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A Better Partnership

Thomas M. Amon

Senior Counsel | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2727

    f. +1.616.752.2500

    m. +1.616.818.8757

Biography

Tom Amon is a seasoned litigator who specializes in complex commercial disputes, with an emphasis on class action defense, toxic torts, and real property litigation.

Tom has represented large and small companies in a variety of cases that include mass tort, contract, construction, condemnation, real estate, environmental, shareholder actions, discrimination, and civil RICO claims. He has substantial experience at all stages of litigation, and excels at crafting litigation strategy, developing fact and expert witnesses, and effectively executing those strategies through discovery, motion practice, and trial.

Tom has litigated cases at the state and federal level, in both trial and appellate courts.

Education

  • Wayne State University Law School J.D. 2008 summa cum laude
  • Michigan State University B.A. 2005 Political Science

Admitted

  • 2008, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Experience

Mass Tort, Environmental and Class Actions
  • In re Nylaan Litigation (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017).  Counsel in consolidated litigation involving over 250 families alleging PFAS exposure from potential groundwater contamination.  Defeated dispositive motion on public nuisance liability, as well as multiple motions related to far-reaching discovery, including back-up tapes.  Manage and implement discovery and motion practice for the four bellwether cases as well as the full inventory of over 250 cases.
  • Debski v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and 3M Company (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2018).  Counsel in bellwether case involving potential groundwater contamination.  Primary drafter of briefing that resulted in summary disposition of all claims.
  • McNaughton v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and 3M Company (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017).  Pretrial counsel and trial team member in bellwether case involving potential groundwater contamination.  Obtained summary disposition on multiple claims prior to trial, including personal injury (elevated high cholesterol and miscarriage), medical monitoring, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and ultra-hazardous activity.
  • Hula, et al. v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and 3M Company (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017).  Counsel in litigation involving potential groundwater contamination.  Defeated motion that would designate subject plaintiffs as a bellwether case.
  • Zimmerman, et al. v. The 3M Company and Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Western District of Michigan 2017).  Member of defense team for Wolverine World Wide, Inc. in putative class action related to potential groundwater contamination from historical tannery operations. Defeated motion that would have removed action to Multidistrict Litigation panel.
  • Dykehouse, et al. v. The 3M Company and Georgia-Pacific LLC (Western District of Michigan 2018).  Member of defense team for Georgia-Pacific LLC in putative class action related to potential groundwater contamination arising from historical paper mill operations.
  • Kevin Nicholl et al. v Talmer Bancorp, Inc. et al. (Oakland County Circuit Court 2016). Member of defense team in shareholder class action arising from corporate merger. Obtained dismissal of one party to the merger as lead counsel, and assisted as local counsel in obtaining summary disposition for the remaining defendants. 
  • Tillman Industrial Properties LLC et al. v. Mercantile Bank Mortgage Company (Kent County Circuit Court, 2013) Defeated class certification in a case action asserting racial discrimination in lending practices, and obtained summary dismissal of subsequent individual actions filed after the order denying certification.

Commercial, Real Estate Litigation, and Tax Appeals
  • Schoenherr Road (FJ) Associates, LLC v. Family Fare, LLC (Eastern District of Michigan, 2017) Obtained favorable settlement of a large lease dispute after successfully pursuing order to strike plaintiff’s damages experts.
  • Dawn Bachi-Reffitt v. Reffitt et. al. (Western District of Michigan 2017). Defended of a number of claims (including civil RICO claims), obtaining summary dismissal of all claims at the pleadings stage and sanctions, and successfully defended those orders on appeal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • LJ&S Development LLC v. Boar’s Head Provisions Company (Ottawa County Circuit Court, 2013). Won summary judgment in multimillion dollar lease dispute involving attempt to exercise option to purchase, with attorney fee award. Successfully defended those rulings before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company, LLC v. Michigan Dept. of Treasury, (Michigan Tax Tribunal, 2013). Obtained reversal of tax tribunal ruling in the Michigan Court of Appeals, with client awarded approximately $500,000 in tax refunds.
  • Whirlpool Corporation v China Pacific Insurance Company (Western District of Michigan, 2011). Obtained judgment in federal court that Chinese insurance company was obligated to defend major American manufacturer in products liability action arising out of a Chinese-supplied component part.

Other Matters
  • Experience in condemnation litigation, with a deep knowledge of Michigan condemnation law
  • Represents taxpayers and municipalities in property tax valuation appeals
  • Regularly provides risk assessment and strategic counseling, and represents clients in mediation, settlement negotiations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution
  • Represents major financial institutions in real estate litigation and defense of claims arising from foreclosures
  • Represented major nationwide retailer in Landlord default and lease dispute matters for all of its leased locations in the U.S.
  • Has sought and obtained numerous special land use, variance, rezoning, and other municipal real estate approvals
  • Represents commercial landlords and tenants in all aspects of dispute processing and litigation, including defaults, evictions, and property damage claims

Honors & Awards

  • Named as a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Editor, Wayne Law Review
  • Graduated in 2008 at the top of his law school class
  • Lombard Leadership Fellow and Dean's Scholar
  • Order of the Coif
  • Gold Key Scholar
  • Frances & Charles Driker Award
  • Ira J. Spoon Award
  • Faculty Award
  • Ralph M. Freeman Foundation Scholarship

Publications

  • Riparian Rights, LexisNexis Practice Guide: Michigan Real Estate Litigation, Chapter Author (2016-19)

Leadership

Community Affiliations

  • Kent County Parks Foundation
    Member, Board of Directors and Executive Secretary (2015-Present)

Speaking Engagements

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