Ryan Wilhelm

Partner

  • location icon Atlanta, GA
    1180 Peachtree Street NE
    Suite 2900
    Atlanta, GA 30309

Ryan Wilhelm is a partner in the Atlanta office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Professional Liability, General Liability, and Architects & Engineers Practices. Ryan is a civil litigator and has extensive experience in representing companies and individuals in a wide variety of matters throughout all State and Federal Courts in Georgia.

Within his construction litigation practice, Ryan represents design professionals, contractors, and subcontractors in construction matters resolved through litigation and alternative dispute resolution. This includes defending claims arising from design errors, construction errors, delays, personal injuries, and property damage.

Ryan also practices in Lewis Brisbois' Products Liability and Insurance Law practice areas. This includes defending premises liability and commercial automotive claims; defending toxic-tort and other product liability claims; representing licensed professionals in professional malpractice claims and licensing issues; and insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.

Ryan is a frequent speaker on these topics, and in recognition of his accomplishments, has been selected by his peers as a Georgia Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • Georgia
  • State Supreme Courts
    • Georgia Supreme Court
  • State Appellate Courts
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Admissions

Georgia

Associations

  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)

Awards & Honors

Named as a Georgia Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Education

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Juris Doctor, 2001

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Bachelor of Arts, 1997

Representative Matters

Construction Litigation

  • Defended an electrical engineering firm in a lawsuit involving the collapse of a large gantry crane at a lumber facility in South Georgia. The crane collapse caused one death, extensive property damage, and loss of business operations allegedly valued at approximately $20 million. The plaintiff contended that the collapse was caused, in part, by defective electrical engineering upgrades to the crane. All claims against the engineering firm were dismissed after the parties conducted discovery.
  • Defended an architectural firm in two lawsuits filed by more than 70 firefighters and the county as a result of alleged toxic mold growing in five newly-constructed community centers and fire stations. The plaintiffs contended that the mold was caused by various construction defects as well as negative pressure allegedly caused by the HVAC system. The claims asserted by the county were dismissed pursuant to a motion to dismiss.
  • Defended a civil engineering and land surveying firm in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an accidental drowning in a retention pond. The plaintiffs alleged that the drowning occurred as a result of the alleged negligent design, construction, and maintenance of the pond.
  • Defended a civil engineering firm in a lawsuit involving water and silt runoff allegedly caused during the development of residential subdivisions. The plaintiff sought to recover damages against the developers, owners, bank, and engineering firm as a result of silt and other sedimentation that allegedly caused sedimentation and other damage to a nearby lake.
  • Defended an architectural firm in a lawsuit alleging tortious interference, unfair trade practices, and trademark infringement. The plaintiff contended that the architectural firm used its business materials and other design ideas to unfairly obtain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The plaintiffs dismissed all claims against the architectural firm once the parties began engaging in discovery.
  • Defended an architectural firm in a lawsuit involving the alleged negligent construction and design of several college dormitories. The plaintiff contended that the dormitories suffered extensive property damage as a result of various alleged design and construction-related defects to the exterior brick façade and interior structural components.
  • Defended a civil engineering firm in a wrongful death lawsuit arising from an automobile accident. The accident occurred when the plaintiff lost control of his car shortly after a rainstorm. The plaintiff's estate contended the engineering firm negligently performed site supervision of a nearby construction project, thereby causing mud and other debris to enter the roadway, allegedly contributing to the accident.
  • Defended a mechanical engineering firm in a personal injury lawsuit involving the release of caustic solution from a pressurized pipe at a detergent manufacturing facility. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his eyes, mouth, and face while he was performing maintenance on a pressurized pipe. The plaintiff contended that the accident was caused, in part, by inadequate engineering safety features on the system.
  • Defended an architectural firm in a lawsuit alleging various construction and design defects relating to the construction of a middle school. The plaintiff issued a performance bond on the project and sought to recover damages allegedly incurred to repair and complete the project.
  • Defended an architectural firm in an arbitration proceeding arising from the alleged negligent design and construction of a large church. The church was seeking to recover damages relating to various structural issues relating to the exterior brick veneer and other building materials.
  • Defended an architectural firm in a lawsuit involving the alleged negligent design and construction of an automobile dealership. The plaintiff contended that the dealership building sustained water intrusion damage and other structural problems allegedly caused by the negligent construction and design of the building.
  • Defended an architectural firm in a lawsuit involving the design of a commercial kitchen and restaurant. The plaintiff/owner contended that the architectural firm was negligent in selecting the HVAC equipment and in designing the overall layout of the restaurant.
  • Defended a general contractor in an arbitration proceeding brought by the owner of a large hotel in South Georgia. The owner contended that the hotel suffered extensive mold problems and other moisture issues caused by construction defects. The claim was arbitrated over a three day period and resulted with an award entered in favor of the owner that was substantially less than what was being sought.
  • Defended a general contractor in an arbitration proceeding involving alleged toxic mold growing in a personal residence. The plaintiffs contended that their entire family, including two young children, became sick from mold growing in the home. The plaintiffs contended that the mold was so bad that they were forced to abandon their home and move out of state. The claim was arbitrated over two days and resulted with an award in favor of the owner that was substantially less than what was being sought.

