Rich is consistently named as a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine. Rich focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, traumatic brain injury (TBI), food poisoning, premises liability, daycare liability, and product liability. He has represented hundreds of victims of various personal injury accidents. Rich has tried numerous cases to a jury with excellent results.
- Minnesota Super Lawyers
- 2003 – 2018
Rich was first selected as one of the 2011 Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year. This award is given to just a few attorneys across the State of Minnesota each year and is a great honor. A link to the story can be found by clicking here.
Rich then received the award a second time in 2014 after he and his partner, Chuck Slane, secured a $2.2 million verdict against American Family when it refused to tender a minimal policy for an elderly woman who was seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision. A link to the story can be found by click here. Very few lawyers have won the award more than once and he is now honored to be in Minnesota Lawyer’s Circle of Excellence for multiple time Attorney of the Year award winners.
Rich was also the featured lawyer in the Attorney at Law magazine in July 2013. A link to the story can be found by by clicking here.
Rich and his Partner Chuck Slane again were selected Minnesota Attorneys of the Year in 2016 for their work on day care abuse case where they received an approximately $13,000.000 verdict; later a judge took it away and granted a new trial on the case. They tried it a second time and received a verdict of just over $6,000,000 which was later resolved after including interest and cost for a total of approximately $7,500,000. This was the third time in six years that Rich received the Minnesota Attorney of the Year top honors.
Rich is a sought-after speaker on matters related to personal injury litigation, especially on issues of traumatic brain injury and trying personal injury cases. Rich has also written several articles and given numerous speeches on matters related to personal injury. Rich authored and published an article on “Debunking the Top 10 Myths of Traumatic Brain Injury: Effective Cross Examination of the Defense Neuropsychologist.” His article was first published by the Minnesota Association for Justice magazine.
In August 2018, Rich became the President of the Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ) and will be President of the organization until August 2019. This is a highly regarded, top position for Minnesota trial lawyers. The organization's goal is to protect and advocate for consumers, strengthen the civil justice system and make sure wrongdoers are held accountable. He previously received the Member of the Year Award in the 2011 and the Excellence Award in 2009 from this organization. He is a member of several committees for MNAJ and sits on its Board of Governors. He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Rich is married to Sherry and has two children, Hannah and Nicholas. Both children are active in sports including softball, football, baseball and hockey. He is an avid participant in the sport of curling. Rich has been to several national championships and two world championships as a curler. Rich’s team recently won the National Championship in 2018 and took fifth place in the World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada in April 2018. He also enjoys fishing and water sports in the summer.
“The only way that a lawyer can do a good job of representing a client in the courtroom is to truly know them and understand what they have gone through.”
Direct: (952) 832-3590
Office: Minneapolis MN
- Hamline University Law School
- Hamline University
Areas of Expertise
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member
- Minnesota Association for Justice, Board of Governors
- Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ), President, 2018-2019
Rich is an active member of the St. Paul Curling Club and Four Seasons Curling Club. Rich helps out with youth coaching and general teaching of the sport of curling among children and adults and other sports involving his children including baseball and softball. He won the National Championship in curling in 2008 and 2018 and was second in 2017 and 2019. He was also runner-up in the United States Olympic Trials in curling in 2017.
Settlements & Verdicts
Recreational Vehicle Crash
Rich suffered a below the knee amputation of his left leg following a recreational vehicle crash caused by adefective control mechanism. Partner Rich Ruohonen litigated this case extensively for several months. The case settled for $3,750,000.
Semi Truck vs Pedestrian
As Bruce stood by the road, after being hit by a woman who had lost control of her vehicle, he was run over by a semi-truck. He sustained a number of fractures and internal injuries, including a severely broken and dislocated ankle. While he did experience a good recovery from his injuries under the circumstances, he continued to experience significant leg and ankle pain which disturbed his gait. Attorney Rich Ruohonen was able to settle the case for a total of $1,700,000.
Garbage Truck Hits Pedestrian in Wheelchair
Kevin was a 36 year-old man whose wheelchair was struck in a crosswalk by a garbage truck as the man tried to cross a busy road. He used a motorized chair due to pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis. The crash resulted in a hip fracture that required surgery and caused the man to lose additional function. Partner Rich Ruohonen tried the case to a jury in Ramsey County and resulted in a $1,536,921 verdict.
Pedestrian - Traumatic Brain Injury TBI
Josh, pedestrian, was hit by a vehicle after Josh and the driver exchanged words. Josh was knocked to the ground and hit his head on another car and the pavement. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result. The driver left the scene and was turned in by the passenger a couple of days later. The driver accused the passenger of driving the vehicle but later plead guilty to an offense involving driving the vehicle. Josh spent four weeks in the hospital. A large piece of his skull was removed, in order to receive special treatments in a hyperbaric chamber involving direct oxygen on his brain, and then replaced a few weeks later. Josh experienced a remarkable recovery. He was left with only mild traumatic brain injury residuals. Rich Ruohonen got the case settled for a total of $600,000.
