Kurt Schlueter focuses his practice on the defense of general and commercial aviation matters in jurisdictions across the globe. Kurt handles a wide variety of cases involving complex product liability, personal injury, premises liability, and has successfully represented the interests of numerous aircraft manufacturers, airlines, pilots, maintenance facilities, cargo carriers, and component part manufacturers. He has extensive experience in preparing large, wrongful death cases for trial, as well as defending high-exposure personal injury cases against major international airlines. A selection of representative matters includes:
- The defense of a component manufacturer in the crash of a Mooney M20M into a residence in Midlothian, Virginia
- The defense of an air race organizer in claims for eleven deaths and dozens of injuries following the crash of a North American P51 Mustang into the spectator stands at the National Championship Air Races
- The defense of a pilot in the crash of an Embraer EMB-500 into a residence near Gaithersburg, Maryland
- The defense of an avionics manufacturer in the crash of Cessna 172S near Key West, Florida
- The defense of an engine manufacturer in the crash of a De Havilland DC-3 Otter in Soldotna, Alaska
- The defense of an international airline for personal injuries allegedly sustained following an odor event on a transatlantic flight
While his practice is focused on aviation and aerospace matters, Kurt also defends professional liability claims, complex contract disputes, construction disputes, and cases arising out of non-compete agreements. A highlighted list of representative matters includes:
- The defense of a psychiatric practice against a wrongful death claim arising out of teen suicide
- The defense of an architectural and engineering firm arising from construction at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport
- The defense of a nonprofit foundation arising out of alleged misappropriation of charity funds
- The defense of a former employee in various civil and criminal claims arising from an alleged breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, and violation of non-compete restrictions
- Chicago Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- St. Thomas University School of Law
- St. Thomas University Intercultural Human Rights Law Review, Student Articles Editor
- St. Thomas University International Moot Court, Member
- Served on trial teams for several multi-week product liability trials resulting in defense verdicts, including cases arising out of the crash of a Mooney M20M aircraft, a Cessna 172S aircraft, and a De Havilland DC-3 aircraft.
- Successfully guided aviation, aerospace, and insurer clients through risk management and damage mitigation related to aircraft fleet groundings and suspected product quality escapes, including contract and process review, exposure analysis, claims handling and defense, and evaluating required safety disclosures and strategies for the client-public interface.
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a major international airline during a trial arising out of inhalation injuries allegedly sustained by a passenger during an international flight.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of an international shipping company against personal injury claims resulting from the pilot’s fall from air stairs.
- Represented a daycare center in a lawsuit arising out of alleged personal injuries sustained by a minor child while in the custody of a daycare provider.
- Represented a nonprofit foundation in a lawsuit arising out of alleged misappropriation of charity funds.
- Represented an architect and engineering firm in a suit arising from design and construction disputes during the construction of a passenger terminal at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport.
Labor & Employment
- Obtained dismissal of military defense contractor/aircraft manufacturing facility in a suit arising out of employment and oversight practices and alleged discrimination of Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) contractor employee.
- "Punitive Damages in Aviation Litigation," Litigating The Aviation Case – 4th Ed., American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, January 1, 2017
J.D., with honors, St. Thomas University School of Law, 2009
M.B.A., International Business, St. Thomas University School of Business, 2009
B.A., Political Science and Criminal Justice, Indiana University, 2006
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois