Charmaine K. Harris

Attorney

Phone: 612.343.3273
Email:

BACKGROUND

Charmaine K. Harris’s practice focuses on medical device, products liability defense, and other complex litigation.  She is a lead associate for a Fortune 500 Company defending its product liability and premises liability claims arising in state and federal courts nationwide.  In that role, Ms. Harris conducts discovery depositions, represents the client at mediations, and negotiates settlements.  Ms. Harris is also experienced in defending asbestos and employment-related disputes. 

Before attending law school, Ms. Harris was a senior medical design engineer in Medtronic, Inc.’s Neuromodulation business unit.  As a medical device engineer, she designed, tested, and improved spinal cord stimulation devices.  She is a named inventor on five patents for these devices.  Her prior career as a medical device engineer gives her a sophisticated understanding of technologically complicated cases.

Ms. Harris is a former Board member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL).  MABL’s mission is to promote and support the professional development of Black lawyers, judges and law students in Minnesota. She is also a member of the Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL), dedicated to advancing the success of women lawyers. Ms. Harris served as co-chair of the 2016 MWL Annual Conference.  She is admitted to practice in Minnesota, the District of Minnesota, and the District of Colorado.

EDUCATION

  • William Mitchell College of Law (J.D. 2011), Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court
  • Brown University (B.S. 1998)

AWARDS

  • Minnesota Lawyer Attorney of the Year
  • Benchmark Litigation Future Star
  • Minnesota Lawyer Up & Coming Attorney
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers Scholarship Award
  • Barbara A. Wrigley Intellectual Property Scholarship

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • In re Bair HuggerTM MDL Summary Judgment Victory. Won a landmark victory for 3M Company in the federal Bair HuggerTM MDL, securing dismissal of one of the 10 largest MDLs in the country. The court granted summary judgment for 3M in more than 5,000 cases after granting 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. Appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is pending. Also won summary judgment and dismissal of all Minnesota state cases. Dismissal of all Minnesota state court cases were affirmed on appeal.
  • 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. Appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is pending.
  • 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 posthumous pardon was the first ever in Minnesota history, in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of Mason’s conviction and the brutal lynching of three Black circus workers in Duluth.
  • Medtronic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) litigation. Won summary judgment based on federal preemption for medical device manufacturer Medtronic Inc. in 44-case “mini MDL” in Minnesota state court where the plaintiffs alleged that ICD batteries failed prematurely.  Affirmed on appeal.
  • Mohr v. Mobil 1 Corporate. Won complete defense verdict in Minnesota Conciliation Court on behalf of Exxon Mobil against Plaintiff who claimed that Mobil 1 motor oil destroyed his vehicle’s engine.
  • Bray v. Starbucks.  Won summary judgment for Starbucks Corporation d/b/a Starbucks Coffee Company in Minnesota state court.  Plaintiff alleged Starbucks discriminated against him in a public accommodation based on his status as a transgender male.  The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, and the parties reached a favorable settlement.
  • Flushable Wipes Class Action.  Won summary judgment for Rockline Industries, Inc., one of the largest global producers of wet wipes and coffee filters, in Minnesota Federal District Court. In this putative nationwide class action, multiple municipalities alleged that flushable wipes were clogging their sewer systems.  The District Court agreed with the defense that its claims were not false or misleading, and denied plaintiffs injunctive relief.
  • Cooking Spray Litigation. In this consolidated litigation in Cook County, Illinois state court over 40 plaintiffs allege that a can of aerosol cooking spray suddenly and without warning exploded causing personal injuries and property damage. The firm’s defense of the largest global producer of cooking spray products is underway.

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