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Complex, Class Action & MDLView Practice as PDF

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

Baker Sterchi Welcomes Gregorio Silva in Kansas City

03.26.20 | Gregorio Silva joins Baker Sterchi's Kansas City office as an associate. His practice is focused on civil defense litigation in a variety of practice areas, including personal injury, products liability, multidistrict (MDL) litigation, premises liability and catastrophic injuries.

Baker Sterchi Adds Jennifer Maloney in St. Louis

10.29.19 | Jennifer Maloney has joined the St. Louis office of the law firm of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC as a Member. Maloney's practice is focused on civil litigation defense, primarily in the areas of premises liability, product liability, personal injury and transportation.

Elizabeth Miller Joins Kansas City Office of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

06.17.19 | 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 Adds Beasley as Member in Belleville, IL Office

05.06.19 | 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

Douglas Hill Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice in Kansas City

10.04.18 | 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 ...

Law360 Article Includes Eisenberg Commentary on Supreme Court's Arbitration Decision in AmEx v. Italian Colors

06.24.13 | 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."

Law 360 Quotes Eisenberg on High Court Arbitration Ruling in Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter

06.12.13 | 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.

Cowden Speaks at Conference on Missouri Class Action Developments

11.16.12 | 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.

Eisenberg to Participate on ALFA International Client Seminar Panel

09.23.11 | 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.

Higgins Article to be Published in ABA Newsletter

07.01.10 | 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.


BSCR Helps Auto Finance Company Client Avoid Class Action Lawsuit

BSCR secured a dismissal in St. Louis County Circuit Court for an Arkansas auto finance company client facing a potential class action lawsuit comprised of a nationwide class of people who purchased automobiles financed by the company.

BSCR Obtains Complete Dismissal of Cases Against Pharmaceutical Client

In 2007, Plaintiffs began filing lawsuits against four pharmaceutical manufacturers and sponsors of gadolinium based contrast agents ("GBCAs") alleging that the GBCAs caused or contributed to cause a rare disease now known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis ("NSF"). Close to 1000 cases were filed in various state and federal courts over a period of four years. . .

No-Payment Dismissal of Claims Secured for Product Supplier in Wrongful Death Jet Crash

BSCR secured dismissal of our client, a hydraulics system product supplier, in a case in which plaintiffs sued multiple parties alleging mechanical defects in the hydraulic system of a jet airliner causing the crash and death of all passengers and crewmembers. The case, filed in Cook County, Illinois, included mechanical, electrical and hydraulic engineering issues. . .

Blog Posts

Missouri House Approves Stricter Standards for Punitive Damages Claims

05.13.20 | In an update to a prior post, Senate Bill 591 (which seeks to impose stricter standards for the application of punitive damages) cleared The Missouri House on May 12, 2020 in a 98-51 vote. The Bill, now on its way to Governor Parson for his signature, will likely go into effect on August 28, 2020. Governor Parson is expected to sign the measure without veto.

Eighth Circuit Holds Federal Question Jurisdiction Can Be Found in the Details

05.11.20 | Despite causes of action asserting only state law claims, a court may find federal question jurisdiction where the complaint's allegations, prayer for relief, or both do not rely exclusively upon state law.

City of St. Louis falls to 5th on the Judicial Hellhole list with Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois close behind ranking 7th.

02.12.20 | City of St. Louis has seen a steady decline on the judicial hellhole rankings with modest reforms but the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair remain hotspots for asbestos litigation and "no-injury" BIPA lawsuits according to the 2019/2020 American Tort Reform Foundation Judicial Hellholes Report.

City of St. Louis falls to 5th on the Judicial Hellhole list with Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois close behind ranking 7th.

02.12.20 | City of St. Louis has seen a steady decline on the judicial hellhole rankings with modest reforms but the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair remain hotspots for asbestos litigation and "no-injury" BIPA lawsuits according to the 2019/2020 American Tort Reform Foundation Judicial Hellholes Report.

