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Josh Johanningmeier

Josh Johanningmeier

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  • Biography
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Josh Johanningmeier

Josh is a shareholder in Godfrey & Kahn’s Products Liability & Torts Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Litigation and Insurance Practice Groups.

Labor and Employment Litigation

Josh represents employers in federal and state courts, as well as administrative agencies. Josh defends wage-and-hour class and collective action cases, including leading the defense of the two largest delivery driver class actions filed against Wisconsin employers. Josh also defends individual harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims. He also litigates disputes regarding restrictive covenants, trade secrets, wage claims, whistleblower claims and termination disputes.

Product Liability

Josh is the chair of the firm’s Products Liability and Torts Practice Group. In product litigation, Josh defends manufacturers in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. In addition to litigation, Josh works with manufacturers to assess and develop on-product warnings as well as instruction and user manuals for products. He also counsels manufacturers, distributors and retailers on regulatory compliance and recall issues, including incident and defect reporting to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Josh has defended and counseled clients on matters involving numerous products, including asbestos-containing products, adhesives, all-terrain vehicles and ATV accessories, automobiles and automobile accessories, building products, laundry and cleaning chemicals, clothing, fasteners, furniture, magnets, motorcycles, pneumatic tools, personal watercraft, respirators, snowmobiles, toys and vehicle accessories.

Insurance

Josh is also a member of Godfrey & Kahn’s Insurance Practice Group, where his practice includes serving as General Counsel to the Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (the “Big I”), the state’s largest insurance agency trade association, which provides a Legal Services Hotline to its membership (IIAW Hotline Information). Josh also represents insurance companies and agents in litigation and before the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

Representative Experience

Taysheedra D. Allen-Noll v. Madison Area Technical College, United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Case No. 18-CV-216 (Jul. 29, 2019: Summary judgment in favor of employer dismissing claims of race discrimination, retaliation and violation of due process; affirmed August 5, 2020 by the Seventh Circuit, with sanctions awarded to defendant based on finding of frivolous appeal).

State ex re. Peg Lautenschlager, v. Par Pharmaceutical, et al., Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2017AP1341 (October 19, 2018: Affirming circuit court’s dismissal of state qui tam act claims against generic pharmaceutical companies based on average wholesale pricing).

Estate of Payton McCoy, et al. v. Care.com, et al., Milwaukee County Wisconsin Circuit Court Case No. 15-CV-7342 (May 9, 2018: Summary judgment dismissing wrongful death claim pursuant to federal Communications Decency Act arising from hiring of childcare through website).

Larchmont Holdings, LLC v. North Shore Services, United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Case No. 16-CV-575 (Nov. 9, 2017: Summary judgment dismissing claims of fraudulent inducement, frustration of purpose, unjust enrichment, reformation, breach of contract, breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, and illusory contract arising from failed frac-sand mining effort).

Patricia L. Carroll v. Crane Co., et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Case No. 15-CV-373 (April 12, 2017: Summary judgment dismissing claims of asbestos exposure).

State of Wisconsin ex rel. Peg Lautenschlager v. Par Pharmaceutical, et al., Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2015AP2498 (January 12, 2016: Reversing circuit court’s order denying defendants’ motion to dismiss state qui tam act claims against generic pharmaceutical companies based on average wholesale pricing).

McKee v. Madison Area Technical College, United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Case No. 13-CV-181 (May 23, 2014: Summary judgment dismissing claims of disability discrimination and retaliation).

State of Wisconsin v. Par Pharmaceutical, et al. Dane County Wisconsin Circuit Court Case No. 11-CV-5544 (February 17, 2014: Dismissal of state qui tam act claims against generic pharmaceutical companies based on average wholesale pricing).

MATC Part-Time Teacher’s Union v. Madison Area Technical College, Dane County Wisconsin Circuit Court Case No. 12-cv-3374 (December 23, 2013: Summary judgment granted in favor of college in union challenge seeking exemption from status as public employee union).

Stoughton Lumber Company v. Sveum, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (August 1, 2013: Trial victory on non-dischargeability of debt due to fraud or defalcation; affirmed by district court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals). Click here to read Seventh Circuit opinion.

Singer v. Pneumo-Abex LLC, Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2010AP2614 (January 18, 2012: Reversing trial court's denial of brake lining manufacturer's motion for summary judgment in wrongful death mesothelioma case and vacating $1.5 million jury verdict). Click here to read Court of Appeals opinion.

