General Commercial Litigation

Bartlit Beck represents clients in matters involving commercial litigation in mediations, arbitrations, and in state and federal courts across the country.  Bartlit Beck handles cases involving all areas of commercial litigation, including breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation/libel, acquisition-related issues, unfair trade practices, environmental issues, insurance coverage, environmental liability, consumer litigation and class actions.

Bartlit Beck has won most of the commercial litigation cases it has tried.  We have also won other cases on motion and obtained favorable settlements for our clients.  Combining our trial expertise with our experience with these types of matters, we are uniquely qualified to represent clients involving commercial litigation matters.

Below are summaries of some of the representative commercial litigation cases we have handled.

In re Teflon® Product Liability Litigation

Represented DuPont in an MDL comprised of 23 alleged class actions brought on behalf of consumers who claimed to have purchased cookware coated with Teflon® and other non-stick coatings manufactured by DuPont.  MDL in Southern District of Iowa.  Class certification denied in all matters.  Petition for appeal rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Cases voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.

Gore v. Bush, et al.

Represented President George W. Bush in election contest filed by former Vice President Al Gore in Leon County, Florida, contesting the results of the 2000 Presidential election in Florida.  Trial judge held that no recount should take place.

Treasurer of the State of Conn. v. Forstmann Little, et al.

Represented Forstmann Little in litigation brought by the State of Connecticut, a limited partner in Forstmann Little investment funds, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.  Plaintiff sought nearly $1 billion in damages.  Jury trial in Connecticut State Court.  Complete victory at trial. 

United States v. United Technologies Corp.

Represented United Technologies in 10-week bench trial of False Claims Act case brought by the Department of Justice.  Government sought $624 million, alleging price inflation on jet engine sales by UTC division Pratt & Whitney to the Air Force from 1985-1991.  Trial court’s judgment rejected the government’s $624 million damages claim, held that the government suffered no actual damages, and imposed statutory penalties of $7 million.

Naftali, et al. v. DuPont

Represented DuPont in ten-week jury trial of personal injury, medical monitoring, and punitive damages claims of ten plaintiffs.  Lawsuit brought by 1600 plaintiffs alleging community-wide environmental contamination by DuPont blasting cap plant over 90 years.  Court dismissed punitive damages claims at close of evidence.  Jury awarded no damages to 7 of 10 trial plaintiffs.  Jury verdict for 3 plaintiffs of damages totaling less than $500,000. 

Amaranth LLC v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Representing hedge fund and trading advisor in their action for breach of contract and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage against investment bank, commercial bank, and futures commission merchant.  Damages in excess of $1 billion.  Case pending in New York state court.

SK Handtools v. Dresser Industries

Fraud case in which Dresser, represented by a different law firm, lost $4 million in compensatory and $50 million in punitive damages.  Represented Dresser on appeal.  Damages verdict reversed and remanded for new trial.  Represented Dresser trial on remand.  Jury verdict of $1 in nominal damages after three-week trial.

Alpha Therapeutic Corporation v. Allianz Underwriters Insurance Company, et al.

Represented Alpha in insurance coverage declaratory judgment action involving over 35 policies written by numerous insurers and $375 million in coverage.  Appeals court held that Alpha was entitled to the coverage sought.

Residential Funding Corp. (GMAC) v. DeGeorge Financial Corp.

Represented Residential Funding in jury trial of lender liability case involving purchases of home construction loans.  DeGeorge represented by Stephen Susman.  DeGeorge sought $390 million plus punitive damages.  Residential Funding sought $96 million by counterclaim.  Jury verdict for Residential Funding on all issues.  Jury awarded Residential Funding $96 million in damages.

BISSELL Inc. v. Hoover

Represented BISSELL in false advertising claims pending in federal court in Illinois and Michigan.  Hired as lead trial counsel three weeks before preliminary injunction trial.  Case settled night before opening statements.

First Olefins Limited Partnership v. Phillips Petroleum Company

Defended Phillips Petroleum in preliminary injunction action concerning Phillips’ rights to undertake a $105 million project to increase the output of an ethylene facility in Sweeny, Texas over its partner’s objection.  Expedited discovery compressed into five-week period.  Preliminary injunction denied.

Florists’ Transworld Delivery, Inc.  v. American Floral Services & Teleflora

Represented FTD in arbitration of contract dispute with American Floral Services and Teleflora over failure to pay minimum order fees under their agreements for access to FTD’s Mercury Network.

In re Harold C. Simmons Family Trusts

Represented Mr. Simmons in eight-week jury trial of breach of trust action.  Plaintiffs sought control of billion-dollar trusts.  Case settled favorably after hung jury.

Wagner v. NL Industries

Class action on behalf of 7,500 neighborhood residents seeking several hundred million dollars in personal injury and property damages due to emissions of lead from factory over a thirty-five year period.  Represented defendant NL Industries.  Jury verdict for NL on all issues following ten-week trial.