In the area of complex litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation, BSCR’s exceptional legal skills and business efficiency intersect, giving our firm an outstanding reputation defending these actions throughout the United States. The firm has been selected to serve as national and regional trial counsel in numerous federal multidistrict litigation and state coordinated proceedings, including in major product liability and Fair Labor Standards Act cases.
The breadth of our experience encompasses multiple practice areas and involves the frequent representation of Fortune 500 companies. With one of our attorneys having been involved in the drafting of rules that govern complex litigation, our firm has intimate knowledge of the process. Our experience also includes having acted as lead coordinating counsel in one of the seminal class action tort cases first filed in Missouri, and the handling of important appellate cases, including a groundbreaking case that established restrictions on filing class actions against pharmaceutical companies.
Another important skill we bring to complex litigation and class actions is our effective and efficient use of discovery. We understand the federal electronic discovery rules and various state rules; we effectively negotiate reasonable scope restrictions; and we apply state-of-the art data retention and search tools to unearth the facts of a case quickly.
We have handled class actions or complex litigation cases in the following industries: aerospace; agricultural; automotive; construction; food and beverage; banking, mortgage and financial; healthcare; hospitality; insurance; pharmaceutical and medical device; and, retail and consumer.
Our attorneys have experience in all aspects of class actions (whether state or federal), including certifying and decertifying class actions; providing notice to individual class action members; representing clients in fairness hearings; appealing district court orders granting or denying class action certification; and representing clients in “collective action” litigation.
For more information about our Complex, Class Action and Multi District Litigation practice contact Tom Sterchi or John Cowden in Kansas City at 816.471.2121. In St. Louis, contact Steve Sanders or Lisa Larkin at 314.345.5000.
News & Events
| Elizabeth "Betsy" Miller joins the firm's Kansas City office as a civil defense litigation associate, with an emphasis in the areas of personal injury, products liability, and class action and multidistrict litigation.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC, has added Laura K. Beasley to the firm's Belleville, Illinois office. Beasley, who joined the firm as a Member, practices in the areas of civil litigation defense, general liability, class action/mass torts, insurance coverage, personal injury, and product liability
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Douglas Hill as an attorney with the firm's Kansas City office. Hill is an experienced litigator, managing a diverse civil defense practice that includes professional negligence, product liability, industrial and job site injuries, and general business litigation. He has extensive experience representing ...
| David Eisenberg was a contributing commentator to a Law 360 article on the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in American Express Co. et al. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, regarding the issue of class action arbitration waiver. Comments from David and attorneys across the country were included in the online publication on June 20, 2013 under the title "Attorneys React to High Court's Arbitration Ruling."
| David Eisenberg was a contributing commentator to a Law 360 article on the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter, regarding arbitrabiity of class action claims. The article "Class Action Attorneys React to High Court's Arbitration Ruling" is available to Law 360 subscribers.
| John Cowden was one of several attorneys that spoke at a recent Class Action Conference in Tennessee. Cowden spoke on class action developments and trends in Missouri, including developments in settlements, e-discovery, attorney fee awards, and consumer fraud act decisions with an emphasis on significant automotive lawsuits.
| At the 2012 ALFA International Client Seminar, David Eisenberg will appear on a panel that will discuss "Class Actions after Wal-Mart v. Dukes." The seminar, hosted by the Labor & Employment Practice Group, is scheduled for March 8-11, 2012 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ.
| Angela Higgins has written an article on severance of multiple claims in a complex tort case and removal to federal court, which will be published in the Summer 2010 edition of the ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section Newsletter.
| SECOND UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs Senate Bill 7, which amends venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.
| Even with asbestos litigation on the slow decline, Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois remain the top venues for asbestos litigation.
| Missouri has continued to hold that arbitration agreements are not unconscionable when they are shown to have valid mutual assent and are not self-serving.
| With great power comes great responsibility; how the recent SCOTUS decision requiring prescription-drug manufacturers to prove the FDA rejected sufficient additional warnings will affect your impossibility preemption defense.
| UPDATE: House Passes Senate Bill 7, in which the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.
| The Supreme Court has issued another ruling limiting class-action claims, in favor of individual arbitration, this time finding that contractual ambiguity is no substitute for a clear expression of consent to class-wide arbitration.
| The Illinois Appellate Court has held employees' claims under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act do not constitute "wage or hour violations" subject to mandatory arbitration under an employment agreement.
