Kurt Reeg is a nationally recognized litigator whose extensive practice spans the fields of insurance (bad faith and coverage), toxic torts, product liability, environmental law, agricultural and farm law, as well as consumer protection laws including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. For more than 35 years, Kurt has skillfully represented product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers involved in a wide range of complex, high-stakes litigation — with substantial experience in matters related to asbestos, bio-technology, chemicals, construction and other heavy equipment, drugs and medical devices, herbicides and other pesticides, and toxic torts, among others. He has litigated on behalf of clients in more than 20 states, including four of the top 10 Judicial Hellholes in the United States: Madison County, Illinois; Cook County, Illinois; St. Clair County, Illinois; and The City of St. Louis, Missouri.

Kurt is often involved in matters that have impacts reaching far beyond his direct clients. For example, he was co-counsel in multiple class actions for Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, the leading manufacturer of the widely used corn, sorghum, and sugar cane herbicide Atrazine. While the suits — which Kurt and his team successfully resolved over the course of a decade — had dire implications for the agricultural industry, their favorable resolution was critical for all industries subject to federal regulation, as the plaintiffs’ efforts were to end-run EPA drinking water regulations through common law tort lawsuits.

Throughout the course of his career, Kurt — who has served as an expert insurance witness — has worked with and for most of the major property and casualty insurers throughout the country, and litigates many different types of sophisticated coverage claims for insurance-industry clients. He has served as a Coordinating Counsel for The SAFECO Companies in the toxic tort, environmental, and long-tail claims fields, and represented one of the firm’s member companies in Minnesota’s direct action against the insurance industry; the suit sought cleanup of the first two of 106 environmental sites throughout the state. He also represented one of SAFECO’s member companies for more than a decade in the $500 million, nationwide W.R. Grace asbestos coverage litigation in the federal courts of New York — trying and participating in several trials and different phases of the litigation, successfully prevailing on summary judgment, and arguing and prevailing in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Few lawyers can match Kurt’s asbestos litigation experience on a national scale. For a single Fortune 100 company in Madison County, Illinois, for example, he has managed more than 3,000 cases at any one time. Indeed, for many clients, he has acted as both coordinating and/or trial counsel, simultaneously managing hundreds of cases for several clients at a time, and has tried numerous asbestos cases through various stages of completion, including appeals. He has acted as national, regional, or state counsel countless times, for clients involved in the manufacturing and distribution of paper products, electrical components, plastics and composites, consumer appliances, roofing materials, analytical instruments, agrochemicals, and automotive parts, among many, many others.

In addition to his trial work, Kurt has extensive appellate experience, and has presented several oral arguments in various state and appellate courts, including those in Missouri, Illinois, California, and New York. He clerked for two justices of the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court, including the Chief Justice.

He has participated in more than 100 mediations, arbitrations, early neutral evaluations, and mini trials.

