NEWS

2018 in Review

We reflect on 2018 with gratitude for our clients and colleagues, and appreciation of the opportunity to serve the legal profession. The legal environment remained challenging for many of our clients, but we were able to achieve several favorable outcomes through strategic collaboration, including an increased emphasis on early risk assessment, appropriate motion practice, and utilization of mock trials and focus groups.

Some highlights of 2018 included:
  • More than a dozen trials and administrative proceedings, including medical malpractice defense, premises liability defense, commercial contracts, real estate, Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) defense, and worker’s compensation defense;
  • Increasing our local counsel partnerships in state and federal courts, affording expansion of our practice areas;
  • Counsel on several appellate briefs;
  • Randy Cowherd and Laurel Stevenson were retained as experts in insurance matters, including bad faith and coverage; and
  • Laurel Stevenson argued a case before the Missouri Supreme Court.

The following is a brief summary of some of the firm’s jury trials over the past year:
Catherine Reade secured a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of local southwest Missouri hospital following a five-day jury trial. The defendants included a nurse practitioner and trauma surgeon that provided care to a 24 year old male patient that presented to the facility for care for a traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall from a two story building. Plaintiff alleged that the facility was negligent in treating and discharging the patient. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before reaching a unanimous verdict in favor of defendants on all claims.

Randy Cowherd and Catherine Reade secured a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of local southwest primary care physician following a five-day jury trial. The defendant primary care physician provided care to an 83 year old male patient that presented to her facility for care for gastroenteritis. 24 hours after the last visit with the defendant primary care physician, the patient had a catastrophic event was hospitalized on an emergency basis and passed away two days later. Plaintiffs alleged that the primary care physician was negligent in treating the patient and this resulted in his death. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before reaching a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant on all claims.

Randy Cowherd obtained a defense verdict on a premises liability claim following a three-day jury trial in which plaintiff alleged an ADA violation.

Laurel Stevenson and Jeff Laney secured a judgment notwithstanding a verdict following a four-day jury trial in which the plaintiff claimed a permanent back injury, with the court finding that plaintiff failed to timely bring his claim, or alternatively, that plaintiff failed to properly establish medical causation.

As we look forward this year, we have several things planned, including updating our website, utilization of encrypted e-mails and other protections to continue to ensure the confidentiality and security of sensitive information, increased participation in the Defense Research Institute, and enhancing the roles of Catherine Reade and Laurel Stevenson in recognition of the value of diversity and inclusion.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service. We look forward to working with you this year!