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Practices

Personal Injury DefenseView Practice as PDF

Our personal injury defense practice draws on BSCR’s talented attorneys and professional support staff with knowledge in medicine, healthcare and technology. With razor-sharp analytical skills, our teams are experienced handling a range of cases, from small cases to multi-million dollar mass torts on behalf of Fortune 100 companies.

We represent individual professionals and businesses in the health care, pharmaceutical and medical device, construction, aviation, and retail industries in defense of a wide range of claims, including accident, injury and wrongful death. We handle commercial airline accidents, construction site accidents, environmental incidents, medical malpractice cases, pharmaceutical and medical device liability, premises liability, product liability and toxic torts.

We have particular experience with high-exposure cases in which the plaintiffs are seeking damages awards, including punitive or exemplary damages. BSCR attorneys are recognized nationally for their product liability practice. We often handle class action and multidistrict litigation.

With medical professionals on staff, and with decades of experience handling cases related in some way to healthcare, we are especially skilled at parsing complicated medical information.

BSCR counts cost efficiency as one its hallmarks. Working closely with clients to assess their goals, we establish a strategy early in the litigation process, and are skilled at handling settlement negotiations, arbitration and mediation in addition to trial.

We use state-of-the art electronic discovery techniques to cut down on the time and cost of the document review process.

BSCR attorneys have been recognized in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the area of personal injury defense. In addition, some of our attorneys have conducted CLE seminars on issues related to the defense of personal injury claims.

For more information about our Personal Injury Defense practice contact James Scott Kreamer at 816.471.2121.

News & Events

Former Boston Scientific Corporation Chief Product Liability Litigation Officer Jeffery Kruse Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

10.07.15 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC announces that Jeffery A. Kruse, former Chief Product Liability Litigation Officer at Boston Scientific Corporation, has joined the firm’s Kansas City office as a Member (partner)...

Pete Hoffman Co-Authors Chapter on Evaluation and Settlement of Personal Injury Claims

07.10.14 | Peter Hoffman co-authored a chapter entitled “Evaluation and Settlement of Personal Injury Claims,” in the 2014 Missouri Bar Deskbook Missouri Settling Cases, which is part of the MoBarCLE Deskbook series.

Results

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Wins Defense Verdict in Apartment Complex Premises Liability Matter

After a trial in Jackson County, Missouri Circuit Court, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice won a premises liability case in which our clients were sued by an individual who broke his leg. The plaintiff slipped and fell at night on ice in a parking lot, requiring surgery and a metal plate being put into his leg (ORIF). The defense centered on...

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Wins Defense Verdict in Retailer's Premise Liability Matter

After a week-long trial in the US District Court for the District of Kansas, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice won a defense verdict for a retail client in a premises liability case in which our client was sued by an individual seeking as much as $500,000 in damages.

BSCR prevails on Appeal - Transfer of case out of Madison County, Illinois for Forum Non-Conveniens Affirmed

Suit was brought against a BSCR client in Madison County, Illinois, related to a vehicle/truck accident which occurred in Montgomery County, Illinois. The plaintiff was likewise from Montgomery County. For obvious reasons, she chose to file suit in plaintiff friendly Madison County...

BSCR Obtains Summary Judgment for Construction Client

BSCR obtained summary judgment on behalf of a General Contractor, Subcontractor, and Subcontractor’s Employee, on a multi-million dollar claim made by an ironworker who claimed to have been injured on a universty project. . .

Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of BSCR Client in Construction Accident Claim

Summary Judgment was granted in favor of BSCR's client in a case involving a bricklayer contractor injuring himself when he slipped into a plumbing ditch dug by a different contractor on the project. Plaintiff sued the second contractor on the project for failing to barricade and/or flag the ditch. . .

Summary Judgment Affirmed on Appeal in Favor of BSCR Client in Battery and Negligence Action

Summary Judgment granted in favor of BSCR client was affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District. Plaintiff claimed that our client's security (provided by Police Officers on approved secondary duty), ejected him from our facility and later hit him in the head with a police baton causing permanent injury. . .

BSCR Obtains Favorable Result for Retail Client at Trial

After a week-long trial in which plaintiff alleged severe physical and mental injuries left her disabled after being hit by a shopping cart in our client's retail store, a Kansas Federal jury returned a favorable verdict for our client. . .

BSCR Obtains Favorable Jury Verdict on Behalf of Trucking Client

BSCR defended client Swift Transportation Company at trial in a case where a Swift tractor-trailer allegedly turned left in front of a motorcycle at an uncontrolled intersection on a four-lane highway. Plaintiff claimed a brain injury in the form of post concussive syndrome, a knee injury, neck pain, back pain, and headaches. . .

Blog Posts

Reports of the Death of Litigation Tourism in Missouri Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

03.01.17 | A recent Missouri Supreme Court decision is good news for out-of-state defendants, rejecting the theory that appointing a registered agent in the state to accept service of process equated to consent to personal jurisdiction, and explicitly adopting Daimler and Goodyear. The decision probably creates more turmoil than it resolves on the “general jurisdiction” front, however, and does not directly stamp out the multi-plaintiff litigation tourism that is presently bedeviling the state.

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

Enforceable Exculpatory Clause in Contract Results in Summary Judgment for Defendant

08.15.16 | In McNearney v. LTF Club Operations Company, Inc., the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently affirmed a trial court ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendant fitness club from claims by the Plaintiff that it was negligent and reckless in allowing her to become injured while participating in a boot camp exercise class.

Forum Non Conveniens - When Home Isn't Always Convenient

07.05.16 | In civil litigation, the practice of “forum shopping” refers to the deliberate examination of multiple courts or jurisdictions in order to file or transfer the case to one that is most likely to treat that party’s claims most favorably. Often, this forum shopping is blatant – where plaintiffs deliberately attempt to...