Honors
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent (listed for Insurance Law, Product Liability Law, and Toxic Torts)
  • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, 2015
  • American Lawyer, Top Rated – AV® Preeminent Lawyers™ in Mass Tort Litigation (Listed in 2012 in the first-ever Top Rated Lawyers® section for Mass Tort Lawyers; profile included in The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel Magazine)
  • Unsung Hero in Business, St. Louis Small Business Monthly, 2016
Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association: TIPS Products Liability Subcommittee (Former Chair); Tort and Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law Committees
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI): Products Liability Committee; Specialized Litigation Groups for Manufacturers’ Risk Prevention, Hand and Power Tools; Children’s Products; Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee, Special Litigation Group for Asbestos, Mold, and Indoor Air Quality
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC): Recipient, 2001 Andrew C. Hecker Award for most outstanding Quarterly article of the year; Products Liability Section; Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Section: Chair, 2001-2003; Vice-Chair, 1999-2001, Vice-Chair, 2016-2017
  • Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association
  • Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues 
  • Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC): Sustaining Member, 2008
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Admitted to Practice
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Courts for the the Central, and Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Community Involvement
  • Member, Citizen Advisory Board, Missouri Baptist Hospital, St. Louis, MO (2013-2015)
  • Member of Board of Trustees, Missouri Baptist Hospital, 2015-present
  • Board of Directors, Life Crisis Services (suicide hotline), St. Louis, MO (1986-1988)
Education
  • Saint Louis University School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • DePauw University, B.A., cum laude, 1976, Pi Sigma Alpha
Publications/Presentations
  • Presenter, "Emerging Risks for the Insurance Industry: What’s Coming Next,” National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), Chicago, IL, September 21, 2016
  • Presenter, "Tried and Trusted Strategies for Defending Against the Reptile Theory," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Webinar, May 19, 2016
  • Author, "From Injustice to Justice: Lessons Learned From the Madison County Tobacco Litigation," Madison-St.Clair Record, June 28, 2016
  • Author, “Illinois Asbestos Case Law Update,” National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2016
  • Presenter, "Emerging Environmental Trends," Architects and Engineers and Environmental Broker Educational Forum and Appreciation Event, Dana Point, CA, March 24, 2016
  • Presenter, "Amphibian Attack: Plaintiff's Increasing Use of the Reptile Theory," FDCC Winter Meeting, San Diego, CA, February 28, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Blurred Lines: Insurers Now Face Increasingly Draconian Consequences for Breaching Their Duty to Defend,” Mealey’s Emerging Insurance Disputes, January 21, 2016
  • Presenter, “Deposing the Plaintiff,” (to be presented at FDCC Boot Camp in New Orleans, LA, in September 2015), with Paul L. Knobbe
  • Presenter, “The Reptile Theory of Litigation Utilized by the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues, Chicago, IL, October 9, 2014
  • Author, “Deer and Animal Breeding, Preserve Hunting, and Governmental Interference: The Dilution and Unconstitutional Taking of Private Property by the State,” Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Vol. 18.3, 2013
  • Presenter, “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 Offers to Pick Off the Named Plaintiff,” Legal Update, Tactics and Best Practice, IADC Class Actions and Multi-District Litigation Committee, December 17, 2012
  • Co-Author, “The Self-Critical Analysis Privilege: It Is Time for Formal Adoption,” 62 FED’N DEF. & CORP. COUNS. Q. 80 (2011), with Matthew Temper
  • Author, “Water Wars: Water Contamination Litigation Runs Amuck!” 57 FDCC Quarterly, No. 4 at 375, Summer 2007
  • Presenter, “Toxic Tort Update 2007: The Litigation Train Keeps Rumbling!” The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), Chicago, IL, October 4, 2007
  • Presenter, “Water Wars: Water Contamination Litigation Runs Amuck!” FDCC 2007 Mid-Year Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, March 2007
  • Presenter, “Toxic Goulash: The Latest Ingredients of Toxic Tort Soup,” The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), Chicago, IL, October 5, 2006
  • Presenter, “MTBE: The Greening of Another Toxic Tort Trend,” FDCC 2004 Annual Meeting, Chesapeake Bay, MD, July 2004
  • Author, “Pressure-Treated Wood: Arsenic and Lace,” Declarations, Excess and Surplus Lines Claims Association, Summer 2003
  • Author, “An Analysis of Toxic Tort Trends,” Environmental Watch, American Airlines, www.skyradionet.com, August 2003
  • Presenter, “Tenth Report on Carcinogens (2002),” National Toxicology Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, FDCC 2003 Annual Meeting, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, July 2003
  • Presenter, “Pressure-Treated Wood: A Rising Litigation Phoenix,” FDCC 2003 Annual Meeting, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada (July 2003)
  • Presenter, “Sick Buildings and Construction Litigation,” (co-authored with Daniel R. Mawhinney and Donald G. Purdy), Mold Summit, Joint Conference of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, May 15, 2003
  • Presenter, “The Mold Rush: There’s a Fungus Among Us,” St. Louis Chapter of the CPCU Society, January 14, 2003
  • Co-Author, The Daubert Compendium 2002, Chapter 4, “Acceptance in the Scientific Community,” (co-authored with Joe Yeckel), Defense Research Institute, 2002
  • Co-Author, “Real Life Applications of Daubert: How To Make It Work Effectively for You,” Excluding Evidence Under Daubert/Kuhmo, Defense Research Institute, 2002
  • Author, “Mold Litigation – It’s Not Asbestos Déjà Vu All Over Again,” 17 Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy 4, November 2001
  • Co-Author, “E-Commerce and Products Liability: A Primer on Exposure at The Speed of Light,” 51 FED’N INS. & CORP. COUNSEL Q. 73 (2001) (co-authored with Marshall S. Shapo), Winner of the FDCC’s Andrew C. Hecker Award for the most outstanding Quarterly article of the year
  • Co-Author, “The Post-Sale Duty to Warn: An Update and Defense Strategy,” LJN’s Product Liability Law and Strategy, June 2001 (co-authored with Maria Hahalis)
  • Author, “Warning: Sellers May Now Have A Post-Sale Duty To Warn,” 50 FED’N INS. & CORP. COUNS. Q. 533 (2000)
  • Co-Author, “What’s It All About, Daubert?” 53 J. Mo. Bar 369 (1997) (co-authored with C. Bebout)
  • Presenter, “Trial Tactics Update: New Attacks by Plaintiffs’ Counsel on Your Experts and Company Witnesses; Daubert Developments,” Drug & Medical Device Litigation Seminar, Defense Research Institute, 1996
  • Contributor, State-By-State Survey of the Effect of Compliance or Noncompliance with Federal Regulatory Standards in Pharmaceutical Products Liability Litigation: A Report of the Subcommittee on Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, Committee on Products Liability Litigation, American Bar Association, 1995