NAFUSA Member Tom O’Brien Retained in UCLA Lab Death Case

Thomas O’Brien, a NAFUSA member who served as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, has been retained to represent a chemistry professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who faces three felony charges of criminal negligence following a student’s death in a lab accident. The student was transferring t-butyl lithium in the UCLA chemistry lab when a plastic syringe broke, causing the chemical to burst into flames and leading to the student’s death.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and we greatly dispute the allegations that the conduct…amounts to a crime,” O’Brien told The National Law Journal.

O’Brien is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings.