A. Elizabeth Burnett’s practice focuses on defending product manufacturers and industrial plant owners in complex product liability, personal injury, property damage, and disaster litigation. Many of these high-stakes matters stem from fires and explosions caused by combustible dust and natural gas. In her nationwide practice, Ms. Burnett has represented such well-known companies as Honeywell International Inc. and Donaldson Company, Inc. Ms. Burnett was recently named a 2016 Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer.
Ms. Burnett has represented clients in several high-stakes cases. In 2015, Ms. Burnett and her team obtained summary judgment in a personal injury case where the plaintiffs sought $65 million in damages. In 2016, she represented a manufacturer following an explosion and fire that killed more than 30 people and injured dozens more at a natural gas refinery. Ms. Burnett and her team secured a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.
Ms. Burnett has also litigated a variety of commercial insurance coverage disputes for industry leaders, including Factory Mutual Insurance Company, Affiliated FM Insurance Company, and Hartford Casualty Insurance Company. As a former claims adjuster for Zurich North America and Berkshire-Hathaway-owned insurance boutique Applied Underwriters, Ms. Burnett brings a depth of understanding and uniquely practical perspective to coverage cases.
In 2014, Ms. Burnett second-chaired a federal jury trial for an insurer in Cammeby’s Management Company, LLC v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company. The plaintiff sought $30 million, plus interest, for losses caused by Superstorm Sandy and the insurer asserted a coverage limit of $10 million. After an eight-day trial, the jury issued an advisory verdict affirming the $10 million policy limit; this verdict was later confirmed by the court.
A North Star Lawyer, Ms. Burnett has handled pro bono cases for the Minnesota Public Defender’s Appellate Office, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and the Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Board. In one precedent-setting case, Ms. Burnett prevailed at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, reversing a client’s conviction and securing a holding that physically disabled individuals using motorized devices as a substitute for walking are not subject to Minnesota’s DUI statute.
Ms. Burnett has twice served as a Coordinator for the firm’s Summer Associate Program (2015-2016). She is also a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee and a liaison with the University of St. Thomas School of Law.