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In Brief: A Digest of Appellate Projects

Client Success
  • The Seventh Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of our client, a 1000 manufacturer, on former worker’s retaliatory discharge claim. The court of appeals narrowly construed the Illinois decisions relied upon by the worker and held that worker could not prove that he was terminated based upon anticipated exercise of workers’ compensation rights when the evidence established that worker was terminated for failing to call in his absences in accordance with company policy;
  • The Illinois Court of Appeals upheld the Property Tax Appeal Board’s grant of a reduction of approximately 18 million dollars in the fair market value of our client’s manufacturing facility in East Alton, Illinois. The reduction represented approximately half of the fair market value imposed by the Madison County assessor. We also represented the client before the Property Tax Appeal Board and on appeal. The Illinois Supreme Court denied review of the court of appeals’ decision;
  • Represented the distributor in a matter in which the court of appeals reversed grant of summary judgment to supplier on distributor's claims for products liability and negligence. Applying the component parts doctrine, the court of appeals determined that material issues of fact precluded summary judgment;
  • Attained a significant appellate victory in an asbestos matter when the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District upheld $3.1 million in damages awarded to the family of a Kansas City, Missouri man who died of mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the pleural lining of the lungs, in 2007. Decedent’s family filed suit against several companies that supplied ceiling tiles and other construction materials containing asbestos. A Clay County, Missouri jury awarded $4.5 million, offset by $1.4 million the family had received in separate settlements. Both sides appealed, and the Court of Appeals ruled that the firm’s client had no liability in the case and that its $1.1 million share of damages should be parceled out to the other defendants;
  • Obtained a favorable ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, that affirmed a lower court order denying remand and class certification in a Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) lawsuit against Chicago Title Insurance Co.
  • Represented a national developer of retail shopping centers seeking to acquire property in a development area by eminent domain. Prepared briefs for the Missouri Supreme Court, which reversed and authorized the condemnation to proceed;
  • Represented a chemical distributor before the court of appeals on claims of product liability and negligence. The court reversed the grant of summary judgment to the supplier, and applying the component parts doctrine, determined that material issues of fact precluded summary judgment;
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit asserting ERISA claims against HMO stemming from coverage dispute, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit;
  • Won dismissal of lawsuit against HMO in a case involving subrogation of Medicaid recoveries, which was affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals;
  • Defended a challenge regarding the transfer of a large tract of land in a resort community to client, a developer. Plaintiffs argued that the transfer was prohibited by restrictive covenants in the subdivision indenture, but following a bench trial, the court held that the transfer was proper. Judgment was upheld on appeal;
  • Obtained reversal in appeal to the Texas Supreme Court in favor of the City of Austin while defending a challenge to a significant environmental protection ordinance.
  • Obtained favorable decision from the Texas Supreme Court in a case dealing with the scope of an arbitrator’s authority and the grounds for vacating an arbitrator’s decision.
  • Obtained reversal in the Texas Supreme Court of an adverse judgment in a suit attempting to void a foreclosure sale of a valuable commercial tract of land.
  • Upheld a judgment of more than $1 million, including trial court discovery abuse sanctions of more than $100,000, in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
  • Argued a case to the Texas Supreme Court dealing with a significant sovereign immunity issue in the context of breach of contract actions against the state.
  • Filed an amicus brief in a case before the Texas Supreme Court dealing with the issue of whether electric cooperative corporations have statutory authority to create and own for-profit subsidiaries;
  • Upheld on appeal a declaratory judgment against a state agency regarding eligibility for the state’s Medicaid managed-care program.