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Meggie Gentzen Named to Missouri Bar’s 2014 Pro Bono Wall of Fame

Meggie Gentzen was recently named to The Missouri Bar’s 2014 Pro Bono Wall of Fame.  The Missouri Bar created the Pro Bono Wall of Fame in 2011 to recognize lawyers who show an exceptional commitment to the historic principle of pro bono service.  Meggie primarily donates her time to pro bono work through Let’s Start Legal Clinic which assists women re-entering society after incarceration with legal issues such as landlord/tenant issues, child custody issues and more.

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Summary Judgment in Med-Mal Case

Richard Korn and Mike Donelson recently obtained summary judgment in favor of their physician client and his practice group in a medical malpractice case where the plaintiff claimed she sustained an injury to her ureter during the course of a colostomy takedown procedure performed in August 2008.  After first disclosing a standard of care liability expert from Chicago, Plaintiff’s counsel later decided to withdraw that expert and pursue the case under a res ipsa loquitur theory asserting that a “transected ureter” is the type of injury that does not occur in the absence of negligence.  Richard and Mike thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that, under Illinois law, expert testimony was required in the case, even if the plaintiff intended to proceed under a res ipsa theory only.  After the motion was fully briefed and argued, the trial court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Richard and Mike’s clients.

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Richard Korn Obtains Dismissal With Prejudice For Client

Richard Korn along with co-counsel from Chicago, recently obtained a dismissal with prejudice of their client, a national trust company, in a case where the plaintiffs claimed to have invested and lost millions of dollars in a “Ponzi Scheme” devised and carried out by a third-party who ultimately was indicted by a federal grand jury and convicted of money laundering, wire fraud and mail fraud.  The plaintiffs pled various causes of action against Richard’s client, including (a) aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, (b) aiding and abetting fraud, and (c) conspiracy.  In their Motion to Dismiss, Richard argued that defendant was immune from liability for the alleged conduct under the Safe Harbor provisions of the federal Bank Secrecy Act, 31 U.S.C. Section 5318.  After the motion was fully briefed and argued in front of the trial court judge, the motion was granted and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

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Fox Galvin Successfully Compels Arbitration of Jones Act Case

After a Jones Act seaman was injured when his left leg was crushed between a barge and a tow, he sued his employer for lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and disability payments. The seaman signed a dispute resolution agreement when he applied for employment agreeing to arbitrate any such claims. Against vigorous opposition, Ron Fox and Laura Robb argued that the seaman should be bound by his agreement to arbitrate. The Court agreed.

At the beginning of trial, first-chair trial attorney Katie Fowler argued several key motions in limine, which had been drafted with the help of Meggie Gentzen. The court was persuaded by Katie’s arguments and ruled that plaintiff could not rely on the sudden-onset doctrine, and could not use her nurse expert to present any type of causation testimony. The court excluded evidence of plaintiff’s alleged subsequent falls and back surgery. The court also ultimately excluded the majority of plaintiff’s medical bills due to plaintiffs failure to provide expert testimony to support the bills and failure to comply with a discovery order to produce the bills.

The case presented some challenges for the trial team, including the fact that the only alleged witness to the fall, a patient care technician, died before she was afforded an opportunity to testify in the case. Additionally, there were several mentions of a “fall” in the medical records. But the team presented evidence through multiple witnesses to explain those entries, and Katie skillfully cross-examined the plaintiff, getting her to admit she was always helped to get in and out of bed. The team also presented testimony from plaintiffs treating physician that the fall did not cause plaintiff to undergo surgery or suffer additional injuries.

After plaintiffs attorneys asked the jury to award in excess of $750,000, a divided jury (with the majority of the jurors in favor of a defense verdict) compromised with a relatively small award that included nothing for pain and suffering.

The case got even more remarkable after trial when plaintiff’s counsel took the position that the defense was not entitled to information regarding any potential Medicare lien in spite of a Court Order directing plaintiff to provide the information. As a result, Medicare was included on the check to pay the judgment. Katie and Jon successfully argued that the check, with Medicare as a payee, fully satisfied the judgment, and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees in connection with their efforts to secure satisfaction of the judgment and quash plaintiffs attempts to collect on the judgment.

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Ryan Mohr to Speak at Inland Marine Expo

Ryan Mohr  will be speaking at the Inland Marine Expo (IMX) which will be held June 15-17, 2015 at Union Station, St. Louis, MO. The Inland Marine Expo is the annual trade show for the inland and intracoastal marine transportation industry. At the show, you will find equipment and services that are critical in the movement of goods along these waterways. Please visit http://inlandmarineexpo.com/  for more information on the Expo.

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Sarah Mangelsdorf to Speak at Chemical Industry Seminar

Sarah Mangelsdorf (attorneys/smangelsdorf.html) will be speaking at the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois’ “Hot Topics” Seminar on September 10 at The Engineers Club of St. Louis. Sarah’s “Hot Topic” will be Recent Cases: The Blurred Lines Between Environmental Laws. For more information, please visit: http://www.cicil.net/events/event.aspx?F d=09%2f10%2f2015&F y=2015&F m=9&Eventld=113&

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John Galvin on MDL Bellwethers

Should bellwethers remain the go-to choice for companies facing MDL litigation? John Galvin has been asked to speak on this topic in December at the 20th annual Drug & Medical Device Litigation seminar hosted by the American Conference Institute in New York City. John will be on a panel addressing best practices and presenting new strategies for dealing with complex litigation in multiple venues across the nation. http://drugandmed.com/aqenda glance.html

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Unanimous Defense Verdict in favor of a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Richard Korn and Mike Donelson recently obtained a unanimous defense verdict in favor of their client, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, after a six-day long jury trial in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Illinois. The plaintiff was diagnosed with uterine fibroids in December 2007 and received gynecological care and treatment for the condition from their client over the course of the next year. In February 2009, after the plaintiff’s symptoms had worsened, Richard and Mike’s client performed a hysterectomy procedure on the plaintiff who was diagnosed with a ureter injury six weeks later. After two unsuccessful stent placement procedures, plaintiff underwent a ureteral reimplantation surgery and required follow-up care over the course of the next two years. On behalf of their client, Richard and Mike defended the case based on the fact that a ureter injury is a known risk of a hysterectomy procedure and can occur in the absence of negligence, especially when the injury occurs in the distal one-third of the ureter after it travels under the uterine artery. The jury, consisting of nine men and three women, deliberated for approximately one hour before returning a verdict in the defendant’s favor.

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Ron Fox Named Missouri Super Lawyer

Ron Fox, a founding partner at Fox Galvin, LLC, has been named to the Missouri Super Lawyers list for 2015. 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.