Daniel E. Tranen Partner

     

Contact

   

Daniel Tranen is an accomplished litigator who has handled matters across the litigation spectrum throughout the United States during his 20-year legal career. His practice ranges from the defense of entities in mass tort and single-claim product liability matters, class actions and insurance coverage matters to employment, transportation, environmental, toxic torts, medical and health care litigation, general liability and commercial litigation disputes. In addition, Daniel handles collection/consumer statutory defense matters, overcoming motions to dismiss on dozens of collection efforts and sustaining motions to dismiss on Fair Debt Collections Practices Act actions.

Daniel has frequently defended individuals and entities in professional liability and securities claims as well as bar ethics complaints. He conducts fraud investigations on behalf of insurers and counsels individuals, entitles and other policyholders on risk management best practices. He is a recurrent speaker and author on many of these topics. Daniel, a former associate and partner at Wilson Elser (2002–2010) in Chicago and Boston, returned to the firm in 2015 after moving back to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. He is licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Illinois, Missouri, Georgia and Massachusetts. He works out of the firm’s southern Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri, offices.

Representative Matters

Product Liability, Mass Torts and Class Actions
In re Heparin litigation – MDL in the Northern District of Ohio and in consolidated cases in Cook County, Illinois. Directed defense of one of the main defendants in more than 300 cases involving heparin that allegedly contained a contaminant during processing in China. Obtained settlements paid by other parties, voluntary dismissals or summary judgments in all cases for client.

In re New England Compounding Pharmacy – MDL in the district court of Massachusetts. Served as local Massachusetts counsel to NECP through early portion of MDL process until NECP filed for bankruptcy and settled.

National pain pump litigation – worked on team that directed the defense of hundreds of pain pump cases in Ohio, New Jersey and California for a national target defendant. Allegations against defendant were based on improper warnings and marketing of pain pump products.

AM2PAT, Inc litigation – directed and directly handled the defense of nearly two dozen contaminated saline syringe cases filed nationally against the distributor of a defunct manufacturer (AM2PAT).The syringes were allegedly contaminated with bacteria during the manufacturing process.

Arlandson v. Summit VetPharm LLC et al. (district of New Jersey) – handled defense of consolidated class action matter against manufacturer of “spot on” flea and tick treatment. Secured settlement prior to class certification.

Carter v. B. Braun Medical Inc. CV-10-02573-PHX-ROS (2013 D. Ariz) – obtained summary judgment in favor of B. Braun in a heparin warnings case involving the development of HIT in a patient whose left hand was amputated.

Nickerson v. Miller et al (Essex Superior, Mass) successfully defended stent manufacturer by convincing plaintiff's counsel to voluntarily dismiss client after sending letter threatening summary judgment based upon federal preemption defense.

Professional Liability
Ball v. Kotter, 2012 WL 987223 (N.D.Ill) – obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant real estate broker who was accused of breaching a duty to her deceased ex-husband, who purchased two high priced Chicago condominiums with her help and titled them in her name. Court found that Illinois Dead Man's Act did not apply to preclude former co-defendant attorney from testifying that the condominiums were intended to be a gift to the real estate broker defendant. Judgment for Kotter was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit on appeal at 723 F.3d 813 (2013).

Sheehan v. Schlegel, C.A. NO. 2012-0058B, Suffolk (MA) Superior Court (2012) – obtained dismissal against lawyer on fraud claim arising out of alleged false interrogatory answer. Court dismissed case on absolute litigation privilege. Decision affirmed on appeal.

Kroner v. Deer & Stone, PC, 07 L 6784 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (2009)) – successful motion for summary judgment on legal malpractice claim. Divorce lawyer was sued by client contending that the lawyer failed to obtain a reasonable settlement for her due to the lawyer’s negligent handling of the case. Trial court dismissed the case since the client could not prove that she had suffered any damages given her prior admission that she received a fair and reasonable settlement (during the divorce prove-up) and her subsequent admission that she was not coerced into lying at that prove-up.

Ghilarducci v. Forrest, 05 L 10882 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (2009)) – reassigned case by insurer from another law firm just before trial. After trial assignment, trial judge granted motion for reconsideration on summary judgment and several motions in limine which gutted plaintiff’s case. On the morning of jury selection, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his case. This was a legal malpractice case arising out of mishandling of foreclosure litigation relating to several Chicago area car washes.

