George G. Eck
PEOPLE

George G. Eck

Of Counsel
eck.george@dorsey.com

Overview

GEORGE IS THE FORMER HEAD OF DORSEY’S MINNEAPOLIS OFFICE AND IS OF COUNSEL IN THE LITIGATION GROUP. 
George practices in the area of complex civil litigation including commercial litigation, environmental litigation, civil tort litigation, including the handling of significant products liability, wrongful death and toxic tort litigation (including but not limited to asbestos and anhydrous ammonia wrongful death actions), employment litigation, insurance coverage litigation, and other civil actions.

Education & Admissions

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Second Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • Minnesota Supreme Court

Experience

Representative Work

  • Has tried a large number of civil cases in diverse subject areas ranging from admiralty to workers’ compensation.
  • Has obtained arbitration awards in excess of $35,000,000.00 for clients after a month long complex hearing, and has obtained several multi-million dollar arbitration awards in complex commercial arbitration matters.
  • Has obtained several multi-million dollar jury verdicts on behalf of clients, including, but not limited to, a $5,000,000 punitive damages award, and multiple defense verdicts in multi-million dollar cases.
  • Has tried to full jury verdict employment, FELA, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, contract, commercial, construction, products liability, real estate, admiralty (an advisory jury), fraud, wrongful death, and personal injury cases, among others, and has handled several cases of first impression before the Supreme Court of Minnesota and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • The Estate of Kenneth A. Macke v. PureChoice, Inc., et al. and PureChoice, Inc. v. Kathleen Macke, et al. Represented the Estate of Kenneth Macke (former Chairman of the Board of Target Corp.) regarding multiple claims and causes of action arising from multiple complex business transactions. The court granted summary judgment to the Estate and awarded attorneys’ fees.
  • MMMT Holdings Corp. v. NSGI Holdings Inc., No. 2:12-cv-01570 RSL (W.D. Wash.). Represented a Japanese Corp. against significant claims arising from a merger and acquisition.
  • Bellisio Foods, Inc. v. Ronald Bubar. Represented Bellisio Foods, Inc. (a food manufacturing company) in a civil action against its former CEO and Chairman of the Board seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • Canon Latin America v. Diaz, et al. Represented the plaintiff with complex legal malpractice claims against a law firm. The action was venued in Southern Florida.
  • Cargill, Incorporated v. MacQuarie Bank and Mark Carson. Represented Cargill, Incorporated in a civil action against a former executive and his new employer for breach of fiduciary duty and the theft of trade secrets.
  • Griffin Industries, Inc. v. Restaurant Technologies, Inc. Represented the defendant (a food servicing company) against claims and causes of action arising from alleged commercial torts by a competitor.
  • Gerald Trooien v. Peter Mansour, et al. Represented the plaintiff (a significant technology investor) with complex breach of fiduciary duty claims against officers and directors arising from the collapse of a start-up technology Co.
  • Gerald L. Trooien v. Patrick Imeson. Represented the plaintiff with complex commercial claims arising from transactions involving private aircraft.
  • Richard Page v. Gerald L. Trooien, et al. Represented the defendants against complex claims arising from the purchase of private jets.
  • JLT Aircraft Holding Co. v. Gulfstream Aerospace, LP. Represented the plaintiffs with significant breach of warranty claims arising from the purchase of two private jet aircraft.
  • Symplex Software, Inc. v. Intuitive Mfg. Co. Represented the plaintiff (a software provider) with claims arising from a contract to provide software and various services.
  • MidAmerica Festivals Corp. v. State of Minnesota. Represented the plaintiff (a company that produces renaissance and other festivals and events) in a complex civil action against the State of Minnesota arising from various breach of contract and breach of promise claims.
  • One on One Promotions, Inc. v. Kevin Garnett, et al. Represented the plaintiff against Kevin Garnett (a professional basketball player) for breach of a complex licensing agreement.
  • Gerald L. Trooien, et al. v. Corsair Aviation, LLC, et al.; Ramsey Cty. D. Court, No. 62-CV-09-3075. Represented the plaintiff in a complex civil action arising from various complex airplane leasing agreements.
  • Luigino’s, Inc. v. Iron Range v. State of Minnesota and IRRRB. Represented the plaintiff alleging multiple violations of law and breach of agreements arising from agreements relating to the building of a large manufacturing plant.
