Overview

Kip is a litigation partner who focuses on the defense of product liability and business claims, including putative class actions.

In the product liability area, he represents corporations in the defense of putative class actions, personal injury, mass torts, toxic torts, consumer and warranty claims. Kip defends manufacturers of both heavy industrial and consumer products from wrongful death claims and claims involving serious economic and physical damages.

His business litigation practice includes the defense of putative class actions, commercial claims, consumer claims, intellectual property claims (litigation counsel, working with patent counsel), and other state and federal causes of action.

Kip is the President-elect of the national Federal Bar Association and on October 1, 2017, will become President of the 19,000+ member organization. Previously, Kip served on the FBA national board of directors for three years, and as a past President and board member of the FBA’s Northern District of Ohio Chapter. 

Kip also is a member of the Northern District of Ohio Advisory Group, a court-appointed panel charged with providing information on matters of interest to the court, assisting in the implementation of court-adopted programs, and bringing to the court’s attention matters of interest to the bar and the community. Kip currently is co-chair of the Civil Rules Committee and chair of a subcommittee that drafted the court’s rule and forms governing class actions.

Kip began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Sam H. Bell, of the Northern District of Ohio.

Experience
Class Actions
  • Defense of multiple ROI class action lawsuits against multiple defendants alleging violation of New York Public Health Law § 18 which governs the costs for copying medical records, along with claims for violation of New York Business Law § 349 (deceptive business practices) and alleged unjust enrichment.
  • Achieved dismissal of putative class action claims based on alleged building product defects and breach of warranty.
  • Defense of putative class actions for financial institutions and loan servicers involving: alleged failure to comply with federal statutes, alleged failure to comply with state mortgage loan laws, alleged failure to comply with state personal loan laws, alleged breach of contract and misapplication of payments, and alleged unauthorized practice of law arising out of the assessment of document preparation fees.
  • Defense of consumer claims based on state consumer protection statutes, Deceptive Trade Practices Act claims, and warranty law.
  • Defense of coatings manufacturer from state law breach of warranty class action.
  • Defense of putative class actions for manufacturers involving: alleged exposure to welding fumes, alleged exposure to silica, alleged exposure to isocyanates, alleged false advertising of jigsaw, and alleged consumer deception involving warranty for personal care product.
Mass and Toxic Torts
  • Obtained summary judgment on three separate plaintiffs' claims arising out of alleged outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease.
  • Defense of Fortune 100 manufacturer in hundreds of suits alleging injury due to exposure to welding fumes.
  • Obtained dismissal of hundreds of silica claims for a Fortune 500 manufacturer.
  • Defense of defendants in asbestos exposure cases.
  • Defense of ship owners in maritime asbestos exposure.
Trials
  • Successful pursuit of a foreign manufacturer for patent infringement, as local trial counsel with outside patent counsel, resulting in jury finding of willfulness and resulting in judgment in excess of $24 million.
  • Obtained substantial jury verdict for a manufacturer client arising from negligent service of industrial boiler, resulting in explosion.
  • Successful jury trial defense of a Fortune 100 manufacturer from claims involving closed head injury.
  • Jury trial defense of a business litigation dispute involving guaranty of loan.
  • Obtained dismissal at bench trial of an engine warranty claim after cross-examination of plaintiff's president.
Product Liability Defense
  • Defense of a Fortune 100 manufacturer of construction and mining equipment in wrongful death and personal injury claims.
  • Defense of construction equipment manufacturer from breach of warranty claims.
  • Defense of Fortune 500 appliance manufacturers in cases alleging product liability, design defect, failure to warn and negligence.
  • Defense of building product manufacturer from claims of product defect.
  • Defense of alleged food contamination cases for a Fortune 500 company.
  • Achieved dismissal of defect and failure to warn claims against a rubber calendar manufacturer based on successor liability doctrine.
  • Defense of standard-setting association in swimming pool-related quadriplegic injury case.
Premises Liability/Negligence Claims
  • Successfully defended through summary judgment dozens of premises liability, negligence and employment intentional tort claims for a Fortune 100 manufacturer.
  • Defense of carbon monoxide wrongful death claim arising out of an alleged negligent design of building.
  • Defense of a major hotel chain in a wrongful death case involving the death of a minor in a swimming pool.
  • Defense of a wrongful death claim arising out of employee failure to follow energy control safety policies.
  • Defense of a major construction management firm in wrongful death claim.
  • Defense of alleged serious burn injury claim involving industrial mold line.
  • Summary judgment on workplace intentional tort case based upon danger in workplace of which employer had no knowledge. Successful defense on appeal.
  • Defense of employment intentional tort claim where employee plaintiff failed to follow workplace safety lock-out and tag-out procedures.
  • Defense of employment intentional tort claim involving a fall from a roof.
  • Defended a major injury claim based upon loss of control of a crane, resulting in dropping a 20-ton coil of steel on truck.
  • Defended premises liability actions arising out of an accident involving alleged natural accumulation of ice and snow.
  • Defense of premises liability action arising out of a pedestrian versus a snow plow accident.
  • Defense of premises liability claims based on alleged inadequate lighting.
Business Litigation
  • Defense of steel manufacturer and pursuit of nine-figure counterclaim for failure to supply iron ore.
  • Pursuit of coal supplier for failure to abide by terms of contract, causing eight-figure damages.
  • Defense of a financial institution from alleged nuisance action brought by a governmental entity arising out of foreclosures.
