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Stephen E. Oertle


P. 303.244.1959 | F. 303.244.1879


Stephen Oertle defends sophisticated clients in high-stakes professional liability and product liability actions nationwide. His practice includes the defense of mass torts and multidistrict litigation.

Stephen represents physicians, healthcare providers, and institutions in catastrophic medical malpractice lawsuits, especially in Arizona and New Mexico. He has represented Pfizer in antidepressant and hormone therapy litigation, and he also defends manufacturers such as Michelin, Toyota, and Volvo in product liability litigation alleging personal injury and wrongful death. In these and other cases, Stephen has gained extensive experience obtaining summary judgment, winning through dispositive motions, and negotiating favorable settlements.

Prior to joining Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell in 2009, Stephen served as a law clerk to the Honorable William F. Downes, United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. Stephen is a former captain in the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of the war in Iraq.


  • Represent the corporate parent of over 50 hospitals, as well as individual hospitals, in cases involving medical negligence, wrongful termination, and unfair trade practices actions, often where extended life care plans or the possibility of punitive damages lead to high-exposure cases.
  • Represent multiple automobile manufacturers and suppliers in product liability actions involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims.
  • Defended a major motorcoach manufacturer in a multiple-fatality rollover crash litigation involving extensive document production.
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical company in multiple nationwide product liability cases, including cases involving allegations that various medications caused suicidality, breast cancer, and birth defects.
  • Won summary judgment on all claims in a federal civil rights case involving allegations against a rural hospital that a deaf patient had been forcibly restrained and denied a sign language interpreter. After remand to state court, WTO achieved a nuisance value settlement.
  • Defended an international fast food company in a premises liability case involving allegations that poor training and supervision of employees and poor security resulted in the aggravated battery of a term pregnant woman, resulting in neurological injuries to her fetus. Despite a demand of $7.5 million a month before trial, WTO settled the case extremely favorably on the morning of jury selection.

Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors

The Best Lawyers in America
    Product Liability Litigation, 2018-2021
Colorado Rising Stars
    Personal Injury Defense, 2013-2019

Personal Interests

Avid backpacker
Adventure motorcycle touring enthusiast
World traveler