Samuel L. Blatnick

(816) 502-4603
Partner
(816) 960-0041 Fax
Samuel.Blatnick@KutakRock.com

Mr. Blatnick, a former CPA, is a trial lawyer with a focus on complex commercial litigation. Mr. Blatnick has represented clients in a wide range of cases, including corporate governance and breaches of fiduciary duties, contract disputes, restrictive covenants, terminations of business relationships, product liability, mass torts, theft of trade secrets, and IP infringement. He has extensive trial experience representing clients in both state and federal courts across the country, as well as in domestic arbitrations and in arbitrations before the ICC International Court of Arbitration.

Mr. Blatnick previously worked as a tax consultant for Ernst & Young and earned an Excel Award for finishing in the top 3% nationally on the May 1998 CPA exam. Before joining Kutak Rock, Mr. Blatnick was a partner with Kirkland & Ellis and an associate with Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Representative Cases

Corporate Governance:

  • Westco Agronomy Co. LLC v. Wollesen, et al. (Story County, IA): Lead trial counsel for Iowa Plains Farms and its principals in their defense of claims that they bribed a cooperative employee to receive millions of dollars of improper discounts over a five-year period. Obtained a complete defense verdict and award of $576,189 on counterclaims following five-week jury trial.
  • CDX Liquidating Trustee v. Venrock, et al. (N.D. Ill.): Trial Counsel for defendants in defense of claims of breach of fiduciary duty brought against individual directors and their employers. Directed verdict in favor of all defendants following seven-week jury trial.
  • Liberty Banshares Iowa, Inc. v. Krause, et al. (Polk County, IA): Successfully defended directors of bank holding company in action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty.

Restrictive Covenants:

  • St. Rose ASC v. Hatesohl, et al. (Great Bend, KS): Lead trial counsel for St. Rose in three-day evidentiary hearing to enforce post-employment covenants.
  • A Place for Mom, Inc. v. Hochhalter (S.D. Iowa): Lead counsel for APFM in an action to enforce a noncompete agreement against a former employee and her competing business. Successfully obtained an injunction following an evidentiary hearing.
  • Brown & Brown, Inc. v. Henderson, et al. (Volusia County, FL): Lead counsel for five individuals who allegedly violated post-employment restrictive covenants by forming a new business; favorable settlement reached.

Commercial Disputes:

  • ERC v. Luxury Travel Brokers (D. Kan.): Second-chair trial counsel for plaintiff in multi-day damages trial. Sought and successfully obtained more than $500,000 in damages.
  • Energy Northwest v. SPX Heat Transfer (E.D. Wash.): Represented SPX in its defense of claims exceeding $30 million for allegedly defective Nuclear Condenser Modules; matter resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
  • Eddy-Walker Equipment Co. v. Henderson Products, Inc. (Polk County, IA): Lead counsel for wrongfully terminated equipment distributor; matter resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.

Products Liability and Mass Torts:

  • Desorbo v. Handschy (Philadelphia County, PA): Second-chair trial counsel in product liability case, where plaintiff alleged he developed leukemia from exposure to Handschy's cleaning solvent; matter resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties during trial.
  • Gades v. USG (D.S.D.): Lead counsel in product liability case, where homeowners alleged their home contained defective domestic drywall. Plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss with prejudice at the close of discovery.
  • Varnado v. USG (S.D. Miss.); Morrison v. USG (S.D. Miss): Lead defense counsel in products liability cases, where homeowner filed nationwide class actions on behalf of themselves and others with allegedly defective USG drywall. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed case after motion to strike putative class representatives.
  • Williams v. Dow Chemical Co. (Brazoria County, TX): Claims of personal injury for lung cancer allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos from working at Dow facilities. Complete defense verdict following two-week jury trial.
  • Broome v. Dow Chemical Co. (Brazoria County, TX): Claims of personal injury for lung cancer allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos from working at Dow facilities. Complete defense verdict following a three-week jury trial.
  •  U.S.A. v W.R. Grace (D. Mont.): Counsel for W.R. Grace in its defense of criminal charges related to alleged environmental asbestos releases from its Montana Mining operations in Libby, Montana.