  • Upsher Smith, Inc. v. Mylan Laboratories, Inc. Represented the defendant (a large pharmaceutical company) in connection with a multi-million dollar claim for breach of promises to sell highly-valued pharmaceuticals.
  • Frank H. Bigelow, Jr. v. National Steel Pellet Co. Represented the defendant (a large steel manufacturer) in a civil jury trial in which plaintiff alleged damages arising from alleged services provided.
  • Madison East Properties, LLC v. Kearney Properties and Lunds Real Estate Holdings. Represented the respondents (a large retail grocery chain) in a commercial arbitration arising from disputes over shopping center ownership interests that resulted in an award to the respondents.
  • William Maloney v. Timothy Prinsen, et al. Represented the defendants in a complex property and boundary dispute involving properties located on Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, MN.
  • David Grzan v. Stephen Liefschultz, et al. Represented the plaintiff (a bank president and minority shareholder) in a complex action arising from multiple minority shareholder breach of fiduciary duty claims, and claims arising from plaintiff’s executive positions as president of Equity Bank and of the Ramada Co.
  • RSUI Indemnity Co. v. New Horizon Kids Quest, Inc., et al. No. 16-CV-00028 (RHK/TNL). Represented the defendant New Horizon Kids Quest, Inc. in this complex insurance coverage action.
  • Katie Kimball, as parent and guardian of J.K., a minor vs. New Horizon Kids Quest, Inc. Represented defendant (a large child care provider) in connection with claims against it arising from allegedly significant injuries sustained at a day care center that had resulted in a verdict of $13 million (which was vacated because of the plaintiff’s lawyers’ misconduct) and a subsequent retrial that resulted in a $6 million verdict.
  • New Horizon Kids Quest, Inc. v. Voyager Bank, Court File No. 27-CV-14-532, State of MN, Hennepin County. Represented the plaintiff with various claims against Voyager Bank.
  • Insight Equity A.P. X, LP, d/b/a Vision-Ease Lens Worldwide v. Transitions Optical, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-00635-RGA (D. Del.). Representing the plaintiff (a lens manufacturer) in a complex antitrust action that is now venued in Delaware. It was previously venued in Florida as part of an MDL.
  • J&M Distributing Co., Inc. v. Hearth & Home Technology, LLC, et al. Civil File No.: 13-CV-00072-SRN/TML. Represented the plaintiff (a distributor of various home fireplace products) with significant anti-trust, franchising, and breach of contract claims.
  • Richard S. Chang and Sean Takeuchi v. Virtual Radiologic Professionals of California, PA, et al., AAA Case No. 01-14-0002-0557 and Chang, et al. v. Virtual Radiologic Professionals of California, P.A., et al. Case No. BC 526721, Sup. Ct. of CA, Los Angeles County. Representing a healthcare provider of radiology services in a purported class action commenced by California based independent radiologists who are alleging multiple claims and causes of action. The Court granted our motion to stay the civil action and compel arbitration in Minnesota. The arbitrator granted our motion holding that the case could not proceed as a class action. The claimants have now appealed that award.
  • Larry P. Kaplan v. Virtual Radiologic, d/b/a Virtual Radiologic Professionals of New York, P.A., et al. Represented the defendants in this purported class action.
  • Richard Hassan, et al. v. Virtual Radiologic Corp. Represented Virtual Radiologic Corp. in a commercial arbitration that resulted in an Award for the Respondent.
  • Eric Brecher v. Virtual Radiology Corp. Represented Virtual Radiology Corp. in a commercial arbitration that resulted in an Award for the Respondent.
  • Jason Sinclair v. Virtual Radiology Corp. Represented Virtual Radiology Corp. in a commercial arbitration.
  • Rajesh Bhojwani v. Virtual Radiology Corp. Represented Virtual Radiology Corp. in a commercial arbitration that resulted in an Award for the Respondent.
  • Weight Watchers Int’l, Inc. v. Luigino’s, Inc., No. 03 Civ. 0292, USDC S. District of New York. Represented Luigino’s, Inc. (a frozen foods manufacturer) in a complex trademark action that was decided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Luigino’s, Inc., et al. v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Represented Luigino’s, Inc. in an action against Kraft Foods arising from the threat by Kraft Foods to enjoin Luigino’s, Inc. from using the word lean in describing its products. Luigino’s, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment was granted and affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Iracore International, LLC v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc., No. 13-CV-00115-JNE-LIB (D. Minn.). Represented the plaintiff in a complex environmental action in which the plaintiff alleged claim in excess of six million dollars.
