Overview

When Kevin first started practicing law in 1981, his mentor defended automotive products cases for a major U. S. manufacturer. Over the course of several trials in state and federal courts, he developed a reputation and expertise in products liability defense. He regularly defends products liability, wrongful death, personal injury and property damage cases. His personal experience in emotionally-charged courtroom settings gives him a unique perspective when counseling clients on civil litigation.

Kevin has written and lectured extensively on issues important to product defense clients, such as: product recalls; conducting evidentiary Daubert hearings in federal court; spoliation of evidence; defenses based on federal preemption; protective orders against the dissemination of internal, confidential and proprietary trade-secret type design information; and keeping proof of other accidents, claims or lawsuits out of evidence.

He also evaluates and litigates aviation cases including accidents, has represented FBOs (fixed base operators) and has defended numerous pilot enforcement actions by the FAA. He is an instrument-rated private pilot with over 1,700 flight hours since 1989. He has been qualified in complex, high performance aircraft. His experience in the cockpit gives him a distinct advantage when working on aviation-related matters.

Kevin has a national reputation in product liability litigation. He served as Chair of the 3,500 member Product Liability Committee of the Defense Research Institute (DRI). He is also a Sustaining Member of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC). PLAC is a very select group of attorneys and manufacturers devoted to the defense of product liability matters. In 2017 Kevin was elected by his peers to serve as President of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association.

In Chambers USA 2018, Kevin is described by a client as "very thorough, efficient and knows what he is doing."

Experience

Experience

  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Executive Committee, 2009—2013
  • Member, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Executive Committee, 2007—2013
  • Member, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Management Committee, 2006—2007
  • Past Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Product Liability Practice Group
  • Past Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Aviation Law Practice Group
  • Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 1987—present
  • Associate Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 1981—1987
  • Holds private pilot’s license with instrument rating 1989-over 1,700 hours

Activities and Affiliations

  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Product Liability Advisory Council (Sustaining Member, 2010-)
  • DRI, Voice of the Defense Bar (Co-Chair: Manufacturers’ Risk Prevention Specialized Litigation Group of the Product Liability Committee, 2007-; Chair: Product Liability Committee, 1999-2001; Co-Chair: Agricultural, Construction, Mining & Industrial Equipment Subcommittee of the Product Liability Committee, 1991-1998)
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association (President, 2017- ; President-Elect, 2016-2017; Secretary, 2015-2016; Board Member (2013- ; Editorial Board Member: Defense Update, The Iowa Defense Counsel Association’s Newsletter, 2005-; Co-Chair: Product Liability Committee)
  • ALFA International (Product Liability Practice Group)
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (Legal Panel Counsel, 1999-)
  • Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Sustaining Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Litigation)
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
  • Polk County Bar Association

Seminars

  • Iowa State Bar Association Federal Practice Seminar, December 2017
  • 53rd Annual Meeting and Seminar, Iowa Defense Counsel Association, September 2017
  • The 51st Annual SMU Air Law Symposium, Dallas, TX, March 2017
  • Defense Research Institute Products Liability Conference, Las Vegas, NV, February 2017
  • Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting and Seminar, Boston, MA, October 2016
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Seminar, September 2016
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association Legal Panel Counsel Pilot Enforcement Seminar, Chicago, IL, July 2016
  • Claims & Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance Midwest, Omaha, NE, June 2016
  • Defense Research Institute Mid-Region Meeting, Branson, MO, May 2016
  • Defense Research Institute Products Liability Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 2016
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Federal Practice Seminar, December 2015
  • Product Liability Advisory Council Fall Seminar, Dallas, TX, October 2015
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Seminar, Johnston, IA, September 2015
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2015 Iowa Seminar, February 2015
  • Defense Research Institute, Product Liability Conference, Las Vegas, NV, February 2015

