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David Kurtz

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David Kurtz is a construction litigator and shareholder in the Firm's New Orleans office.

Featured Experience

Defended a soil stabilization contractor in a case involving an allegedly sinking shipyard; owner claimed more than $45 million in damages, but trial court ruled in contractor's favor and granted net award to contractor.
2013

Appointed by a Federal Court to serve as Liaison Counsel to contractor defendants in multi-district litigation comprising more than 80,000 claimants who allege injury due to exposure to formaldehyde while living in travel trailers and other emergency housing provided by FEMA following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Obtained a defense verdict in a two-week "bellwether" federal jury trial, further resulting in the dismissal of the Firm's client from a second bellwether prior to trial. Defended two contractor defendants in the multi-district litigation.

2013
Defended a contractor in lawsuits arising from the administration of post-disaster relief programs.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Kurtz represents contractors, subcontractors, engineers, owners and others, and he has appeared before numerous state and federal courts, both at the trial and appellate levels, as well as before regulatory bodies.  His work has included extensive disaster-related litigation, delay claims, EPC contractor litigation, personal injury lawsuits arising from construction projects, and water intrusion cases.

Although his main focus is in the area of construction law, Mr. Kurtz also has experience in energy and other commercial litigation.

He has served as a special master to the court in construction litigation and also has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution forums such as arbitration and mediation.

Mr. Kurtz also holds a construction-related leadership position within the American Bar Association. As co-chair of the Construction Litigation Committee of the Section of Litigation, Mr. Kurtz helps more than 2,000 Committee members stay abreast of the latest developments in construction law.

Representative Matters
  • Defended a soil stabilization contractor in a case involving an allegedly sinking shipyard; owner claimed more than $45 million in damages, but trial court ruled in contractor's favor and granted net award to contractor. (2013)
  • Appointed by a Federal Court to serve as Liaison Counsel to contractor defendants in multi-district litigation comprising more than 80,000 claimants who allege injury due to exposure to formaldehyde while living in travel trailers and other emergency housing provided by FEMA following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Obtained a defense verdict in a two-week "bellwether" federal jury trial, further resulting in the dismissal of the Firm's client from a second bellwether prior to trial. Defended two contractor defendants in the multi-district litigation.

    (2013)
  • Defended a contractor in lawsuits arising from the administration of post-disaster relief programs.
  • Represented the owner in a case against a designer involving the alleged defective specification of concrete.
  • Defended contractor in cases with damages alleged to be in the millions of dollars in which plaintiffs claim to have been injured while living in FEMA trailers. Some of these cases have been dismissed or successfully resolved. (2013)
  • Defended a contractor in several lawsuits arising from FEMA's failure to reimburse the City of New Orleans for disaster relief work performed by our client. The cases were dismissed or resolved favorably.
  • Represented an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in an arbitration involving change order and delay claims relating to the construction of an ethanol plant in California.
  • Successfully settled a $300 million issue on behalf of a hospital manager in a matter involving allegations of mismanagement by the owner.
  • Successfully settled a multimillion dollar suit on behalf of a local university against allegations of water intrusion in a dormitory.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Member – Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Member – New Orleans Bar Association
  • Member – Federal Bar Association
  • Member – American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Treasurer – The Green Project (a non-profit organization dedicated to the recycling of building materials and environmental education), New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Listed since 2012 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Construction 
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine in Construction Law (2013, 2015)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers In America® in the area of Construction Litigation (2014 – 2017)
Press Releases

Awards

Education

  • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, J.D., 1995
    • Articles Editor, Alaska Law Review
  • Tulane University, B.S., Mathematics, B.A., History, 1992, cum laude
    • Joseph J. Jannik Mathematics Award
    • Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society
    • Dean's Honor Scholar

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1995

David Kurtz handles construction litigation, with a focus on disaster-related cases, including natural disaster and personal injury lawsuits. One source notes that 'he really rolls up his sleeves and gets down into the dirty issues to figure them out.'

David Kurtz focuses on handling complex construction disputes on behalf of subcontractors, contractors and other industry professionals. Interviewees describe him as 'a strong attorney who understands the economics of a case and gets good results – he comes highly recommended.'

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