BLR-1BROOKE L. RIFFELL
Partner
Crown Point
, IN
P: 219.794.1888
F: 219.794.1892
blriffell@kopkalaw.com
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Brooke L. Riffell has been practicing law since 2004 and with KPD since 2006. Her practice is focused primarily on civil defense and she handles cases across the entire state of Indiana.

Brooke has had the opportunity to defend a wide array of clients including Indiana towns and counties, corporations, insurance companies, homeowner’s associations, not-for-profit corporations and individuals. Her legal experience encompasses a variety of cases including automobile, transportation, premises liability, governmental defense, civil rights defense, restaurant defense and insurance bad faith. In her defense of these cases, Brooke has handled wrongful death claims, punitive damage claims, claims for psychological damages, complex medical issues and other significant damages. She also investigates and defends direct actions against insurance companies involving fraudulent claims and UM/UIM matters.

Brooke is continuously growing within her specialties and her practice recently expanded to include defense of malpractice actions against providers for the developmentally disabled. Defense of these cases involves working alongside board certified psychologists and other medical professionals to determine the defenses available to the providers, including the mitigation of damages based on a claimant’s baseline condition. Brooke has successfully negotiated nuisance settlements avoiding significant publicity and negative press against her clients.

Brooke also recently has handled several high profile fire cases resulting in fatalities. She has been called out to be one of the first on the scene, with a defense expert for purposes of evidence preservation and to monitor the activities of first responders to avoid spoliation. She has worked with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana State Fire Marshal in investigating the cause and origin of fires and explosions.

Brooke has represented one of the largest fast food chains and various other franchisees throughout Indiana. She has had the opportunity to attend Hamburger University at McDonald’s corporate headquarters and learn from seasoned professionals in this specific field. In her defense of fast food and other restaurants, she has handled cases that range from alleged food borne illnesses and alleged employee negligence resulting in injury to consumers.

In her defense of Indiana municipalities, Brooke has had numerous cases dismissed pursuant to the defenses and immunities afforded to her clients under the Indiana Tort Claims Act. The governmental defense cases vary greatly including: inmate suicide, inmate personal injury, wrongful termination of governmental employees, employee negligence and negligent maintenance of government property. Many of the municipality cases involve claims alleging violation of civil rights and transferred to the federal courts.

Brooke is an active member of the Lake County Bar Association, where she serves on the Board of Directors representing the 1,100 attorneys in Lake County, Indiana. In her role on the Board of Directors, she serves on several committees working to bring social harmony, updated technology and modernization to the Bar, while promoting civility and professionalism. She has also been elected to represent Lake County as a delegate at the Indiana State Bar level.

Brooke is also intimately involved with the charitable efforts of The Folds of Honor, an organization that raises scholarship funds for children of fallen soldiers. Her uncle, a local Vietnam Veteran, has formed the Northwest Indiana Chapter of Folds of Honor and has raised approximately $80,000 in its first three years. Brooke not only serves to organize and contribute to charitable events, she also serves as legal counsel to the Committee.

CASE HIGHLIGHTS

    • Defense verdict on behalf of a beef distributor against a claim for contaminated food at a nationwide fast food restaurant (2009)
    • Dismissal of a slip and fall lawsuit against a local McDonald’s franchise (2010)
    • Dismissal of a lawsuit alleging multiple counts of bad faith against an insurance company (2013)
    • Within 120 days of opening the file, successfully negotiated a nominal settlement of a federal civil rights lawsuit against an Indiana town for alleged wrongful dismissal of its Town Marshal (2014)

MEMBERSHIPS
Lake County Bar Association (Board of Directors)

      • Co-Chair of Social Committee

      • Member of Wellness Committee

      • Lake County delegate for the Indiana State Bar Association

Calumet American Inns of Court
Folds of Honor, NWI-Fundraising Committee Member/Legal Counsel

ADMISSIONS
Indiana
Illinois
Missouri
U.S. District Courts for the Northern  and Southern Districts of Indiana

EDUCATION
Valparaiso University School of Law, J.D.
Purdue University Calumet, B.S., Accounting