PRACTICESPersonal Injury Defense
Insurance Coverage, Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Litigation
- Iowa State University, B.A., 1994
- Drake University law School, 1997
- State of Missouri
- State of Kansas
- State of Arizona
- United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri
- United States District Court, District of Kansas
- United States District Court, District of Arizona
Suzanne Bruss has nearly twenty years of experience in successfully defending personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage lawsuits, including cases with exposure to significant and punitive damages. Suzanne’s practice is client-focused, providing a detailed and careful analysis of each client’s case early in the litigation, then steady communication and advice as the matter moves toward mediation or trial.
Suzanne has tried cases to defense verdicts in three different states and in federal court, and has arbitrated over fifty cases in various arbitration forums. Suzanne is also a skilled legal writer, authoring appellate briefs which yielded favorable results in appellate courts in three states and before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Suzanne also serves as coverage counsel on complex insurance coverage matters. Suzanne lends her expertise in coverage to insurance carriers writing automobile, homeowners, employer’s liability, commercial general liability, and business property policies. Often called on to defend insurers against claims of bad faith and vexatious refusal to pay, Suzanne successfully defended first-party claims at trial in Greene County, Missouri in 2013 and in federal court in Kansas in 2014.
Suzanne earned her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University with a double major in English and in Speech Communication. While at Iowa State University, Suzanne attended advanced classes through the Honors Program and was active in the Residence Life Program where she served as a campus leader active in diversity education. Suzanne served as a law clerk for Story County Legal Aid before law school which led her to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she received her J.D. During law school, Suzanne was named to the Dean’s List and was recognized as one of the top appellate advocates in her class. Suzanne also represented clients at the Drake Legal Clinic and served as a law clerk to The Honorable George W. Bergeson of the Fifth Judicial District of Iowa.
- Duncan v. Finter, Jackson County, Missouri, Case No. 1616-CV24619 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Six v. Ralston, Cass County, Missouri, Case No. 16CA-CC00081 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Frisch v. Senogles, Shawnee County, Kansas, District Court Case No. 2016-CV-000198 [wrongful death]
- Jackson-Kennon v. Hernandez, et al, Jackson County, Missouri; Case No. 1116-CV33871 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Coder v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas; Case No. 2:12-cv-02231-EFM [breach of contract and denial without just cause or excuse]
- Woods v. Consumers Ins. Co., Greene County, Missouri Case No. 1231-CV02554 [breach of contract & vexatious refusal]
- Lock Warehouse v. Brower Electric, Inc., Carroll County, Missouri Case No. 10CR-CC00113 [fire loss subrogation]
- Gillpatrick v. St. Joe Harley Davidson, Buchanan County, Missouri Case No. 11 BU-CV00416 [products liability, negligence
- Collins v. Calderone; Jackson County, Missouri Case No. 1016-CV032074 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Vanum Construction v. Magnum Block, LLC, Johnson County, Kansas, District Court, Case No. 08 CV 01263 [construction defect]
- Chaloner v. L & C Construction, Pima County, Arizona Case No. C2002-23558 [personal injury, construction defect]
- Maggs v. Montouri, Maricopa County, Arizona Case No. CV1999-006567 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Hall v. Bjerke, Maricopa County, Arizona Case No. CV1998-020967 [motor vehicle negligence]
- Progressive Preferred Ins. Co. v. Reece, 498 S.W.3d 498 (Mo. App. 2016) [UIM coverage].
- Classico v. United Fire & Cas. Co., 386 P.3d 529 (Kan. App. 2016) [fire loss; bad faith].
- Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Addison Ins. Co., 448 S.W.3d 818 (Mo. 2014) [bad faith failure to settle].
- American Nat’l Proper & Cas. Co. v. Wyatt, 400 S.W.3d 417 (Mo. App. 2013) [liability coverage].
- Hanover Ins. Co. v. Jones, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas; 979 F. Supp. 2d 1210 (D. Kan. 2013) [liability coverage].
- Roullins v. American Reliable Ins. Co., 306 P.3d 337 (Kan. App. 2013) [fire loss; homeowners' coverage].
- Secura Insurance v. Horizon Plumbing, Inc., 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, 670 F.3d 857 (8th Cir. 2012) [liability coverage].
- Clark v. Progressive, 390 S.W.3d 208 (Mo. App. 2012) [policy cancellation].
- United Fire & Casualty Company v. LeVassar, U.S. District Court for Western Missouri, Case No. 2:12-cv-04038-BP [liability coverage].
- Vanum Construction v. Magnum Block, LLC, Kansas Court of Appeals, 245 P.3d 1069 (Kan. App. 2010) [construction defect].
- Estate of Anderson v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, 567 F.3d 404 (8th Cir. 2009) [UM coverage].