Thomas Schrimpf has an extensive commercial litigation and appellate practice that emphasizes issues involving insurance coverage, employment, and environmental law.
Insurance Coverage: Tom is experienced in the review and analysis of complex coverage issues concerning commercial and personal lines liability insurance and environmental claims. He has prosecuted and defended insurance coverage litigation relative to commercial claims, construction, environmental and toxic torts.
Employment Law: Tom advises and represents employers in employment related issues and claims arising out of Title VII, ADA, FLSA and Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Laws. He has successfully tried and resolved cases pending before the State of Wisconsin Equal Rights Division, the EEOC, State and Federal Courts. Tom has also counseled insurers concerning the interpretation and scope of insurance coverage for employment related claims under CGL, personal injury liability, and employment errors or omissions liability policies.
Environmental Law: Tom has represented manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products in numerous personal injury and property damage cases over the past 15 years. He has also represented parties in toxic tort cases involving chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, latex gloves and contaminated groundwater.
Tom joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in January 1988. He is a former member of the firm's Executive Committee.
- Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin
- Defense Research Institute
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Milwaukee Bar Association
- Bench Bar Court of Appeals Committee, Co-Chair, 1999 – 2001
- State Bar of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Bar Association
- Eastern District
Honors & Awards
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2007 – 2021
- Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine, 2007 – 2020
- Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
Tom has handled approximately 20 substantive motions involving many diverse issues, such as supervisory employee liability under Title VII, application of the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law to multi-line distributors and numerous insurance coverage issues. He has also represented clients in preliminary injunction hearings and arbitration demands.
Tom's practice encompasses jury trials, court trials, arbitrations and appellate proceedings. His representative litigation cases and the issues they involve include:
- Devon v. Goodman: legal malpractice.
- Fresley v. Quigley Smart: carbon monoxide injury, service company negligence, damages.
- Harvey v. Western Diversified: insurance bad faith.
- Hur v. Kahn: legal malpractice.
- Jacobs v. Russo Builders: building construction dispute, contractor's negligence, damages.
- Kuhn v. Fitzgerald Clayton, et al: insurance agents malpractice.
- Landis v. Pate: legal malpractice, civil RICO violations, securities fraud.
- Patz v. St. PaulInsurance: environmental insurance coverage dispute.
- Tedco v. Empire Level: environmental contamination, insurance coverage, CERCLA contribution
- Automation Engineering v. Efector: Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law termination
- Christ v. Merrill Lynch: stockbroker/client dispute, securities fraud.
- McKnight v. Merrill Lynch: employment discrimination.
- Rohne v. Walmart: Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act violation.
- Trecker v. Merrill Lynch: stockbroker/client dispute, securities fraud.
- American States v. Skrobis Painting & Decorating, 182 Wis. 2d 445 (Ct. App. 1994): environmental coverage dispute.
- Bankert v. Thresherman's, 110 Wis. 2d 469 (1983): insurance coverage dispute.
- City of Edgerton v. General Casualty Co., 184 Wis. 2d 750 (Wis. 1994): environmental insurance coverage dispute.
- Hamlin v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., 86 F.3d 93 (7th Cir. 1996): insurance coverage dispute.
- Heil Co. v. Hartford Ins. Co., 937 F. Supp. 1355 (E.D. Wis. 1996): insurance coverage dispute.
- Midway Motor Lodge v. Hartford Ins. Group, 226 Wis. 2d 23, 593 N.W.2d 852 (1999).
- Patz v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 15 F.3d 699 (7th Cir. 1994): environmental insurance coverage dispute.
- Ulichny v. Merton Community School District, 93 F. Supp. 2d 1011 (E.D. WI 2000): Section 1983 employment claims.
