Brent L. Reichert

612.349.8500

Experience

Mr. Reichert's practice is focused in the areas of:

  • Large property insurance subrogation, negligent inspection, and coverage litigation;
  • Catastrophic loss investigation, adjustment and recovery;
  • Admiralty and maritime litigation;
  • Class action defense;
  • Business and commercial litigation;
  • Products liability defense; and
  • Food contamination and food recalls, defense against food-borne illness claims and recovery of costs and losses caused by food contamination outbreaks.

Mr. Reichert has served as lead counsel on numerous occasions and represented numerous companies and/or insureds and their carriers and recovered the losses they have sustained due to admiralty and maritime incidents, warehouse collapses, plant fires, explosions, turbine generator failures, construction defects, food contamination incidents and other calamitous events.

In addition, Mr. Reichert has experience in defending against class action claims and in complex litigation involving the defense of insurance companies regarding policy matters and the defense of companies in losses caused by construction defects, personal injuries, alleged product defects and food contamination outbreaks.

Admiralty and Maritime Litigation

American Steamship Company v. Hallett Dock Company, et al.: A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Duluth, Minn., awarded our client American Steamship Company 100% of the $4,682,322.55 claimed in repair damages and lost business income after an 11-day trial ended February 21, 2013. The District Court also awarded our client $2,398,888.54 in prejudgment interest. The jury decided that Hallett Dock Company was 100 percent responsible for causing the 1,000-foot-long vessel, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., to partially sink and flood at Hallett’s dock in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.

TBS North America Liner, Ltd. v. San Juan Navigation Corp.: Represented foreign company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and obtained a marine attachment order for 100% of the funds sought against another foreign company.  Then, after a successful arbitration proceeding, obtained an order for the release of all previously attached funds plus certain costs and interest for client.

Insurance Coverage, Class Action and Commercial Defense Cases

Defended health insurance carrier in this class action lawsuit brought on behalf of its subscribers.  The plaintiffs claimed over $400 million from the amount that our client had previously recovered from the tobacco industry.  The claims of the individual plaintiffs were dismissed, and the claims of the plaintiff fully insured groups were then settled for $41 million (which included the $30 million already designated for payment to the groups). The Court reduced plaintiff's request for lawyers fees by $1.5 million following our client's objection.

Defended insurance carrier in litigation against $30 million in claims made by its insured, a large school district, as the result of major flooding.  The school district made claims for bad faith, extra expenses, and property damages suffered by sixteen (16) different education facilities.  The case was dismissed with prejudice for only a nominal settlement after the dismissal of most of the property claims was achieved. The Court Ordered Summary Judgment on the extra expense claims, and the Court determined that the bad faith claims were not supportable.

Achieved dismissal of all contract and negligence claims brought against insurance carrier by manufacturer after devastating warehouse fire.

Defense verdict for insurance carrier and award of sanctions against the insured after the jury found arson and fraud.

Defense verdict for owner of condominiums and building maintenance company on fire damage claims brought by numerous individual tenants.

Obtained dismissal of tortious interference with contract and business relationship lawsuit between companies engaged in aerospace product development and manufacturing.

Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of all claims against manufacturer of controls in lawsuit involving hydrogen blower blade failures and damage to a turbine generator.

Defended insurance carrier, which had issued an "all risk" insurance policy, in litigation against claims in excess of $50 million brought by the insured and a separate insurance carrier after damages occurred to the insured's processing equipment.  After a bench trial on certain issues, all claims were ultimately settled and dismissed as the result of a subsequent mediation.

Represented insurance carrier against a $10 million claim made by an aluminum manufacturer arising from damage to the insured's new commercial aluminum melting furnace and the resulting molten metal release and damage.  The insured withdrew all of its claims once it was persuaded that its claims were actually excluded by the policy.

Part of defense team that defended manufacturer of aluminum building products against class of 100,000 distributors seeking more than $1 billion in damages.  Case settled during trial and all claims were dismissed with prejudice after only nominal settlement payment was made.

Provided insurance coverage opinion to insurance carrier regarding salmonella contamination claims made by its insured, a company selling mixes of dried fruits, dates and peanuts.  The contamination claims were prompted by the earlier recall of peanuts by the insured's peanut supplier.

Product Liability Defense Cases

Obtained dismissal of wrongful death case for process control manufacturer.  Case involved the death of a 37-year-old man who died after inhaling hydrogen fluoride at a plant in Port Comfort, Texas.

Defended manufacturer of switches in Oklahoma litigation involving serious injuries and amputation of plant worker's hand.  Obtained dismissal with prejudice after only nominal settlement payment was made.

Defended manufacturer of switches in Texas litigation involving serious injuries and amputation of plant worker's arm.  Obtained dismissal with prejudice after only nominal settlement payment was made.

