Norman E. Siegel litigates high-stakes cases for companies and individuals. He has earned a reputation locally and nationally for his ability to strategize, negotiate and deliver results. He was recently named by Best Lawyers as a 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in class action litigation following big wins against some of the largest corporations in America.
Norm has successfully tried to verdict a wide range of cases, obtaining several multimillion-dollar jury verdicts, and has obtained billions in settlements for his clients.
Norm concentrates his practice in three principal areas:
Business Litigation. Norm successfully deploys the firm’s contingency fee business litigation model in bet-the-company and “David vs. Goliath” matters involving intellectual property, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and more. In one such matter, he prosecuted a groundbreaking antitrust case on behalf of Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital, which claimed the region’s dominant hospital systems conspired to prevent it from obtaining in-network provider contracts. After Norm secured a key admission from a defense witness, Heartland settled with all defendants.
Data Breach and Privacy. Norm has served as lead counsel in several of the largest data breach cases litigated to date, including the sprawling multidistrict litigation alleging Equifax compromised the personal information of more than 148 million Americans in a 2017 data breach. More than 250 cases were filed against Equifax, and Norm was selected lead counsel over scores of other applicants. A leader in this burgeoning field of law, Norm has prosecuted data breach claims against Target Corp., The Home Depot Inc., Marriott, the Office of Personnel Management, and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and he is the co-founder of the American Association for Justice’s data breach and privacy group.
Class Actions. Norm’s recent work includes multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of consumers who were overcharged for life insurance policies. In Vogt v. State Farm Insurance Co., Norm delivered the closing argument to the jury that returned a $34 million verdict for Missouri owners of State Farm life insurance. Norm also served as lead counsel in Larson v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co., a nationwide class action that ultimately settled for $59.75 million just before trial. For his work in the field, Best Lawyers recently named Norm “Lawyer of the Year” for class action litigation.
Norm began his career as an Assistant Attorney General at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, where he gained a broad range of experience in complex litigation. He was later named partner at the firm now known as Dentons before starting Stueve Siegel Hanson in 2001.
Norm has been named among the “500 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon and is listed among the Best Lawyers in America and the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar.” He has been honored several times as a Top 100 Missouri/Kansas “Super Lawyer” and a Benchmark Plaintiffs “Local Litigation Star.”
Norm has served on the boards of the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Bar Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Outside the office, he enjoys tennis, collecting art, and spending time with his family and his dog, a Whoodle named Lucky.
In Re: Equifax Data Breach Litigation (Data Breach and Privacy Litigation) Norm was appointed lead counsel in this case alleging Equifax compromised the name, address, social security number and other personal information of over 148 million Americans. Norm led several aspects of the litigation including serving as chair of the settlement committee. The case was resolved in July 2019 for a record $1.5 billion–the largest data breach settlement of all time.
Vogt v. State Farm Insurance Co. (Insurance Litigation) Norm is lead counsel in this class action on behalf of Missouri owners of State Farm life insurance. The plaintiffs alleged that State Farm improperly included non-mortality factors in calculating the cost of insurance charge under the insurance contract. In June 2018, Norm tried this case to a jury, and delivered the closing argument that returned a verdict of $34 million for the class.
Larson v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co. (Insurance Litigation) Norm was lead counsel in this nationwide class action alleging that John Hancock overcharged policy owners by including expenses in its cost of insurance charge in violation of the insurance contract. Norm and his team successfully secured class certification for John Hancock Flex V policyholders, and secured a settlement of $59.75 million just prior to trial.
Liang v. National Board of Examiners in Optometry (Data Breach and Privacy Litigation) Norm represented a class of optometrists that alleged their personal information was compromised by the national testing organization for eye doctors. The case was initially dismissed based on standing grounds, but Norm successfully argued before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the allegations in the Complaint sufficiently alleged Article III standing. The case settled in 2019 on terms the Court described as “outstanding relief for the class.”
Doe v. Uber (Sexual Assault) Norm and sued Uber Technologies, Inc. on behalf of a sexual assault victim referred to as Jane Doe. Ms. Doe, a postgraduate student in Kansas City, alleged she was raped by her Uber driver, who is a felon previously convicted of attempted first-degree murder with intent to kill. After extensive discovery, the case was settled in 2018.
