| Practice Description: |
Mr. Schmidt is a trial and appellate attorney who has successfully represented numerous clients in courts throughout the State of Michigan, including Michigan Circuit Courts, the United States District Court for both the Eastern District and Western District of Michigan, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is admitted pro hac vice to handle cases in other states including Kansas, Ohio, Indiana and South Carolina.
He has obtained nearly 20 summary dispositions, directed verdicts and/or successful trial verdicts every year for more than three decades. He's obtained successful verdicts and appellate decisions in numerous cases with substantial importance to Michigan jurisprudence. He has served as a mediator/case evaluator for more than 25 years, including for the Wayne County Mediation Tribunal.
Mr. Schmidt has presented numerous seminars to insurer claims staffs in numerous states, including Arizona, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
Notable Cases and Results:
- Buschlen v Ford Motor Company, 421 Mich 192, 364 NW2d 619 (1984), effectively ended die entrustment liability in the state of Michigan for automobile manufacturers in conjunction with Fredericks v General Motors, 411 Mich 712, 311 NW2d 725 (1981).
- Pritts v. J.I. Case Co., 108 Mich App 22, 310 NW2d 261 1981, lv den, 413 Mich 909 (1982), first appellate case in Michigan which ended the rule that a party could only obtain contractual indemnity for its own negligence if this intent was specifically stated in the indemnity agreement. Convinced court to enforce contractual indemnity for "all claims" language to apply to all claims.
- Manier v MIC General Insurance Corporation, 281 Mich App 485 (2008), first appellate case in Michigan which enforced a household exclusion in an automobile liability policy which limits liability coverage for any claim by the insured or any family member to the Michigan Financial Responsibility Law limits of $20,000/$40,000.
- Leahan v Stroh Brewery Co., 420 Mich 108, 359 NW2d 524 (1984), required plaintiff to tender back any consideration received pursuant to a release before challenging the validity of the release.
- Scott v Detroit, 113 Mich App 241, 318 NW2d 32 (1982), lv den 422 Mich 892, 368 NW2d 236 (1985), in conjunction with Smith v Allendale Mutual, 410 Mich 685 (1981), effectively ended liability of workers' compensation insurers for liability for alleged negligently conducted safety inspections.
- Tope v Waterford Hills Road Racing, 81 Mich App 591, 265 NW2d 761 (1978), first appellate case in Michigan enforcing a pre-sport event release agreement.
- Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. v West Detroit Building Co., 196 Mich App 367, 494 NW2d 1 (1992), first appellate case in Michigan applying the contractor statute of repose, MCL 600.5839(1), to a claim by the owner for damage to the improvement itself.
- Ford Motor Company v Insurance Company of North America, 157 Mich App 642, 403 NW2d 200 (1987), lv den 429 Mich 853, 412 NW2d 220 (1987), first appellate case in Michigan holding that loading or unloading of a motor vehicle is not a use of the motor vehicle for purpose of no fault property protection insurance benefits, where Ford mistakenly directed that a load of catalyst from a tanker truck be pumped into a resin tank resulting in an explosion causing in excess of one million dollars damage to the Ford plant.
- Staffney v Michigan Millers Insurance Co., 140 Mich App 85, 362 NW2d 897 (1985), lv den, 423 Mich 851, 376 NW2d 113 (1985), in conjunction with Smith v Allendale Mutual, 410 Mich 685 (1981), effectively ended liability for property insurers' inspections of an insured's premises for fire hazards as a basis for liability for injuries incurred in a subsequent fire or explosion, on the basis that the undertaking was to serve the insurer's interest in underwriting, rating and loss prevention, and not to provide for safety of individuals on the premises.
- Alyas v Illinois Employers Insurance of Wausau, 208 Mich App 324, 527 NW2d at 548 (1995); lv den, 451 Mich 893, 549 NW2d 575 (1996), first appellate case in Michigan holding that when a garnishee defendant denies a garnishment claim and files its garnishment disclosure, the plaintiff must proceed with discovery within 14 days or the garnishment disclosure must be accepted as true, thereby defeating plaintiff's claim for $275,000 in insurance coverage.
- Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company v Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., 256 Mich App 646, 671 NW2d 539 (2003), lv den 469 Mich 970, 671 NW2d 884 (2003), first Michigan appellate decision holding that a contractual requirement to purchase insurance does not eliminate or replace a contractual indemnity agreement, thereby allowing the insurer to seek contractual indemnity as subrogee of its insured, obtaining a judgment in excess of one million dollars against the contractor indemnitor.
- Berger v Mead, 127 Mich App 209, 338 NW2d 919 (1983), first appellate case in Michigan holding that a non-commercial joint venture and all of its employees were co-employees thereby barring the plaintiff's tort claim pursuant to the exclusive remedy defense.
- Ledl v Quik-Pik Food Stores, 133 Mich App 583, 349 NW2d 529 (1984), first appellate case in Michigan holding that termination of employment for a store inventory shortage does not constitute a "public policy" exception to the general rule enforcing employment contracts terminable at will, required that allegations of defamation must set forth the defamatory words complained of, the connection of the defamatory words with the plaintiff and the publication of the alleged defamatory words, and that there can be no intentional infliction of emotional distress for the actor insisting upon its own legal rights.
- Mahdesian v Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, 782 F Supp 63 (ED Mich, 1992); aff'd, 986 F2d 1421 (6th Cir, 1993), first appellate decision under Michigan law applying judicial estoppel to hold that plaintiff's filing of a claim for no fault benefits arising from alleged injuries incurred while unloading a truck in the course of his employment, judicially estopped his tort claim which alleged that he was an independent contractor.
- Michigan Sugar v Employers Insurance of Wausau, 107 Mich App 9, 308 NW2d 684 (1981), only appellate case in Michigan enforcing the "change in temperature" exclusion in an all risk policy, applying the exclusion where the damaged sugar was caused by a change in temperature, which in turn was caused by a malfunction in the heating system.
- Darin & Armstrong v Ben Agree Co., 88 Mich App. 128, 276 NW2d 869 (1979), lv den 406 Mich 1007 (1979), first Michigan appellate case holding that a general contractor's liability for a construction accident in a common work area constituted active negligence barring any claim for common law indemnity.
- Harry v Fairlane Club Properties, 126 Mich App 122, 337 NW2d 1 (1983), first Michigan appellate decision holding that a successor judge could grant a rehearing of his predecessor's ruling and held that the plaintiff was not entitled to a new trial. It was also the first Michigan appellate case holding that a jury which had requested the trial exhibits could conclude that it could reach a verdict without the exhibits before receiving the exhibits for their review.
- West v Cyril J. Burke, Inc., 137 Mich App 191, 357 NW2d 856 (1984), lv den, 422 Mich 852, 364 NW2d 286 (1985), first Michigan appellate case holding that a mobile crane while being used to lift a load of pipe was not a motor vehicle pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Code and thus the owner of the crane was not liable pursuant to the Owner Liability Statute for the alleged negligent operation of the crane.
- Crosby v City of Detroit, 123 Mich App 213, 333 NW2d 557, lv den, 422 Mich 891, 368 NW2d 231 (1985), one of three Michigan appellate cases holding that the construction of a sewer was a "governmental function" and not a "proprietary function" and thus the owner was entitled to the defense of governmental immunity and further set the standard for an intentional nuisance claim that the defendant must have intentionally created or continued the alleged activity causing the alleged nuisance with full knowledge that the harm to the plaintiff was substantially certain to follow.
- Thomas v Process Equipment, 154 Mich App 78, 397, NW2d 224 (1986), determined that filing a John Doe complaint does not toll the statute of limitations and the filing of an amended complaint naming the defendants does not relate back to the original John Doe complaint, and rejected plaintiff's argument that the discovery rule should pertain to identification of defendants to toll the statute of limitations.