Defended manufacturer of automated control system in Texas litigation involving death of a younger family man after being burned in a refinery explosion.  Obtained dismissal with prejudice after only nominal settlement payment was made.

Plaintiff Commercial and Subrogation Litigation Cases

Multi-million dollar recovery for Arizona Public Service in litigation involving the electrical and mechanical failures of a turbine generator.

Achieved confidential recovery for property damage and business interruption losses arising from an explosion at a power generation facility near Kansas City, Missouri.

Multi-million dollar recovery for twenty different subrogated insurers and food companies in the fire and smoke contamination litigation involving Americold's 360-acre underground food storage warehouse in Kansas City.

Multi-million dollar recovery for Kellogg in litigation involving warehouses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and damage/contamination to its food products.

Obtained settlement from Italian company for damages caused when an explosion damaged the Wrigley printing presses and packaging facility.

Multi-million dollar recovery for Consumers Power in litigation involving a core meltdown and damage to the  copper bars in a generator core and resulting damage to the turbine generator.

Multi-million dollar recovery for Montana Power in litigation involving the failure of hydrogen blower blades and the resulting damage to a turbine generator.

Food Contamination Cases

Achieved confidential recovery for Lund Food Holdings ("Lunds/Byerly's") in the E. coli O157:H7 contamination litigation after Lunds/Byerly's responded to the 2007 recall of ground beef and hundreds of reports of contamination and illness.  Mr. Reichert also defended Lunds/Byerly's in numerous claims arising out of the ground beef contamination incident.

Multi-million dollar recovery for Supervalu in the E. coli O157:H7 contamination litigation after Supervalu responded to the 2000 recall of ground beef and thousands of reports of contamination and illness.  Mr. Reichert also defended Supervalu in numerous illness claims arising out of the ground beef contamination incident.

Multi-million dollar recovery for Schwan's Sales Enterprises after the 1994 nationwide Salmonella Enteritidis contamination and recall of Schwan's ice cream involving an estimated 224,000 ill consumers.  Mr. Reichert also coordinated the defense of Schwan's in the claims and lawsuits arising out of the ice cream contamination incident.  At that time, this food contamination event was considered by The New England Journal of Medicine to be the largest common-source salmonellosis outbreak ever recognized in the United States. 

Selected Reported Cases

Muehler v. Land O' Lakes, Inc., 617 F. Supp. 1370 (D. Minn. 1985)

Factory Mut. Ins. Co. v. Bobst Group USA, Inc., 392 F.3d 922 (7th Cir. 2004)

Frankle v. Best Buy Stores, L.P., 609 F. Supp. 2d 841 (D. Minn. 2009)

Bearden v. Honeywell Int’l Inc., 720 F. Supp. 2d 932 (M.D. Tenn. 2010)

American Steamship Company and Armstrong Steamship Company v. Hallett Dock Company et al., 862 F. Supp. 2d 919 (D. Minn. 2012)

  • Named a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2015-2016)
  • Named a “Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law,” American Lawyer Media (2013)
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers and Twin Cities Business Monthly
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • The National Directory of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals
  • Inducted into the Concordia College Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Inducted into the Crookston High School Hall of Fame
  • Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra and presenter at Kinder Konzerts
  • Vice President and Secretary of Normandale Lutheran Church Foundation
  • Concordia College, C-400 Council
  • Boy Scouts of America, Viking Council’s Friends of Scouting Committee
  • President and Secretary of Normandale Lutheran Church Worship & Music Board
  • Secretary of Normandale Lutheran Church Stewardship Committee
  • Member of and Soloist for the Normandale Choir and Chamber Choir
  • Edina Youth Sports Coach
  • Board Member of two Edina Youth Athletic Associations
  • Leader of Cub Scout Pack
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
Education
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. (1982)
  • Concordia College, B.A., summa cum laude (1979)
Professional Associations
  • American Bar Association (Torts and Insurance Practice Sections)
  • American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • International Association of Arson Investigators
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Association for Justice (formerly Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Texas State Bar Association

  • Case Study: An Examination of Liability and Risk Factors—From Farm to Table
    4th Food and Beverage Litigation, Compliance, and Regulatory Exchange, Chicago, Illinois (September 29, 2016)
  • Panelist and Speaker regarding E.coli 0157:H7 infectious disease
    University of Minnesota of Public Health Symposium (May 28, 2008)
  • Fire Scene Investigation Precision Claims Handling A Texas Perspective
    International Association of Arson Investigation and the insurance industry (January 1, 2007)
  • Fire Scene Investigation Precision Claims Handling A Texas Perspective
    International Association of Arson Investigation and the insurance industry (January 1, 2007)
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