Product Liability

  • Defended more than 100 toxic tort personal injury claims allegedly arising from asbestos exposure. Served as Georgia counsel for the manufacturers of automotive products, industrial equipment, and household products in claims filed throughout the State.
  • Defended the manufacturer of an underground mining locomotive in a lawsuit involving serious personal injuries. The plaintiff suffered horrific injuries by losing both arms after they were crushed by a large metal wall. The plaintiff alleged that the injury was caused, in part, by the alleged negligent design of the mining locomotive.
  • Defended the manufacturer of a drilling rig involved in a serious personal injury accident. The plaintiff became a quadriplegic after a drill rod fell from the rig and hit him in the neck and back. The plaintiff's claims against the manufacturer were dismissed pursuant to a motion to dismiss.
  • Defended the manufacturer of an underground water retention system. The plaintiff/owner suffered property damages and business losses after the parking lot of a shopping center sunk near the retention system. The plaintiff/owner alleged that the sinking was caused, in part, by the negligent design and manufacture of the underground system.
  • Defended a personal injury lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of carpet-manufacturing machinery. The plaintiff lost two of his fingers in an industrial accident involving the machine. The plaintiff contended that the accident was caused by the negligent design of various safety features with the machine.
  • Defended a retailer in a product liability lawsuit relating to the alleged negligent design and manufacture of reclining chair. The plaintiff suffered serious personal injuries when the back of the chair unexpectedly fell off the chair.
  • Defended a grocery store in a product liability lawsuit relating to defective food products. The plaintiff suffered personal injuries and tooth loss after biting into a foreign object in bag of tortilla chips. The case was tried and resulted with a nominal plaintiff's verdict of less than what was offered by the grocery store prior to trial.

Premises Liability

  • Defended a large grocery store chain in more than 50 premises liability lawsuits filed throughout Georgia. These premises liability claims involved most anything conceivable that could happen at a retail premises, including allegations of slip/trip and falls; false arrests; assault and batteries; property damages; and injuries from food products.
  • Defended a hotel in a personal injury lawsuit. The plaintiff was injured after he jumped out of a second-story window while attempting to flee from another hotel guest who was trying to enter his room.
  • Defended apartment complex in a wrongful death claim brought by a tenant whose young daughter was killed in an automotive/pedestrian accident in the parking lot.
  • Defended strip mall owner in a wrongful death claim arising from a store front crash that killed a patron inside a restaurant. Plaintiff claimed the premises owner was negligent for failing to install bollards or other barriers to prevent storefront crashes.

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

  • Represented various insurance companies by issuing coverage opinions on a wide range of coverage issues; drafting reservation of rights letters, and filing and defending petitions for declaratory judgment.

Commercial Litigation

  • Defended a defense industry contractor in a lawsuit involving the manufacture and sale of mobile satellite devices. The plaintiff contended that the contractor breached a teaming agreement for the sale of the devices allegedly valued in excess of $700 million. The plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction preventing the contractor from manufacturing and selling the devices. The contractor successfully defeated the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, which led the plaintiff to dismiss all claims asserted.
  • Defended an energy company in a lawsuit filed by one of its competitors alleging breach of partnership agreement and tortious interference. The plaintiff contended that the energy company unfairly solicited business from a large client that formerly worked with the plaintiff.
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