UPDATE: Capped & Constitutional

06.08.16 | In a revised opinion issued on May 24, 2016, the Missouri Supreme Court continues to uphold the constitutionality of the $350k non-economic damages cap, pursuant to Mo.Rev.Stat. §538.210, in wrongful death cases, and to focus on the distinction between statutory and common law claims; but expands its analysis of the equal protection challenge raised by plaintiff

Missouri Court of Appeals Again Rules That Police Officer Testimony as to Fault of Party to Accident is Inadmissible

05.23.16 | In Ritchie v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the trial court had allowed an investigating officer to testify that the Plaintiff’s motorcycle had left the roadway in a straight line and that he had found no evidence of another vehicle forcing the Plaintiff off the road. Over objection, he was permitted to testify that...

Capped & Constitutional

05.06.16 | The Missouri Supreme Court, in a split decision, upholds the constitutionality of the $350k non-economic damages cap, pursuant to Mo.Rev.Stat. §538.210 in wrongful death case, recognizing the distinction between statutory and common law claims.

Kansas Court of Appeals Upholds Noneconomic Damages Cap Again

03.28.16 | K.S.A. § 60-19a02, establishing caps on recovery for noneconomic damages in personal injury actions, is constitutional as applied to personal injuries resulting from collisions between motor carriers and motor vehicles.

"Excusable neglect" is a real standard requiring real evidence (Updated 01.04.2016)

01.04.16 | While a Kansas court may grant relief from a final judgment based on excusable neglect, it is an abuse of discretion to grant that relief when the party seeking that relief has failed either to explain what facts constituted excusable neglect or to provide any evidence to support that claim.

A Declined Invitation, But Does An Open Door Still Remain?

11.18.15 | In Lang v. Goldsworthy, a case decided by the Missouri Supreme Court on October 13, 2015, Plaintiffs, consisting of family members who filed a wrongful death action alleging negligent chiropractic services of a health care provider that allegedly caused the death of their relative, unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the constitutionality of Mo. Rev. Stat. § 538.225, generally known as the “health affidavit” statute.

Missouri Court of Appeals Weighs in on the Stringent Requirements of the Pre-Judgment Interest Statute, and Whether Partial Payment of a Judgment Waives the Right of Appeal

01.27.15 | Strict compliance with the pre-judgment interest statute is still required; partial payment of a judgment to avoid post-judgment interest is considered involuntary and does not waive the right of appeal

State's "Right to Try" Legislation Hangs Drug and Device Manufacturers Out to Dry.

01.20.15 | Kansas has joined a short, but growing, list of states introducing legislation purporting to give terminally ill patients the option to try drug treatments not yet approved by the FDA, but which have passed Phase One FDA testing. However, the legislation does not incentivize any manufacturer to provide such drugs and in fact potentially exposes a manufacturer who does provide access to additional risk of lawsuits.

Frying the Frye Test and Increasing the Caps: New Amendments to Kansas Civil Actions and Civil Procedure

07.11.14 | K.S.A. 60-19a02 has been amended, increasing Kansas's long-standing cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) recoverable in personal injury. K.S.A. 60-456(b) has also been amended to mirror the requirements for the admissibility of expert testimony set forth in Fed. R. Evid. 702.

ACOG and Permanent Brachial Plexus Injuries at Birth

07.07.14 | After sitting on the sidelines for years the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has released a comprehensive medical review that deals a fatal blow to claims that permanent injuries are definitive evidence of error by the delivering physician.

In a differential etiology, experts need not rule out all possible causes

06.23.14 | Experts are not required to rule out all possible causes when performing the differential etiology analysis if the experts have properly ruled in the alleged cause.

Medical Malpractice: Strict Compliance with the Missouri Health Care Affidavit Statute is a Must

06.16.14 | Medical malpractice plaintiffs must comply with the Health Care Affidavit statute (Mo.Rev.Stat. 538.225), or face dismissal.

Punitive Damages Part 1: Don't Get Caught Flat-Footed

04.29.14 | A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.

Workers' Compensation + Retaliation = Missouri Supreme Court adopts the "contributing factor" standard

04.22.14 | A man who sued his former employer, alleging he was discharged in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim, appealed on the basis that the trial court used a jury instruction with the wrong standard. In a 5-2 decision written by Judge George W. Draper III, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the 'exclusive causation' standard and replaced it with the "contributing factor" standard. On remand and in future cases, the jury must determine whether the plaintiff's filing of a workers' compensation claim was a "contributing factor" to his or her discharge.

Kansas abolishes assumption of the risk defense.

04.21.14 | Based on its adoption of a statutory scheme of comparative negligence, Kansas has abolished common law assumption of the risk as a bar to recovery. Simmons v. Porter, 298 Kan. 299, 312 P3d 345, 355 (Kan. 2013).

A mundane lesson from an important decision, or, the importance of presenting evidence

03.20.14 | The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.

No Signed Settlement Necessary, Except When It Is

02.25.14 | In Kansas, the parties bind themselves to an enforceable settlement, even though the parties contemplate subsequent execution of a formal instrument. However, when the parties specifically condition a contract on it being reduced to writing and signed, there is no enforceable contract until such act is accomplished.

Missouri's New Uninsured Motorist Law Precludes Uninsured Driver's Right to Non-Economic Damages

11.06.13 | It is now incumbent upon defense counsel to conduct discovery regarding plaintiff's insurance coverage, and plead the new statute as a defense where appropriate. The new law, however, may face challenges from plaintiffs' counsel on state constitutional grounds.