In Re: The Home Depot Customer Data Security Breach Litigation (Data Breach and Privacy Litigation) Norm was appointed lead counsel in this litigation alleging that Home Depot negligently allowed the credit and debit card information of over 40 million customers to fall into fraudsters’ hands for sale on the black market. Norm led the team that secured a global consumer settlement, which included $13 million in cash, monitoring for all class members, and required Home Depot to overhaul its data security.
In Re: Target Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm was named to a team of four lawyers to represent consumers in this Multi District Litigation against Target Corporation following the announcement that hackers had apparently stolen 40 million customers’ credit and debit card information and compromised 70 million customers' names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. The case settled, providing a fund of $10 million for class members who suffered out of pocket losses, and compelled Target to remediate its data security.
In Re Peregrine Financial Group Customer Litigation (Business Litigation) Norm served as co-lead counsel on a team pursuing U.S. Bank and JP Morgan for their alleged role in the $200 million fraud perpetrated against customers of Peregrine Financial Group. Plaintiffs in the case allege that the banks were aware – or should have been aware – of the fraud undertaken by Russell Wasendorf Sr., Peregrine’s founder. The scheme collapsed in July 2012, following Mr. Wasendorf’s suicide attempt and suicide note describing the fraud. Norm and co-counsel secured settlements worth more than $75 million on behalf of former customers.
Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation (Securities Litigation) Norm represented several banking institutions in cases claiming the banks were sold mortgage backed securities under false pretenses. In particular, the cases claim the securities were sold as safe investments but were in fact far riskier than represented. Several of the cases claim the sellers did not adhere to the underwriting standards outlined in the offering documents, making the securities much less stable than the buyers were led to believe. Other cases claim the banks were sold “off-label” mortgage backed securities that were sold as safe alternatives to government backed MBS.
Mobile Captions Co. v. Hamilton Relay et al. (Business Litigation) Norm represents Mobile Captions Company, a start-up technology company that had developed an innovative system to provide written "captions" on cell phones to aid hard of hearing customers. The suit alleges that Defendants Hamilton Relay and CapTel conspired to put Mobile Captions Company out of business to squash competition and build their own business around the technology. Following a two-week arbitration, Hamilton was found to have breached its agreement with Mobile Captions and Mobile Captions was awarded damages.
H&R Block Compliance Fee Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm led a class action lawsuit against H&R Block claiming the tax preparation giant unfairly charged customers a bogus “compliance fee.” The suit alleges that beginning with the 2010 tax year, H&R Block began charging a compliance fee to its tax preparation clients ranging from $2 to $4 for each return. H&R Block represents that the “Tax Preparer Compliance Fee consists of costs incurred by H&R Block to comply with new U.S. tax preparation registration requirements.” However, the IRS does not mandate a compliance fee and does not charge any compliance fee for filing individual tax returns. Norm led the negotiations resulting in a settlement on behalf of the class.
In re: Simply Orange Orange Juice Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm was designated lead counsel in this consumer case alleging that the Coca-Cola Company misrepresents its Simply Orange product. The lawsuit alleges that the Defendant has been falsely claiming that its Simply Orange orange juice is “100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice” and “a pure, natural orange juice with a taste that's the next best thing to fresh-squeezed.” In truth, the Complaint alleges, Coca-Cola’s Simply Orange is heavily processed and flavored - it is not 100% pure or natural. The case settled in 2017 with Coke agreeing to modify how it markets the product.
Crossroads Wireless Litigation (Business Litigation) Norm successfully litigated this securities case against investment bankers and brokers for statutory and common law fraud. Norm represented more than a dozen independent telephone companies and not-for-profit co-ops in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Kentucky seeking to recover nearly $40 million they invested in the now-defunct Crossroads Wireless project. Defendants in the case included investment banks Brown Brothers Harriman and George K. Baum. A confidential settlement was reached on behalf of the telephone companies.
In re: Underfilled Propane Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm was lead counsel in this multi-district litigation related to underfilled propane tanks in the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs generally alleged that Defendants AmeriGas and Ferrellgas conspired to reduce the propane sold in replacement barbeque-type propane cylinders but continued to sell the cylinders as “full.” More than 15 cases were filed around the country and eventually consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Norm worked with the team that secured a class action settlement with AmeriGas for $10 million, and later settlement with Ferrellgas for $25 million.