Ninth Circuit Allows Class Action Against Facebook under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act to Proceed in California

09.25.19 | The Ninth Circuit has acknowledged the extraterritorial reach of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, opening the door to a class action in California for violations of the statute as against persons using Facebook from locations in Illinois.

United States Supreme Court Holds Counterclaim Defendants May Not Remove Diverse Lawsuits

07.25.19 | The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a third-party defendant is not entitled to remove because neither the General Removal Statute nor the Class Action Fairness Act permits a third-party counterclaim defendant to do so.

Second Update: Hopping On The Missouri Bandwagon? Not So Fast Out Of State Litigants.

07.16.19 | 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.

Illinois Counties Remain Top Jurisdictions for Asbestos Litigation in 2018

07.08.19 | Even with asbestos litigation on the slow decline, Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois remain the top venues for asbestos litigation.

From the East to the West, Does Arbitration in Missouri Reign Best? Missouri Courts Uphold and Invalidate Arbitration Agreements

06.25.19 | 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.

Can't satisfy both the FDA and the State? The judge will be the judge of that.

06.20.19 | 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: Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

05.20.19 | 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.

SCOTUS Strikes Another Blow to Class-Action Claims, Favoring Individual Arbitration

05.13.19 | 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.

Illinois Appellate Court Holds Employer's Alleged Biometric Information Privacy Act Violation Is Not Subject to Arbitration

04.16.19 | 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.

In a case of first impression, the Appellate Court of Illinois allows counsel to withdraw previously disclosed testifying expert

04.12.19 | 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.

SCOTUS Rebuffs Ninth Circuit's Attempt to "Soften" Deadline to Appeal Class Action Certification

03.25.19 | 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.

Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

03.18.19 | 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 Confirms State's Biometric Information Privacy Act Has Real Teeth

02.18.19 | 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.

City of St. Louis - Still A Judicial Hellhole

12.26.18 | 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.

Adding to a Circuit Split, the Tenth Circuit Rules that Arbitrators May Determine Whether Classwide Arbitration is Allowed

09.13.18 | 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?

ANTI-FORUM SHOPPING: Limitation on Joinder in Missouri on the Horizon

06.18.18 | 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.

Class Action Slack-Fill Litigation in Missouri: How to Keep a Case in Federal Court

10.31.17 | 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.

You've Got Mail - Service of Process by Mail is Satisfactory under the Hague Service Convention

05.30.17 | 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.

Federal Judge Clobbers Claims in a Class III Medical Device Case

05.22.17 | 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.

Indiana Judge Relies on Bausch to Bounce Preemption Motion

05.15.17 | 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.

Court Muzzles Counsel: Says Defendants Cannot Ask Plaintiffs if Their Attorneys Referred Them to Treating Physicians

04.27.17 | 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.

The Daubert Standard - Coming Soon to a Missouri Court Near You

03.31.17 | 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).

Federal Judges Blow Their Stacks Over Boilerplate Objections

03.27.17 | Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.

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.

The Eighth Circuit Applies Recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Spokeo to Affirm Dismissal

10.14.16 | 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."

Constructive Discharge Claims: When Does the 45-Day Period for Initiating Contact with the EEOC Begin to Run?

06.08.16 | 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.

UnitedHealth Plan Holders Win Class Certification in ERISA Lawsuit

05.03.16 | 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.

Forget the Pitchers - The H.E.A.T. Team Brought the Real Heat in October

11.10.15 | 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 Provides Clarity on Outside Sales Exemption and Waiver Requirements under FLSA

04.01.15 | 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.

The Supreme Court's Jurisdictional Stretch in Resolving the Evidence Needed to Support a CAFA Removal

01.06.15 | 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.

Mississippi v. Au Optronics: Will There be an Increase in Parens Patriae Suits?

01.22.14 | 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.

Eighth Circuit Weighs In on CAFA Removal, and the "Other Paper" Clause

07.26.13 | 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.

Despite Having Standing to Sue, Plaintiffs Cannot Recover Damages for Medical Bills They Did Not Pay and Were Not Obligated to Pay

01.01.13 | 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.

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