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Top Verdicts & Settlements

2019 Missouri Lawyers V&S winners announced

The 2019 Missouri Lawyers Awards will honor attorneys for their accomplishments in 2018. Missouri Lawyers Media already has announced the qualitative winners, including Lawyers of the Year Joseph D. “Chip” Sheppard III, Dan Viets and Michael B. Hill.

Now, we are announcing the winners of our quantitative awards. These are Missouri-licensed attorneys who scored the biggest civil victories in Missouri courts in 2018, based on our Verdicts & Settlements database. These awards honor settlements and trial victories, including wins for both the defense and plaintiffs. New this year: We are considering plaintiffs’ verdicts and plaintiffs’ judgments in separate categories, given the different burdens needed to persuade juries and judges.

The winners will be honored at the Missouri Lawyers Awards on Jan. 25 at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. The full rankings of the year’s biggest verdicts and settlements will be published in our annual Top V&S edition on Feb. 4.

Top plaintiffs’ verdicts

1. $4.69 billion

In Ingham et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, a St. Louis jury gave one of the largest awards in state history to a group of women who alleged they contracted ovarian cancer from talcum powder.

Eric Holland, Patrick Dowd and Seth Crompton, Holland Law Firm, St. Louis; Thomas Neill, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis

2. $113.7 million

In Hootselle et al. v. Missouri Department of Corrections, a Cole County jury sided with Missouri prison employees on claims that they had to perform unpaid activities before and after their shifts.

Gary Burger, Burger Law Firm, St. Louis; Michael J. Flannery, Cuneo, Gilbert & LaDuca, St. Louis

3. $76 million

In Ford v. Ford Motor Company, a Clay County jury awarded damages to the family of a man fatally crushed by machinery at an automotive plant.

Michael S. Ketchmark, Ben H. Fadler and Scott A. McCreight, Ketchmark & McCreight, Leawood, Kansas

4. $34.3 million

In Vogt v. State Farm Life Insurance Co., plaintiffs in this federal class action won damages on claims they were systematically overcharged for universal life insurance policies.

Norman E. Siegel, Ethan M. Lange, Lindsay T. Perkins and David A. Hickey, Stueve Siegel Hanson; John J. Schirger, Mathew W. Lytle and Joseph M. Feierabend, Miller Schirger, Kansas City

5. $28.9 million

In Brovont v. KS-1 Medical Services, a Jackson County jury sided with a former doctor who brought a whistleblower suit against an emergency-room staffing company alleging its policies undermined patient safety.

Michael S. Ketchmark, Ben H. Fadler and Scott A. McCreight, Ketchmark & McCreight, Leawood, Kansas

Top Plaintiffs’ Judgments

1. $20 million

In Doe IX v. Kanakuk Heritage Inc., a Christian County circuit judge issued a $20 million judgment against the former director of a religious summer camp who sexually abused dozens of minors.

Craig R. Heidemann, Nathan A. Duncan and Nick W. Allen, Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, Bolivar and Springfield

2. $5.6 million

In Westmoreland v. Midwest St. Louis, a small gas station owner’s $1.8 million jury verdict was tripled under the seldom-used Missouri Motor Fuel Marketing Act.

Jeremy A. Gogel, The Gogel Law Firm, St. Louis

3. $5.3 million

In Ferguson v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, a Boone County circuit judge ordered an insurance company to pay part of an earlier judgment to a man wrongfully convicted of killing a newspaper editor in Columbia.

Michael Berry, Berry Wilson, Jefferson City

Top Settlements

1. $1.51 billion

In Re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, litigated as a multidistrict-litigation case in federal court in Kansas, resolved multiple suits, including in Missouri, regarding the agricultural giant’s use of genetically modified corn.

Patrick Stueve, Stueve Siegel Hanson, Kansas City; Don Downing, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis

2. $30.5 million

Holdeman v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company resolved litigation that stemmed from an earlier jury verdict in Jackson County Circuit Court in favor of a man severely injured in a car crash.

Tim Dollar, Dollar Burns & Becker, Kansas City

3. $24.7 million

In Biffle v. Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative, a federal judge approved a settlement ending a long-running case by southern Missouri landowners involving alleged misuse of utility easements.

Heidi Doerhoff Vollet, Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr, Jefferson City; Fred O’Neill, Thayer

4. $21 million

Following years of litigation and multiple appeals, Gerken v. Sherman, which involved allegations of underpayments to beneficiaries of the state’s Blind Pension Fund, came to an end in Cole County.

John Greider and Deborah S. Greider, St. Louis; John Ammann, Barbara Gilchrist and Amy Sanders,  Saint Louis University School of Law’s civil litigation clinic

5. $20.6 million

In City of Winchester v. Ameren Missouri, a class of 254 municipalities resolved claims that a utility company underpaid business license taxes.

John Hoffman and Doug Sprong, Korein Tillery, St. Louis; Lee Curtis, Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O’Keefe, St. Louis; Carl Lumley, St. Louis; Howard Paperner, St. Louis; John F. Mulligan Jr., St. Louis

Defense verdicts

1. $7 million counterclaim

In Nostrum Laboratories v. Balboa Capital Corporation, a federal jury denied a counterclaim against a pharmaceutical company and said it also could keep the disputed pieces of equipment.

Michael J. Abrams and Kate O’Hara Gasper, Lathrop Gage, Kansas City

2. $5.3 million pre-trial demand

In Price v. St. Francis Medical Center, a Cape Girardeau County jury sided with a group of medical providers in a suit by a man whose esophagus was injured during surgery.

Greg J. Minana and Ashley M. Rothe, Husch Blackwell, Clayton; James A. Cochrane III and James E. Laramore, Bradshaw, Steele, Cochrane & Berens, Cape Girardeau

3. $2 million pre-trial defense offer; up to $21 million sought at trial

In Brooks v. Ortman, a Lawrence County jury found the owners of a southwest Missouri ranch for troubled boys not liable for a murder committed by two residents who had run away.

John G. Schultz and James Meyers, Franke, Schultz & Mullen, Kansas City

4. $2 million to $10 million in pre-trial demands; $3.6 million in alleged damages

In Linton v. Carter et al., Jackson County jurors sided with medical providers in a suit brought on behalf of a baby who suffered a brain injury at birth.

Scott M. Adam, Sean T. McGrevey and Tyler W. Lawrence, Adam & McGrevey, Overland Park, Kansas; Bruce Keplinger and Emily Tung, Norris & Keplinger, Overland Park, Kansas; Mark A. Lynch and Jaime L. Whitt, Simpson, Logback, Lynch, Norris, Overland Park, Kansas

5. $1 million to $2.85 million in pre-trial demands; $8-12 million sought at trial

In Comer v. Mattingly, St. Charles County jurors denied claims against a psychiatrist whose patient murdered his wife and two adult children before committing suicide.

Thaddeus Eckenrode and Lisa Howe, Eckenrode-Maupin, St. Louis

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