Hopkins v. Premcor, et al. (Environmental Litigation) Norm represented landowners and residents of Hartford, Illinois who are living on top of a four million gallon underground gasoline plume. Residents of Hartford, which is located between the refineries to the East and the Missouri River to the West, have experienced severe gas fumes in their homes, fires in water wells, and a substantial impairment to their living environment. After several years of litigation, the plaintiffs reached a $39.5 million settlement agreement with refiners Premcor, BP, Shell, Apex and Sinclair.
Heartland v. HCA Midwest Division, et al. (Antitrust Litigation) Norm completed the successful prosecution of a groundbreaking antitrust case on behalf of Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital, a physician owned specialty acute care hospital. Heartland claimed that the dominant hospital systems in the Kansas City area conspired among themselves and with the dominant managed care organizations in the region to prevent Heartland from obtaining in-network provider contracts. Heartland also alleged the defendants tortiously interfered with Heartland's ability to obtain provider contracts. Following three years of intense litigation including nearly 100 depositions and the exchange of over 3 million pages of documents, Heartland settled with all defendants. Norm scored a key admission regarding the conspiracy in the depositions, when a defense witness testified there was an unwritten, but understood agreement to keep Heartland out of the market.
In re: H&R Block Express IRA Litigation (Consumer Litigation). Norm was appointed by the Court to serve as lead counsel against H&R Block in this class action alleging that the tax firm misled consumers in the marketing and sale of the "Express IRA" product. Plaintiffs alleged that consumers who opened Express IRAs lost money because H&R Block's fees for the accounts exceeded the interest earned by the accounts. The lawsuit further alleged that H&R Block failed to adequately explain the Express IRA's financial consequences and limitations and that H&R Block knew that the Express IRA was an unsuitable investment for most of its clients. In 2010, the firm achieved a settlement for $24.4 million.
Parkinson v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc. (Consumer Litigation) Norm was appointed lead counsel in this consumer class action against Hyundai Motor America alleging that Hyundai marketed and sold vehicles with defective flywheel systems. The case was settled in June 2010 in favor of the plaintiffs. Eligible class members received cash reimbursements for money spent on certain flywheel/clutch parts repairs to their 2003 Hyundai Tiburons.
Kelly, et al. v. State Farm (Business Litigation) In August 2005, Norm (along with partner George Hanson) won a $26.5 million jury verdict for five State Farm agents who had accused State Farm of violating their agents' agreements. The verdict came after a three-week trial in Independence Missouri. The agents argued that they were improperly terminated after publicly criticizing management's policies as to policyholders. The agents, who collectively had over 115 years service with State Farm, spoke out following a series of substantial verdicts and settlements against State Farm that revealed improper claims handling, fraudulent use of medical utilization reviews, specification of non-OEM replacement parts, and other practices considered harmful to policyholders. Norm delivered the closing argument at trial, and the jury returned a verdict in the amount sought by the agents.
In re: Hyundai Horsepower Litigation (Consumer Class Action Litigation) Norm was co-lead counsel in the Hyundai Horsepower Litigation, which netted class relief totaling between $75-$125 million. The case was aggressively litigated over nearly two years and was fought on numerous fronts. The nationwide litigation began in September 2002 when Hyundai announced it had overstated horsepower ratings in more than 1 million vehicles sold in the United States over a 10 year period. SSH was one of several firms around the country that filed class actions against Hyundai, but in early 2003, Hyundai announced it had settled the case on a nationwide basis with two lawyers in Beaumont, Texas. SSH was part of a leadership group of intervenors in Beaumont who were provided 90 days to conduct discovery and challenge the settlement. Norm took the lead in discovery; processing more than 80,000 pages of Hyundai documents and taking the depositions of top Hyundai management, including the CEO of Hyundai Motor America, and a corporate representative of HMA's parent in Seoul, South Korea. This discovery led to lengthy briefing and ultimately a ruling by the Beaumont Court that the proposed settlement was unfair to class members. Following that ruling, Hyundai entered talks with Norm's group, resulting in the settlement valued at $75-$125 million.
