Pretzel & Stouffer
Edward B. Ruff, III

Edward B. Ruff, III
Equity Partner

Recognition and Appointments
Highest Martindale-Hubbell rating, AV
Illinois Super Lawyers® 2005-2011
Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

DePaul University, J.D. 1981
University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. 1977

Bar Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
Illinois and Wisconsin Supreme courts
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern and Central districts of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern districts of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Professional Affiliations
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Representative Cases

In Re Stand ’n Seal, products liability litigation: Bell, et al. v. Roanoke Companies Group Inc., et al. — April 2010
Ed won a defense victory in the In Re Stand ’n Seal Products liability litigation’s bellwether case from an Atlanta federal court jury. The multidistrict litigation is comprised of 185 nationwide plaintiffs who alleged serious injuries, resulting in death in some cases, after they inadvertently inhaled Stand ‘n Seal Spray-On Grout Sealer while using the product. In this trial, Bell, et al v. Roanoke Companies Group Inc., et al, five plaintiffs from three states alleged that using the sealer caused them to develop reactive airways dysfunction syndrome, resulting in permanent disabilities that required lifelong medical treatment. The plaintiffs sought $1.6 million before trial and later asked the jury for more than $2.9 million. Ed represented Roanoke Companies Group Inc., the nationwide distributor of the sealer, in the case.

Borsellino v. Putnam, et al. — October 2009
Ed defended a former New York Stock Exchange president and two of his partners in this fraud claim tried before a Cook County jury. The plaintiff, a former commodities trader, had partnered with the defendants to form a company, Chicago Trading and Arbitrage, that allowed traders to submit stock orders electronically. The defendants later formed a second company, Archipelago — without the plaintiff — that also offered electronic trading. Archipelago eventually merged with the New York Stock Exchange in a lucrative deal, and the plaintiff claimed he was defrauded out of his share of the business opportunity. The plaintiff sought $100 million, but the jury awarded just $11 million in the case.

Katherine Goltzer, F/k/a Katherine Aeschliman v. Dr. Ronald M. Rottschafer — August 2008
Ed and an associate obtained a not-guilty verdict for the defendant on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress, allegations that are rarely tried in court. The case involved a psychologist accused by a former patient of improperly disclosing sensitive information the patient had shared in marriage counseling sessions. The psychologist had prepared a report based on that information from the sessions that diagnosed the patient with bipolar disorder, and the report was publicly released. The patient sued the psychologist, seeking nearly $700,000 before trial.

Geno A. Badal v. Hinsdale Memorial Hospital, et al. — December 2007
A jury returned a not-guilty verdict for Hinsdale Memorial Hospital in this suit, which was filed by a 40-year-old barber who had rolled his ankle playing basketball. The plaintiff claimed he could no longer work because of constant foot pain, and alleged that the hospital should have ordered an arteriogram. He asked the jury for nearly $4.8 million at trial.

Quad Graphics Inc. and Industrial Risk Insurers, et al., v. HK Systems Inc., St. Paul Surplus Lines, Federal Insurance Co., Leavitt Tube Co., Lumbermen’s Mutual and Casualty Co. and Rack Structures Inc. — September 2007
An automatic rack storage system installed at Quad Graphics’ printing plant collapsed after two months of use, starting an inferno that burned for three weeks, killed a worker and caused $63 million in damage. Quad Graphics and its insurer sued the companies involved in manufacturing and installing the storage system and their insurers on product liability claims. A jury awarded the full $63 million to Quad Graphics and Industrial Risk Insurers, but Ed was able to negotiate a settlement before trial for Federal Insurance Co. The high/low settlement agreement stipulated that Federal would pay between $1 million and $2.5 million, with no pre- or post-judgment interest payments.

Peaceable Planet v. Ty Inc. — September 2005
Ed won a victory for Ty and the company’s owner in this trademark infringement case. Peaceable Planet had marketed a plush camel toy named Niles, and when Ty introduced its “Niles the Camel” Beanie Baby a year later, Peaceable Planet sued. Peaceable Planet sought more than $21 million at trial.

Southeast Wisconsin Baseball District v. Federal Insurance Co. — June 2005
Pretzel & Stouffer recovered nearly $31 million in defense fees for Federal Insurance Co. in this case. The original litigation stemmed from the alleged defective construction of Miller Park Baseball Stadium’s roof. Southeast Wisconsin Baseball District sued several of the contractors involved in the project, seeking more than $139 million in damages. The primary insurer for the project argued that its policy was exhausted and it was not responsible for defending the contractors, forcing Federal, the secondary carrier, to take on the cost of their defense. Pretzel & Stouffer was able to convince the court, however, that the primary carrier had a duty to defend the insured, prompting the court to order the primary carrier to reimburse Federal.

Estate of Rozema v. Glaser, M.D., et al. — January 2005
Ed won a not-guilty verdict in favor of the defendant physician in this case, convincing a jury that the care the physician gave to a 59-year-old man who later died was reasonable. The man had developed an infection following a spinal laminotomy at Hinsdale Hospital, and the man’s estate sued for $10.5 million, alleging that the physician failed to give him the appropriate antibiotics.

Estate of Solomon Bowman v. University of Chicago Hospitals, et al. — March 2004
This case involved a premature newborn who died from pneumonia and septicemia three weeks after his birth in the University of Chicago Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. The child’s family sued after his death, claiming that his doctors failed to diagnose and treat his infection. The plaintiff requested $7 million in the case, but a jury ruled in favor of the hospital at trial.