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Missouri Supreme Court to review huge verdict for corrections officers

Scott Lauck//February 7, 2020//

Missouri Supreme Court to review huge verdict for corrections officers

Scott Lauck//February 7, 2020//

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The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to review a $113.7 million verdict for Missouri corrections officers who said they were denied compensation for pre- and post-shift duties.

The case was the third-largest plaintiffs’ win of 2018, as tracked by Missouri Lawyers Media. The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District affirmed the verdict last October, but the Supreme Court on Feb. 4 sustained a request for transfer from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. No argument date has been set.

The massive verdict followed an eight-day trial in August 2018 in Cole County. A jury issued the award for a class of about 13,000 corrections officers who alleged they were not paid for time they spent during security procedures, such as scanning their fingerprints, showing identification and passing through metal detectors, as well as getting updates from officers who worked during the previous shift.

Prior to trial, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce had ruled that the Department of Corrections had breached its labor contract with prison employees and their union, the Missouri Corrections Officers Association. The case was then submitted to the jury to determine damages.

The class was represented by Gary Burger of Burger Law and Michael Flannery of Cuneo, Gilbert & LaDuca.

The case is Hootselle et al. v. Missouri Department of Corrections, SC98252.

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