Pritzker Hageman Law: A Legacy of Excellence
Since its founding, Pritzker Hageman has garnered a national reputation as a personal injury legal powerhouse, setting new standards for excellence and winning again and again against Fortune 500 companies. Known for its groundbreaking recoveries, Pritzker Hageman is regarded as one of the top law firms in the country for litigation involving foodborne illness, explosion and burn injuries, commercial vehicle accidents and other complex cases where a deep understanding of both the law and the root causes of injury are important.
Founded by Fred Pritzker over four decades ago, the firm was built to take on legally, technically and scientifically complex litigation, while never losing sight of the emotional needs and challenges of clients who are often going through the worst experience of their lives. Owner and managing partner Eric Hageman has expanded on this approach by building a bench of legal talent and establishing access to subject matter experts that have led to huge wins for their clients.
Asked about the philosophy that undergirds the firm he has built, Hageman said, “With the types of significant injuries we often see, we know there is no amount of money in the world that can replace that loss or make up for what our clients and their families are going through. But we are committed to helping them through this period of their life and making sure that going forward they and their family are provided for.”
Every attorney at Pritzker Hageman reiterated they always take the time to work closely with their clients and their clients’ families and learn about the unique challenges that each client faced. They emphasized that this was not only the right thing to do, but also that this deeper insight has historically led to bigger recoveries and better outcomes for their clients.
We have created a niche
for ourselves in areas
of law that are still in the personal injury world but which are outside of the auto accident realm.
We’re not a huge firm, although
we frequently go up against Goliaths. It’s a very friendly work environment, we all know
each other and
help each other.
Their aggressive and highly experienced team has forged nationally recognized niches representing victims in complex burn and explosion cases, food poisoning such as E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella, commercial vehicle accidents and Legionnaires’ disease cases as well as injuries resulting from drownings, defective products and other catastrophic events. Their successes when taking on complex cases and their relentless pursuit of justice has brought them national attention year after year.
“We have created a niche for ourselves in areas of law that are still in the personal injury world, but which are outside of the auto accident realm,” says Hageman. “We have a national practice in all our specialty areas.”
While they are widely known for their experience in handling these types of complex cases, Pritzker Hageman also has the landmark recoveries to back up their reputation. In the past two years alone, the firm has obtained eight recoveries for clients in excess of $4.5 million and 16 recoveries in excess of $1 million against some of the biggest companies in their industries.
A few examples include the $27.5 million obtained for a family in which four children were severely injured from E. coli infections; $8.75 million for another teenager injured from E. coli; $4.5 million for a man injured in a pool-diving incident; $5 million for a woman whose husband was killed in a truck crash; $6 million for the family of two people killed in a home explosion; $4.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury in a drunk-driving crash; $6.45 million for three victims of an outbreak linked to a hotel; and $6 million for six victims of an outbreak linked to another hotel.
“In 2017, we obtained a $45 million recovery for a man injured in a pipeline explosion,” says Hageman. “We are one of very few firms who have significant experience with technically and scientifically complex cases such as these.”
While obtaining maximum compensation is always the primary goal to help their clients rebuild their lives, according to Hageman their focus first and foremost is listening to each client to discover exactly what he or she is seeking.
“It’s imperative that we be adaptable to our client’s needs,” he says. “Every client has a different objective, and these vary from one client to the next. Not everyone wants to fight to the death in court, some just need to be heard. Sometimes they just need answers. Sometimes it’s all about accountability. Our job is to listen to our client and then give voice to their objectives in the case.”
The attorneys at Pritzker Hageman understand that their clients’ lives are forever changed by these tragedies. They approach each case with sensitivity, treating clients as more than just legal cases but as individuals with unique stories and needs. This client-centric approach helps create a strong bond of trust between the firm and those they represent.
“Our clients become like family,” says Hageman. “I still keep in touch with many, many former clients. A settlement or verdict can be a life-changing event, so we maintain those relationships. One way we can do that is by making sure they are making good decisions with the recovery that we helped obtain for them. It’s a way of continuing to provide advice and guidance even after the case is over.”
The Heart of the Firm
An impressive reputation, remarkable recoveries and a personalized focus on clients are certainly all significant ingredients that lead to a successful firm. But one area that is sometimes overlooked in a busy firm is the work environment and office ambience.
While their new office has provided the firm with an impressive home, the people at Pritzker Hageman understand that it takes more than just a great space to make a great place to work. Not only does Hageman describe the group as a tightly knit, family-like team, but the attorneys and support staff readily agree.
“We’re not a huge firm,” says attorney David Coyle, “although we frequently go up against Goliaths. It’s a very friendly work environment, we all know each other and help each other. Today, for instance, we have a few new people joining the firm, so we’ll be having a big lunch to welcome them. We’re definitely a close-knit group and support one another. There’s a good work/life balance, so even though we all work hard, we also all have time for family and hobbies.”
“It’s a great group of people who are friends as well as colleagues,” says Hageman. “We go on retreats and have many events that includes the entire staff as well as their families. We all understand that our type of work can be very stressful, but we try to alleviate that as much as possible by supporting one another and we have a terrific support staff. I feel that ours is an exceptionally compatible group.”
Of course, support and caring at Pritzker Hageman doesn’t just apply to the office atmosphere, but also to how involved the firm and everyone in it is in the local community and in the communities that provide support to their clients..
For example, they are heavily involved in many support organizations for burn victims and are one of the sponsors of the Phoenix Society’s 2023 World Burn Congress to be held in October. They’ve also published an e-book, “Legal Action After A Burn Injury” in conjunction with the Phoenix Society, as well as sponsoring season one of the Phoenix Society’s Girls With Grafts podcast.
“I’m very proud of our firm and what we’ve accomplished and will continue to accomplish,” says Hageman. “Even though we lost Fred (Pritzker) in January 2022, his spirit is still felt here and we try to honor him and his ideals every day.”
A National Law Firm Rooted
in Local History
Pritzker Hageman is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previously located in a downtown high-rise, Pritzker Hageman relocated last January to the historic Pillsbury Library building in Old Town, otherwise known as the “historic birthplace of Minneapolis.”
Built between 1902 and 1904 in the neoclassical Beaux-Arts style, the Pillsbury Library was named after co-founder of the Pillsbury Company and former Minnesota governor John Sargent Pillsbury (1827-1901), whose academic philanthropy gave him the honorific title “Father of the University.” The Pillsbury Branch of the Minneapolis Public Library opened in 1904 and served the community until 1967 when it was replaced by the Southeast Branch, now the Arvonne Fraser Library. When the library branch closed, the building served as an art gallery and housed several businesses including a medical office and a gelato company before it became home to Pritzker Hageman.
Eric Hageman recognized that the architectural masterpiece would provide a strong home base for the firm’s expanding team and accommodate the needs of their robust client base. Hageman worked with skilled architects and designers to breathe new life into the century-old building. The building serves as a constant reminder of the city’s architectural heritage and seamlessly blends into the surrounding historic district.
“We are thrilled with how it all turned out,” he says. “It’s an ideal setting both aesthetically and in how functional it is. We have expansive offices, ample space for our attorneys and support staff, as well as common rooms for the employees and even an exercise room.”
“It’s a wonderful setting,” David Coyle says. “This is where Minneapolis started with the flour mills and it’s a cool neighborhood. It’s definitely a fun place to come to work.”
Pritzker Hageman installed a Little Free Library to honor the building’s history and bring the joy of reading back to the community. Hageman said, “John S. Pillsbury claimed that he ‘developed the plan of giving the East Side a library which would be suited to the needs of the whole people.’ Our stewardship of the Little Free Library is a way to continue honoring that goal.”