Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Heidi Brauer Ruchala

Heidi Brauer Ruchala

Partner

p: 716.858.3811

f: 716.768.2811

icon_email hruchala@barclaydamon.com
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Buffalo Office

The Avant Building
200 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202

For nearly two decades, Heidi has concentrated her practice on the defense of cases involving toxic substances, products liability, personal injuries, and fatal accidents in both state and federal court.

Heidi has been deeply involved in defending asbestos, benzene, beryllium, and lead paint litigation. She handles cases across New York State, including New York City, and in multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Heidi serves as national coordinating counsel in the asbestos-exposure hotspots of Illinois and West Virginia.

She also defends claims involving defective product designs, failures to warn, slips and falls, and motor vehicle accidents as well as general insurance claims.

Heidi has significant experience representing corporate clients, including large international and Fortune 500 companies, across industries that include material handling, heavy equipment, roofing, and industrial product distribution and supply.

A hallmark of Heidi’s work is her focus on planning, proactivity, and mitigation. She is appreciated for her client-focused approach to managing potential litigation that includes using thorough case analyses to determine ways to minimize costs, often through strategic early resolution or group settlements.

Representative Experience

  • Involved in strategic planning for the Barclay Damon trial team defending asbestos litigation across the United States.
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel in the defense of clients in products liability claims involving asbestos and material-handling systems. This involves supervising and coordinating local counsel across the nation.
  • Coordinates multiple defendants and experts for risk management, defense, and trial preparation in products liability claims.
  • Serves as defense counsel for Western New York fairs, festivals, and other amusement venues.
  • Successfully defended multistate products liability actions.
  • Resolved numerous asbestos products liability cases during various phases of trial, arbitration, and mediation.
  • Strategically planned the defense of multiple clients in managing mass tort litigation.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., cum laude

Admitted To Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • ARIAS-US, Member
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Women Lawyers of Western New York

Civic Activities

  • Western New York People Against Trafficking Humans Coalition, Founding Board of Directors Member
  • Stop Trafficking of People, Volunteer
  • Starpoint School, PTA Board of Directors Member
  • John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation’s Together With Individual Goals (TWIGs), Member
  • Bennett High School, Mock Trial Team Coach

Speaking & Publications

  • Barclay Damon Alert, “Court of Appeals Significantly Expands Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn,” July 2016
  • Barclay Damon Alert, “New York’s Highest Court Set to Clarify Years of Conflicting Precedent in Product Liability Cases,” May 2016
  • American Conference Institute National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation, “Spotlight on Premise Owners, Contractors, Suppliers, and the Continued Expansion of Take Home Exposure,” October 2013
  • NYS Senate Roundtable Discussion With Senators Gallivan and Grisanti, “Human Trafficking in Upstate New York,” August 2013
  • Western New York Paralegals Association, "Medicare Liens in Personal Injury Settlements," November 2009

Honors

  • Selected to Upstate New York Super Lawyers: Class Action/Mass Torts, 2016-2018
  • Selected to Upstate New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars: Personal Injury Defense—General, 2013

Prior Experience

  • Damon Morey LLP, Partner
  • Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP, Associate

Alerts