Photo of Luke S. Behnke

Luke S. Behnke

Senior Counsel

Education

Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., magnum cum laude

University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.A.

Admissions

Illinois

Wisconsin

Luke understands that the hallmark of a top flight litigator is the ability to develop and execute a tailored litigation strategy without compromising the flexibility to adapt to continuously evolving case conditions. 

As a member of the Tort Litigation and Product Liability Practice Groups, Luke represents clients in all phases of litigation, from initial claim and fact investigation to discovery, trial and appeal. His clients trust him to efficiently and capably handle various legal matters involving personal injury, property damage, product liability, premises liability, negligence, eviction, subrogation, warranty and contract claims. He works with clients from a number of different industries, including aerospace, automotive, beverage services, construction, health care, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics. 

In one of Luke’s more memorable matters, he was lead counsel for a global soft drink producer and third-party administrator in a claim that arose out of a dispute allegedly involving a handgun between two employees on the employer’s premises. The facts were not favorable for the employer, and potential exposure was significant. Armed with a simple yet clever defense strategy, Luke found ways to win for the employer at every level, ultimately arguing and winning before the Illinois Appellate Court.

Because Luke believes that commitment to public service is a civic duty that produces stronger communities, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Weyenberg Public Library Foundation and is a member of the City of Mequon Ethics Board.

Memberships & Involvement

Member: American Bar Association; Defense Research Institute (DRI); State Bar of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Defense Counsel; Illinois State Bar Association; City of Mequon Ethics Board; Weyenberg Public Library Foundation

Experience

  • Obtained a defense verdict for an equipment manufacturer in a product liability claim involving a catastrophic injury after a 10-day trial in Georgia federal court
  • Settled two related property damage cases for a multinational water treatment company in New York federal court for a fraction of the losses incurred by plaintiffs after outmaneuvering plaintiffs’ council on procedural grounds
  • Successfully represented an employment staffing firm in a premises liability claim and aggressively pursued voluntary dismissal from the action prior to mediation and trial, which saved substantial litigation costs
  • Lead attorney for a global auto manufacturer in successful resolution of a product liability and personal injury claim after the plaintiff alleged that the vehicle caught fire while he was operating it, causing serious personal injury
  • Lead attorney for American multinational package delivery and supply chain management company in subrogation matters involving the recovery of benefits paid by ERISA plan
  • Successfully defended a global soft drink producer and third-party administrator in a high exposure claim for workers’ compensation involving a dispute between two employees on the employer’s premises allegedly involving a handgun
  • Obtained a favorable settlement after almost 5 years of litigation for an employee against several defendants in Iowa state and federal courts, involving numerous contract disputes and tort claims
  • Successfully defended a medical malpractice claim for a global medical organization and insurance carrier
  • Settled a case for a large employment staffing agency in a workers’ compensation case involving a Medicare beneficiary with bilateral shoulder injuries for a fraction of the employer’s appreciated trial exposure following cross-examination of the employee, which elicited testimony that called into question whether the alleged accident “arose out of” employment
  • Successfully defended a large installer of commercial fire protection systems and insurance carrier in a workers’ compensation case involving a Medicare beneficiary with a significant traumatic head injury           
  • Successfully defended a major retailer in a slip and fall case in Wisconsin, settling the case for nuisance value following cross-examination of the employee, which elicited testimony that strongly suggested that the alleged injury was a result of an idiopathic fall and therefore did not “arise out of” employment
  • Successfully represented an employee against their former employer, a national tire distributor, in multi-state litigation involving contract disputes, restrictive covenants, and tort claims
  • Successfully represented a pharmaceutical developer against a global pharmaceutical company in a complex pharmaceutical action in New York, involving inter alia, breach of contract and tort claims