Redmond v. Kogan, 08 L 377 (Circuit Court of Winnebago County, Illinois (2009)) – successfully moved to dismiss legal malpractice claim on the basis that subsequent counsel’s poor arguments to protect plaintiff’s interests, and subsequent failure to file an appeal of a bad judicial decision were the cause in fact of any injury suffered by plaintiff as a result of defendant’s alleged negligent delay in paying a transfer fee.

Ng v. Deer & Stone P.C., 2007 L 005368 (Circuit Court of Cook County (2009)) – successfully moved for summary judgment on legal malpractice claim that lawyer’s failure to act led to plaintiff’s inability to secure permanent residency in the United States. Court agreed that plaintiff was not qualified to obtain residency, and therefore, suffered no damages from legal malpractice.

Zvunca et al. v. Motor Coach Industries International, Inc. et al., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15408 (N.D. Ill) – successfully moved to dismiss legal malpractice and other claims against guardian ad litem based upon attorney’s qualified immunity from suit. This was a legal malpractice case regarding attorney guardian’s role in a wrongful death suit involving a minor plaintiff.

Rodriguez v. Della Croce, 05 CH 1628 (Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois (2008)) – successfully moved to dismiss legal malpractice claim arising out of the financing of a real estate transaction. Court granted motion to dismiss finding that plaintiff could not state a claim for damages against her lawyer.

Murlas v. Madden et al., 2007 L 012042 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (2008)) – successfully argued motion to dismiss legal malpractice claim arising out of the alleged failure to properly bring a 2-140I petition. Court granted motion to dismiss finding that plaintiff could not plead or prove proximate cause for his injury.

Strimbu v. Maduff & Maduff, 2007-L-008375 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (2007)) – successfully argued motion to dismiss legal malpractice claim based upon viability of claim after termination of lawyer, who represented plaintiff in an employment claim.

Fine v. Redfield, et al., No. 00 L 5211 (Circuit Court Cook County, Illinois (2003)) – second chair trial in which plaintiff sought more than $10 million in damages arising from underlying bankruptcy proceeding. Case settled for less than cost of defense on fourth day of jury trial during cross examination of plaintiff.

Brooks-Tyson v. Willoughby & Hopkins, et al., (Circuit Court of Macon County, Illinois (2003)) – successfully argued motion for summary judgment in $1 million legal malpractice claim involving an alleged botched workers’ compensation representation.

Coverage Litigation
Magnolia v. Maxum Indemnity Co., (March 2018 E.D.La.) direct action filed against Maxum dismissed on summary judgment based upon the fact that claim was first made prior to the relevant policy period on a claims made and reported policy.

Victoria Automobile Insurance Company v. Rider, 2018 WL 926564 (E.D. Mo. February 16, 2018) summary judgment in declaratory judgment action granted for lack of coverage on automobile policy where the insurer declined to defend after investigation based upon a lack of coverage.  Underlying case involved a highway death and millions of dollars in claimed damages.

Ed’s Pallets v. Applied Underwriters, Inc. (SDIL 2017), after initially granting a motion to enjoin insurer from proceeding with an arbitration in Chicago seeking unpaid premium, Court granted motion to dismiss by insurer in favor of arbitration and stayed the case pending resolution of arbitration initiated by Applied Underwriters.

Hanover Ins. Co. v. Vemma International Holdings, Inc. 2016 WL 4059606 (D. Ariz.) successfully opposed motion for preliminary injunction by Vemma regarding Hanover’s obligation to advance defense fees in significant FTC action against Vemma, resulting in favorable settlement of the insurance claim.

C. White Marine, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, ESCV2009-01028-A (Essex County, MA. (2010)) – successfully argued motion for summary judgment on coverage under a CGL policy for damage to a crane transported by the insured. Court enforced mobile equipment exclusion in granting the motion.

Admiral v. SONICblue, Inc. et al., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71935 (N.D. CaL) – successfully argued motion for summary judgment on rescission of Admiral D&O policy based upon misrepresentations regarding demands for money and services made during the procurement of the Admiral policy.

