Scott M. Rusert


Scott considers his clients colleagues—collaborating on issues to achieve the best resolution. His easygoing, friendly demeanor and fierce dedication makes clients loyal, in turn. They appreciate his ability to solve unusual or difficult problems, as he’s adept at uncovering an obscure fact, managing difficult witnesses, working with unpredictable opposing counsel, or establishing rapport with an obstinate judge.

While he works with clients to prevent or quickly resolve litigation, Scott gladly accepts the responsibility of trying a case. He is a board-certified trial attorney who feels perfectly at home in any courtroom. Scott is also a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. His 25 years of trial and litigation experience make him a particularly effective mediator, assisting litigants and their counsel in resolving disputes via voluntary or court-ordered Alternative Dispute Resolution.

When not working or volunteering with various community and professional organizations, Scott cherishes time spent with his wife of 28 years, his grown children, and his over-active golden retriever. He also loves playing virtually any sport—men’s senior league baseball, Sunday night hockey, tennis, or golf.

  • Key Practice and Industry Experience
  • Representative Matters
  • Recognitions and Honors
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Community Involvement

Key Practice Experience

  • Handled cases as lead trial counsel in 34 different states
  • National counsel to two different Minnesota-based, multi-national manufacturers in product liability litigation
  • National Coordinating Counsel of asbestos litigation for subsidiary of Illinois-based, Fortune 200 Company
  • Representation of hospital and health care system in matters before judicial review committee relating to physician credentialing and discipline
  • National and local defense of product manufacturers in cases involving death, personal injury, and/or property damage – often related to fires and explosions
  • Investigation of shareholder derivative claims alleging violations of securities laws
  • Defense of shareholder strike suit following merger/acquisition
  • Defense of Consumer Fraud Claims, including dozens of cases arising from alleged residential construction defects and a civil action by Minnesota Attorney General on behalf of a class of more than 200 individuals with debts arising from bank overdrafts.
  • Defense and prosecution of contract actions and commercial disputes on behalf of businesses and individuals
  • Representation of general contractors and subcontractors in construction defect claims
  • Water-intrusion and mold litigation
  • Extensive experience in first-party insurance coverage disputes and third-party defense of insureds
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Thomas J. Kalitowski, Minnesota Court of Appeals

Key Industry Experience

Representative Matters

Product Liability Cases

  • DeLeon v. Graco, et al. (N.J. Superior Ct., Essex County) jury verdict finding no defect in personal injury, product liability case arising from injection with high-pressure, airless paint spray gun.
  • Rickett v. H.O. Sports, et al. (Wisc. Cir. Ct., St. Croix County) successful defense of recreational product manufacturer in wakeboard accident.
  • Sanchez/TK Holdings v. Honeywell, et al. (Tex. 150th Jud. Dist., Bexar County) successful defense of gas control manufacturer in a multi-party wrongful death and property damage case arising from an industrial explosion.   
  • Bergmann v. Graco, et al. (U.S. Dist. Ct., Ariz.) voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a personal injury, product liability claim arising from injection injury with high-pressure airless paint sprayer.
  • Gilson v. Graco, et al. (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.H.) voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a personal injury, product liability claim arising from injection with high-pressure airless paint sprayer.
  • Mesa v. J.D. Group, et al. v. Graco, et al. (Cal. Superior Ct., Los Angeles County) summary judgment, including award of all costs for travel to depositions from out of state in personal injury, severe burn case, arising from explosion of paint fumes on job site.
  • Waynes, Inc. v. Emerson Electric, et al. (Minn. Dist. Ct., Redwood County) voluntary dismissal with prejudice of product liability claim against electric garage door motor manufacturer arising from fire that destroyed service station and convenience store.
  • Jones v. Honeywell, et al (Penn. Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County) summary judgment in favor of gas valve manufacturer in wrongful death case arising from explosion and complete destruction of residence.
  • Stibbs v. Mapco, Inc., et al. (945 F.Supp. 1226 (S.D. Iowa 1996) summary judgment in favor of gas valve manufacturer based on exclusion of expert testimony under Daubert standard.

