Posted on

Tom Smith discussed the Missouri Supreme Court Striking Down Non-Economic Damage Cap in Medical Malpractice Cases

In a 4-3 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the non-economic damage cap in medical malpractice cases violates the Missouri Constitutional right to trial by jury.  In reaching its decision, the Court declared unconstitutional a non-economic damage cap originally enacted by the Missouri legislature in 1986, and amended in 2005.  With this ruling, the Court also overruled a 1992 Missouri Supreme Court case that had declared the cap to be constitutional.

Posted on

Fox Galvin Obtains Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict

Richard Korn teamed with Mike Donelson to obtain a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case filed in Williamson County, Illinois. Richard and Mike represented a urologist who performed a vasectomy on a patient which ultimately failed leading to the pregnancy of his wife and her subsequent miscarriage.

The plaintiffs – husband and wife – claimed that the defendant committed malpractice by failing to counsel the patient about the need for a post-vasectomy sperm count test, failing to inform the patient about a difficulty encountered during the performance of the vasectomy, and failing to ensure the vasectomy was a success by scheduling a follow-up office visit, letter or phone call to remind the patient about the need for the sperm count test. Although the documentation of the defendant doctor was less than perfect in detailing what instruction the plaintiff had been given, relying on the records of a subsequent treating physician and other evidence in the case Richard and Mike were able to convince the jury that the plaintiff, notwithstanding his denials, had been adequately counseled about the need for the post-procedure testing but simply failed to have it done before having unprotected intercourse with his spouse.

After a six-day trial and multiple witnesses, including experts, the jury deliberated just over one hour before reaching a verdict in favor of Richard and Mike’s client.

Posted on

Margaret Devereux Gentzen Joins The Firm

Fox Galvin is pleased to announce that Margaret Devereux Gentzen has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Gentzen is a 2012 graduate of St. Louis University School of Law. For her undergraduate studies, she graduated in 2006 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BA in History and Psychology.

Before joining Fox Galvin, Gentzen clerked at a St. Louis firm and completed a Judicial Externship for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. She is licensed to practice in Missouri as well as the federal courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.

Fox Galvin, LLC is a firm made up of civil trial lawyers with experience in handling high-level litigation. Fox Galvin attorneys have worked on many highly publicized civil cases in the areas of admiralty, product liability, class action, professional liability, medical malpractice, commercial, pharmaceutical, employment and environmental litigation.

Posted on

Ron Fox Speaks at BAMSL’s Maritime Law Seminar

Ron Fox recently spoke at the Maritime Law Seminar 2012 sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Ron presented a session titled Defense Strategies in Maritime Injury Litigation. Ron is a frequent speaker at BAMSL’s Maritime Law Seminar as well as other Maritime conferences such as the Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeters Association annual River and Marine Industry Seminar in New Orleans.

Posted on

Tom Smith and Laura Robb won an arbitration hearing for a University of Missouri – Columbia fraternity

Tom Smith and Laura Robb won an arbitration hearing for a University of Missouri – Columbia fraternity alleged to have discriminated against the claimant in its housing and membership practices. After being expelled from fraternity housing, the claimant made a demand for arbitration pursuant to his housing contract. Claimant alleged violations of federal and state civil rights and housing laws in addition to asserting state law claims for breach of contract and defamation. The matter proceeded through arbitration pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The parties conducted limited discovery in accordance with the arbitration rules. Claimant sought recovery for compensatory and punitive damages and over $50,000 in attorneys’ fees. Following a full day of testimony before the arbitrator and extensive post-arbitration briefing, the arbitrator denied all of claimant’s allegations and found entirely in favor of Fox Galvin’s client.

Posted on

Fox Galvin Attorney Selected as Super Lawyer

Ron Fox, a founding partner at Fox Galvin, LLC, has been named to the Missouri Super Lawyers list for 2012. Super Lawyers uses a system of peer recognition and professional achievement to identify those worthy of inclusion in a variety of practice areas. Less than 5% of lawyers in Missouri make the Super Lawyers list and less than 2.5% make the Rising Stars list. Ron was named to the Super Lawyers list for his work in the Transportation/Marine area of practice.