  • Kennedy Bldg. Associates v. Viacom, Inc., et al. Represented the plaintiff in this jury trial involving a significant environmental cleanup regarding PCB contamination that was conducted over a three-week period before the Honorable Chief Judge James Rosenbaum that resulted in a large verdict for the plaintiff including the award of attorneys’ fees in an amount in excess of $1,000,000.
  • In re Sugar Beets Insurance Litigation. Represented approximately 450 sugar beet growers in complex insurance litigation against eleven insurance companies. The plaintiffs were insured under multi-peril crop insurance policies that were written by eleven insurance companies, which had re-insurance contracts with the United States Government. A complex evidentiary hearing was held before three arbitrators. The arbitrators issued detailed findings of fact awarding the growers almost $40,000,000 collectively.
  • Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative v. Imperial Sugar Co. Represented the claimant (a farmer’s cooperative) in this commercial arbitration that was tried for two weeks in Denver, Colorado. The arbitrator awarded $3.5 million to Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, but also awarded a multi-million dollar award pursuant to Imperial Sugar’s claim for breach of the supply option agreement between the parties.
  • E.F. Johnson Co. v. Miltope Corp. Represented E.F. Johnson Co. (a manufacturer) in this complex commercial arbitration involving cell phone technology. E.F. Johnson prevailed and collected an award in excess of $2,000,000; Miltope was not awarded any relief.
  • Jeno F. Paulucci v. Fidelity Technologies Corp. Represented Jeno Paulucci (a well-known entrepreneur and businessman) personally in a two-week trial for breach of contract that was venued in St. Louis County, Minnesota, that resulted in a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff.
  • In the matter of the arbitration between Hutchings Hose Products, Inc., a Florida Corp., Claimant and TI Group Automotive Systems Corp., a Michigan Corp., formerly known as Bundy Corp., Respondent; Case No.: 33 Y 181 00076 00. Represented the claimant in a significant commercial arbitration arising from breaches of a “Cooperation and Supply agreement” that resulted from a merger and acquisition.
  • Arbitrage Partners LLC v. Michael P. McCormick, AAA File No. 65 180 00181 05. Represented the respondent (a co-founder of a hedge fund) against claims asserted by his co-founder that resulted in an award for the respondent.
  • Pezrow, Inc. v. Luigino’s, Inc. Represented the defendant (a food manufacturing company) against breach of contract and other claims alleged by one of its food brokers.
  • GVA Marquette Advisors, Inc. v. JPI Apartment Development, LP. Represented the claimant (a real estate advisory firm) in a commercial arbitration regarding entitlement to brokerage fees that resulted in an award to claimant.
  • Jerry Argovitz v. Lakes Entertainment, Inc., et al.; (AAA Case No. 01-15-0002-9016). Represented respondents (a gaming company) in a complex commercial arbitration in which the plaintiff seeks an award of $7 million arising from various agreements to manage a casino.
  • Quest Media Group, LLC v. Lakes Ohio Development, LLC, et al., Case No. 2:12-CV-521. Represented the defendants in this action in which the plaintiff asserted multiple claims including breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, tortious interference, and other claims seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • Dacquisto v. Barenbaum, et al., and Orr v. Lakes Entertainment, Inc., et al. Represented Lakes Entertainment, Inc. and its directors against alleged breach of fiduciary claims arising from a proposed merger.
  • Hoyt Properties, Inc. v. Production Resource Group, L.L.C., N.W.2d ---, 2007 WL 2127886 (Minn. July 26, 2007). Represented the plaintiff (a real estate investing company) which claimed millions of dollars in damages against the defendant, seeking to pierce defendant’s corporate veil. Steve Hoyt—a sophisticated lawyer and real estate investor—sought to rescind a settlement agreement based upon alleged misrepresentations of fact rendered by the adverse lawyer during settlement negotiations that were ongoing in the Hennepin County Courthouse arising from the plaintiff’s action to evict a subsidiary of the defendant from its commercial tenancy. Ultimately, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and a divided court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court, through Justice Page and over two dissents, held that the plaintiff had stated actionable claims for fraudulent inducement and that there were jury issues regarding plaintiff’s reliance. The case was subsequently tried following remand with the fraud claims settled.
