Trials and Verdicts

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RECENT TRIALS AND VERDICTS

Defense Verdict in Abdominal Surgery Case

Philip Willman and Justin Hardin obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case involving abdominal surgery. Plaintiff had elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy and suffered a bowel perforation. Plaintiff alleged the defendants should have performed the repair surgery a day earlier. Defendants argued the doctor acted appropriately. The plaintiff requested $450,000, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Summary Judgment in Illinois Dram Shop case

Russell Watters and Brendon Sanders recently obtained summary judgment on a dram shop claim in Christian County, Ill. Plaintiff argued that the defendant, a convenience store and gas station, sold alcohol to a patron who then assaulted plaintiff. The court granted summary judgment on behalf of the convenience store, finding that the amount of alcohol sold and consumed by plaintiff’s alleged assailant was de minimis and could not have been the proximate cause of the later altercation.

Summary Judgment in Defamation Case

Robert L. Brady and Jonathan B. Morrow recently obtained summary judgment on a defamation claim in the Western District of Missouri Federal Court. The insured’s counsel argued that the company’s communication with NICB and the Missouri Department of Insurance regarding a pending arson claim constituted defamation. The court rejected this argument and held that the company’s statements qualified for immunity under Missouri law. 

Defense Verdict in Hotel Fire Case

Robert L. Brady and Jonathan B. Morrow obtained a defense verdict in an arson trial for Allstate Indemnity Company in the Western District of Missouri Federal Court. The case involved a fire at a large hotel, and the exposure was well over $900,000. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the insurance company.  

Defense Verdict in Arson Trial

Jonathan B. Morrow obtained a full defense verdict in an arson trial in the Eastern District of Missouri Federal Court. The insured’s counsel asked the jury for more than $500,000. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the insurance company.  

Favorable Decision in Injury Auto Accident Case

Brad Hansmann and Derek MacKay obtained a favorable verdict for an auto insurer in a clear liability auto accident case. The case involved crush fractures of an ankle joint that required a series of surgeries and a high likelihood for a poor outcome. There was significant past and future medical specials. The pre-trial offer was $250,000, and the jury returned a verdict for $175,000.
 
Client Win in Breach of Contract Case

John Cooney obtained a jury win in a plaintiff’s case in St. Louis County. The case involved a breach of an employment contract on the part of the former employer. After a three-day trial, the jury returned a $176,000 verdict.

Defense Verdict in Spinal Injury Case

Kenneth Burke

obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case involving a spinal injury. Plaintiff had fallen and sought treatment in the emergency room. He was diagnosed with a shoulder sprain and was later found to have a spinal infection. Plaintiff alleged the defendants should have ordered a CT scan. After deliberating for about two hours, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. 

 

Defense Verdict in Football Shuttle Case

Brandon Copeland and David Bub obtained a defense verdict in a personal injury case involving a shuttle used for transportation from defendant’s restaurant to University of Missouri home football games. Plaintiff was injured as he exited from the emergency exit of a school bus when the front door of the bus “jammed” causing passengers to exit from the back. Plaintiff injured his leg as he stepped off the rear of the bus. He alleged the defendant was responsible for the bus driver’s negligent actions and the defendant’s failure to hire a competent transportation company to operate the shuttle. Plaintiff sustained $153,000 in medical bills ($51,000 after adjustments) as a result of treatment for his injury. The jury returned an 11-1 verdict in favor of the defendant.  

Favorable Appellate Result in Insurance Stacking Case 

Joseph Krispin obtained a favorable result in the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals. The court reversed the trial judge's ruling and entered judgment for the firm's insurance company client holding that the underinsured motorist (UIM) policy did not stack. The declarations page of the policy, which identified the three vehicles insured under the policy and the premium paid for UIM coverage on each, did not promise UIM coverages could be stacked. Thus, it did not create an ambiguity with the unambiguous anti-stacking provisions in the policy. This is an important decision that follows the Swadley and Craig UIM cases handed down by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Defense Verdict in Fatal Fall Case

David Bub and Tyler Finnegan obtained a defense verdict in a fatal fall case from a St. Louis County, Mo., jury. The family of the decedent claimed the retail property was in disrepair, causing her fall and subsequent death. The defense pointed to disputed accounts of the fall and the small nature of the crack. Before trial, the family requested $12 million and rejected offers of $75,000 and $300,000. At trial, the family sought $3 million. The jury returned a defense verdict.

Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Bruce E. Hunt obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case from a Polk County, Mo., jury. Plaintiff alleged her bowel was perforated when the defendant performed a vaginal hysterectomy with colpopexy. Defendant’s evidence was the bowel perforation occurred because of a post-operative vaginal cuff hematoma that became infected. The parties stipulated that the total medical bills incurred was $654,664.43, and the amount necessary to satisfy those bills was $138,639.18. No formal settlement demand was made before trial. No settlement offer was made before trial. In closing argument, plaintiffs’ counsel requested the jury return a verdict in favor of plaintiffs of $750,000 - $900,000. The jury returned a defense verdict.

Defense Verdict in Housing Discrimination Case

Steven Schwartz and Caitlin Trevillyan obtained a defense verdict in a housing discrimination case from a Ralls County, Missouri, jury. Plaintiffs alleged disability discrimination when their condominium association's Board would not allow plaintiffs' request for the installation of a stairlift or wheelchair lift. The Board's position was that the modification was not feasible and would interfere with other owners' use and enjoyment of their properties and common areas. Plaintiffs' final demand had been $600,000. The jury found in favor of Steve and Caitlin's client.

Defense Verdict in Concrete Company Case

Bradley Hansmann obtained a defense verdict in a contractor liability case in Christian County, Mo. The plaintiff alleged the concrete company supplied excessively wet concrete that weakened the structure of his home. The jury agreed that there was a lack of evidence in the case and returned a verdict for the defendant.

2016 trials and verdicts

2015 trials and verdicts

2014 trials and verdicts

2013 and earlier trials and verdicts

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