Our People

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Beth S. Kromer

Grand Rapids
Secretary

Patricia Braden

Biography

Beth Kromer is a highly respected and experienced trial attorney who specializes in the handling of complicated issues arising in workers’ compensation, general litigation, and Social Security disability cases.

Beth began her career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania defending steel mills and coal companies and developed particular expertise in respiratory, cardiac, and death claims. After joining Smith Haughey in 1989, Beth continued defending a multitude of employers, both large and small, and has successfully handled thousands of cases before the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency.

Beth’s work includes advising human resource directors, risk managers, business owners, and insurance carriers concerning all phases of workers’ compensation claims. Beth also works closely with self-insured employers concerning the assessment and monitoring of return-to-work options regarding injured workers.

Beth handles all varieties of medical issues, including musculoskeletal and neurological problems and occupational diseases. As a summa cum laude graduate in Psychology, Beth has a particular interest in closed head injury, cognitive, and psychological claims.

Beth also works collaboratively with her partners in tort, negligence, and general liability cases, and recently served as defense co-counsel in a multi-million dollar jury trial, resulting in a verdict for the defense.

Beth enjoys camping and travel with her daughter, and is a supporter of the arts.


Experience

In November 2011, after a two-and-a half-week jury trial, Beth Kromer and former SHRR attorney Marilyn Tyree obtained a "No Cause of Action" verdict in Ottawa County Circuit Court. The plaintiff, a 34-year-old professional roofer, fell as he attempted to take a perilous route to access the roof via the defendant’s scaffolding, without permission, and, as a result, fell and sustained very serious injuries, including multiple spinal fractures and a wrist fracture. The plaintiff claimed $6-8 million in damages, including damages related to an alleged closed-head injury and severe psychological harm. The plaintiff claimed to be completely and permanently disabled. Unusual testimony included (i) a co-worker’s testimony that the plaintiff smoked marijuana on the way to the job; (ii) testimony from police officers regarding the plaintiff’s theft of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2010 and his subsequent felony conviction; and (iii) testimony by the defendant’s multiple private investigators who had performed surveillance on the plaintiff. The jury found that he was a trespasser on the scaffolding to whom the defendant premises owner/general contractor owed no duty.

Previous Experience

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Member, Section on: Litigation)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Member, Section on: Workers' Compensation Law)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Women Lawyers' Association of Michigan (State Board of Directors, 1991-1994)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate for Abused and Neglected Children (CASA)

Education

  • Grove City College (B.A., summa cum laude, 1978, Mortar Board, Scroll and Key)  
  • The Dickinson School of Law of Penn State University (J.D., 1981)  

Admitted

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1981
  • State Bar of Michigan, 1989
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