Workman's Comp - Car Crash
Damian was injured in a severe crash while traveling to a client’s house for work. The bills were paid by worker’s compensation. He treated with numerous doctors trying many kinds of therapy and treatments to relieve his chronic neck and back pain. He also had significant issues with depression related to being in daily chronic pain. Damian attended a chronic pain clinic. The liability case settled for $100,000. Damian paid off and purchased the worker’s compensation subrogation interest.
The underinsured motorist case was then pursued against Damian’s insurance company, Allstate. Allstate refused to offer one penny of the $50,000 policy limits. Attorney Rich Ruohonen tried this case to a Hennepin County jury resulting in a verdict of over $188,000. Allstate refused to accept the award and appealed the case. Damian won the appeal and Allstate ended up paying the entire $50,000 policy limits, along with an additional $13,000 in costs and interest.
Head on Car Crash
Rick was stopped in traffic when he was rear-ended by a large, commercial van which pushed him into the car in front of him. His vehicle then deflected off the vehicle in front of him sending him into oncoming traffic where he was hit head-on by another vehicle.
Rick suffered a mid-shaft femur fracture which required open reduction internal fixation with an intramedullary rod and nailing. He also suffered from breathing difficulties and was sent home with oxygen for one month following his initial hospital stay, but that condition cleared up. The fracture did not fill-in well and took months to fully heal, requiring extended use of a bone stimulator. His medical bills were approximately $70,000 and he was off work for about one month, losing approximately $8000 in wages. Rich Ruohonen got this case settled for $265,000.
Slip and Fall Injury
Jack fell off a stairway when leaving a customer’s home. There was no guardrail to protect him from falling off the stairway platform. He suffered a fractured talus. This injury took months to heal. He suffered through intense pain and fracture blisters. American Family offered only $80,000, arguing Jack would be found to be largely at fault for his fall. Attorney Rich Ruohonen and Jack refused this offer. A Hennepin County jury returned a verdict of over $156,000 with only a 10% finding of fault on Jack.
On the Job Injury
Don was a contractor. He was in the process of remodeling a client’s house in the middle of winter in January. The house in question had a gutter downspout that drained down the middle of the driveway. This was an unseasonably warm winter. Snow melted from the roof of the house and drained down the gutter and down the driveway. At night, this small stream of water would refreeze leaving a clear thin sheet of ice down the driveway. The homeowners were aware that this problem existed. There was no evidence of sanding or salting in the driveway. Early one morning, Don was walking to his van to get some tools he slipped and fell on this ice with his leg twisting under him. This fall result in a tibia fibula fracture requiring surgery to place screws and a rod in his leg. Don just wanted his medical bills of $25,000 paid. He hired an attorney because the insurance company would not pay his medical bills. After substantial litigation, the insurance company only offered $15,000. Attorney Rich Ruohonen tried this case to a jury. A verdict of $92,500 was obtained for Don.
Surgery Gone Wrong
Kristine visited her doctor with pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with gall stones and needed to have her gall bladder removed by a doctor in Hastings, Minnesota. The doctor negligently cut the duct traveling to right lobe of the liver causing a liver injury. After several weeks of intense abdominal pain and sickness Kristine saw a specialist who determined a mistake was made. She required removal of the right half of her liver, a surgery known as a right hepatic lobectomy. Fortunately, the liver is an organ that can regenerate itself. Her future damages were mostly related only to requiring ongoing liver function tests and a scar from the surgery. No offer was ever made by the negligent doctor. Attorney Rich Ruohonen tried this case to a Dakota County jury resulting in over $100,000 and a total payment after costs, interest, and expenses were included of over $140,000.
Rhonda was making a home visit for her job when she was attacked by a pit bull. As the pit bull jumped at her, she put her arm up to prevent the pit bull from biting her in the face. The pit bull bit her wrist tearing it open and causing minor nerve damage. The insurance company only offered $15,000 to settle the case. The judge granted a motion for punitive damages because the pit bull was known to be dangerous and had been involved in other attacks. The case was tried to a jury by Partner Rich Ruohonen and an award of approximately $48,000 was rendered by the jury. The case settled prior to the punitive damages phase of the trial for approximately $60,000.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Partner Rich Ruohonen represented this husband and wife who were injured in a motorcycle accident when an uninsured motorist turned in front of them causing their motorcycle to collide with the motor vehicle. Both suffered significant leg fractures. They both received $100,000 which was the full amount of the uninsured motorist limits under their policy of insurance on the motorcycle.
Traumatic Brain Injury
This 87 year old woman fell in front of her senior citizen high-rise due to ice on the front walk way. She fell backwards striking her head hard causing a major traumatic brain injury. There was large patch of ice on the front walkway which was not sanded or salted. Susan was unable to return to her independent living situation. She also had signs of dementia and other problems which the insurance company argued were pre-existing and age-related rather than from the fall. Attorney Rich Ruohonen was able to settle the case for $475,000.
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