A unanimous jury agreed with SAKG attorneys that a crossing was not “abnormally dangerous” in a case involving a car-train collision in Little River County, Arkansas. The injured driver claimed the crossing could not be used with reasonable safety by a careful driver and asked the jury for $9 million in damages against The Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Through locomotive video, photos, and eyewitness testimony, SAKG demonstrated that the train was in full view blowing its horn, and the driver failed to slow, stop, look and listen. SAKG also called as witnesses several local residents and city leaders who use the crossing safely and showed that millions of cars have safely crossed over the years. It took the jury 35 minutes to deliver a defense verdict to the trial team of Sean Hamer, Paula Brown and paralegal Karen Frisbie.
The SAKG team of Todd Scharnhorst, Bret Clark, and Karil Watkins recently achieved a defense verdict for a local ENT surgeon in a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
The plaintiff underwent a thyroidectomy on June 24, 2020 performed by the Defendant ENT surgeon. It was subsequently discovered plaintiff had primary thyroid lymphoma, which is primarily treated with chemotherapy, rather than surgery. Plaintiff claimed the Defendant ENT surgeon was negligent in failing to obtain a preoperative biopsy, in failing to obtain an incisional biopsy, in attempting to fully resect the cancerous mass after receiving intraoperative frozen section results, and in performing a thyroidectomy for purposes of treating the patient’s symptoms. Defendant denied the allegations, claiming a preoperative biopsy would have provided limited benefit, and the plaintiff’s worsening symptoms were appropriate surgical indications for a thyroidectomy. Further, given the differential diagnosis following receipt of the frozen section, Defendant claimed exploring complete surgical resection of the cancer was indicated.
After a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant.
For the second year in a row, SAKG is honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work by the Kansas City Business Journal. To celebrate, SAKG attorneys and staff attended a special event at Arrowhead Stadium which showcased all the nominated organizations.
Last weekend, SAKG took part in Sunflower House’s Annual Pumpkin Palooza event by sponsoring and decorating a booth and handing out candy to hundreds of children. The event included many of these trick-or-treating stations along with other entertaining activities for kids.
Sunflower House is a non-profit organization which advocates for children who are victims of abuse. Read more about their mission here.
Last month, SAKG staff took part in the 2nd Annual Literacy KC Classic. The staff enjoyed an afternoon of mini golf at Power & Light while benefitting the mission of Literacy KC, which aims to advance literacy throughout the Kansas City area by offering collaborative services and spearheading advocacy efforts.
SAKG participated in the Summer Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2022, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ annual signature fundraiser. As the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers and children, ages 5 through young adulthood in communities across the country.
SAKG raised over $3,000 for the cause and in celebration, enjoyed a bowling party alongside other companies that participated in the event.
SAKG is pleased to announce Gregory Frias as the newest associate attorney at the firm. Greg will focus his practice on commercial litigation and health care litigation.
Greg graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas School of Law in 2019, and has since served as the law clerk to the Honorable Justine E. Del Muro of the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. He has also gained experience working with cases involving automobile and trucking product defects, wrongful death, and dangerous consumer products.
Congratulations to Sean Hamer and his team in a success before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming summary judgment in favor of The Kansas City Southern Railway Company.
On the morning of October 7, 2012, Nathan Blanton, an employee of ITS Technologies and Logistics, LLC, was working as a locomotive engineer at the Richards-Gebaur International Freight Center — a facility in Grandview, Missouri owned by The Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Blanton was operating a locomotive to switch railcars from one track to another at the facility. Prior to moving the locomotive on to an industrial lead track at the facility, Blanton contacted the KCSR dispatcher and was warned by the dispatcher that there were empty railcars stored on the industrial lead track. After being warned of the empty railcars stored on the industrial lead track, Blanton operated the locomotive on to the industrial lead track and collided with the railcars. Blanton claimed to have suffered career-ending injuries as a result of the collision.
Blanton filed a workers’ compensation claim with ITS and received a lump-sum payment after settling the claim. Blanton then filed suit against KCSR in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri asserting a claim for common law negligence in which he sought to recover damages in excess of $2 million for the injuries he claimed in the October 2012 incident. District Court Judge Beth Phillips granted summary judgment for KCSR based on the affirmative defense of statutory employment, a doctrine extending the obligations and protections of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act to employers who have labor performed by contract. Concluding that KCSR had demonstrated on the undisputed facts that it qualified as Blanton’s statutory employer and, therefore, Blanton’s sole remedy lie in the Act, the District Court dismissed Blanton’s Complaint.
On July 1, 2022, SAKG obtained summary judgment for fintech client Greensky, LLC, which was recently acquired by Goldman Sachs for a reported $2.24 billion. The plaintiff in the case alleged fraud and other claims in connection with his purchase of solar panels from A1 Solar Source, Inc. The purchase had been financed by Greensky. In granting summary judgment, the Jackson County court agreed Greensky could not be held liable for damages the plaintiff allegedly suffered at the hands of A1 Solar. Cameron Grant handled the motion for Greensky.
On May 26, 2022, the SAKG team of Kelly Murphy, Brent Coverdale, and Sarah Newton achieved a defense verdict for a local law enforcement agency after a bench trial in Jackson County Circuit Court. The plaintiff was a former police officer who challenged the decision that his disability-related retirement be considered non-duty rather than a disability caused by the performance of his job. The case involved the interpretation of state retirement statutes and the agency’s scope of review. The SAKG team successfully defeated claims that the agency failed to follow the statutory scheme and the statutory procedures for disability retirement benefits.
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