News & Events

Events & Speaking Engagements

Cases Presentations & Publications

Cases Presentations & Publications

Published Cases

  • Book v. Voma Tire Corp., 860 N.W.2d 576 (Iowa 2015)
  • Martin v. Apex Tool Group LLC, 961 F. Supp.2d 954 (N.D. Iowa 2013)
  • Johnson v. Des Moines Metro Wastewater Reclamation Authority, 814 N.W. 2d 240 (Iowa 2012)
  • Katzenmeier v. Blackpowder Products, Inc., 628 F.3d 948 (8th Cir. 2010)
  • Wallis v. Townsend Vision, Inc., 648 F. Supp.2d 1075 (C.D. IL 2009)
  • Katzenmeier v. Blackpowder Products, Inc., 2008 WL 85866676 (S.D. Iowa 2008)
  • Bush v. Townsend Vision, Inc., 2008 WL 2783212 (E.D. Wisc. 2008)
  • Perez v. Townsend Engineering Co., 545 F. Supp2d 461 (M.D. Pa. 2008)
  • Gregg v. Indian Motorcycle Corp., 2006 WL 2644937 (N.D. Iowa 2006)
  • Zeigler v. Fisher-Price, Inc., 302 F. Supp.2d 999 (N.D. Iowa 2004)
  • Richardson v. Walgreens, Inc., 680 N.W. 2d 379 (Iowa Ct. App. 2004)
  • Zeigler v. Fisher-Price, Inc., 261 F. Supp.2d 1047 (N.D. Iowa 2003)
  • Lowers v. United States, 663 N.W.2d 408 (Iowa 2003)
  • Wright v. Brooke Group, 652 N.W.2d 159 (Iowa 2002)
  • McClure v. Walgreen Co., 613 N.W.2d 225 (Iowa 2000)
  • Lovick v. Wil-Rich Mfg. Co., 588 N.W.2d 688 (Iowa 1999)
  • Schaffer by Schaffer v. A. O. Smith Harvestore Products, Inc., 74 F.3d 722 (6th Cir. 1996)
  • Patton v. TIC United Corp., 77 F.3d 1235 (10th Cir. 1996)
  • Federal Land Bank v. Tiffany, 529 N.W.2d 294 (Iowa 1995)
  • Bressler v. Graco Children’s Products, Inc., 43 F.3d 379 (8th Cir. 1994)
  • Hillrichs v. Avco Corp., 478 N.W.2d 70 (Iowa 1991), appeal after remand, 514 N.W.2d 94 (Iowa 1994)
  • Patton v. Hutchinson Wil-Rich Mfg. Co., 861 P.2d 1299 (Kan. 1993)
  • Johnston Equipment Corp. v. Industrial Indemnity, 489 N.W.2d 13 (Iowa 1992)
  • Fell v. Kewanee Farm Equip. Co., 457 N.W.2d 911 (Iowa 1990)
  • Berg v. Des Moines General Hospital Co., 456 N.W.2d 173 (Iowa 1990)
  • Jones v. Palmer Communications, 440 N.W.2d 884 (Iowa 1989)
  • United States Jaycees v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, 427 N.W.2d 450 (Iowa 1988)
  • C. Mac Chambers Co. v. Iowa Tae Kwon Do Academy, Inc., 412 N.W.2d 593 (Iowa 1987)
  • Automobile Underwriters Corp. v. Harrelson, 409 N.W.2d 688 (Iowa 1987)

Selected Publications, Presentations and Teaching Appointments:

