In the News

November 2016 News

Joseph Blanton and John Cozean along with attorneys from Shook, Hardy and Bacon of Kansas City successfully represented a large financial services company in defeating an attempt to certify a class action in Wayne County, Missouri. Attorney Shaun Hanschen has been admitted to practice in the State of Arkansas. Firm attorneys are now admitted to practice in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Kansas and Arkansas as well as numerous Federal District Courts, U. S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and the U. S. Supreme Court and U. S. Tax Court. Attorney Joseph Blanton has been named as the representative of Legal Services of Southern Missouri on the Missouri Statewide IOLTA Board. This Board is responsible for allocating the earnings from Missouri attorney IOLTA accounts among the Legal Services programs in Missouri. 

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October 2016 News

Diedre Peters has joined the firm as an associate.  Diedre is a native of Mississippi County, Missouri and graduated from Charleston High School.  She is a graduate of Columbia College and the University of Illinois Law School.  At the University of Illinois, she was a member of the University of Illinois Law Review.

Joseph Blanton has been named as a member of the Federal Practice Committee for the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and a trustee of the Missouri Supreme Court Historical Society.

 

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Joseph Blanton has been designated a Premier Trial Attorney for the State of Missouri from the National Academy of Jurisprudence. This designation is limited to the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in the state. He has also been included in the 2017 Edition of the Best Lawyers in America for medical malpractice and product liability defense and commercial litigation. He along with the firm have been retained by a large financial services company to defend a putative class action pending in Southeast Missouri.
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May 2016 Updates

Joseph Blanton, Rachel Harris and Shaun Hanschen received a favorable ruling in May 2016 from the Missouri Court of Appeals in a case styled Lawson Estate v. Murphy. The case involved a challenge to a ruling made by the Probate Court of Dunklin County, Missouri relating to a conservatorship estate which owns a large farm. The Court of Appeals affirmed the actions taken by the firm’s clients with respect to the farming operation.

Joseph Blanton, Shaun Hanschen and John Cozean recently obtained a summary judgment for a firm client in a lawsuit against a large insurance company that had denied liability under a life insurance policy. The case was styled Price v. Prudential Life Insurance Company of America. The U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division, ruled that the firm’s client should recover the face amount of the policy, $173,000, after finding that the client was entitled to reformation of the policy’s beneficiary form.

Joseph Blanton and Lewis Blanton recently settled a boundary line dispute case for the firm’s clients, which include a national drugstore chain and its landlord in Dexter, Missouri. The case involved complicate land title and surveying issues.

The National Academy of Jurisprudence has selected Joseph C. Blanton, Jr. as a Premier Trial Attorney for the State of Missouri.

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April 2016 Updates

Joe Blanton and Shaun Hanschen recently settled a Federal Court case on behalf of a client. The settlement is confidential. The firm in 2016 has closed a number of significant transactions involving farms and real estate.

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Joseph Blanton and Shaun Hanschen obtained a pre-suit settlement in January 2016 for a client in a premises liability suit in the amount of $300,000. The client suffered a broken arm in the incident.

Joseph Blanton and Shaun Hanschen advised a group of local investors in December 2016 in the sale of a nationally franchised hotel.

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Attorneys Joseph Blanton and Shaun Hanschen recently settled a suit for unpaid overtime payments for firm clients. Attorney Joseph Blanton recently settled a farm accident personal injury case for a firm client. Both settlements were confidential.

Joseph Blanton has been admitted to practice in the State of Texas.

The firm continues to be retained by farmers who seek to be part of the Syngenta Corn Class Actions and continues to serve as counsel in Southeast Missouri for those actions.

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Patrick Douglas (left) and John Cozean (right) recently obtained a summary judgment in favor of a Firm Client in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in a product liability case.

The Firm is now on the approved panel counsel list for Healthcare Services Group, a large insurer of Hospitals and Physicians in Missouri.

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John Cozean has been elected as Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a national honorary society which is limited to the top 1/2 of 1 percent of litigation attorneys. John will be installed as a Fellow at the Fall meeting of the society in Charleston, SC in October. Firm Members Joseph Blanton and Bryan Nickell are also fellows.

Bryan Nickell and Tom Collins have received AV Preeminent ratings from Martindale­-Hubbell, the leading rating service for attorneys.

Tom Collins and Shaun Hanschen recently completed the settlement of a large contested matter for a local client. They achieved the settlement less than 3 months after the case was filed.

Joseph Blanton, Jr. is listed in the 2015 Edition of the Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice and Product Liability Defense and Commercial Litigation.
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Tort Reform 2015

This Session the Missouri General Assembly and the Missouri Senate passed Senate Bill 239, which re-institutes caps on non-economic damages in lawsuits against healthcare providers. Governor Nixon signed the legislation into law on May 7, 2015. The new law goes into effect on August 28, 2015.

This legislation was intended to effectively overrule the Missouri Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in Watts v. Lester E Cox Medical Centers which held that there are no caps on awards of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases not involving deaths. This legislation is thought to be a compromise between groups associated with healthcare providers and attorneys who represent Plaintiffs in medical negligence actions.

The Bill creates three different limitations on awards of non-economic damages. The limits are as follows:

  1. $400,000.00 for non-­catastrophic personal injuries;
  2. $700,000.00 for catastrophic injuries; and
  3. $700,000.00 in wrongful death cases.

These limits are scheduled to increase by 1.7% annually.

To deal with the argument that caps and medical negligence cases violate the right to jury trial provision in the Missouri Constitution, the Bill creates a new cause of action for damages against healthcare providers for personal injury or death.

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