Melanie A. Strubbe

Melanie Ann Strubbe received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1992 and graduated, cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center in 1995.  Ms. Strubbe is licensed in California, Nevada and Illinois.  She devoted the first five years of her practice to construction defect litigation in Southern California, where she defended a wide variety of clients, including general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers.  Her cases focused on structural issues, geotechnical issues, concrete and mold, and she was a member of the American Concrete Institute.  Ms. Strubbe was involved in the defense of claims involving sulfate attack on concrete, where she participated in destructive testing including the taking of numerous concrete cores, and the analysis of these cores including their PSI, compressive and tensile strength, and the use of SEM (scanning electron microscopy).  She has worked with numerous structural, civil and geotechnical engineering experts, including the internationally known Adam Neville from England, who wrote Properties of Concrete, a book used nationwide to teach engineering students.  She has also deposed several world-renowned experts in the field of engineering and concrete.  Since moving to Illinois in 1999, Ms. Strubbe has continued litigating construction matters, including construction injury and construction defect suits, and currently devotes approximately 25% of her practice to insurance coverage matters, including prosecuting and defending declaratory judgment actions as well as providing coverage opinions to various insurance companies.    Ms. Strubbe has also handled numerous other civil matters, including personal injury and products liability cases.  Ms. Strubbe is an active member of the Illinois Defense Counsel’s Insurance Coverage Committee, and was selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer Rising Star for the years 2007 and 2008.  Ms. Strubbe can be contacted at

State Bar of Illinois-1997
U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois-1997
State Bar of Nevada-1996
State Bar of California-1995

Illinois State Bar
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Defense Research Institute
California State Bar (inactive)
Nevada State Bar (inactive)

Areas of Practice:
Construction Defect Litigation
Construction Injury
Insurance Coverage
Products Liability Law
Personal Injury

Representative Cases:

  • Defended the general contractor in a case involving an ironworker who alleged he was injured when a crane operator lowered a beam toward him without a signal.  Plaintiff alleged a career-ending injury and demanded in excess of $1 million to settle the case.  Settled on behalf of the general contractor prior to trial for $75,000.  Case went to trial against the crane operator, and plaintiff received a verdict of over $2 million against that other party.

  • Successfully defended the owner’s representative in a case involving a plaintiff who was employed by the excavation contractor at the site.  Plaintiff alleged he was forced to climb out of the machine he was operating and go into the trench he was digging and that, while climbing out of the trench, the trench caved-in, causing him injury.  Brought motion for summary judgment on behalf of the owner’s representative alleging owner’s representative did not control the means and methods of the excavation contractor’s work.  Motion was granted by the trial court, and plaintiff appealed.  The First District Court of Appeals ultimately upheld the trial court’s ruling in a published opinion.

  • Represented manufacturing company in a class action medical monitoring case filed by plaintiffs who alleged that cardboard that caught on fire at a nearby recycling facility caused them injury.  Initially brought motion to dismiss strict liability claim which was granted by the court with prejudice.  Entire suit was eventually dismissed based on plaintiffs’ failure to prosecute case, and plaintiffs did not re-file case within required statutory time limit.

  • Defended a window supplier on a third-party claim for contribution filed by the general contractor in a construction defect case.  Brought motion to dismiss based on a statute of limitations argument that was granted by the court.  General contractor was given leave to amend its third-party complaint.  After receiving the amended third-party complaint, brought another motion to dismiss on behalf of window supplier.  Prior to ruling, general contractor agreed to voluntarily dismiss window supplier from the case with prejudice.

  • Successfully defended a company who allegedly manufactured part of a mold that closed on plaintiff’s hand, causing her injury.  The company was sued by plaintiff, and we filed a motion to dismiss on company’s behalf alleging plaintiff’s claim was time-barred by the statute of limitations.  The motion was granted with prejudice.  Co-defendant refused to dismiss counterclaim, so we filed another motion for summary judgment on the company’s behalf, arguing that the product had been substantially altered since it left company’s control.  The company was ultimately dismissed from the case.

  • Plaintiff was mother of decedent who hung himself while in police lock-up with a paper isolation gown provided to him by the City of Chicago.  Plaintiff sued the City and several gown manufacturers and distributors in federal court, including our defendant company, who distributed gowns to the City several years prior to this incident.  A motion for summary judgment was filed on our defendant’s behalf, citing the fact that plaintiff had no evidence that the gown the decedent used to hang himself with was a gown distributed by our defendant.  After the filing of the motion, our defendant settled out of the case for $12,500.  Motion for good faith settlement was approved by the court.