Macey v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 585 F.Supp.2d 277 (D. Conn. 2008) – successfully briefed and argued motion for summary judgment in $3.5 million claim for insurance coverage under a D&O policy of insurance. Convinced district court judge that I v. I exclusion in policy precluded coverage for claim.

Qualcomm., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 161 Cal.App.4th 184 (2008) – defense demurrer was sustained on the grounds that Qualcomm’s settlement with an underlying layer of insurance coverage precluded it from any recovery from the Lloyd’s excess layer. Successfully convinced the appellate court to affirm in decision certified for publication. Review was denied by the California Supreme Court.

Leff Construction v. United National Insurance Company, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50521 (N.D. Ill.) – motion to dismiss granted on policy exclusion on request for coverage under a CGL policy by additional insured under the policy after a serious construction accident.

Equifin v. Admiral Insurance Company, MON-L-3075-06, Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County (November 27, 2006) – successful motion to dismiss claim under a D&O policy based upon a creditor’s exclusion endorsement to the policy.

Flagstar Bank FSB v. Federal Insurance Co. & Continental Casualty Co., 2006 LEXIS 55228 (E.D. Mich. August 9, 2006) – obtained summary judgment in favor of Continental Casualty Co. on damages. Flagstar sought a recovery of $9 million from Continental on its $15 million excess fidelity bond as a result of a $19 million fraud scheme. Judgment affirmed on appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Enterprise Renter-A-Car v. United Auto Ins. Co., 04 CH 18125, Circuit Court of Cook County (2006) – obtained summary judgment in favor of Enterprise whereby the court declared that United Auto and State Farm policies had to be exhausted before victim in auto accident could seek payment from Enterprise.

Alanco Technologies, Inc. v. Carolina Casualty Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31988 (D. Ariz.) – worked with D&O group to get summary judgment in favor of Carolina Casualty on Alanco’s claim for attorneys’ fees for case in which restitutionary damages were sought.

In re Spree.com, 295 B.R. 762 (E.D.Pa. 2003) – summary judgment obtained in a D&O coverage action involving a former director of Spree.com sued by the debtor in possession of Spree.com for causing the bankruptcy. Successfully argued that the director has no standing to bring a suit because they had no personal loss.

Conseco, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, P.A., et al., 2002 WL 31961447 (Ind. Cir. December 31, 2002) – worked on team which successfully argued, in a case of first impression in the U.S., that the settlement of claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act was not a coverage loss under the D&O policy. Obtained a dismissal of a $25 Million claim for coverage.

ERISA Litigation
Erlitz v. Cracker Barrel et al., 416 F.Supp.2d 711 (E.D.MO 2006) – after a bench trial, obtained a defense verdict in favor of Prudential on a group life insurance claim in which beneficiary sought benefits for group policy which had been cancelled before the insured’s death.

Scott v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1251 (W.D. Mich.) – obtained summary judgment in favor of Prudential on arbitrary and capricious standard of review and in ruling in favor of Prudential on Scott’s claim for long term disability benefits.

Caldwell v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11686 (E.D. Mich.) – obtained summary judgment ruling in favor of Prudential on plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

Newport v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14104 (E.D. Mich.) – obtained summary judgment ruling in favor of Prudential on plaintiff’s claim for long-term disability benefits.

Life Insurance Litigation
Poulos v. American Skandia Life Assurance Company, 2007 Mich. App. LEXIS 2837 – obtained summary disposition in favor of American Skandia on claim by beneficiaries for death benefit. Defeated allegations that annuity was ambiguous regarding conditions for payment of death benefit. Affirmed on appeal after oral argument.

McReynolds v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 276 Ga. App. 747 (2005) – obtained summary judgment in favor of Prudential on claim by first wife of insured for life insurance benefits which were paid to insured’s second wife. Affirmed on appeal.

Maritime Litigation
Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. v. Beelman River Terminals, Inc., 254 F.3d 706 (8th Cir. 2001) – worked on appeal which overturned an adverse jury verdict in case involving damage to 300 tons of steel as a result of the 1993 Mississippi River flooding in St. Louis.

Stephens v. Kraska, 991 S.W.2d 155 (Mo.App. 1999) – successfully argued application of maritime law to boating accident and obtained dismissal on limitations grounds. Decision affirmed on appeal.

