Kenneth D. Rhodes
Partner

I’m a lawyer who plays inside the red zone – if a case needs to be tried, I have the courtroom skills and experience to reach the best outcome possible, regardless of the subject matter or dollar amounts at stake. One of my biggest assets is the ability to blend the most complex facts and legal arguments into a simple yet complete story and then tell that story to a jury in a non-lawyer, personable way they can identify with and easily understand.

Ken Rhodes is a seasoned trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience resolving high-exposure personal injury and commercial litigation through numerous favorable jury verdicts, arbitration awards, summary judgments and settlements. His practice is primarily focused on defending clients in cases involving product liability, premises liability, contractor liability, wrongful death, car and truck accidents, asbestos and other toxic torts, insurance disputes and various other negligence matters involving significant injuries and/or property damage. Ken works with clients of all sizes across a wide variety of industries, including global, national and regional business institutions, insurers and individuals.

Few lawyers can match Ken’s experience in resolving challenging disputes in several jurisdictions from coast to coast, whether it involves serving as hands-on lead counsel managing every detail from case inception through trial or supervising a local litigation team through each aspect of case development. He currently serves as National Coordinating Counsel for a product manufacturer, Regional National Trial Counsel for a premise owner/product manufacturer and National Trial Team Counsel for a Fortune 500 insurance provider. These leadership roles have given Ken the unique opportunity to represent clients in 16 states to date, including Texas, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Although Ken’s practice is largely focused on high-stakes personal injury cases, he also has deep experience in handling complex business litigation involving a variety of issues, including contract disputes, business interruption losses, business torts, wrongful discharge, trade secret theft, breach of non-compete agreements plus much more. Ken is also in high demand to provide expert witness testimony in cases involving many issues, including insurance coverage, reasonableness of settlements, attorney fees, contractor liability and employer liability.

Representative Experience

Wrongful Death

  • Obtained no liability jury verdicts for product manufacturer-contractor in two wrongful death cases in Hopkins County, Texas.
  • Obtained defense jury verdict for product distributor in Dallas County, Texas. 
  • Obtained defense jury verdict for product installer-distributor in two cases in Milam County, Texas. 
  • Obtained summary judgments for product manufacturer in two wrongful death cases in Harris County, Texas.
  • Obtained favorable settlements in numerous cases due to proper case development.

Personal Injury

  • Handled many personal injury cases based on multiple legal theories including negligence, negligence per se, strict liability, intentional tort, conspiracy, breach of warranty and gross negligence.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict for product seller-rebrander in nine cases in Milam County, Texas.
  • Obtained summary judgment for product manufacturer in multi-million dollar case pending in Tarrant County, Texas.
  • Obtained favorable settlements in numerous cases due to proper case development.

Toxic Torts

  • Successfully represented product manufacturers, contractors, premise owners and researchers in toxic tort cases pending in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States based on asbestos related-injuries.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdicts in multiple cases including deceased and living mesothelioma claims, deceased and living cancer claims and non-malignant disease claims.
  • Obtained summary judgments and favorable settlements in multiple cases due to proper case development.

Commercial

  • Represented product manufacturer in breach of contract case pertaining to the construction of a public water intake facility involving a premise owner, general contractor and component part manufacturer.

Construction

  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of subcontractor in residential foundation defect case.

Employment

  • Successfully defended employee in a case by former employer asserting claims for breach of non-compete agreement and theft of trade secrets in bench trial in Harris County, Texas.
  • Obtained summary judgments for three employers asserting the "exclusive remedy defense" under of the Texas Workers Compensation Act in cases pending in Dallas, Tarrant and Harris Counties, Texas.

Expert Witness

  • Testified in deposition and trial as a retained expert witness on insurance coverage pertaining to products and non-products coverage in CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution; In the Matter of the Arbitration between ACandS, Inc. and Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. pending in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Case involved hundreds of millions of dollars of available non-products coverage.
  • Retained attorney fee expert in Cause No. 2008-74658; Multi-District Litigation Docket No. 08-0725; In Re: Deep South Crane & Rigging Company – Crane Collapse Litigation; Cause No. B182-113; Jacqueline Allen, et. al. (Intervenors) v. Deep South Crane & Rigging Investments, LLC, Lyondell Petro Chemical Corporation and Houston Refining LP, et al. (Defendants); In the 60th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas. Case involved crane collapse resulting in 4 wrongful death and 125 injury personal claims.
  • Testified in deposition as a retained expert witness on employer liability and reasonableness of settlements under Texas and Louisiana law in Chicago Bridge & Iron Company v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London & Certain London Market Insurance Companies in the 284th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas; Cause No. 06-12-12485 - CV.
  • Testified in desposition as a retained expert witness on contractor liability, reasonableness of settlements, and reasonableness of attorney fees under California, Illinois, and Indiana law in the 284th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas.

Arbitrations

  • Obtained no liability finding in favor of product manufacturer in Cause No. P109-0036-10-00; USAA Casualty Insurance Company v. Pentair Water Treatment. Case involved property damages due to alleged product failure.
  • Obtained no liability finding in favor of product manufacturer in Cause No. P109-00206-11-00: Maryland Casualty v. Pentair Water Treatment. Case involved property and business interruption damages due to alleged product failure.
  • Obtained no liability finding in favor of product manufacturer in Cause No. P109-00177-13-00; Chubb Group of Insurance Companies v. Pentair Filtration, Inc. Case involved property damages due to alleged product failure.
  • Obtained defense finding due to spoliation of evidence in favor of product manufacturer in Cause No. P109-00308-14-00; Sentinel Insurance v. Pentair Water Treatment consolidated with Hartford Lloyd's Insurance v. Pentair Water Treatment. Cases involved proprietary damages due to alleged product defect.

Representative Clients

  • Wilsonart, LLC
  • Pentair Filtration, Inc.
  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
  • Akzo Nobel Paints, LLC
  • International Paper Company
  • Fisk Electric Company
  • Southern Exchange Company
Thought Leadership / News
September 18, 2014 
 Speeches and Presentations
Bostic Causation - Texas and Beyond
Harris Martin's Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference - St. Louis, Missouri.
August 26, 2009 
 Press Releases
September 5, 2008 
 Press Releases
Honors
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in Woodward/White, Inc.'s The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Personal Injury Defense Litigation, Personal Injury Plaintiffs Litigation, and Product Liability Defense Litigation (2013 – 2019)
  • Named a "Super Lawyer" by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine (2005 – 2018)
  • Life Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation (2004 – 2017)
  • Conferred full membership in the National Order of the Lytae (1987)
Organizational Involvement
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Litigation Section
    • Consumer and Commercial Law Section
    • Insurance Law Sections
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Trial Tactics Committee
    • Product Liability Committee
    • Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Brazos County Bar Association
Education
  • J.D., cum laude, South Texas College of Law Houston (1987)
  • B.S., Louisiana State University (1983)
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois, 2013
  • Texas, 1988
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • Appellate, District and County Courts of Texas
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Appellate and Circuit Courts of Illinois