  • Co-author (with Zachary J. Hermsen), "Defense Techniques for Combating Plaintiff's Reptile Strategy" Iowa Defense Counsel Association Defense Update, Winter 2018.
  • Author (with Jackson O'Brien), "Misnamed Corporate Entities and the "Relation-Back" Rule", For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, November 2017.
  • Co-author (with Zachary J. Hermsen), "Proper Objections to Written Discovery" Iowa Defense Counsel Association Defense Update, Spring 2017.
  • Author, "Misnamed Corporate Entities and Iowa's "Relation Back" Rule: A Potential Sword for Defendants," Iowa Defense Counsel Association Defense Update, Fall, 2016.
  • Author (with Sarah James), "Book v. Voma Tire Corp: The Iowa Supreme Court Takes an Expansive View of Personal Jurisdiction in a Products Liability Case," Iowa Defense Counsel Association Defense Update Fall, 2015.
  • Presenter, "Causation & Scope of Liability," Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting, February, 2015.
  • Author, “The Restatement (Third): Expanding Tort Liability in Iowa?”  Defense Update published by the Iowa Defense Counsel Association, November 2014 (Vol. XVI, No. 4).
  • Author (with Richard J. Kirschman), “Iowa Products Liability Law” Defense Update published by the Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Winter 2014 (Vol. XVI, No. 1, Page 1).
  • Author (with William C. Scales), “The U.S. Supreme Court Gives Renewed Vitality to the ‘No Personal Jurisdiction’ Defense,” Defense Update published by the Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Winter 2012 (Vol. XIV, No. 4, Page 1).
  • Author (with Thomas B. Read), The Restatement (Third), Duty, Breach Of Duty and “Scope Of Liability”Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Summer 2012.
  • Author (with William C. Scales), The Restatement (Third) of Torts, Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm: The “New” Duty and Causation AnalysisFor the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, November 2010.
  • Author (with Robert L. Fanter and John H. Moorlach), “Witness Statements in Investigation, Deposition and Trial.” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, September 2008.
  • Presenter, “Federal Aviation Regulations,” Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Seminar, September 2007.
  • Author, “Case Note: Recent Eighth Circuit Case Helpful to Defendants on Discovery, Evidentiary and Daubert Issues,” Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Summer/Fall 2007.
  • Author (with Nicholas O. Cooper), “Some ‘Unique’ Defenses Applicable to Punitive Damage Claims in Iowa,” Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Summer 2006.
  • Author, “The ‘Reverse Crashworthiness’ Defense,” Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Spring 2006.
  • Author, “The ‘Duty’ to Teach Younger Trial Lawyers,” Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Winter 2006.
  • Author (with Robert L. Fanter), “The ‘State’ of the State-of-the-Art Defense in Iowa,’” Defense Update: The Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Winter 2006.
  • Author (with R. William Hancock), “Res Ipsa Loquitur in Iowa: How to Keep the Latin from Becoming ‘All Greek,’” Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Fall 2005.
  • Presenter, “Deposition Techniques,” Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division-Professional Development Committee, Nuts & Bolts Seminar, October 5, 2005.
  • Presenter, “Iowa Products Liability: Some Questions Answered and Some Answers Questioned,” Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 22, 2005.
  • Author, “Failure to Warn: Statutory Changes in Iowa Law,” Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2005.
  • Author, “Iowa ‘Tort Reform:’ The Breadth of the Iowa Statute of Repose,” Defense Update, Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Winter 2004.
  • Author, “Some Suggested Changes in Iowa Law That Could Benefit Defendants in Product Cases,” Iowa Defense Counsel Association Newsletter, Summer 2004.
  • Presenter, “The Restatement (Third) of Torts, Product Liability: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?”  Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 26, 2003.
  • Author (with Richard J. Kirschman and Jonathan E. Kramer), “The New Restatement: Is the Third Time Truly a Charm?,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, April 2003.
  • Presenter, “Practical Issues in Working With Experts in Product Liability Cases,” Iowa Defense Counsel Association Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 26, 2002.
  • Presenter and Program Chair, “Product Liability,” The Defense Research Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 21-23, 2001.
  • Presenter and Program Chair, “Product Liability,” The Defense Research Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada, January 19-21, 2000.
  • Co-author, “The ‘Ten Myths’ of Products Liability,” 27 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 551, 2000.
  • Presenter, “Product Liability and Safety Seminar,” Construction Industry Manufacturer’s Association Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 9-10, 1999.
  • Author (with Lori E. Iwan), “Amended Rule 407: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1998.
  • Author (with Richard J. Kirschman), “The Top Ten Misconceptions in Product Liability Law,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1997.
  • Author (with Richard J. Kirschman), “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t: The Standards Dilemma in Products Litigation,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1996.
  • Presenter, “Defending Against Post-Sale Failure to Warn Claims,” Product Liability Institute for Corporate Counsel, New York, New York, February 1996.
  • Author (with Jason M. Casini), “Confronting the ‘Heeding Presumption’ in Failure to Warn Cases,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1995.
  • Presenter, “Debunking Failure to Warn Claims,” Product Liability Institute for Corporate Counsel, Washington, D.C., March 1995.
  • Author (with Richard J. Kirschman), “Preventing a ‘Second Bite at the Apple:’ Defending Against Enhanced Injury Claims,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1994.
  • Author, “Defending Against An ‘Interlock’ Claim,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1993.
  • Author, “The ‘Duty’ to Recall or Retrofit a Product,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1992.
  • Author (with Lou Quinn), “A Post-Mortem Examination of the Jury,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1990.
  • Author (with Robert L. Fanter), “Ingenuous Ingenuity in Defense of a Product,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1989.
  • Author (with Robert L. Fanter), “The ‘Offensive Defense’ of a Product Liability Action,” For the Defense, The Defense Research Institute, October 1988.

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Individual Lawyer in General Commercial Litigation (2011—2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Insurance Law (2015—2018); Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2016—2018); Commercial Litigation (2017—2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers (2013—2015), and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2013
  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the area of Personal Injury Defense: Products (2007, 2009—2017)
  • Selected for inclusion in Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star – Iowa in practice areas including Appellate, Insurance, and Product Liability (2013-2014)

Education

University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1981, with distinction

  • National Moot Court Competition

Iowa State University, B.A., 1978

  • Recipient: Maytag Foundation Full Scholarship

Admissions

  • Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Southern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Northern District of Iowa
    U.S. Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit
    U.S. Supreme Court
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