Robert Bennett



Winning matters to Bob Bennett. That is why he is a perennial “Super Lawyer” and was selected by Minnesota Lawyer as one of their “Attorneys of the Year” for 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. He has won multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements with regularity and over a span of four decades. Read more about his impressive career and notable case results in this Minnesota Super Lawyers feature article.

In the past 12 years alone, Bob was the lead trial lawyer in many high profile cases, including the Abbey Taylor pool drain wrongful death case ($8+ million), the police shooting of Duy Ngo ($4.5 million), the mechanical asphyxiation of David Cornelius Smith ($3.075 million), the Frank Baker K-9 and Saint Paul officer misconduct case ($2 million), the Koochiching County ($2 million) and Stearns County ($1.45 million) jail suicide cases, and the civil rights case regarding the police killing of Philando Castile ($2.995 million).

In May of 2019, Bob and his team negotiated the $20 million "transformational" settlement in the Section 1983 wrongful death case involving the murder of Justine Ruszczyk by Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor.

Bob is an active, successful trial lawyer who handles all types of civil matters, including cases involving civil rights law and police misconduct, auto and truck accident cases, product liability cases, and commercial disputes of all types, more often on behalf of the plaintiff. He is always looking for new challenges and would like to talk to you about yours.

$12.2 Million Settlement; Winborn v. Schneider et al.: In 2020, Terrance Dwayne Winborn was incarcerated at the Scott County Jail in Shakopee, Minnesota while needing medical care. His constitutional rights were violated due to the deliberate indifference of a registered nurse at the jail who chose not to provide vital medical care in the critical hours, nearly allowing Mr. Winborn to die while in the care, custody, and control of the jail. This alleged indifference allowed a bacterial infection to fester within Mr. Winborn's body, leading to a heart attack, purpuric lesions, septic shock, gangrene, and ultimately, the amputation of both arms below the elbows, and other devastating and permanent injuries. Scott County Jail officials failed to report this matter to the Minnesota Department of Corrections within the 10-day time period required by law and allowed 39 hours of archived video evidence concerning Mr. Winborn to be deleted.

$7.5 Million Settlement; Pope v. Chauvin, Arradondo & MPD: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2023): In 2017, John Pope displayed no aggressive or threatening actions when Derek Chauvin struck him multiple times in the head before choking him around his neck and pinning him to the floor with his knee – the same tactic used to murder George Floyd in 2020. MPD was called to Pope’s residence for a domestic dispute where they found Pope on his phone, relaxing on the floor of his bedroom. During Pope’s tearful cries for help, none of the other MPD officers intervened during Chauvin’s use of excessive force nor did MPD in the aftermath having obtain video evidence of the incident.

$6.2 Million Settlement; Olthoff v. Warnygora, et al. U.S Federal Court (2020): On July 29, 2019, Shawn Olthoff was the subject of a CERT Team call-out. He was sleeping on his side, unarmed, when officers entered his mother’s trailer, and raised his hands in the air upon police command. While his hands were raised, Carlton County Sgt. Warnygora proceeded to shoot Olthoff twice in the armpit. He remains paralyzed from the chest down.

$2.3 Million Settlement; Lynas v. Stang, et al., District of Minnesota (2020): Our client’s son was struggling from alcohol and drug withdrawal while he was an inmate at Sherburne County Jail. He made it known that he was suffering mentally and having suicidal thoughts. Neither the Jail or MNeD provided the proper treatment or well-being checks. He committed suicide in his cell 11 days after his arrest. Robins Kaplan and it’s attorneys hope that the $2.3 million settlement will prompt jail reforms in the future.

$2.25 Million Combined Settlement; Bunker v. Keilwitz, et al.: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2021): Secured a $2.25 million combined settlement at mediation for a jail suicide case. In 2017, our client’s daughter committed suicide while at Beltrami County Jail. The inmate made it known upon and after jail admission that she struggled with serious medical and mental health needs, including suicidality. Neither the correctional facility nor the MEnD medical staff provided proper care or took the recommended steps to ensure the safety of the inmate in the week leading up to her death.

$1.6 Million Settlement; Boudin v. Ottertail County Sheriff’s Dept., et al. District of Minnesota (2020): Our client, Kameron Boudin, was a victim of excessive use of police force when officers entered his home in 2018. Boudin was lying on his bedroom floor when an officer laid on top of him and began striking him multiple times in the face and forehead for not complying with police commands, which Boudin was physically unable to do because of the police officer on top of him. The force of the strikes required Boudin to receive surgery, including the removal and replacement of his face due to multiple fractures.