Weld Racing Inc. v. Gragg's Paint Co. (Business Litigation) In 2003, Norm continued his successful streak in jury trials, winning a $1.5 million jury verdict on behalf of SSH client Weld Racing against Gragg's Paint Company. Weld Racing is a high-end manufacturer of forged chrome wheels, run by a former Indy 500 racer Greg Weld. Weld historically forged all its wheels and outsourced its chrome plating, but in 1999 began to construct an in-house plating facility. Gragg's Paint Co., the defendant, recommended a lining for the metal tanks in the chrome plating line. The lining failed, resulting in significant delays in the chrome line and substantial expenses related to scrapped wheels. Weld made breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation claims against Gragg's and the case proceeded to trial. After a week long trial, the jury awarded exactly what Weld claimed in damages - $1,589,426.13.
Robert Half of Kansas City v. Robert Half International (Franchise Litigation) This arbitration pitted a long-time franchisee against its franchisor, Robert Half International - a $4 billion company that bills itself as the worldwide leader in specialized employment placement. RHI began buying back franchisees in the mid 1980s and by the late 1990s, only a few of the original 100+ franchisees remained. Our client, who had been a RHI franchisee since 1971 and was the last holdout - came to SSH seeking to enforce his rights under the RHI franchise agreement. A contentious arbitration ensued, resulting in a confidential settlement. Along the way, Norm took the lead in prosecuting the case, including deposing RHI's second in command.
United States of America v. Supreme Insulation (White Collar Criminal Defense) In late 2001, Norm obtained an acquittal in a federal price-fixing case after a seven week federal jury trial in Houston, Texas. The case followed several convictions of individuals in the same industry, and one witness who pled guilty and testified against Norm's client. Norm was responsible for several key direct and cross examinations in the case, including the cross examination of an ex-employee, and the direct examination of the defendant's expert witness. The Government had sought jail sentences of 4 years or more.
Multi-Media International, LLC v. PROMAG Retail Services, LLC (RICO). Norm defended a RICO and business tort action brought in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Of particular significance, Norm briefed a motion to dismiss the Complaint in which the Court was persuaded to overrule its own prior decision on an important issue of statutory interpretation concerning RICO's national service of process provision, 18 U.S.C. 1965(b). Norm also successfully persuaded the Court to dismiss the corporate defendant for failure state a RICO claim under 18 U.S.C. 1962(c) because of plaintiff's failure to allege a RICO enterprise distinct from the defendant persons. The Court's decision is reported at 343 F. Supp. 2d 1024 (D. Kan. 2004). Shortly after these decisions, the case was dismissed by stipulation of the parties.
Formula1.com v. FIA (Antitrust/Domain Name Litigation) Norm played a significant role in the Firm's representation of Formula1.com, handling the expert depositions and pre-trial expert evidentiary issues. The Formula1.com case raised timely and complex issues of trademark and antitrust law which were litigated to a settlement in January 2002.
Shlomovitch v. Aquila (Corporate Governance Litigation) Norm represented Aquila Inc. in defense of numerous class action lawsuits stemming from Utilicorp's tender offer for Aquila stock. The class plaintiffs generally alleged that Aquila 's board failed to take appropriate steps in response to the tender offer, and sought to block the tender offer and subsequent short-form merger of the companies. In early 2002, a Delaware Chancery Judge denied plaintiffs' claims for immediate injunctive relief, paving the way for the successful tender offer and merger of the two companies.
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CASES (LISTED BY AREA OF PRACTICE)
Trademark and Intellectual Property
Since starting in private practice, Norm has successfully litigated several cases involving trademark rights, claims of product disparagement and domain disputes.
In Joannou v. Lincoln Hockey LLC, et al., Norm represented a Washington D.C. area artist in a lawsuit against the owners of the Washington Capitals, a National Hockey League team, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleged that defendants copied and misappropriated the plaintiff's copyrighted logo designs throughout all forms of media and merchandising. This matter has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
In IGA v. Home Town Grocers Norm represented Home Town Grocers against allegations that Home Town Grocers had violated IGA's "Home Town Proud" trademark. After winning at the preliminary injunction stage, Norm was able to procure a successful settlement, allowing Home Town Grocers to maintain its name.