Rebholz v. Club Car, et al., Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2010AP364 (August 9, 2011: Allegations of defective golf cart design--affirming dismissal of design defect claims based on interpretation and enforcement of general release signed by plaintiffs with other parties). Click here to Read Court of Appeals opinion.

Norman-Nunnery v. Madison Area Technical College, et al. United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (November 8, 2010: Seventh Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of prospective employer dismissing claims of spoliation of evidence, race discrimination, and intimate association discrimination). Click here to read Seventh Circuit opinion.

Simonson v. Morbark, Inc., Jackson County Circuit Court Case No. 07-CV-96 (alleged defective design of commercial wood chipper in wrongful death products liability case: Defense Verdict on October 8, 2010).

Kluck v. Klein Tools, Inc., Waupaca County Circuit Court Case No. 07-CV-207 (allegation of failure to warn and defective design in chemical hand cleaning towels--summary judgment dismissing claims on July 14, 2008).

Westphal v. Smelser, et al., Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2007AP827 (July 3, 2008: Reversal of trial court's denial of summary judgment resulting in dismissal of conspiracy and tort claims against Chief Operating Officer by former management employee).

Stoughton Lumber Company, Inc. v. Christopher Brian McGee, Bankruptcy Court, W.D.Wis. (June 9, 2008: Summary judgment of non-dischargeability for theft by contractor).

Schwoegler v. American Family Financial Services, W.D.Wis., (May 16, 2006: Claim against lender dismissed based on Rooker-Feldman doctrine).

Frankenmuth Insurance Co., et al. v. Design Electric, Inc., et al. Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 03-CV-1048 (allegation of defective wiring in commercial installation leading to fire-defense verdict on November 1, 2005).

Samuel Fleischman v. Illinois Tool Works Inc., Polk County Circuit Court Case No. 03-CV-54 (allegation of defective design in pneumatic nailer-defense verdict: August 5, 2005).

Kohn v. Darlington Community Schools & Illinois Tool Works, 686 N.W.2nd 455 (Wis. 2005) (July 1, 2005: Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld summary judgment in favor of defendant manufacturer on grounds of statute of repose for improvements to real property).

Spacesaver Corp. v. Kevin Carmody, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 2002-CV-3535 (August 4, 2004: Jury verdict against former executive for misappropriating company's confidential information).

Kenneth Betts M.D. v. Affiliated Medical Center, Rock County Circuit Court Case No. 02-CV-1441 (March 29, 2004: summary judgment declaring physician's restrictive covenant invalid).

William Macey v. Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund, et al, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division (February 24, 2004: Dismissal of guaranty fund and its executive director from civil RICO action based on lack of personal jurisdiction).

WEA Insurance Corp. v. Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 02-CV-1654 (March 24, 2003: Reversing Insurance Commissioner's decision regarding legality of operation of insurance pool).

Jimenez v. Madison Area Tech. Coll., 321 F.3d 652, 658 (7th Cir.2003) (Affirming District Court's dismissal of action and frivolousness sanctions against plaintiff's counsel).

Murray v. Ecolab, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (June 22, 2001: Summary judgment in favor of product manufacturer in chemical injury product liability case).

Kline v. Polaris, Supreme Court, Seneca County, NY Case No. 29883 (April 6, 2001: Summary judgment dismissing design defect claim against snowmobile manufacturer based on plaintiffs' spoliation of critical evidence).

Representative Clients
Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

Admitted To Practice

Illinois - 2015

Iowa - 2007

Michigan - 2019

Minnesota - 1999

Wisconsin - 2002

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States District Court, District of Minnesota
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Associations

American Bar Association Litigation Section
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Litigation Counsel of America
Wisconsin Defense Counsel

Activities

Muscular Dystrophy Association – Madison Black-N-Blue Ball Committee Chairperson

American Cancer Society – Fundraising Committee

Honors

Listed in Best Lawyers (Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2012-present)

Recognized as a Wisconsin Rising Star (2010-2012)

Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2014-present)

Honored as one of In Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 winners (2012)

Best Lawyers’ 2017 Madison Product Liability Litigation - Defendants “Lawyer of the Year”

News & Publications

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Education

Juris Doctor, University of Iowa College of Law, 1999, with high distinction

Master of Arts, Iowa State University

Bachelor of Arts, Luther College

Madison
One East Main Street
Suite 500
Madison, WI
53703-3300
608.284.2637608.284.2637
608.257.0609608.257.0609
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Jackie Lysne
608.284.2647608.284.2647
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Milwaukee
833 East Michigan Street
Suite 1800
Milwaukee, WI
53202-5615
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