| The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, held that a party may timely withdraw a previously disclosed testifying expert and redesignate said expert as a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant entitled to the consultant's privilege against disclosure absent exceptional circumstances.
| The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure give parties just 14 days to appeal a ruling granting or denying certification of a class action. The United States Supreme Court recently found that deadline to be "purposefully unforgiving," and rejected an appeal from a plaintiff who missed the deadline because he opted to seek reconsideration of the trial court's class certification ruling before trying to appeal.
| In Senate Bill 7, the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.
| Illinois Supreme Court has held that no damages beyond the statutory violation itself are required to state a claim for the improper collection, retention, or dissemination of biometric identifiers under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act.
| Defense attorneys beware. The 2018-2019 American Tort Reform Foundation's (ATRF) Judicial Hellholes Report is out, and the City of St. Louis landed fourth on this list because of its massive verdicts, forum shopping, and legislative failures.
| In August 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Dish Network L.L.C. v. Ray, an important ruling in the field of arbitration clauses and their effect on potential class action litigation. The Tenth Circuit specifically addressed the question of who should determine whether an arbitration clause allows classwide arbitration: a court or an arbitrator?
| The Missouri Legislature introduced bills during its most recent legislative session to curtail forum shopping of class action plaintiffs in Missouri. This anti-forum shopping legislation, while not ultimately enacted into law, would have limited out-of-state plaintiffs from joining lawsuits involving local claims against out-of-state defendants.
| Candy manufacturers nationwide are increasingly finding themselves in Missouri state court, facing class action allegations that their use of over-sized packaging misleads consumers into believing the package contains more product than is actually present.
| The United States Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that the Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad, permits service by mail if the receiving country has not objected to service by mail and service by mail is authorized under otherwise-applicable law.
| A federal judge in North Carolina agreed with Bayer that federal law preempts all of plaintiff's claims against Bayer in a medical device case. The judge then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the medical malpractice claims against the healthcare providers and dismissed those claims as well.
| A federal judge in Indiana relied on the Seventh Circuit's decision in Bausch v. Stryker Corp., 630 F.3d 546 (7th Cir. 2010) to reject a medical device maker's argument that federal law preempts plaintiff's claims, including plaintiff's negligence per se claim.
| The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that the attorney-client privilege protects a party from being required to disclose that her attorney referred her to treating doctors.
| Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens signed Missouri HB 153 into law. HB 153, which supplants Missouri's existing expert witness standard with that set forth in Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, 704 and 705, effectively submits expert testimony in most civil and criminal case to the analysis set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).
| Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.
| 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.
| The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit affirms a motion to dismiss, ruling that a plaintiff alleging a statutory violation must establish a "concrete injury."
| On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Green v. Brennan in order to resolve a split among the Circuits on whether, in an action for constructive discharge, the 45-day limitation period for the employee to initiate contact with the EEOC begins to run after the employer's last discriminatory act, or at the time of the employee's resignation.
| The District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted certain members of UnitedHealth health plans class certification in their suit alleging improper denial of benefits. Plaintiffs in the putative class allege they were improperly denied coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment by United Behavioral Health ("UBH"), which administers mental health and substance use disorder benefits under their health insurance plans.
| In October, the Department of Justice's special health care fraud prevention team announced settlements of more than $719 million. The settlements involved allegations of illegal kickbacks, unnecessary medical treatments and premature implantations of medical devices.
| The Eighth Circuit recently analyzed the application of the “outside sales” and “administrative” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the context of promotional workers. Also, the Court was asked to decide, for the first time, what constitutes a valid waiver of an employee’s rights under the FLSA.
| A defendant removing a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act need not provide evidence proving the jurisdictional amount in controversy in the notice of removal. A "short and plain statement of the grounds for removal" is sufficient.
| On January 14th, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Mississippi ex rel. Jim Hood, Attorney General v. Au Optronics Corp., et al., No. 12-1036, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 645, and made clear that in order to sustain a "mass action" in federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 ("CAFA"), plaintiffs must be named parties before the court.
| Exactly when, during the course of a state court class action, that case may have become removable to federal court, can be a tricky question. Defendants must act within 30 days from when it can "first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable", or forfeit their right to remove. On the other hand, if the court deems a removal premature, the case may be remanded.
| The Missouri Supreme Court has held that putative class action plaintiffs claiming injury due to allegedly fraudulent overbilling for medical care cannot recover because they were unable to show they actually suffered any damages in that they neither incurred nor paid the charges at issue.