Paul B. Johnson
Paul B. Johnson is one of the equity partners at Knight, Hoppe, Kurnik & Knight. His practice focuses on many areas of commercial general liability, including premise liability, products liability, commercial litigation, environmental torts, personal injury and civil rights litigation. Mr. Johnson has handled numerous cases involving wrongful death allegations with significant claims for personal injury and property damage claims.
Mr. Johnson’s general civil litigation practice includes all areas of management ranging from pre-suit investigation, post-accident investigation, the discovery process for cases already in suit and the handling of trials in both state and federal courts. He has a distinct track record in successfully utilizing alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve cases for his clients, when appropriate. He is known by many of the mediators in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area as being a vigorous proponent for his clients during the negotiation process. He has also developed a reputation in Illinois and Indiana in working directly with self-insureds and business owners when litigation is forthcoming to protect their interest during the pre-suit process and into litigation once suits are filed.
It is not uncommon for Mr. Johnson to be handling several wrongful death cases simultaneously with defending commercial general liability claims for his clients, including municipalities, business owners and insureds. He values his relationships with these clients and is always relied upon to take the appropriate businesslike approach, when developing a litigation strategy on his files.
Prior to joining the firm and becoming a partner with Knight, Hoppe, Kurnik & Knight, Mr. Johnson worked at a mass tort litigation firm specializing in asbestos litigation. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Quincy University, cum laude, where he also played 4 years of college baseball as a pitcher and captain of the varsity team. He received his Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School in downtown Chicago.
Mr. Johnson is licensed to practice law in the State Courts of Illinois and Indiana. In addition, he has appeared before the Bar of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, the Bar of the United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana and several federal court districts across the Midwest.
When not advocating on behalf of his clients, he resides in the suburbs of Frankfort, Illinois which allows him the flexibility to work out of the Illinois and Indiana offices for the law firm. In his free time he enjoys managing his son’s youth travel baseball team while also volunteering his time to assist in his children’s youth basketball and swimming programs. With a wife and three children, and growing up in a family of small business owners, Mr. Johnson understands the sacrifices his clients make in order to have thriving businesses and he does not take his responsibilities lightly in protecting those interests.
RECENT CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
- Received Summary Judgment in a case representing a landlord where it was determined no duty was owed to the Plaintiff as a result of her slip and fall on ice at our property in 2018. Lisa Comstock J.A. Wagner Development, Llc, et al, Indiana, Cause No. 20C01-170-CT-000087.
- Summary Judgement granted on behalf of our contractor, Daniel Lengacher Construction as a result of a ceiling collapsing inside of a hotel remodel project. We argued successfully that there was no duty to protect the Plaintiff given the facts and alternatively, our client did not breach any duty if one was owed, in light of the relationship between our client and the Plaintiff. Timothy Streck v. Daniel Lengacher Construction, et al, Indiana, Cause No. 16D01-1504-CT-003016.
- In an Illinois state court slip and fall case we received a dismissal on behalf of a large janitorial client resulting from a slip and fall premise liability claim at Bass Pro Shops that resulted in a large settlement paid by the remaining parties not dismissed. Breese v. ISS Facility Services, Inc., et al Cause No. 16-L-0028.
- Successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss in a wrongful death case resulting from a pool drowning where we asserted the open and obvious doctrine on behalf of our client in Illinois. Cabada v. B&B Permanent Seeding, Inc., et al. Cause No. 13-L-000016.
- In a construction scaffolding case, we received a favorable settlement in Illinois for our general contractor in the amount of $30,000.00. Plaintiff’s injuries were significant in that he claimed traumatic brain injury, herniated discs in his back, and a torn rotator cuff with total damages exceeding $500,000.00. Persico, v. Gilbane Building Company, et al. Cause No. 15-L-006171.
- Received a favorable settlement on behalf of a municipality in Illinois that involved a slip and fall on a sidewalk where Plaintiff was making a future wage loss claim and complained of a fractured back with medical bills exceeding $200,000.00. This case resulted in a settlement on behalf of the municipality for under $25,000.
- In Illinois state court received Summary Judgement on behalf of a property management group involving a premise liability case at one of our properties where it was found that we did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the existence of a defective or dangerous condition and that our client did not cause the allegedly dangerous condition to exist at the time of the accident. Kernats v. Element National Management Llc, et 15-L-000270.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a national hotel chain with a Plaintiff who was alleging a wage loss claim in excess of $4,000,000.00 as result of an alleged “double crush” injury. Plaintiff was prepared to ask for in excess of $9,000,000.00 as an award at trial and we were able to successfully resolve this matter at mediation for well under seven figures. Arney v. Quad City Hotel et al., Cause No. 13-L-000083.
- State Court jury verdict in favor of City where hockey coach slipped on mat and sustained significant injuries. Crawford v. City of Mishawaka, October 20, 2015, St. Joe County Case No. 71D04-1110-CT-229.
- Judgment in favor of Defendant at trial on Plaintiff’s claim that motor sports dealer damaged her ATV when she brought it in to be repaired. Rolston v. Arms Power Sports, Inc., February 6, 2015, Kosciusko County, Case No. 43D03-1406-SC-716.
- State Court granted Motion for Summary Judgment where the Plaintiff alleged that police officers trespassed, invaded privacy, and attempted breaking and entering after being dispatched to reported shots fired call at the Plaintiff’s residence. Summary Judgment was granted based upon the Indiana Tort Claims Act, law enforcement immunity, I.C. 34-13-3-3(8). Buzalski v. City of Mishawaka, October 20, 2016, 71D04-1208-CT-00179.