Commercial Cases

  • Successful representation of Fortune 500 multi-national retail corporation in litigation with overseas service provider involving compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.
  • Counsel to two National Hockey League franchises in defense of claims by former player alleging withholding of medical information related to concussions.
  • Counsel to a Special Litigation Committee formed by the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 Company to investigate shareholder demands for derivative litigation arising from the alleged off-label promotion of a medical device.
  • Counsel to a European Holding Company in the defense of a shareholder strike suit following the multi-million dollar acquisition of a Minnesota-based restaurant chain.
  • Defense of Consumer Fraud Claims – including dozens of cases arising from alleged residential construction defects and a civil action by the Minnesota Attorney General on behalf of a class of more than 200 individuals with debts arising from bank overdrafts.
  • Cooper v. Wong (Minn. Dist. Ct., Washington County) jury verdict in favor of defendant landlord in claims by renter that large single family home was uninhabitable due to alleged mold contamination.
  • Dalglish v. Professional Computer Services, LLC (U.S. Dist. Ct., Minn.) jury verdict in favor of sales representative for company’s breach of contract and termination in violation of Minnesota Statute Sections 181.145 and 181.171.
  • Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company, LLC v. Michael Becker (Minn. Dist. Ct., Hennepin County) obtained TRO and Injunction on behalf of multi-state envelope manufacturer enforcing trade-secret and non-compete agreement against former sales representative.
  • Jeld-Wen, Inc. v.  Decker Industries, et al. (U.S. Dist. Ct., Ore.) successfully moved to dismiss multi-million dollar claim for consequential damages arising from the purchase and sale of allegedly malfunctioning industrial equipment.
  • University Lutheran Chapel, et al. v. Minnesota South District of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, et al. (Minn. Dist. Ct., Hennepin County) successful representation of chapel and congregation in contractual dispute over eviction and sale of land, arising from historic obligations between the chapel and the church.
  • Neilson v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (Minn. Dist. Ct, Ramsey County) jury verdict in favor of defendant supporting denial of coverage for alleged hail damage to roof.
  • Sather v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (Minn. Dist. Ct., Hennepin County; Minn. Ct. of Appeals) summary judgment determination of no insurance coverage for mold claim, affirmed by appellate court.

Construction Cases

  • Pamida, Inc. v. Christenson Building Corp. v. R&Q Trucking, et al. (285 F.3d 701, 8th Cir. 2002) summary judgment in favor of defendant and third-party defendants based on statute of limitations under Minn. Stat. 541.051 on construction defect claim.
  • Berke, et al. v. Lewis Homes v. Honeywell Inc., et al. (California Superior Court, Orange County) successful resolution of a multi-party, multi-million dollar construction defect, water intrusion, mold case arising from alleged construction defects in an entire housing development.
  • Fanth v. London Brick (Minn. Dist. Ct., Ramsey County) jury verdict in favor of defendant on claim of negligent construction of a fireplace alleged as cause of fire and complete destruction of residence.
  • Successful defense of general contractors and subcontractors in dozens of cases alleging Consumer Fraud in residential construction defect cases.
  • Successful defense and representation of stucco subcontractor in more than twenty-five cases involving water intrusion in residential construction.
  • Successful defense and representation of manufacturer of External Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS) used in residential construction.

Recognitions and Honors

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Five times featured in “Super Lawyers” by Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Twice featured in “Rising Stars” by Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Twice nominated for Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40”

Publications and Presentations

  • Industry Custom Evidence: Some Good News From California (No, Really!), ALFA International Webinar: Legal Hot Topics, September 14, 2018
  • Protecting Your Brand with Tested Paper and Electronic Swords – Indemnity in the Electronic Age, ALFA International Product Liability and Complex Torts Regional Milwaukee Seminar, April 19, 2018
  • Minnesota Institute of Legal Education: Lecturer and Course Co-chair, Civil Pre-Trial Practice Institute, Civil Trial Practice Institute, The SCOOP Program for New Lawyers
  • Minnesota Continuing Legal Education
  • Hamline University School of Law, Dispute Resolution Institute: Deposition Practice-Lecturer and Course Co-chair, Settlement Advocacy-Lecturer and Course Co-chair
  • Hennepin County Bar Association

Professional Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
    • Product Liability
    • Drug and Medical Device
  • ALFA International
    • Product Liability and Complex Torts Steering Committee
  • Member of the Minnesota Civil Trial Specialist Certification Board
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Treasurer, Civil Litigation Section
    • Chair, Civil Litigation Section Community Service Committee
    • Past member of Governance and Finance Committee and Board of Governors
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
    • Past member of Governing Council
    • Past Co-Chair New Lawyers Section

Community Engagement

  • Hennepin Health Foundation: Board of Directors, Board Secretary
  • Dartmouth College: Alumni interviewer
  • Annunciation School: Past School Board President and Finance Committee Chair
  • Annunciation Church: Volunteer with Annunciation Youth Ministry, past member of Finance Committee, Compensation Committee, and Parish Council
  • Volunteer reading aid at Sheridan School, Minneapolis
  • Chair of local organizing committee for Minneapolis to host Hockey Day Minnesota
  • Minneapolis Hockey Association: Past member of Board of Directors