Each year, Missouri Lawyers Media combs its Verdicts & Settlements database to determine the biggest civil victories in Missouri courts. As part of our annual Missouri Lawyers Awards, we honor the Missouri-licensed attorneys who achieved the largest verdicts, settlements, judgments and defense wins of the past 12 months.
The winners will be honored at the 2020 Missouri Lawyers Awards, alongside Lawyers of the Year Susan Ford Robertson and Thomas B. Weaver and 27 other Missouri lawyers whose accomplishments defined 2019.
The full rankings of the year’s biggest verdicts and settlements will be published in our annual Top V&S edition on Feb. 3.
Top plaintiffs’ verdicts:
In Enslein, Trustee for Xurex Inc. v. Di Mase, a former Kansas City manufacturing company won in federal court against an Italian businessman alleged to have forced it into bankruptcy.
Todd Bartels, E. Benton Keatley and Robert Spake Jr., Polsinelli, Kansas City
In Wildhaber v. St. Louis County, a jury sided with a gay St. Louis County Police Department sergeant who said he was passed over for promotions because of his sexual orientation.
Russell Riggan and Samuel Moore, Riggan Law Firm, Kirkwood
In Guessanbi v. Saint Louis University, a St. Louis jury found for a young girl who suffered permanent injuries from a rare disease after she was repeatedly brought to the emergency room but wasn’t admitted.
John G. Simon, Timothy Cronin and Johnny M. Simon, The Simon Law Firm, St. Louis
In E.H.S. v. BNSF Railway Co., a Cape Girardeau County jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages to a girl who was catastrophically injured at a railroad crossing due to an unusual highway-safety device.
J. Michael Ponder and Kathy Wolz, Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, Cape Girardeau; Thomas Jones and Tim Gaarder, Davis, Bethune & Jones, Kansas City
In Bennett v. Ford Motor Company, a St. Louis jury awarded actual and punitive damages for a mesothelioma victim who, in a rare occurrence, was still alive at the time of trial.
Christopher Layloff and Jason Steinmeyer, The Gori Law Firm, Edwardsville, Illinois
In Tussey v. ABB Inc., a federal judge approved a class-action settlement in a landmark lawsuit involving fees charged by a company’s retirement plan.
Jerome Schlichter, Troy Doles and Heather Lea, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, St. Louis
In Watkins v. Loy-Lange Box Company et al., a global settlement ended litigation stemming from a fatal boiler explosion in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis.
Timothy Cronin and John G. Simon, The Simon Law Firm; Jamie Boock and Nathan Davis, Rossiter & Boock; Mark Bronson and Lauren Bronson, Newman Bronson & Wallis; Thomas Neill, Gray, Ritter & Graham; J. Brad Wilmoth, Page Law; Melissa Griffeth, The Hester Group; Timothy O’Mara, Spector, Wolfe, McLaughlin & O’Mara, St. Louis.
In Bass Pro LLC v. Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited Inc., the outdoor retailer resolved a federal breach-of-contract suit against a timeshare company.
Derek Ankrom and Jason C. Smith, Spencer Fane, Springfield
In McAllister et al. v. The St. Louis Rams LLC, a class of season-ticket-holders resolved a suit against the St. Louis Rams in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri after the team moved to Los Angeles.
Anthony S. Bruning and Ryan L. Bruning, The Bruning Law Firm, St. Louis; Richard Cornfeld, Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, St. Louis; Kevin Green, Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, Edwardsville, Illinois; Fernando Bermudez, Bermudez Law STL, St. Louis; David Bohm, Danna McKitrick, St. Louis
A man paralyzed by a falling tree limb at a Jefferson County mobile home park reached this confidential settlement with the insurers of the property.
David L. Grebel, Niemeyer, Grebel & Kruse, St. Louis
Top judgments or bench awards:
In CoStar Group Inc. v. Xceligent Inc., a federal judge entered this massive judgment against a commercial real estate data company alleged to have copied data from its main competitor.
Robert T. Adams, Ann M. Songer and Eric M. Anielak, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City
In Jo Ann Howard and Associates PC v. National City Bank and PNC Bank NA, a federal judge ordered a bank to pay compensatory and punitive damages for its predecessor’s role in mismanaging a prepaid funeral-expense trust.
Maurice Graham, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis
In PR Group LLC v. Windmill International Ltd., a Missouri state court judge and a professional golfer won this award in federal court after they were defrauded by a longtime acquaintance.
Brandon Boulware and Erin Lawrence, Boulware Law, Kansas City
In 1520 Swift LC v. BMMTech Canada Corporation, a federal judge awarded a North Kansas City damages after a Canadian company leased a warehouse for bitcoin mining, then failed to pay its bills.
Jason Scheiderer and Megan Carroll, Dentons, Kansas City
In Doe v. Ammi, a Jackson County judge ordered an Uber driver to pay $8.2 million to a woman who sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her.
Steve Six and Austin Moore, Stueve Siegel Hanson, Kansas City
Top defense wins:
$11 million to $31 million in alleged damages
In Wildman v. American Century Services LLC, a federal judge ruled in favor of an investment firm in a class-action lawsuit by employees regarding the funds picked for their 401(k) plan.
W. Perry Brant, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Kansas City
$5.2 million pre-trial demand
In Piatt v. Rosbrugh et al., a Clay County jury sided with a medical clinic and personnel after an infant suffered a prenatal infection and died days after delivery.
Bruce Keplinger and Courtney McCray, Norris Keplinger Hicks & Welder, Overland Park, Kansas; Tim Frets and John Witten, Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, Leawood, Kansas
$3.4 million alleged damages, $9 million sought at trial
In Dalbey v. Heartland Regional Medical Center, a Buchanan County jury found an emergency-room doctor and hospital not liable in a medical-malpractice suit from a man who suffered a disabling brain aneurysm.
Ronald D. Marney, Michael J. Rudd and Jeffrey L. Dunn, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, Kansas City and St. Louis; Brian L. Burge and Jana V. Richards, Sanders Warren Russell & Scheer, Overland Park, Kansas
$5 million in alleged damages
In Kennedy v. Ford Motor Company, a St. Louis jury gave a defense verdict in the asbestos-related death of a former brake worker.
Steven E. Ward, McAfee & Taft, Springfield
$5 million verdict, reduced by 90 percent plaintiff’s fault
Misyuk v. Creative Dining Concepts LLC was technically a verdict for a man who was run over during a fight in a bar parking lot after closing time. But Greene County jurors awarded nearly all of the fault to the plaintiff.
Kristie Crawford, Brown & James, Springfield