Photo of Katie Putnam

Katie defends businesses in toxic tort and product liability matters in some of the nation’s toughest jurisdictions.

Katie’s litigation practice focuses on defending clients in both product and premises liability cases, with an emphasis on asbestos. She works with nationwide portfolios and serves on national coordinating counsel teams for global manufacturers and industrial corporations, overseeing the work of local counsel across the country. She has experience handling all phases of litigation, including case resolution, trial preparation, trial and appellate advocacy in both state and federal courts and has obtained favorable outcomes for clients in some of the most difficult jurisdictions in the country.

In addition to her team lead roles at Husch Blackwell, Katie draws on her experience as an office managing partner at a previous firm, which provided her with a higher-level perspective on how attorney teams should function most effectively to support clients’ business objectives while managing their litigation risk. She utilizes her experience and reputation to guide her clients’ defense strategy and obtain favorable results in high-risk cases. Additionally, Katie is a passionate writer, and has utilized her skill in written advocacy to secure victories for her clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Overview of Original Daubert Rulings

In orders issued on October 25, 2022 and November 9, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs provided some clarification to her prior expert rulings in the matter of Walls v. Ford Motor Company, et al., a mesothelioma wrongful death case pending in the Middle District of North Carolina. The plaintiff, Laura Walls, alleges that her deceased husband, Robie Walls, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products through his naval service and career as a truck mechanic. The plaintiff intends to call several experts to offer opinions that the defendants’ products caused the decedent’s disease. The defendants intend to introduce expert testimony that friction products made with chrysotile asbestos did not and could not have caused the alleged injury while asserting that the decedent sustained significant exposure to asbestos during his naval service. The Court took up the parties’ various Daubert challenges over two days of oral argument in June 2022 and made several significant rulings regarding expert admissibility on August 11, 2022 as discussed herein.