Success in Action Involving Adverse Possession and Contract Claims

Partner Jeff Laney successfully defended an action in Stone County, Missouri for adverse possession, and secured judgment on the property owner’s counterclaim for breach of contract.  Defendant constructed a new section of fence along a property line shared with plaintiff, replacing an old section that plaintiff claimed had been the established property line for 50 years.  Plaintiff sought to claim all of the land between the new and old fence by adverse possession.  Defendant denied that the disputed land had been lost to adverse possession, and brought a counterclaim alleging that plaintiff failed to construct fencing in accordance with an oral agreement between the parties. Following a bench trial, the judge entered an order in favor of defendant on the adverse possession claim, and awarded damages to defendant on the breach of contract claim.

Defense Verdict for Landowners Involving Property Rights and Nuisance Issues

Partner Jeff Laney, with the assistance of paralegal Carey Williamson, secured a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of Douglas County, Missouri landowners following a two-day jury trial.  Defendants constructed an artificial lake on their property which involved building an earthen dam that was approximately 23 feet tall and 300 feet long.  Shortly after construction, the dam breached during heavy rainfall, flooding land owned by the plaintiff.  Plaintiff alleged that the dam was negligently constructed.  Plaintiff also asserted a nuisance claim based on the reconstruction of the dam after the breach, claiming that it deprived plaintiff of water necessary for his cattle operations.  Plaintiff also sought injunctive relief related to the diversion of surface waters.  The claim for injunctive relief was dismissed on the second day of trial.  The jury deliberated for less than two hours before reaching a unanimous verdict in favor of defendants on the remaining claims.

No liability against national transportation company for brain injury and cervical fusion claims

Partner Laurel Stevenson, with the assistance of paralegal Kellie Mitchem and the firm of Thorpe Shwer of Phoenix, Arizona obtained a favorable verdict in Pulaski County, Waynesville, Missouri for a national transportation company following a seven-day jury trial in which the plaintiffs requested the jury consider awarding between $5 million and $10 million for an accident which occurred in May of 2010. The case involved a claim by a motorist that he sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures requiring two neck fusions when a train operated by the firm’s client collided with the motorist.  The plaintiff and his wife asserted multiple claims of negligence and sought punitive and compensatory damages against the firm’s client. The judge granted directed verdict on several claims following plaintiffs’ evidence, including negligence of the plaintiff motorist, and on the claim for punitive damages. The jury was ultimately asked to consider the claimed negligence for the company’s failure to sound a timely and adequate warning and sight distance leading up to the collision.  After just over an hour of deliberation, the jury placed 100% of liability on the plaintiff motorist, and awarded no damages.

Defense verdict in Greene County, Missouri for national transportation company

Attorneys Laurel Stevenson and Jeff Laney, with the assistance of paralegal Kellie Mitchem, secured a defense verdict for a national transportation company after a four-day jury trial.  Plaintiff claimed that the company utilized unsafe equipment and practices, resulting in two knee surgeries, including a knee replacement and two herniated cervical discs.  Plaintiff sought recovery for more than $300,000 in lost wages, as well as medical bills, emotional distress and pain and suffering.  After deliberating for less than 40 minutes, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict. The feedback from the client included the following comments: “You and your team worked hard and deserved a great result”.

Tenders of defense

During the first five months of 2015, Partner Laurel Stevenson secured substantial savings for her clients by pursuing tenders of defense.  Two of the tenders were in premises liability cases in which she was retained to represent the tenants involving injuries sustained by third-parties who claimed they were injured due to a defect on the premises.  She successfully tendered both matters to the respective landlords for defense and indemnification.  The third matter involved a tender to a manufacturer of a product distributed by her retail client arising from class action litigation in which there were allegations of bodily injury and unjust enrichment.

No waiver of privilege

In May of 2015, Partners Laurel Stevenson and Jeff Laney secured a favorable ruling in a case involving more than five years of litigation in which the plaintiff and a co-defendant claimed that two clients of the firm waived the privileges of attorney-client and insured-insurer privilege as well as work product.   In contesting the position taken by the other parties, the firm focused on state regulations regarding insurance and Missouri’s favorable view of the attorney-client privilege and the insured-insurer privilege.  The trial court agreed with the clients’ position and denied the motion to compel documents sought by the plaintiff and co-defendant.

Defense verdict

In April of 2015, the defense team of Partner Randy Cowherd and Paralegal Shelly Richardson secured a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case.  A Greene County, Missouri jury deliberated for less than thirty minutes in returning a unanimous verdict in favor of Mercy Clinics and Dr. Patrick Brooks.

Favorable verdict for firm client

In February of 2015, the firm succeeded in substantially limiting liability and damages in a premises liability case.The plaintiff claimed she incurred $143,000 in medical bills as a result of a slip and fall.The jury placed 95% of fault on the plaintiff. The final award for the plaintiff was $5,100.00.

Past results are not a guarantee of future results, and each
claim or case must be individually evaluated.