prolong survival and improve patients’ quality of life by managing their symptoms as long as they catch it early enough. The following addresses the types of the cancer and the question, what are the symptoms of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma’s symptoms such as chest pain, painful coughing or trouble swallowing, and shortness of breath can be expected for a disease that specifically affects lung tissue. Pleural mesothelioma may also come with unexplained weight loss, abnormal lumps on the chest area, or even swelling in the face or...Read More
Pesticides and Other Toxins Found in School Meals
More than 30 million school meals are served each school day to students throughout the United States. But how healthy are these meals? Moms Across America (MAA) recently published information about what’s in the food served to elementary and high school students, showing that these growing children probably aren’t getting what they need to sustain them through a day of school and might even be consuming harmful chemicals. What’s in Public School Meals? In September 2022, MAA, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring a healthy future for the nation’s children, published the test results of 43 school lunch samples collected by parents and students from public schools in 15 states. 95.3% contained the herbicide glyphosate, a suspected carcinogenic. 74% contained at least one of 29 harmful pesticides. 21% contained four veterinary drugs and hormones at high levels. 100% contained heavy metals at levels up to 6,293 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) maximum levels allowed in drinking water. In addition, most of the school lunch samples were found to be very low in nutrients. The MAA noted: “Without proper nutrients, our children’s brains will not function properly, and their bodies will not be developed as needed. Often...Read More
We Can Help
We provide free initial consultations. If you believe you or a loved one has a claim or a potential lawsuit, we are willing to meet with you to evaluate your claim with no obligation on your part. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact us to receive a free initial consultation.