Brian H. Eldridge

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312.644.3530
312.645.7711 (fax)
beldridge@smsm.com
233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5500
Chicago, IL 60606
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Brian Eldridge is a trial lawyer who devotes 100% of his practice to civil litigation. Mr. Eldridge has a wide range of experience successfully litigating multi-million dollar, high-stakes cases on behalf of his clients. He concentrates his practice in products liability, construction/construction defect, transportation, premises liability, commercial litigation and class action matters. He has handled numerous cases involving death and catastrophic injuries, including paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and other significant permanent disabilities.

Within the commercial litigation context, Mr. Eldridge has successfully litigated cases involving breach of contract and allegations of fraud and bad faith. He has also served as national counsel defending clients sued in consumer class action lawsuits under federal statutes including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In addition, Mr. Eldridge has litigated cases involving alleged environmental exposure to mold, vinyl chloride, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).

For six years running, Mr. Eldridge has been selected for inclusion in the Illinois Rising Stars list. No more than 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the state of Illinois are selected for this honor. His practice philosophy focuses on being accessible and responsive to clients at all times. He is on the rapid response team for several clients and is frequently called upon to orchestrate immediate investigations. Through his years of practice, Mr. Eldridge has developed an extensive expert network, having worked with consultants in various specialized areas including medicine, engineering, construction, epidemiology, pharmacology, economics, federal regulations, safety standards, risk assessment and psychology.

Mr. Eldridge lives in Highland Park with his wife, Jodi, and their two daughters, Jessie and Dylan.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Serves as national defense counsel in consumer class action cases brought under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA ).
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for claims involving independent contractors on behalf of an overnight transportation and logistics service provider.
  • Obtained dismissal at early stage of litigation for a company in Florida facing a multi-million dollar risk for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Prevailed at trial on behalf of an international cargo carrier sued for breach of a commercial contract. Jury returned the not guilty verdict after less than 10 minutes of deliberations.
  • Reached multi-million dollar settlement in wrongful death case against municipality on behalf of family who lost their four year-old daughter in a hit-and-run accident in Lincoln Park.
  • Obtained summary judgment in $6 million product liability subrogation claim brought against a medical supply manufacturer whose product was alleged to have caused a fire that resulted in numerous deaths and destroyed a nursing home in Tennessee. Through extensive burn testing, we were able to prove that the source of the fire was not our client's product.
  • Successfully prevailed on summary judgment motion in case involving serious personal injury on behalf of international intermodal carrier alleged to have improperly loaded container.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a manufacturer and distributor of health care supplies in a wrongful death case involving an inmate who allegedly hung himself with our client's product.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of one of Chicago's largest school bus companies in case involving serious bodily injury by successfully arguing application of novel legal defense.
  • Obtained dismissal of product liability suit against heavy truck manufacturer seeking recovery for injury resulting in amputated leg.


EDUCATION

University of Kansas, B.A. (Psychology), 1997
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2002

BAR ADMISSIONS

California, 2002
Illinois, 2003
U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2009
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2004
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2004
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2007

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC INVOLVEMENT

California State Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Illinois State Bar Association
Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)
RIMS Chicago Chapter 009

OTHER HONORS

Named to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” list (2013)

Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state under the age of 40 are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2008-2014)

CALI Award for Excellence, Employment Discrimination, 2002

Best Oral Advocate, Moot Court, 2000