Laura Baughman joined Baron & Budd, P.C. in 1995 and has been a shareholder in the firm since 2001. In addition to her law degree, Laura holds bachelor of science and master of engineering degrees in civil (environmental) engineering, a background that serves her well in her law practice. Prior to joining Baron & Budd, Laura served as a briefing attorney to Justice Rose Spector of the Supreme Court of Texas.
Laura is the managing shareholder of the firm’s Qui Tam litigation team as well as the firm’s litigation on behalf of public entities against GlaxoSmithKline regarding Avandia, against various financial institutions regarding payment protection plans and related credit card services, and against on-line travel companies regarding tax fraud. Laura also has extensive experience with the law firm’s toxic tort litigation group. Laura=s notable victories in this area include the successful resolution of a case filed on behalf of 137 people who were exposed to lead and other toxic substances while playing at an abandoned oil refinery in Central Texas. Laura was also part of the attorney team that represented 153 water providers in 17 states whose water was contaminated with MTBE. That case resulted in a $423 million settlement and a 30-year commitment by the defendant gasoline refiners to treat 3,385 wells if and when they become contaminated with MTBE.
Laura’s most significant cases include being co-lead counsel in two of the largest Proposition 65 cases in history. Proposition 65 is a California state law that permits private citizens to enforce certain environmental regulations on behalf of the public. Laura represented the nonprofit group Communities for a Better Environment in a statewide Proposition 65 water contamination case that culminated in a settlement valued at $107 million. The settlement required the defendant oil companies to upgrade gas stations, clean up groundwater contamination, and take steps to prevent future gasoline leaks. Laura also successfully represented three environmental groups in their efforts to reduce diesel engine exhaust emissions from school buses. The settlement, valued at almost $35 million, resulted in more than $28 million being invested in the largest private school bus fleet in California in order to decrease the pollutant levels inside the buses.
Laura is married and is the proud mother of two daughters, ages 9 and 7.