Reed Sugg, Shareholder

Biography

Reed W. Sugg is a shareholder of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard. Reed concentrates his work primarily in the area of product liability defense.

He has 38 years of experience in defending a wide variety of manufacturers and products in thousands of serious cases. His clients have included asbestos miners and manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, toxic chemicals, commercial and private aircraft and their components, passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, heavy trucks, all-terrain vehicles, amusement park rides, heavy industrial machinery and commercial food processing equipment.

Reed is experienced in defending toxic tort claims. He has been defending asbestos claims continuously since 1979 and has represented companies associated with raw fiber and a number of different types of products. His experience in the asbestos field was noted by two refractory companies that independently retained him to serve as Regional Counsel in thousands of lawsuits in multiple states. Reed also recently represented a former owner of a lead smelter in lawsuits brought by over 50 plaintiffs who alleged cognitive deficits caused by lead exposure, he has defended benzene cases and he was able to obtain the dismissal of dozens of cases in which it was alleged that thimerosal supplied by his client and used in childhood vaccines caused autism. Reed’s aviation experience over the last 38 years includes the representation of manufacturers, national and commuter airlines, aviation service companies and pilots in both lawsuits and FAA enforcement actions. He has developed a particular specialty in aviation asbestos cases. He also has Regional Counsel experience representing the manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles and has represented a local theme park in various lawsuits and issues for 30 years.

Reed’s appellate practice has included writing over 20 appellate briefs and arguing appeals in various courts, including state and federal appellate courts in Missouri and Illinois.

Reed was named to the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the Civil Litigation area in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Reed was also named in the area of Transportation/Maritime. He has also been named in the Products Liability area every year since 2008.

Background

Civic Activities
School Boards; Board for Homeless Shelter; coached kids’ baseball and basketball teams.

Professional Activities
Reed is licensed to practice in the states of Missouri and Illinois, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits.

Reed is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, The Lawyers Association of St. Louis, the Missouri Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and the Aviation Insurance Association.

Reed has previously served on the firm’s Management and Compensation Committees and served as the Products Liability Practice Group Leader.

Education
Reed earned his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University in 1978 where he was elected into the Order of the Coif and was a Patrick Wilson Scholar.

He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1975, where he was elected into Phi Beta Kappa.

Successes

A sampling Reed’s litigation experience includes:

Davis v. Turner & Newall, et al. Reed represented one of the defendants in this multiple plaintiff asbestos case in which Ron Motley tried the case for the plaintiffs. The jury awarded very nominal judgments for plaintiffs, which served as a favorable basis for the resolution of numerous subsequent asbestos cases in Missouri.

AirTran (f/k/a ValuJet) v. SabreTech, et al. Reed represented the defendants in this case in which the plaintiff sought hundreds of millions of dollars for business losses allegedly resulting from the 1996 crash of a ValuJet flight near Miami.  The case was settled after three weeks of trial under terms that had been offered months before the trial began.

Buettman v. Harris Graphics Corporation. Reed obtained a defense verdict for the manufacturer of a large printing press in this case in which plaintiff alleged that the defective design of the printing press caused the loss of his dominant hand and serious injuries to his arm.

Rauls v. U.S. Slicing Machine. Reed obtained a defense verdict for the manufacturer of a commercial meat tenderizer machine in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that a defective design resulted in a severe injury to her dominant hand.

Cotton Blossom v. Stoehner Security, et al. Reed represented a security company in this property damage case in which the plaintiff alleged that defendant’s negligence contributed to cause the sinking of the plaintiff’s vessel on the Mississippi River at the base of the Arch. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.

BL Jet Sales v. Garrett Corporation. Reed represented the defendant in this aviation business case involving allegations of fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation relating to the documentation of work performed on the aircraft. The defendant obtained a directed verdict at trial.

Carle v. Six Flags. Reed obtained a defense verdict in this personal injury action in which plaintiff alleged injuries to his hands came as a result of riding on one of the park’s rides.

Dumas v. Six Flags. Reed obtained a defense verdict in this personal injury action in which the plaintiff alleged the defendant’s negligence caused an accident at the park that resulted in a broken hip.

Di-Cor v. Richard Thomas Wrecking Co. Reed represented the defendant in this property damage case arising out of the demolition of a neighboring building. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Hoffman v. Beech. Reed second-chaired this wrongful death case arising out of the crash of a Beech Baron in Mississippi. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Fred Weber, Inc. v. Amoco Oil Co. Reed second-chaired this antitrust case involving the alleged price fixing of penetration grade asphalt oil. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Klugesherz v. Honda. Reed second-chaired this product liability case in which the plaintiff alleged catastrophic injuries due to the defective design of an all-terrain vehicle. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, but the trial court judge granted a JNOV in favor of the defendant.

Bazzano v. Rockwell International Corp. Reed second-chaired this wrongful death case in which it was alleged that a defective flight director system caused the crash and death of the pilot, who was a doctor. The case was favorably settled before it went to the jury.

BIOGRAPHY

Reed W. Sugg is a shareholder of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard. Reed concentrates his work primarily in the area of product liability defense.

He has 38 years of experience in defending a wide variety of manufacturers and products in thousands of serious cases. His clients have included asbestos miners and manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, toxic chemicals, commercial and private aircraft and their components, passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, heavy trucks, all-terrain vehicles, amusement park rides, heavy industrial machinery and commercial food processing equipment.

Reed is experienced in defending toxic tort claims. He has been defending asbestos claims continuously since 1979 and has represented companies associated with raw fiber and a number of different types of products. His experience in the asbestos field was noted by two refractory companies that independently retained him to serve as Regional Counsel in thousands of lawsuits in multiple states. Reed also recently represented a former owner of a lead smelter in lawsuits brought by over 50 plaintiffs who alleged cognitive deficits caused by lead exposure, he has defended benzene cases and he was able to obtain the dismissal of dozens of cases in which it was alleged that thimerosal supplied by his client and used in childhood vaccines caused autism. Reed’s aviation experience over the last 38 years includes the representation of manufacturers, national and commuter airlines, aviation service companies and pilots in both lawsuits and FAA enforcement actions. He has developed a particular specialty in aviation asbestos cases. He also has Regional Counsel experience representing the manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles and has represented a local theme park in various lawsuits and issues for 30 years.

Reed’s appellate practice has included writing over 20 appellate briefs and arguing appeals in various courts, including state and federal appellate courts in Missouri and Illinois.

Reed was named to the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the Civil Litigation area in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Reed was also named in the area of Transportation/Maritime. He has also been named in the Products Liability area every year since 2008.

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