Representing some of the largest retailers in the nation, the hospitality industry, restaurants, manufacturers and many other businesses, BSCR takes an aggressive approach to defending premises liability matters, having successfully defended multi-million dollar cases.
We make an early evaluation of the claim, arriving at our client’s place of business almost immediately after an incident has occurred, taking care to investigate and preserve evidence that could influence our litigation strategy.
To the extent possible, we make early case evaluations as to whether a case should be settled early or defended.
We identify public relations fallout that could adversely affect the business concerns of our larger clients. These concerns, too, drive our strategy.
As experienced litigators well versed in negligence issues in the premises liability context, we never shy away from taking our cases to trial when necessary. Because members of the plaintiff’s bar in our area know this about us, we are often successful in reaching mediated settlements that are favorable to our clients.
This is our approach whether our clients are facing possible liability for slip and falls, industrial accidents, civil rights complaints, claims of failing to provide adequate security, and those matters which result in serious injuries or death.
For more information about our Premises Liability practice contact Jim Jarrow or Shawn Rogers in Kansas City at 816.471.2121. In St. Louis, contact Terry O’Toole or Richard Woolf at 314.345.5000.
News & Events
| 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.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC has enhanced its Belleville, Illinois presence with the addition of Greg Odom and Meghan Kane.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice welcomes Ryan O'Grady to the firm's Kansas City office. O'Grady's practice with the firm will be focused on civil defense litigation with an emphasis in the areas of personal injury defense, premises liability, and product liability.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice welcomes Haley Stevenson to the firm's Kansas City office. Stevenson concentrates her practice in civil defense litigation with an emphasis in the areas of premises liability, products liability, and personal injury for the retail and trucking industries.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Jessica Cozart to the firm's St. Louis office. Cozart joins the firm as Of Counsel, practicing in the areas of property and casualty litigation, insurance coverage and insurance defense involving claims of personal injury, premise and products liability, construction defects, food & beverage liability and entertainment & leisure liability.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Julie Simaytis to the firm's St. Louis office. Simaytis joins the firm as Of Counsel. Having practiced exclusively in litigation for over fifteen years, her practice is focused on...
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Andreea Sharkey to the firm's St. Louis office, where she will focus her practice in defending insurance, personal injury, general liability and product liability litigation.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome John Kellogg to the firm's Kansas City office. Kellogg joins the firm as Of Counsel, practicing in the areas of premises liability, construction law, personal injury and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on...
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Kehl Friesen as an attorney in the firm's Kansas City office. Friesen's practice with the firm will focus on civil litigation with an emphasis on ...
| 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 ...
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Brandy Simpson, who joins the firm's St. Louis office as Of Counsel. While she primarily focuses her practice on medical malpractice defense, Simpson is also experienced in defending premises liability, personal injury, and products liability matters.
| Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to announce the promotion of John Patterson to Member effective January 1, 2018. Patterson practices in the areas of product liability, employment, construction/fidelity and surety, financial services litigation, premises liability...
BSCR successfully defended a wrongful death lawsuit involving an alleged opiate overdose where the decedent collapsed at our client's residence. Plaintiffs focused on...
Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice successfully defended a multimillion dollar claim, seeking actual and punitive damages. The Defendant was the owner of a convenience store and plaintiff alleged PTSD from...
BSCR defended a retailer sued by a shopper who was struck by a falling object. Plaintiff claimed a cervical injury that resulted in a cervical fusion. Plaintiff claimed permanent range of motion limitations in her neck due to the fusion.
In the trial of a premises liability case arising from alleged serious injuries sustained from a fall in an underground parking garage, a City of St. Louis jury returned a verdict in favor of our health care client.
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...
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 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 granted in favor of Baker Sterchi 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. . .
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 successfully defended a major retail client at trial where plaintiff claimed she tripped and fell over a mat in the client's store causing her to break her hip. Plaintiff asked the jury for an award of $4M. . .
BSCR negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of our client, an international airport, in an action filed in Platte County, Missouri in which plaintiff, an airline passenger, alleged injuries sustained due to dangerous property conditions at the airport.
| 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: 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.
| A seismic shift in Kansas personal injury litigation may be on the horizon, as the Kansas Supreme Court rules that the state's cap on noneconomic damages violates the constitutional right to a jury trial.
| 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 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| The Eighth Circuit deals severely with a plaintiff's failure to disclose information about non-retained experts, as required by Rule 26. The result underscores the importance of strict compliance with both the federal rules on discovery and those regarding sanctions for non-compliance.
| Governor Parson has signed Senate Bill 608, which enacts three new sections relating to civil liability due to criminal conduct. The Bill affords Missouri business owners greater protection against liability for criminal conduct that occurs on their property.
| We recently reported on a ruling of the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals that there was sufficient evidence to support the giving of the negligence instruction in a case where an employer was found liable for damages sustained when an employee was injured by a third party criminal act. The Missouri Supreme Court has now upheld that ruling. In Wieland v. Owner-Operator Services, Inc., Wieland was...
| 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.
| 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.
| In the case of Wilson v. Dura-Seal and Stripe, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District held that the “acceptance doctrine” is still valid law in Missouri, and bars liability against a construction contractor for the injury of a third party after the owner of the premises has accepted the work.
| 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 premises owner's duty to protect an invitee from the criminal acts of third parties is triggered by foreseeability. An employer's safety policies and procedures - and a failure to follow them - may be considered when determining the owner/employer's negligence toward an employee, in an assault that occurred on company premises.
| 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.
| 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.
| The Montreal Convention, a treaty which became effective in the United States on November 4, 2003, governs the rights and liabilities of international air carriers and passengers. Among its more important provisions, Article 29 of the Montreal Convention states that...
| 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.
| It has long been thegeneral rule in Missouri that for a party to contractually release itself from or limit liability for its own future negligence, the language in the contract must be clear, unequivocal, conspicuous and must explicitly include the word "negligence" or "fault." However, when the contract is negotiated at arm's length between "sophisticated commercial entities", a party can release itself from or limit liability with less precise language.
| 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.
| 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.
| A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.
| 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.
| 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).
| The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.
| 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.