Corey L. Gordon is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice includes products liability defense, class action defense, toxic and environmental torts litigation, commercial litigation, appeals, and other complex litigation. Mr. Gordon is a frequent speaker at national CLE programs. His recent presentations have addressed class action defense, food flavorings litigation, junk science, and successful approaches to Daubert motions and jury trials.
Mr. Gordon has served on the Circus Juventas Board of Directors, on which he served as chairman, the Bet Shalom Congregation Board of Trustees, on which he served as President, and the boards of directors of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, the Minnesota Humane Society, the Jewish Vocational Service, the Minnesota Folk Festival, the Minneapolis Federation for Jewish Service, and the Ethnic Dance Theatre. He has also served on the Advisory Boards for Torah Academy and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). Previously, Mr. Gordon was a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. and a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Minnesota.
- In Re: Bair Hugger™ MDL Summary Judgement Victory. Won a landmark victory for 3M Company in the federal Bair HuggerTM Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) securing the dismissal of one of the 10 largest MDLs in the country. The MDL court dismissed the more than 5,000 cases against 3M after it entered summary judgment for 3M and granted the firm’s motion to exclude the opinions of the plaintiffs’ experts. Measured by the number of cases dismissed, the summary judgment win represents one of the largest-impact defense wins in history.
- In Re: Max Mason Posthumous Pardon. Collaborated with the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, Inc., the Minnesota Historical Society, members of the Federal Bar, and other supporters, to successfully secure the posthumous pardon of Max Mason, who was wrongfully convicted of raping a White woman in 1920. The pardon was the first ever in Minnesota State history, in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of his conviction and the brutal lynching of three Black circus workers in Duluth – the only lynchings in Minnesota’s history.
- Hebrew National Putative Nationwide Class Action. Complete defense victory for ConAgra Foods, Inc. in putative class action based on allegation that their Hebrew National brand beef products are not “100% kosher.” The case was first dismissed with prejudice by the federal district court in Minnesota after the court agreed with the defense’s argument that plaintiffs’ claims could not be adjudicated consistent with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. On appeal, The Eighth Circuit agreed with the defense’s separate argument that plaintiffs also lacked Article III standing to pursue their claims. Following remand to state court in Dakota County, Minnesota, the state district court agreed with both of the defense’s arguments regarding the First Amendment and Standing, dismissing the putative class action with prejudice.
- General Mills East Hennepin Environmental Class Action. Defended General Mills, Inc., against class action claims brought by residents claiming vapor intrusion from groundwater contamination from a former General Mills facility. Class certification was reversed by the 8th Circuit.
- Yo-Plus Consumer Class Action. Defended General Mills, Inc. against a class action, on behalf of California purchasers, alleging that Yo-Plus probiotic yogurt did not promote digestive health as advertised. General Mills retained the firm as trial counsel after the court granted class certification. Blackwell Burke obtained de-certification of the class’s claims for damages, including its claim for punitive damages.
- Newkirk v. ConAgra Foods. Refuted primary argument that consumer exposure to popcorn additives was comparable to industrial-level exposure. A Washington federal district court rendered a 70-page opinion that excluded plaintiff’s experts on Daubert grounds, granted summary judgment and dismissed all claims in favor of ConAgra Foods, Inc. Mr. Gordon argued the successful motions in the trial court and the winning appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
- Egilman v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1583 (2013). Represented ConAgra Foods in successfully opposing an expert’s petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case involved the issue of whether an expert witness has third-party standing to appeal a district court’s Daubert ruling.
- Gareis v. 3M Company (Bair Hugger™).Won a complete defense verdict for one of the world’s largest global innovation manufacturing companies in the first product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) bellwether trial in Minnesota Federal District Court. The jury agreed with the defense that the warming device did not cause surgical site infections. This case is one of more than 5,000 cases in the Minnesota MDL all involving numerous complex novel scientific legal issues. Also secured dismissal of all Minnesota State cases, prevented Plaintiffs from adding punitive damages, won a significant motion to compel, securing more than $11,000 in fees and costs for client. The verdict was widely covered in the media.
Publications & Presentations
- Mock Trial Panelist: Connecting with Juries and Developing “Good Company” Stories, Consumer Brands Association Annual Legal Conference, Palm Beach Gardens, FL (March 2019)
- Protecting your Brand during and after False Advertising Litigation, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2018 Legal Conference, New Orleans, LA.
- Fighting Back Against Class Action Litigation, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2017 Legal Conference, San Diego, CA.
- Diacetyl, Flavorings, and the (continued) March of Junk Science, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2016 Legal Conference, Dana Point, CA.
- Flavorings, Colors, and Other Additives: Managing Current and Future Litigation Risks, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2014 Litigation Conference, Dana Point, CA
- Fighting Back Against Class Action Litigation, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2017 Legal Conference, San Diego, CA
- Is Diacetyl the New Asbestos? Flavoring Litigation in the Post-Watson World, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2013 Litigation Conference, Miami, FL.
- Update from the Frontiers of Junk Science: The Latest Law and the Latest Trends, Grocery Manufacturers Association 2012 Foodborne Illness Litigation Conference, Dana Point, CA.