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Katherine Steele's civil litigation practice has, since 1981, emphasized representing defendants in product liability, construction defect, asbestos and toxic tort, wrongful death, personal injury, general maritime law, Jones Act, insurance coverage and related bankruptcy cases. She represents contractors, owners, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers and other businesses on a broad range of issues.
Katherine is currently the national counsel for a Northwest shipping company. For nearly 20 years, she served as National Asbestos Coordinating Counsel for the former Northwest Manville contractor and distributor, The E.J. Bartells Co. until its successful reorganization in 2001. During that time, Katherine developed and implemented strategy resulting in defense verdicts in 75% of the cases tried, smaller increases in filings, and lower settlement averages than similar asbestos defendants. The plaintiff verdicts all resulted in low verdicts, small fault allocation compared to co-defendants and no punitive awards.
Katherine has substantial experience designing databases to increase efficiency and track cases for clients, including a plaintiff database, an extensive searchable database of nearly all northwest industrial sites, a vessel database with pertinent information on nearly all West Coast naval vessels, and many merchant vessels and a document/exhibit database referencing an extensive exhibit library including most major northwest job sites and trade publications.
Katherine's experience representing clients in complex civil matters has made her a sought-after speaker on asbestos litigation topics. She has spoken numerous times at various asbestos conferences including DRI's Asbestos Medicine Seminar, Perrin Conferences' Asbestos Litigation Conference, and HarrisMartin's Northwest Asbestos Litigation Conference.
Recent Representative Cases