$1.375 Million Settlement; Code v. Chauvin, Arradondo, Johnson & MPD: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2023): In 2017, Zoya Code was not resisting arrest when former MPD officer, Derek Chauvin, used excessive forced by slamming her head into the ground and torquing her handcuffed wrists upward and behind her head while she was face down on the ground. Chauvin then pinned his knee to the back of her neck and placed in “hobble” restraint with no just cause for almost five minutes. Chauvin and other officers involved were not disciplined for their actions.

$550K Settlement; Myles Regenold v. City of Ankeny: Secured a $550,000 settlement in a wrongful shooting lawsuit. In 2019, Myles Regenold was not resisting arrest when police officers shot him in the arm, leaving him with permanent impairment. Audio from a body worn camera as well the location of the injury, implying Regenold was in a surrender pose, contributed to a successful settlement for our client, and the Robins Kaplan civil rights team.

$400K Settlement; Fillner v. City of Rochester, et al. District of Minnesota (2020): Our client was unresponsive in the back of her minivan when a City of Rochester police officer reached in and yanked her out and onto the pavement in one motion. She sustained physical injuries to her upper right arm bone including displacement and the bone being broken into three or more fragments. Surgery was required to repair and additional surgeries may be required in the future.

$350K Settlement; Alayna Albrecht-Payton v. Brooklyn Center Police Department, et al. (2021): Secured a settlement on behalf of Alayna Albrecht-Payton, a passenger of Duante Wright, who was shot at a traffic light by a former Minnesota police officer. The fatal shooting resulted in a crash that left our client will multiple injuries, both physical and emotional.

$270K Settlement; Mensing v. City of Mankato, et al. U.S. Federal Court (2019): Our client had consumed drinks and food on a night out before police responded to a report of an intoxicated man. Our client complied with police commands, but upon exited the establishment the officer placed our client’s left arm into an iron wrist lock which resulted in a complex fracture requiring open surgery to repair. Our client was never charged for a crime and incurred extensive medical bills and loss of wages.

$20 Million; Ruszczyk v. Noor, et al.:United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2019): On July 15, 2017, Justine Maia Ruszczyk was murdered by Mohamed Mohamed Noor, a Minneapolis Police officer. Justine had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alleyway behind her home in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis. Justine was murdered in the same alleyway. She was barefoot and wearing pink pajamas. She had not committed any crime. She had not displayed any aggression. She was unarmed. She posed no threat to Noor or his partner, Matthew Harrity, or anyone else on the scene. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$3.075 Million: Smith v. City of Minneapolis, et al.United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2013): David Smith died by mechanical asphyxia after he was arrested by two Minneapolis Police Officers at the YMCA in 2010. Smith was held down for about four minutes by the officers, making it impossible for him to breathe. The City of Minneapolis promised that additional training would be completed to prevent a similar incident in the future.  

$3.5 Million; Gustafson v. PedersonHennepin County District Court (2018): In October of 2017, Pederson negligently operated a semi-tractor and trailer combination on Highway 10 in Big Lake, Minnesota. Pederson, while making a left turn at 162nd Lane, stopped the semi-tractor and trailer and blocked westbound traffic on Highway 10, leading to a collision that severely injured James Gustafson. The tractor was owned by Pevito Transportation and was leased, along with the driver Pederson, to Cheesebrough Trucking, Inc. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$2.99+ Million; Castile v. Village of St. AnthonyUnited States District Court, District of Minnesota (2017): On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony police officer, after being pulled over. Castile was shot numerous time after informing Yanez he had a permit to carry. The aftermath of the shooting was live-streamed via Facebook. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$2 Million; Baker v. City of St. Paul, et al.United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2017): On June 25, 2016, Frank Baker was viciously attacked by Paul Police officer Ficcadenti’s police K9 and kicked three times in the ribs by officer Palkowitsch, while he was trying to comply with the officers’ orders. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$1.75 Million; Sieff v. City of Chaska, et al.: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2017): On February 7, 2014 Dawn Marie Pfister was shot and killed by Brady Juell of the Chaska Police Department after obtaining a small folding knife with a 3 ¼ inch blade from Matthew Serbus who had held her hostage and menaced her with the same knife. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$2.85 Million; Yang v. Chadbourne: United States District Court, District of Minnesota (2015): Federal civil rights action stemming from the January 25, 2014 incident where Brooklyn Park probationary police officer Jason Chadbourne panicked and fired his service weapon six times into a snow-covered vehicle was it backed slowly out of its parking space, hitting Shoua Yang three times. Yang, along with his cousin and friend, were at a banquet hall for a Valentine’s Day party and decided to leave after a fight broke out. Chadbourne arrived on the scene and followed the men to determine if they were involved in the fight – they were not.  Chadbourne did not issue any commands to Yang and had no information that Yang had committed any crime. Yet, Chadbourne positioned himself behind the snow-covered vehicle and fired six times – later claiming the vehicle was speeding in reverse at him – a claim unsupported and refuted by the evidence. Yang was hit in the back, neck and shoulder and one of the bullets severed his kidney and almost killed him. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$2 Million; Kucera v. Jespsersen, et al.: U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2014): Federal civil rights wrongful death action regarding the suicide of Kathryn Marie Schneider, a 28-year-old mother, who hanged herself at the Koochiching County Jail. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$54.2 Million; In re: Individual 35W Bridge Litigation: Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota (2010): Key member of consortium that obtained settlement on behalf of victims from the Minneapolis 35 W bridge collapse. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$15+ Million; Robinson et al. v. Ramsey County et al.Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota (2010):Achieved landmark success in a class action on behalf of inmates, who contracted TB while at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility. One of the most successful prosecutions of a TB outbreak against a correctional facility in United States history. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$8+ Million; Taylor v. Minneapolis Golf ClubHennepin County District Court, Minnesota (2008): Robert Bennett and Andrew Noel represented the parents of Abigail Taylor in a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of severe injuries Abigail sustained while in the kiddie pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club on June 29, 2007. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