  • Defense of multiple putative class actions for major financial institutions and servicers.
  • Achieved appellate reversal of sanctions awarded at trial court level in alleged breach of fiduciary case for a major financial institution.
  • Mid-six figure recovery on behalf of a health insurance provider to recover amounts owed under contract.
  • Arbitration defense of a construction contractor and successful prosecution of counterclaim for payments owed.
  • Successful pursuit of counterclaim for a major supplier of services to big box retailers.
  • Obtained return of airplane parts for an aftermarket reconditioner and supplier.
  • Successful resolutions of engine warranty claims for Fortune 200 manufacturer of heavy industrial and agricultural machinery.
  • Pursued breach of warranty claims against a specialty tool manufacturer over a failed million dollar industrial grinder.
Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Successful pursuit of a Chinese manufacturer for patent infringement, as local trial counsel with outside patent counsel, resulting in jury finding of willfulness and resulting in judgment in an excess of $24 million.
  • Defense of an RF and AM security device manufacturer and developer in patent infringement action and assertion of patent infringement counterclaims.
  • Defense of a website developer in cases involving alleged breach of contract, replevin and breach of warranty; established first Ohio recognition of artisan's lien on computer servers.
  • Obtained dismissal of a manufacturer of radiological equipment in an alleged computer software copyright violation action.
  • Defense of a design patent infringement claim for a manufacturer of children’s toys.
Insurance Coverage
  • Successfully pursued a third-party claim for indemnity and insurance coverage, resulting in zero-payout for client in a seven-figure product liability case.
  • Prosecution of claims on behalf of a Fortune 100 company to recover millions of dollars in insurance proceeds due to business interruption caused by failure of inductor and run-out of molten iron.
  • Achieved 20 dismissals of insurance coverage claims based on employer’s CGL and personal auto policies.
  • Repeated successful tenders of defense and coverage on behalf of insureds.
Warnings Review and Drafting
  • Development of product warning labels for retail distribution of a consumer product.
  • Evaluation of product warnings and instructions for heavy machinery.
  • Drafting of warranties, manuals and evaluation of product warnings for communications products.
  • Drafting of warnings and disclaimers for a household product; drafting related provision of distributor and independent contractor agreements.
  • Drafting of warranty provisions for multiple consumer-facing products.
Fire/Explosion Cases
  • Defense of a propane tank valve manufacturer in a propane-powered grill fire/explosion involving alleged burn injuries and property damage.
  • Achieved dismissal in an explosion and major burn injury case for propane producers.
  • Obtained dismissal of claim alleging product defect in an appliance brought after a kitchen fire.
  • Achieved dismissals of multiple fire damage claims for a small appliance manufacturer.
  • Defended "sooting" claim alleged against a furnace manufacturer.
Electronics Manufacturing
  • Defense of an electronic circuit board manufacturer of assembly materials in product liability and breach of warranty claims.
  • Drafted a distributor agreement for electronics manufacturing products designer and seller.
Pro Bono
  • Pro bono appellate representation of a white collar criminal conviction involving wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.
  • Member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, directly supervising hundreds of hours of pro bono service, and indirectly involved in thousands of firm hours of pro bono service per year.
Reported Cases
  • Rudisill, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 12-3486, March 2013
  • Vanyo v. Citifinancial, Inc., 183 Ohio App. 3d 612, 2009-Ohio-3905, Cuyahoga Cty. App., 2009
  • Chokan v. Ford Motor Co., 2006 Ohio 5564, 8th Dist., 2006
  • Ballard v. Ford Motor Co., 2005 Ohio 2624, 8th Dist., 2005
  • Malkamaki v. Sea Ray Boats, Inc., 411 F. Supp. 2d 737, N.D. Ohio, 2005
  • Range v. Ford Motor Co., 412 F. Supp. 2d 732, N.D. Ohio, 2005
  • United States v. Wood, 364 F. 3d 704, 6th Cir., 2004
  • In re Guardianship of Skrobut, 2003 Ohio 1434, 7th Dist.. 2003
Publications
Presentations
  • “Class Certification Analysis after Dukes and Comcast”, OSBA Federal Bench Bar Conference, October 2016
  • “It’s All About the Money: Limits on Class Counsel Fees,” Class Actions: Latest Developments in Law and Practice, DRI, Washington, D.C., July 2015
  • "Civil Court Procedure and Strategy Boot Camp: Opening Statements – Telling a Compelling Story,” National Business Institute, December 2012
  • "Civil Court Procedure and Strategy Boot Camp: Skillful Use of Objections,” National Business Institute, December 2012
  • Moderator, "Making a Federal Case Out of It," ACC-FBA CLE Seminar, May 2012
  • "Northern District of Ohio Break-Out Session on Economic Impact of Court Proceedings on Parties and Counsel," Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, April 2012
  • "Developments in Class Action Management," Sixth Biennial Federal Bench Bar Conference, October 2011
  • "Class Action: Shady Grove and Beyond," DRI Product Liability Conference, April 2011
  • "Best Practices on Managing Mass Torts," DRI Panel Presentation, April 2010
  • "Consumer Class Actions," Advanced Federal Practice Seminar, Federal Bar Association, November 2008
Distinctions
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2011 to 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2015 to 2018
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Federal Bar Association, National President-elect
  • Federal Bar Association, National Board of Directors, member (2012-present)
  • Federal Bar Association, N.D. Ohio Chapter President (2010-2011)
  • Defense Research Institute, Class Action Seminar Steering Committee, member (2011, 2013-2017); Product Liability Committee, member; Commercial Litigation Committee, member
  • Advisory Group, Northern District of Ohio; Co-Chair Civil Rules Committee; Chair Class Action Sub-Committee

Community Activities

  • Circle Health Services (formerly The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland), Vice President (2016-present); Board of Directors (2008-present); Advocacy Committee Chair (2009-present)
  • Free Clinic Associate Board, President (2008-2009); member (2004-2016)
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