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Kurt T. Putnam

Partner

E kputnam@wfbm.com
T (415) 781-7072
| F (415) 391-6258

Overview

Kurt Putnam focuses his practice in the areas of product liability and toxic tort/asbestos litigation. As an experienced litigator, Kurt has handled all aspects of trial, including conducting extensive pre-trial fact and expert discovery, drafting and arguing trial and post-trial motions, jury selection, and examining and cross-examining fact and expert witnesses. Kurt has tried four cases to verdict as second chair.

Representative Successes
  • Harkin v. John Crane, Inc., et al., – Obtained defense verdict when representing a laborer contractor in a personal injury mesothelioma case.
  • Vaught v. John Crane Inc. – Obtained defense verdict in an asbestos-related wrongful death case based on a mesothelioma diagnosis. Plaintiffs alleged that the decedent was exposed to client’s gaskets and packing while employed in municipal maintenance departments from the 1950s to 1980s.
  • Williamson v. Calaveras Asbestos Ltd., et al. – Resolved during jury selection a preference matter involving a plaintiff in his 50s with minor children. Plaintiffs alleged that the client manufactured an asbestos-containing product that was previously unknown and had never been the subject of litigation.
  • Carl Bjerke v. John Crane Inc. – Resolved wrongful death matter after plaintiffs’ opening statement. Drafted and argued motions involving res judicata and collateral estoppel effects of the underlying personal injury verdict against the client.
  • Ellingworth v. A.C. and S., Inc., et al. – Obtained dismissal of client prior to start of wrongful death, high-damages trial involving a medical doctor in his 50s. Successfully identified and interviewed dozens of witnesses, many of whom had testimony that conflicted with decedent’s. Developed statute of limitations and medical causation defenses, and drafted and argued motions regarding choice of law and for summary judgment.
  • Windham v. Pneumo Abex, et al. – Successfully appealed court’s denial of client’s request that the preference case be stayed pending the outcome of the plaintiffs’ concurrent federal court case. Later obtained dismissal during the plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.
  • Motion for summary judgment granted for dissolved general contracting company in a personal injury preference case in which the plaintiff alleged mesothelioma from take-home exposure to asbestos.
Beyond the Office

Kurt attended the University of California, Hastings Law School in San Francisco.  Kurt spent many hours correcting citation and grammar errors in journal articles as the production editor for The Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal. In his spare time, Kurt completed the litigation program at Hastings, which included many mock trials, some of which involved his friends acting as volunteer jurors voting against his “client.”

Prior to entering law school in 1999, Kurt worked in advertising, readying print advertisements for publication. Advertising involves selling ideas nobody wants or believes and it turned out to be a very good foundation for litigation.

A native of Minnesota, Kurt attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he earned a degree in French, and which started a life-long fascination with all things French, including pastries and wine. Monticello, his hometown, is best-known for its nuclear power plant, which is but one of the many interesting similarities he shares with the Simpson family.

When not at the office, Kurt obsesses over logic games like Ken-Ken, and crossword puzzles. Although currently pug-less, he has had two pugs and has been known to stop the car to meet a particularly interesting pug.

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