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.

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.

$20 million; Ruszczyk v. Noor, et al.  U.S. 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. Pederson Hennepin 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. Anthony U.S. 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. U. S. 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. U.S. 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 U.S. 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 Club Hennepin 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)

Super Lawyers 2020
  • Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy (1989 – Present)
  • Civil Trial Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association (1989 – Present)
  • 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)
  • Named a "Minnesota Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (1994, 1996 - 1998, 2000 - 2020)
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:

  • MPR
  • KARE11
  • KSTP
  • C-SPAN
  • WCCO
  • KMSP
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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