- "Plan and Prepare, Part Two: Selecting the Outside Response Team," Hinshaw's 2011 Insurance Services Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 2011
- "The 'No Prejudice' Standard Fades into the Sunset: Prodigy Communications Corp. v. Agricultural Excess & Surplus Insurance Company and New York Marine & General Ins. Co. v. Lafarge North America," Hinshaw's 2009 Insurance Services Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 2009
- "Ethical Issues Arising in Bad Faith Litigation," Lorman Education Services' seminar, "Insurance Bad Faith Claims in Wisconsin," Brookfield, Wisconsin, March 2006
- "Insurance Coverage of Environmental Contamination - Welcome Back to Environmental Law After Johnson Controls Inc. v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, et al.," Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin's 2005 Summer Conference, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, August 2005
- "Insurance Bad Faith Claims in Wisconsin—Ethical Issues Arising in Bad Faith Litigation," Lorman Education Services, Brookfield, Wisconsin, March 2005
- "Can They Do That? Review of Answers and Questions Concerning Changing, Non-Renewal and Termination of Administrative Contracts," Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, Summer Legal Seminar, July 2004
- "CGL Policies Redefined: American Family v. American Girl," Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin's 2004 Spring Conference, April 2004
- "Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems in Wisconsin – an Insurance Prospective on Mold Claims," Lorman Education Services, Green Bay, Wisconsin, September 2003
- "Challenges in Wisconsin Insurance Coverage Litigation," National Business Institute, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 2002 and August 2003
- "Bad Faith Seminar," Lorman Education Services, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 2003
- "Wisconsin Insurance Law Update," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Wisconsin Insurance Symposium, Appleton, Wisconsin, April 1997
- "Legal and Ethical Issues Arising From The Tripartite Relationship of the Insurer, Insured and Defense Counsel," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Wisconsin Insurance Seminar, Brookfield, Wisconsin, September 1996
- "City of Edgertonv. General Casualty, et al. - The 'As Damages' Limitation and the Policyholders' Response," Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Annual Meeting, April 1995
- "City of Edgerton- An Insider's Viewpoint, Marshaling The Insurers Argument," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Sixth Annual Insurance Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, November 1994
- "Environmental Contamination as a 'Personal Injury,'" Fourth Annual Environmental Law Conference - The Impact on Business and Real Estate Owners, State Bar of Wisconsin, May 1992
- "Current Developments Regarding The Insurer's Defense Obligation, Trigger and What Coverage Defenses Exist—An In-Depth Look At Topical Issues Confronting Insurance Claims Professionals," 1991 Wisconsin Insurer Symposium, Appleton, Wisconsin, May 1991
- "Environmental Insurance Coverage Litigation—An Overview of the Significant Issues," Lorman Education Services Seminar on Environmental Liability in Wisconsin, April 1991
- "Trigger of Coverage, Property Damage and Exclusion Update - A Discussion of the Significant Recent Cases Involving Policy Definitions and Exclusions," State Bar of Wisconsin Environmental Law Section, Mid-Winter Convention (Presenter and Program Co-Chair), January 1991
- "Legislative Developments Affecting Litigation," Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin, July 1990
- Co-Author, "Defense Cost Issues Under D & O Policies," Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Journal, Q1 2019
"Recreational Drones: Do Homeowners' Insurance Policies Provide Coverage?," Claims Journal, August 4, 2015
- "Wisconsin Recognizes Claim for Bad Faith Failure to Settle Within Insured's Deductible Where Verdict Was Within Policy Limits," Hinshaw Insurance Services Alert, October 6, 2010
- "Wisconsin Insurers Must Defend USEPA/DNR Claims Under CERCLA," WisconsinCivil Trial Journal, Vol. II, No. 1, Spring 2004
- "Insurers are Forced to Indemnify Insurers for Damages not Caused by the Insurers Failure to Defend," Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal, Vol. I, No. 1, Spring 2003
- Sixty-Five Hinshaw Lawyers Recognized in 2021 Editions of Best Lawyers and Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchAugust 20, 2020Three Lawyers Honored as "Lawyer of the Year"
- Hinshaw Client Success: Wisconsin High Court Affirms Duty to Defend Victory by Insurer Liberty MutualMarch 25, 2020Court affirms prior legal precedent: insurers who follow judicially-preferred procedures to resolve a coverage dispute are not at risk of breaching duty to defend
- August 15, 2019
- Analyzing State Case Law Interpretations of the Defense Cost Reimbursement Obligation in D&O PoliciesJanuary 15, 2019
- August 15, 2018
- August 15, 2017
- August 15, 2016
- September 1, 2015
- Wisconsin and Minnesota Businesses Seek Coverage for COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses in State and Federal Class ActionsApril 22, 2020Insights for Insurers
- October 9, 2013Insurance Coverage Alert
- July 24, 2013Insurance Coverage Alert
- Wisconsin Rejects Medical Monitoring Requests, Holds Toxic Tort Claims Cannot Arise out of Increased Risk of CancerJune 22, 2011Toxic Tort Alert
- Wisconsin Recognizes Claim for Bad Faith Failure to Settle Within Insured’s Deductible Where Verdict Was Within Policy LimitsOctober 6, 2010Insurance Coverage Alert
J.D., cum laude, Marquette University School of Law, 1977
B.A., Marquette University, 1974
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin