Kevin A. Christensen Partner

     

Contact

   
Kevin Christensen focuses his practice primarily on construction litigation, insurance issues and litigation matters involving professional liability, employment disputes, and retail and premises liability. He is a well-respected resource for construction-related clients and their insurers in handling cases from discovery and motion practice, through mediation or arbitration, to trial and appeal when necessary. He has tried more than 55 cases through the course of his career.

Kevin is experienced in defending contractors, design professionals and construction managers in negligence suits in complex construction defect and injury claims. In his involvement with numerous such cases, Kevin has made good use of the firm’s robust network of forensic consultants and construction experts in all areas. Their knowledge and credibility substantially increase the likelihood of positive legal outcomes.

Areas of Focus

Construction Litigation
Kevin has extensive litigation experience in federal and state courts and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings representing entities involved in the construction process, including general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, engineers and architects in complex construction litigation. His experience ranges from representation of the individual trade subcontractor defending the means and methods of construction, to defense of the design professional’s adherence to the standards of care, to those entities responsible for construction jobsite management. Kevin’s experience in defense of both aspects of the construction project provides him a valuable understanding of the interrelationship between the design phase and the construction process in defending these entities. His understanding of the interrelationship between the design and construction of the building serves his clients well and is a critical factor in his successful representation.

Mediation
Having served as a litigator and counselor to insurers and contractors for more than 25 years, Kevin understands the risks, expense and adverse effects that protracted litigation can have on a company. He uses that experience and background to effect claim or case resolution through mediation, resolving disputes quickly and efficiently by giving the parties more involvement and greater control over the process and outcome. Kevin’s unique style and personality along with his formal mediation training though Northwestern University’s comprehensive mediation program brings parties together to resolve their disputes, keeping in focus the ultimate goal. He is familiar with the relationships at issue and promotes a fair resolution benefiting all in many types of cases, including construction defect disputes, job site personal injury claims and a variety of other litigated matters.  

Retail & Premises Litigation
Kevin’s retail litigation experience includes representation of large retailers in premises liability litigation, employment dispute and vendor agreement disputes. In all these practice areas, Kevin has extensive jury trial experience and has participated in numerous arbitrations and administrative proceedings.

Transportation Litigation
In addition to his other practice areas, Kevin has handled litigation involving transportation issues, including truck accidents and resulting personal injury. His experience in transportation law includes handling complex litigated personal injury cases arising out of trucker/driver negligence in operation, transport company standard operating procedures, and consideration of adherence to trucking regulations and limitations. Kevin’s general litigation and trial experience is particularly suited to this area of practice where he is called upon to assess significant personal injury claims.

Employment Litigation
Kevin understands that each client has particular business needs that can dictate the direction taken when employment-related claims arise. In conferring with clients, he takes into consideration the demands of their industries, the history of their businesses and what outcomes would constitute success. Kevin takes full advantage of Wilson Elser’s size and structure to tap into the experience and knowledge of the firm’s Employment & Labor practice attorneys and others, working “cross practice” to achieve the best outcome for each client.

Representative Matters

Successfully defended a design/build contractor in a million-dollar claim arising from alleged building defects at a hair design school and studio in the suburban Milwaukee area. The case was effectively resolved by a novel approach including a “work-in-kind” agreement to facilitate the necessary repairs.

Defended a design/build contractor in a million-dollar claim associated with alleged building defect in a multipurpose-use building for storage and office space. Defense addressed design standards of care, defended the notion of the level of design detail necessary and the construction management process, including application of quality control requirements.

Defended a building designer of a 73-unit elderly residential complex in Portage, Wisconsin. At dispute was quality control and application of the appropriate standard of care of the design professional relative to the highly technical details of the facility. Issues included HVAC design, structural design and general project management. The defense included a detailed assessment of the construction process, directly relating to the relationship contractually and functionally between the project developer and a design professional. The case was successfully resolved through settlement on favorable terms due to the recognition of the varying duties and responsibilities on a project built under a given contractual formula.

Defended design/build contractor on claims relating to building design given particular geotechnical/ soil issues on a particular site. Defense of this client necessitated an understanding of the standards of care applicable for geotechnical analysis and its interrelationship with building design. Entailed use of consulting experts to successfully resolve the matter with a de minimus /cost-of-defense resolution.

Obtained dismissal for an industrial facility owner and its umbrella carrier in a multimillion-dollar claim involving an industrial accident where the plaintiff fell 30 feet from a scissor lift.

After two-and-half years of discovery, obtained motion for summary judgment in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Circuit Court on the basis of insufficient expert evidence supporting any claim that a subcontractor’s work was a substantial factor in the city of Milwaukee’s alleged damages.

Successfully defended a large-exposure building defect claim on behalf of the general contractor, with dismissal at trial upheld on appeal.