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2021 Missouri Lawyers Media Top V&S winners announced

Scott Lauck//January 11, 2021

2021 Missouri Lawyers Media Top V&S winners announced

Scott Lauck//January 11, 2021

To win a significant trial victory, you need skill, tenacity and luck. You also need a judge, a jury and a courtroom, and in 2020 those were in short supply.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought litigation to a standstill, forced hearings online and made civil jury trials a rarity. Nonetheless, Missouri attorneys did the best they could with what they had to win victories for their clients.

Each year, Missouri Lawyers Media searches its Verdicts & Settlements to honor the state-licensed attorneys who achieved the largest verdicts, settlements, judgments and defense wins of the past 12 months.

The winners will be honored at the 2021 Missouri Lawyers Awards, alongside Lawyers of the Year Charles Weiss, Stephen Snodgrass and Jonathan Potts of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, as well as 24 other Missouri lawyers with notable accomplishments in 2020.

Please join us for a virtual award ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 11. The full rankings of the year’s biggest verdicts and settlements will be published in our annual Top V&S edition in February.

Top plaintiffs’ verdicts:


$265 million

In Bader Farms Inc. v. Monsanto Company, a federal jury awarded $15 million in actual damages and $250 million in punitive damages to a peach farm damaged by a drifting pesticide. A judge reduced the punitive damages after trial to $60 million.

Billy Randles, Bev Randles and Angie Splittgerber, Randles & Splittgerber, Kansas City; Ben Mook and Tracey George, Davis George Mook, Kansas City


$21 million

In Bayes v. Biomet Inc., Jury a federal jury in awarded a record-setting verdict in a design-defect suit against a hip-implant system manufacturer.

James D. O’Leary and Michael Quillin, O’Leary, Shelton, Corrigan, Peterson, Dalton & Quillin, St. Louis


$13 million

In Church v. Case New Holland Industrial of America LLC, a Henry County jury found for the family of a man crushed to death by the cab of a machine he was attempting to repair.

Chandler Gregg and Nick Smart, Strong-Garner-Bauer, Springfield


$5.88 million

In S&H Farm Supply Inc. v. Bad Boy Inc., a federal jury awarded nearly $5.9 million in damages to a farm supply store in a dispute with a lawnmower maker.

Greg Whiston, Shannon Cohorst Johnson and Curry Sexton, Seigfreid Bingham, Kansas City


$4.9 million

In Salerno v. MPI Management LLC, a federal jury sided with a former shopping center manager who alleged she was fired for reporting wrongdoing by her employer.

Rik Siro, Athena Dickson, Raymond Dake, Ryan P. McEnaney and Eric W. Smith, Siro Smith Dickson, Kansas City

Top settlements:


$400 million

In re: Dicamba Herbicides Litigation involved farmers whose crops allegedly were damaged by dicamba drift. They resolved their claims as part of a $12.1 billion global settlement.

Don Downing, Gray, Ritter & Graham, St. Louis; Bev Randles, Randles & Splittgerber, Kansas City


$18.25 million

In Hornbeck v. Orscheln Farm and Home LLC, a class of plaintiffs alleged a type of tractor hydraulic fluid was misleadingly labeled and deceptively marketed.

Tom Bender and Dirk Hubbard, Horn Aylward & Bandy, Kansas City; Bryan T. White, White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, Independence; Clayton A. Jones, Raymore


$15 million (tie)

• In a confidential settlement, a group of plaintiffs injured in a head-on collision resolved their claims against the at-fault driver.

AW Smith, The AW Smith Law Firm, Columbia

• In a confidential settlement, a young man who suffered a severe brain injury in a T-bone collision resolved claims with multiple insurers.

Amanda N. Murphy and Shaun Falvey, Goldblatt + Singer, St. Louis


$9 million (tie)

• In Mason v. C.R. England Inc., a state trooper settled with a trucking company after he was rear-ended during a traffic stop.

Christopher Dixon, The Dixon Injury Firm, St. Louis

• In a confidential settlement, the family of a woman killed in a crash on Interstate 70 resolved claims against a motor carrier.

Tim Dollar and Josh Becker, Dollar, Burns & Becker, Kansas City; Nick Hinrichs, Hinrichs Law Firm, Kansas City

Top judgments or bench awards:


$62.5 million

In Fuentes v. KM-T.E.H. Realty 8 LLC, a judge on Dec. 4 awarded a judgment to tenants who alleged squalid living conditions in their apartment building.

Greg Leyh, Andrea M. Knernschield and Nicholas Leyh, Gregory Leyh PC, Gladstone


$25.16 million

In McKeage v. Tracker Marine Boat Center LLC, a class-action lawsuit involving illegal document fees on boat sale contracts ended after 11 years of litigation.

Steve Garner, Chandler Gregg and Nick Smart, Strong-Garner-Bauer, Springfield; David Baylard and Damian Struzzi, Baylard, Billington, Dempsey & Jensen, Union; Chip Robertson, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader, Jefferson City


$20 million (combined award)

In Barnett v. Columbia Maintenance Company and Taylor v. Columbia Maintenance Company, an arbitrator issued back-to-back awards of $11.4 million and $8.6 million to two former employees of a janitorial company who faced racial employment discrimination.

Gretchen Myers, The Law Offices of Gretchen Myers, St. Louis


$8 million

In Rasmussen v. SRJS Inc., a Clay County judge awarded a judgment to a woman severely injured by a drunken driver.

Larry D. Wright, Criterion Law, Kansas City; Annette Griggs, Griggs Injury Law, Kansas City; Andrew LeRoy, Bautista LeRoy, Kansas City


$3.3 million

In M.B. v. Tidball a federal judge approved attorneys’ fees and costs following a settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that Missouri over-prescribed psychotropic drugs to children in foster care.

John J. Ammann, Saint Louis University Legal Clinic, St. Louis

Top defense wins:


Approx. $75 million indemnification claim

In Spire Missouri Inc. v. USIC Locating Services LLC, a judge said a locating company wasn’t responsible for tens of millions of dollars of settlements another company paid following a gas explosion at a restaurant.

David B. Helms and Ben Mooneyham, German May, St. Louis


$308,400 counterclaim award, $3.4 million alleged damages

In Burri v. Western Robidoux Inc., a federal jury not only denied a claims of $3 million in damages against a commercial printing business and its clients, it also awarded $308,000 in damages to the defendants.

Daniel Blegen and Breanna Spackler, German May, Kansas City; Peter Knops, Knops Law, Kansas City; Sean Colligan and Bryce Langford, Stinson, Kansas City; Nicholas Clifford and Kelly Meredith, Tucker Ellis, St. Louis


$1 million demand, $1.5 million alleged damages, $4 million to $6 million sought at trial

In Breads v. Busch & Hunt Enterprises LLC, a Pettis County jury returned a unanimous defense verdict for a bar alleged to have overserved a patron, resulting in a deadly crash that injured a woman.

Jacqueline M. Kinder and Brendon T. Sanders, Brown & James, St. Louis


$1.25 million offer, $3 million to $5 million sought at trial

In Wilson v. New Prime Inc., a Greene County jury cleared a truck driver in fatal crash on a highway obscured by smoke.

Brian D. Malkmus and Kristen M. O’Neal, Malkmus Law Firm, Springfield


$5 million sought at trial

In Caplinger v. Rahman, a Greene County jury ruled in favor of a doctor use of a bone-growth product during surgery patient led to complications.

Brian D. Malkmus and Kristen M. O’Neal, Malkmus Law Firm, Springfield

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