Commercial Litigation 
Surabian Realty Co., Inc. v. Premier Education Group, L.P., et al. 4:10-cv-10827-FDS (U.S. Dist. Mass) – successfully moved to dismiss claims arising out of a commercial lease dispute. Convinced court that Landlord failed to identify any damages in claims against tenant. Judgment for Premier was affirmed on appeal.

Green v. Rogers,06 L 208, Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois (2006) – obtained dismissal of complaint seeking damages against the President of the Clarendon Hills Little League based upon allegations of defamation and conspiracy; dismissal affirmed by Illinois Supreme Court at 234 Ill.2d 478.

Marchmann v. Kovel Fuller et al., 06 C 1130 (N.D. Ill. 2008) – obtained dismissal on motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims of consumer fraud, invasion of privacy, and alleged violation of the Illinois Publicity Act. Plaintiff alleged that Kovel Fuller and Pacific Life Insurance Company misappropriated his image and used it in a Pacific Life television commercial.

West Branch Little League et al. v. Little League Baseball, Inc., 07-656359-CZ (2007) (Circuit Court Ogemaw County, Michigan) – obtained order dismissing petition for injunction filed by little league team to stop the Little League playoffs (in advance of the world series) over dispute regarding West Branch team’s eligibility to play in tournament.

Koresko v. Benistar et al., 1:04-CY-5183, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (January 3, 2007) – obtained dismissal on behalf of pension plan provider of multiple claims including business torts, abuse of process, defamation and RICO claims through motions to dismiss (affirmed on appeal).

Department of Transportation v. 1.8273 Acres of Land, et al., 96-V-478 (Superior Court of Georgia, Butts County, 2001) – second chair in trial in which we successfully defended condemnation monies paid by the department of transportation from a claim by a third party, who claimed an interest in the land.

Mansour Properties v. Reinhardt College, Inc., 252 Ga. App. 214 (October 2001) – obtained summary judgment in dispute over a substantial commercial real estate commission. This favorable decision was upheld on appeal.

General Liability Litigation
Blakely v. Nations Roof et al., St. Louis County Circuit Court (Missouri 2018) successfully defended hotel in roof collapse case by securing nuisance value settlement from plaintiff and securing much larger settlement against co-defendant for defense costs based upon contractual indemnity cross-claim.

Congdon v. Cheapcaribbean.com, Inc., 2017 WL 5059960 (N.D. Ill. November 3, 2017) successfully dismissed personal injury case arising out of an injury in Mexico on motion to dismiss based upon lack of personal jurisdiction.

Schromm v. Am Resorts, LLC (Circuit Court of St. Louis City 2017) successfully prosecuted motion to dismiss case against AM Resorts for lack of person jurisdiction based upon personal injury suffered in a night club in the Caribbean. 

Blash v. Caliacco Construction v. National Water Main Cleaning Company, Worcester Superior Court (2011) – defense verdict for National Water Main Cleaning Company after trial regarding contract indemnification claim brought by Caliacco against National Water Main Cleaning Company relating to liability for employee who was crushed by a forklift.

Collection/Consumer Statutory Defense
Melrose Credit Union (Cook County, IL 2018) overcame various motions to dismiss on dozens of collection efforts involving substantial loans secured by Chicago taxi medallions. 

Delgado v. Client Services, Inc., 2018 WL 1193741 (March 7, 2018 N.D. Ill) successfully dismissed FDCPA action on motion to dismiss based upon the determination that the inclusion of “0” interest in a dunning letter is not misleading.

Arbitrations
Stroud v. MacCready-MiIler and Financial Planning Systems, Inc. FINRA No. 08-2927 (2009) – tried arbitration case to verdict: defense verdict on all claims. Claim involved assertion that respondents breached fiduciary duties by failing to monitor account and suggest removal of funds to pay mortgage.

U.S. Life Ins. Co. v. Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. – in a private arbitration (2006) hearing involving an insurer/reinsurer dispute, helped insurer obtain a substantial award against the reinsurer.

Jatzo v. American General Equity Services Corp., NASD No. 05-2397 (2006) – tried arbitration case through first half of final hearing. Settled on very favorable terms at the conclusion of claimants’ case. Claim involved assertion that respondents placed claimants in unsuitable investments.