Norm acted as plaintiff's counsel in Hoechst v. Schering Plough, a Lanham Act case in which Hoechst alleged that Schering Plough disparaged Hoechst's Allegra brand of non-sedating antihistamine in an effort to promote its own brand, Claritin. Norm handled several witnesses at the preliminary injunction hearing and helped force Schering Plough to change the way it promoted its drugs as part of a favorable settlement.
In Primedia Intertec Corp. v. TMC, 35 F. Supp. 2d 809 (D. Kan. 1998), Norm successfully defended Technology Marketing Corporation in a dispute with Primedia. Primedia had alleged that TMC infringed on its "Telephony" trademark by producing a publication entitled "Internet Telephony." Norm handled all aspects of trial preparation and obtained a favorable settlement when he was successful in excluding Primedia's experts on Daubert grounds.
In Chemidex v. Chemdex, Norm acted as lead counsel for Chemidex, a small Internet start-up at the time, in its trademark infringement suit against Chemdex, a leading business-to-business Internet site serving the life sciences industry. Norm handled all witnesses and argument at the preliminary injunction hearing, and his performance there forced a favorable settlement. Chemdex has since changed its name to Ventro.
Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Norm has the rare distinction of prosecuting and defending two of the largest cases brought in Missouri under the federal racketeering law known as RICO. While at the State of Missouri, Norm was part of a team assigned to unravel the Second Injury Fund scandal that resulted in convictions of lawyers, doctors and an administrative law judge in the Eastern District of Missouri. The subsequent civil case, Missouri v. Roussin, resulted in nearly $1 million in settlements with the criminal defendants - money that was returned to the citizens of Missouri. Norm also defended the largest criminal indictment ever brought in the Western District of Missouri, a RICO case brought against a former officer of the J.C. Nichols Company.
While at Blackwell Sanders, Norm cut his teeth in the insurance industry by representing dozens of insureds in cases ranging from personal injury and medical malpractice, to trade disparagement and civil rights. When he joined Sonnenschein, he acted as lead counsel on several cases where the insurance company itself was a defendant. These cases typically involved allegations of bad faith and unfair claims practices. Several recent cases illustrate Norm's depth and successes in this area.
In Bishop v. Empire Fire & Marine, 47 F. Supp. 2d 1300 (D. Kan. 1999), Norm made new law in the State of Kansas regarding the standard for waiving underinsured motorist coverage. The insured had alleged that the coverage had not been waived, but Norm convinced the court otherwise, and was successful on summary judgment.
In Tran v. Allstate, Norm successfully defended Allstate Insurance Company against claims that company had improperly accused its insureds of violating the Kansas fraudulent insurance act. In the underlying case (where Norm was not involved), the Trans had alleged that Allstate failed to pay on their homeowner's claim following a purported robbery. Allstate counterclaimed, alleging that the Trans had falsified claim information. The Trans were successful on their claim and Allstate lost its counterclaim. Norm was retained to represent Allstate on the Trans' subsequent suit for malicious prosecution, and was able to successfully argue that Allstate should be entitled to summary judgment.
Honors & Awards
Honors & Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action-Plaintiffs (2014 - 2019); Consumer Protection Law, 2017
Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2019 (Top 100 2016-2019)
Best of the Bar - Kansas City Business Journal
AmLaw Litigation Daily - Litigator of the Week
500 Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers in America - Lawdragon Magazine
Local Litigation Star for the State of Missouri - Benchmark Plaintiffs (2013-2015)
AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated - Martindale Hubbell
Community & Professional
Former Chairman of the Board, Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City
In 2005, Attorney General (now Governor) Jay Nixon appointed Norm to serve on the Community Advisory Committee of the $450 million Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Norm served as Chair of the CAC before being elected to the Board of Directors of the Foundation in 2008. While serving on the Board, Norm served as Vice-Chairman, and in 2009 was elected to serve as Chairman of the Board.
Board Member, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation
Cy Pres Committee, Legal Aid of Western Missouri
Rule 45 Subcommittee, Federal Rules Committee
Washington University School of Law, J.D.
Law Journal: Washington University Journal of Urban Contemporary Law, Articles Editor
Major: Political Science
- U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court District of Kansas
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
- U.S Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
- United States Supreme Court