- Rasmussen v Louisville Ladder, 211 Mich App 541, 536 NW2d 221 (1995), applied collateral negligence rule to reverse verdicts of 5.5 million dollars to the plaintiffs holding that the owner was not responsible for inherently dangerous activities when the accident was caused by the collateral negligence of the subcontractor.
- McMath v Ford Motor Company, 77 Mich App 721, 259 NW2d 140 (1977), held that partial performance of a contract as an exception to the statute of frauds does not apply to employment contracts for more than one year, and that allegations of reliance to support an estoppel claim must be definite and clear.
- Nicklas v Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, 995 F2d 1067 (6th Cir, 1994), the court affirmed summary judgment that the plaintiff's claim, that his fall from the defendant's truck was caused by a defect in the vehicle, was based on speculation and conjecture.
- Kircos v Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 108 Mich App 781, 311 NW2d 139 (1981), enforced a pre-sport event release agreement.
- Perry v INA Life Insurance Co., 749 F Supp 806 (W.D. Mich, 1989), aff'd 914 F2d 257 (1990), determined that having accepted an offer of continued employment in another position under the employer's ERISA severance plan, the plaintiff was not entitled to severance benefits.
- Schmidt v Wilbur, 775 F Supp 216 (E.D. Mich, 1991), held that the district court had personal jurisdiction over general partners of a limited partnership whose agent had sold partnership interests in Michigan and that the defendant could be re-served following removal from state court to district court.
U.S. District Court
Eastern District of Michigan, 1975
Western District of Michigan, 1975
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1977
Law School: University of Detroit School of Law, J.D., 1975
Law School Honors/Involvement:
Magna cum laude
Associate Editor, Journal of Urban Law, 1974-1975
Alpha Sigma Nu
Undergraduate School: University of Detroit, B.S., 1971
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:
Summa cum laude
Alpha Sigma Nu
National Jesuit Honor Society
Beta Gamma Sigma
National Business Honor Fraternity
Amerisure Insurance Companies
Auto Club Insurance Company
Badger Mutual Insurance Company
Bituminous Insurance Companies
Liberty Mutual Group
Wausau Insurance Companies
Scottsdale Insurance Company
National General Insurance
Depositors Insurance Company
President, Harvey Kruse P.C., 2008-Present
Treasurer, Harvey Kruse P.C., 1990-2008
Board of Directors, Harvey Kruse P.C., 1979-Present
Associate Attorney, Harvey Kruse P.C., 1975-1978
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
State Bar of Michigan
Oakland County Bar Association
Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Member, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Dean's Advisory Board
Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation
Alliance Member, Claims & Litigation Management
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
Best Lawyer in America, 2012-Present
Super Lawyer, 2010-2012, 2014
Who's Who in the World
Who's Who in America
Who's Who in American Law
Member, Marian High School Board of Directors
Member, Marian High School President's Council
Member, University of Detroit President's Cabinet
Member, University of Notre Dame Sorin Society
Member, University of Detroit Jesuit High School Xavier Society
Member, Oakland Hills Country Club
Past President, St. Hugo of the Hills Parish Council
Past President, St. Hugo of the Hills Parish Parent/Teacher Group
United States Army, 70th Division, 1971-1977
Member, Board of Advisors, University of Detroit Jesuit High School
Harvey Kruse P.C.'s goal is your complete satisfaction with the professional legal services we provide. You can expect personal, responsive and professional service at all times. Whether a case is worth millions of dollars or a matter of principle or precedent, individual attention is given to your problem to achieve the best outcome possible -- at the best value possible. Economies of scale allow us to offer quality legal services at reasonable rates for all types of cases. We have grown as an organization while simultaneously nurturing one-on-one attorney-client relationships. We will never allow the firm's size to hinder our ability to provide excellent service, including personally responsive and available attorneys. Unlike other large firms, when you retain Harvey Kruse, your case is not lost in a bureaucratic maze. We are dedicated to providing the resources of a major firm and the personal attention you deserve.