  • Northway Exhibit Machinery, Inc. and Bruce Knight v. Production Resource Group, LLC, et. al. Represented the plaintiff (a company that designed and sold industrial exhibits for trade shows) with significant claims against an insolvent subsidiary and piercing the corporate veil claims against the parent company.
  • William Dunkley v. Voyager Bank and VFSC, Inc. Represent the plaintiff who is seeking to rescind a multi-million dollar stock transaction (and the underlying loan) because of fraud. The case was tried to the Court in December 2015.
  • Boyt, et al. v. VFSC, Inc., et al., Ct. File No. 27-cv-13-17849, State of MN, Hennepin Cty. Represented the former Chairman of the Board of Voyager Bank against fiduciary duty claims.
  • Owens, et al. v. VFSC, Inc., et al. and VFSC, Inc., et al. v. Owens, et al., State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, No. 27-cv-13-16297. After a multi-million dollar arbitration award was rendered, was retained to vacate the award on behalf of one of the defendants (the former chairman of Voyager Bank). The award was vacated by a Hennepin County judge for failure by the lead arbitrator to disclose conflicts of interest.
  • Jeffrey Hilligoss v. Cargill, Incorporated. Represented Cargill, Incorporated against multiple claims asserted by a terminated executive that were tried to a Hennepin County jury and appealed to both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Minnesota.
  • Florenzano v. Olson and Bankers Life Co., 387 N.W.2d 168 (Minn. 1986). Represented defendants in a case of first impression that was decided by the Supreme Court of Minnesota. The Supreme Court held as a matter of first impression that principles of comparative fault applied to negligent misrepresentation actions, reversing the Court of Appeals, affirming a verdict and judgment for the defendants.
  • Patrick Pariseau v. Equity Bank and Steven B. Liefschultz. Represented the former president of a bank with multiple employment and contract claims and causes of action including a whistleblower claim.
  • Victoria L. Pederson v. The Remada Co., Equity Bank, The Guider Group LLC, Lake Riley LLC, Preserve Townhomes LLC, and Steven B. Liefschultz. Represented the plaintiff with multiple causes of action arising from her employment and other claims against the defendants.
  • Kristin Wagner v. Equity Bank, Equity Bank Holding Co., Inc., and Steven B. Liefschultz. Represented the plaintiff with multiple claims and causes of action against the defendants arising from both quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment and other claims.
  • Felomena A. Lynch v. The Remada Co., The Guider Group LLC, and Steven B. Liefschultz. Represented the plaintiff with significant claims and causes of action against the defendants arising from both quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment and other claims.
  • Gloria Harvey v. Michelina’s, Inc. Represented the defendant against harassment and employment law claims.
  • James Kostal v. Luigino’s, Inc. Represented the defendant against an executive’s wrongful termination and other claims.
  • Gerald Trooien v. Colleen Needles and Tremendous Entertainment, Inc. Represented the plaintiff (a significant entrepreneur, businessman and real estate developer and owner) with breach of contract claims against a former prominent news anchor and her Co.
  • Michelle Alton Bonomo v. Midtown Partners LLC. Represent the plaintiff in a complex action in which the plaintiff seeks to become a member of a limited liability Co.
  • In re I35W Bridge Collapse cases. Represented URS Corp. (a large engineering firm) in civil actions arising from the collapse of the I35W bridge. Defended 11 wrongful death cases, scores of catastrophic personal injury cases, and significant property damage claims.
  • Robert J. McNulty, Jr., et al. v. Leonard Street and Deinard, et al., No. 27-cv-14-4504, State of Minnesota, County of Hennepin. Represented the plaintiffs (owners of a construction company) with legal malpractice claims.
  • Lakes Entertainment, Inc. v. Milberg, LLP, William S. Lerach, Kevin B. Roddy, et al. Represented Lakes Entertainment, Inc. in a complex civil action alleging fraud that induced substantial settlements in prior class action lawsuits.
  • Norlakes Services Midwest, Inc. v. JLT Mobil Building Limited Partnership. Represented defendant lessor against complex leasehold claims. (Was in a jury trial on this case on 9/11/2001 in Ramsey County, Minnesota.)
  • Thomas Teske, as trustee for next-of-kin of Chester Teske, deceased, v. A.H. Bennett Co., et al., Court File No. 62-cv-13-1411, State of Minnesota, County of Ramsey. Represented Brock White Co. in this wrongful death action.
  • Audrey Simmons, as Trustee for the next-of-kin of Peter Allen Simmons, Deceased, v. A.H. Bennett Co., et al., Court File No. 62-CV-13724, State of Minnesota, County of Ramsey. Represented Brock White Co. in this wrongful death action.
