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Rick Mueller

Partner

St. Louis
314 552 6084 direct

Rick has earned defense verdicts for products manufacturers in courts across the country. He has taken more than 100 jury trials to verdict in venues ranging from Guam to New York City and from Seattle to Miami. His considerable experience and determination are recognized by clients and opposing attorneys alike.

Rick regularly serves as national counsel for major Japanese manufacturers. Drawing on his 40 years of litigation experience, Rick focuses on product liability matters (including, inter alia, personal injury claims involving off-road vehicles, personal watercraft, motorcycles and automotive products). He also has represented clients facing fraud claims, patent claims, class action matters and commercial contract disputes. Rick has cross examined experts in a variety of fields, including engineering, epidemiology, human factors, warnings, naval architecture, validation, computer simulations, management policies, a variety of fields of medicine, aerodynamics, and patent law, to name a few. While his practice is national in scope, Rick has tried two of the three longest-running antitrust trials in Missouri.

Rick is experienced in front of a jury, but he also achieves significant defense victories before the case goes to a jury. Recently, he has obtained summary judgments on design defect and warnings issues in federal district courts in Utah (Wells v. Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A.) and South Carolina (Hickerson v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.), and obtained directed verdicts in federal district courts in New Jersey (Ruggerio v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.) and Florida (Mizrahi v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.).

Furthermore, Rick represents clients in dealings with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the CPSC context, he has guided clients through product recalls and obtained successful results in investigations.

Rick's experience extends to appellate briefing and argument. Rick has successfully argued appeals before federal courts of appeal in the Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuit, as well as state appellate courts in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Alabama and Arizona.

Publications

“Ruggiero v. Yamaha ruling cited, ‘Recent Expert Reliability Rulings”
New York Law Journal October 2019

Inside the Minds, "Leading Product Liability Lawyers";
Aspatore Books, 2003

"Defense of Marine Products Litigation";
Defense Research Institute Monograph, June 1990

"The Use of Standardized Materials";
Practicing Law Institute, 1988

"Protecting Experts Consulting Teams From Discovery";
For The Defense, 1987

"Subsequent Remedial Measures";
A Products Liability Commentary and Cases, 1987

"The Investigation and Use of Experts";
Product Liability of Manufacturers, Practicing Law Institute, 1979

"Defending the Products Liability, Prevention and Defense of Manufacturers’ Products Liability";
Practicing Law Institute, 1978

"A Dilemma for the Legal and Medical Profession: Euthanasia and the Defective Newborn";
22 Saint Louis University Law Journal 501, 1978

"The Defense of a Products Liability Lawsuit, Products Liability Manufacturers";
Practicing Law Institute, 1977

Presentations

"Case Update: Products Liability";
Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, 1995

"Coordinating Products Liability Litigation";
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1990

"Effective Coordination of Multiple Products Liability Litigation";
Practicing Law Institute, 1988

"Trial Practice";
The Missouri Bar, 1987

"Insurance Practice";
The Missouri Bar, 1986

"Defending the Lawsuit: Products Liability of Manufacturers";
Practicing Law Institute, St. Louis, 1981

"Missouri Practice and Update on Law";
Special Problems in Products Liability Litigation, Practicing Law Institute, St. Louis, 1978

News

Federal court grants summary judgment for Yamaha: Plaintiff tries to escape tort defenses and loses warranty action

Utah federal court throws out products liability claims against Kawasaki for Jet Ski injury

Federal jury sides with Yamaha in failure to warn trial over WaveRunner injury

Third Circuit affirms directed verdict for Yamaha in products liability action

Texas jury quickly delivers defense verdict to Kawasaki in trial over off-road vehicle

Unanimous Fourth Circuit victory for Yamaha in products liability action

Thompson Coburn wins directed verdict for Yamaha in personal watercraft products liability litigation

Thompson Coburn continues to exclude plaintiffs’ expert witnesses in personal watercraft products liability litigation

Thompson Coburn helps Yamaha resolve significant injury cases

Kawasaki wins defense verdict in Jet Ski explosion suit

Chicago judge tosses nationwide class action against Kawasaki