$4.5 Million; Ngo v. Storlie: U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2007): On February 25, 2003, Duy Ngo, a Minneapolis Police officer, was shot in his unmarked Gang Strike Force vehicle by an unknown suspect. Ngo was then shot numerous times by fellow MPD officer Charles Storlie who responded to the scene. Storlie’s shots shattered his left forearm, leg and groin. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators
Super Lawyers Robert Bennett
Minnesota 2021 ICON Honoree
  • Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, The National Law Journal (2024)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2023-2024 editions)
  • Listed in “500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon (2023-2024)
  • Listed in "Leading Civil Rights & Plaintiff Employment Lawyers" Guide Lawdragon 500 (2023)
  • Listed in "500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers" List, Lawdragon (2023, 2024)
  • Named a "Minnesota Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (1994, 1996-1998, 2000-2023)
  • Named to POWER 30 List, Minnesota Lawyer (2021, 2023)
  • Named a "Minnesota ICON," Finance & Commerce and Minnesota Lawyer (2021)
  • Named a “Midwest Trailblazer,” The American Lawyer (2021)
  • Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy (1989 – Present)
  • Civil Trial Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association (1989 – Present)
  • Named an "Attorney of the Year," Minnesota Lawyer (2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (2005 – Present)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (2008 – Present)
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals. Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, North Dakota
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of Minnesota, J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame, A.B., cum laude (1973)
Professional Associations
  • Minnesota Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Minnesota Association for Justice

Bob has made many media appearances throughout his career including:

  • AP News
  • C-SPAN
  • CBS News
  • CNN News
  • The Huffington Post
  • KARE11
  • KMSP
  • KSTP
  • MPR
  • NBC News
  • Reuters
  • The Star Tribune
  • The Hill
  • The Washington Post
  • USA Today
  • WCCO
  • Yahoo! News
  • Evolving Issues and Hurdles in Various Section 1983 Cases
    Minnesota Association for Justice: Litigating with the Legends (May 6, 2024)
  • A Conversation with the Other Side – A Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Perspective on High Profile Cases
    DRI Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability Seminar, Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 8, 2022)
  • Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement
    Panelist, LTL International Leadership Institute, Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, and Strong & Starlike Consulting, Inc., Webinar (October 27, 2020)
  • Stop Killing the Prisoners – Asserting State Prisoner Rights to Constitutionally Required Medical Care
    Minnesota Association for Justice 38th Annual Meeting and Virtual Convention (August 13, 2020)
May 6, 2024
Litigating with the Legends
Robert Bennett, Kate Jaycox - MAJ
Minneapolis, MN
October 27, 2020
WEBINAR | Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement
Bob Bennett - LTL International Leadership Institute, Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, and Strong & Starlike Consulting, Inc.
August 12, 13, 19 and 20, 2020
WEBINAR | Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) 38th Annual Meeting and Virtual Convention
Robert Bennett, Katie Bennett, Andrew Noel - Minnesota Association for Justice
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