Posted on

Tom Smith discusses the Missouri Supreme Court Striking Down Non-Economic Damage Cap in Medical Malpractice Cases

In a 4-3 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the non-economic damage cap in medical malpractice cases violates the Missouri Constitutional right to trial by jury. In reaching its decision, the Court declared unconstitutional a non-economic damage cap originally enacted by the Missouri legislature in 1986, and amended in 2005. With this ruling, the Court also overruled a 1992 Missouri Supreme Court case that had declared the cap to be constitutional.

Read the FoxGalvin Newsletter here.

Posted on

Fox Galvin Wins Directed Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Jon Garside recently won a directed verdict in favor of one of Fox Galvin’s clients, a large regional hospital, after the conclusion of plaintiffs’ evidence in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff had come to the hospital with a developing infection and was treated by an emergency room physician there and discharged. The plaintiff’s infection subsequently worsened, and he returned to the hospital for emergent surgery that resulted in a significant loss of tissue in his perineal area and some nerve damage. He and his wife sued the hospital and their primary care provider, who had seen plaintiff days earlier. They never sued the ER physician.

The ER physician who directed plaintiff’s care was not a hospital employee, and under Missouri’s medical malpractice “tort reform” statute, the hospital is not legally responsible for his actions. After the close of expert discovery, when it was clear plaintiffs’ experts were only criticizing the care provided by the ER physician, Jon filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was not an employee and the hospital could not be held liable for his care. The court denied that motion without explanation. As a result, Jon retained an expert to support the care provided by the ER physician, and proceeded with trial preparations.

A little less than a year later, in July 2012, the case went to trial. Plaintiffs had made a settlement demand, but the client decided the legal principle was too important to abandon, and so declined to engage in settlement negotiations. The trial took place in Montgomery County, Missouri, a rural venue where Jon was directly supported by nurse paralegal Donna Hawkins (as well as fellow Fox Galvin attorneys Katie Fowler and Laura Robb back at the office). The court granted a motion in limine excluding plaintiffs’ evidence that the ER physician was an agent or apparent agent of the hospital, making clear to the parties that the question would be limited to whether he was an employee. After plaintiffs rested their case, Jon moved for a directed verdict on the basis that the ER physician was not a hospital employee and that plaintiffs had not made a direct case of hospital negligence, and the court granted the motion.

Posted on

Fox Galvin Staff Elected to St. Louis Paralegal Association Post

The St. Louis Paralegal Association has approved a proposed slate of officers for 2012-13. Keith Benack, who has been a paralegal at Fox Galvin, LLC for the past six years, is the new President-Elect of the Association. Keith has worked in the St. Louis Metro area as a litigation paralegal for fifteen years. He holds an associate degree in Applied Science – Legal Assistant from Meramec Community College. Congratulations to Keith on his appointment.

Posted on

Laura M. Robb Joins Fox Galvin as an Associate Attorney

Fox Galvin is pleased to announce that Laura M. Robb joined the firm on May 1, 2012. Laura is a 2001 graduate of Washington University School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. For her undergraduate studies, she graduated from Duke University with a BSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1995. She later received her MSCE in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University in 1996, and more recently received a masters degree from Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental in 2007.

Prior to joining Fox Galvin, Laura taught environmental and law classes at Yale University and practiced as an associate attorney at Earthjustice in California. While at Earthjustice, Laura represented environmental, conservation, and community organizations in federal litigation. Immediately following law school, Laura served as a law clerk for Judge Roger Wollman of the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Laura is licensed in Missouri.

Fox Galvin, LLC is a firm made up of civil trial lawyers with experience in handling high-level litigation. Fox Galvin attorneys have worked on many highly publicized civil cases in the areas of admiralty, product liability, class action, professional liability, medical malpractice, commercial, employment and environmental litigation.