  • Britta Louise Puppe, as Trustee, for the Next of Kin of Randall Lee Puppe, Decedent, v. Ametek, Inc. (f/k/a American Machine and Metals), M&S Manufacturing Co., Hilco Industrial LLC, Mid-Michigan Machinery Sales, Inc., Bird Machinery Co. and Baker Hughes, Inc., Defendants, v. TCR Engineered Components, Third Party Defendant, No. 10-CV-03888 MJD/JJK (D. Minn.). Represented Ametek, Inc. (a manufacturer of large industrial products) in this significant wrongful death action.
  • Gerald W. Hahn v. Hutchinson Wil-Rich, Inc. v. Tri-Line Farmers Co-op. Represented plaintiff in a products liability action that was tried for three weeks in Lac Qui Parle County, Madison, Minnesota. The case resulted in a $2,200,000 verdict for the plaintiff. The jury found that the plaintiff was 2% at fault; found that the direct defendant was 3% at fault; and that the third-party defendant employer was 95% at fault. Under the law that existed at that time, the direct defendant had to pay 98% of the damages, resulting in a change in the law.
  • Richard Tapia v. Green Bay Packaging, Inc., et al. Represented Alliance Machine Systems, International, LLC in this complex product liability action.
  • John Smith v. Minnesota, Dakota Railroad. Represented this shortline railroad in a federal employer’s liability action. This case was tried for two weeks resulting in a defense verdict.
  • Molkenbur v. Hart, et al. Represented two medical doctors against significant malpractice claims that resulted in a defense verdict.
  • Arlene Swendiman, as Trustee for the heirs and next-of-kin of John K. Swendiman v. Dale Johansen, as Trustee for the heirs and next of kin of Clara Johansen, National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania d/b/a AIG Aviation, and The American Red Cross, Defendants, and National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania d/b/a AIG Aviation, and the American Red Cross, Third-Party Plaintiffs v. The United States of America; the Ninety-Nines, Incl., International Organization of Women Pilots; the Ninety-Nines, Inc., Minnesota Chapter; and Wings, Inc., Third-Party Defendants. Lead plaintiff’s counsel in a complex action arising out of a multi-airplane mid-air crash that occurred at the St. Paul, Minnesota downtown airport that resulted in the deaths of several individuals. After a multi-day court trial, Magistrate Judge Lebedoff issued findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order for judgment in favor of plaintiffs.
  • In Re Minot Train Derailment Cases. Represented over 100 victims against the Canadian Pacific Railway d/b/a/ Soo Line Railroad. The cases involved significant toxic tort claims and injuries (including one wrongful death claim) arising from a train derailment in Minot, North Dakota, that released 250,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia that engulfed the city, poisoning thousands.
  • In Re Ethyl Lead Litigation. Represented Ethyl Corp. in a significant lead poisoning case. Ethyl Corp. manufactured and supplied the lead that was used in gasoline before that became illegal. The plaintiff contended that Ethyl Corp. was legally responsible for the mass contamination of children by supplying the lead in gasoline. Ultimately, faced with significant motions to dismiss, the plaintiffs withdrew their claims and dismissed the action with prejudice.
  • In Re Showa Denko K.K. Product Liability Litigation. Represented Showa Denko K.K. in mass tort litigation arising from its production of a food supplement that allegedly caused many deaths and significant injuries. Showa Denko K.K. was a Japanese manufacturer, and was embroiled in mass tort litigation for years.
  • North Prior and Outsourcing Solutions v. Gerald L. Trooien. Represented the defendant against breach of contract and other claims involving a large office building.
  • Viet Environmental v. SMBSC. Represented the defendant against breach of contract and other claims.

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Founding member of the Minnesota Million Dollar Roundtable (lawyers with jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars)

Accolades

Ranked in Chambers USA 2015 - Leading Individual  Ranked in Chambers USA 2014 - Leading Individual

  • Listed as a Minnesota Super Lawyer, 2002-2015
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2011-2016
  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2010-2015
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • An International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers

North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2015
  • Selected as one of the state’s “Super Lawyers” in 2002-2009 by Minnesota Law & Politics, Twin CitiesBusiness Monthly and St. Paul Magazine
  • Selected as one of the Top 40 Business Litigation Super Lawyers in 2006 & 2009 by Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Selected as one of the state’s “best and brightest” litigators in the Minnesota Lawyer, 1991
  • A Member of the Firm’s Policy Committee (The Firm’s Board of Directors)
George G. Eck