Leslie M. Kroeger is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the firm’s Catastrophic Injury & Wrongful Death, Managed Care Abuse, and Unsafe & Defective Products practice groups. Ms. Kroeger joined Cohen Milstein in January 2014 and is based in the firm’s Florida office. She specializes in complex, high-profile product liability, wrongful death, and managed care abuse litigation.
Ms. Kroeger is a highly accomplished civil trial attorney who began her legal career in the courtroom as an Assistant Public Defender for Brevard and Seminole Counties, Florida and later became an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida. She then moved into private practice where she continues to handle a variety of complex civil litigation matters both in the state of Florida and nationwide.
Currently, Ms. Kroeger is litigating the following notable matters:
- HCA: Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that four Florida plaintiffs and others like them were billed inflated and exorbitant fees for emergency radiology services, in excess of the amount allowed by law, covered in part by their mandatory Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Ms. Kroeger is involved in all aspect of the litigation charging HCA hospitals with gouging patients with PIP coverage. The case is ongoing.
- United States of America, et al. v. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc.: Cohen Milstein represents three former managers of the AHF in a Federal and Florida State Whistleblower Act claims against the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care for illegal patient referral kickbacks. Ms. Kroeger has been involved in all aspects of the litigation. The case is ongoing.
- Lindsay X-LITE Guardrail Litigation: Cohen Milstein represents more than five families of decedents and victims of catastrophic injuries in a series of individual products liability, wrongful death and catastrophic injury lawsuits in Tennessee and South Carolina state courts against the Lindsay Corporation and several related entities for designing, manufacturing, selling, and installing defective, X-Lite guardrails on state roadways.
- Pulse Nightclub Shooting: Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel, representing more than 90 survivors and relatives of victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. The wrongful death lawsuit against the shooter’s former employer, G4S, alleges that it knew the shooter was mentally unstable and threatening violence, yet obtained his security license from the state with the use of a fraudulently signed psychological assessment, employed him as an armed guard, and repeatedly gave him weapons training.
- Ratha, et al v Phatthana Seafood Co.: Cohen Milstein is representing seven Cambodian plaintiffs in a cross-border human rights lawsuit, involving human trafficking, forced labor, involuntary servitude, and peonage by factories in Thailand that produce shrimp and seafood for export to the United States.
Ms. Kroeger has successfully litigated the following lawsuits:
- Quinteros, et al v. DynCorp, et al: Cohen Milstein represented over 2,000 Ecuadorian farmers and their families who suffered physical injuries and property damage as a result of aerial spraying of toxic herbicides on or near their land by DynCorp, a U.S. government contractor. A bellwether trial on behalf of the first six Ecuadorian clients came to a conclusion in April 2017, when the ten-person jury unanimously determined that DynCorp was responsible for the conduct of the pilots with whom it had subcontracted to conduct the chemical spraying after April 2003. This resolution allowed for a successful case settlement.
- Mincey v. Takata: Cohen Milstein was lead counsel in a lawsuit brought on behalf of Patricia Mincey and her family, a Florida woman who sustained catastrophic injuries that rendered her a quadriplegic in 2014 when the driver’s side airbag in her Honda Civic deployed too aggressively during a collision due to a product defect. Patricia Mincey passed away in early 2016 due to complications from her quadriplegia caused by the problematic airbag. The suit charged that Takata, the manufacturer of the airbag system, knew of the airbag defect and hid the problem from consumers. Evidence uncovered by the firm showed that Takata concealed the defective nature of the airbag system for more than a decade. The case was resolved in July 2016.
- Quinlan v. Toyota Motor Corporation: Cohen Milstein was lead counsel in a product liability case filed against Toyota Motor, alleging that manufacturing defects in the defendant’s car caused the car being driven by the plaintiff Quinlan to suddenly accelerate and go out of control, resulting in catastrophic injuries that left him a quadriplegic. The defendant entered into a settlement, which is confidential. Ms. Kroeger was engaged in all aspects of the litigation.
- Love v. Walmart: Ms. Kroeger represented individual female Walmart employees in a lawsuit alleging that the company discriminated against them on the basis of their sex. The defendant reached a confidential settlement with the plaintiffs.
- In re: Caterpillar, Inc. Engine Products Liability Litigation: Cohen Milstein was co-lead counsel in a nationwide product liability class action lawsuit alleging Caterpillar sold diesel engines with defective exhaust emissions system that resulted in power losses and shutdowns. Ms. Kroeger was involved all aspects of the litigation.
In 2015, Ms. Kroeger was awarded the Champion of Consumer Safety Award by the Florida Justice Association (FJA) for her lobbying efforts before the Florida legislature, resulting in passage of SB 518, a state law requiring children under age five to be secured in federally-approved child-restraint devices. Ms. Kroeger’s advocacy efforts also include serving on the Board of Directors of Guardians for New Futures and overseeing a Safe Kids bi-annual booster seat giveaway.
Ms. Kroeger has achieved an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the field of Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. She was named to Law360’s 2016 Product Liability Editorial Advisory Board. She speaks frequently on strategies and tactics for addressing the standards for expert witness testimony in light of the Supreme Court’s Daubert ruling.
Ms. Kroeger serves as the Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Florida Justice Association and was presented with the 2017 Cornerstone Award in recognition of her leadership and efforts in recruiting new members to the organization. In June 2018, Ms. Kroeger will be appointed President-Elect; and in June 2019 she will be sworn in as President of Florida Justice Association, the second female President in the history of the association. In 2011 Leslie was past Chair of the Women's Caucus. She serves on the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee. She is Past President of the Martin County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers; as well as serving as an active member of The Florida Bar, the American Association for Justice, the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Martin County Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Justice Association, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Martin County Chapter.
Ms. Kroeger graduated with high honors from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and obtained her law degree from the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. Following law school, she served in a trial clerkship in Miami.
- Treasurer, Florida Justice Association, 2017-2018
- Secretary, Florida Justice Association, 2016-2017
- Executive Committee Member, Florida Justice Association, 2011-Present
- Professional Ethics Committee Member, Florida Bar, 2011-2017
- Board Member, Past President and Founder, Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Martin County Chapter
- Women's Caucus Chair, Florida Justice Association, 2011-2012