2013 News

  • How Much Flexibility Do I Have in Billing the Patient? Weighing the risks of waiving insurance copays

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the December 2013 issue of St. Louis Metropolitan Medicine entitled “How Much Flexibility Do I Have in Billing the Patient?”

    Click here to download a copy of the article, or visit the St. Louis Metropolitan Medicine website.

    http://www.slmms.org/index.php/magazine/online-magazine-archives/63-2013-online-magazine-archives

  • Client of Lashly & Baer, P.C. Awarded Settlement

    Comcast, defended by Andrew G. Toennies of Lashly & Baer, and its unnamed corporate representative were awarded $69,021.26 in attorney’s fees and costs as a sanction against plaintiffs’ attorneys after Comcast was sued by a company alleging computer hacking. The case was dismissed and the court granted Comcast’s request for attorney’s fees and costs.

    Read the story in its entirety at the Madison County Record.

  • Kenneth C. Brostron Selected as St. Louis Top 50 and Missouri Top 100 and Nine Others Selected into the 2013 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers. Plus, Four Selected as Rising Stars

    Kenneth C. Brostron has been selected by his peers as one of the Top 50: 2013 St. Louis Super Lawyers and Top 100: 2013 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers. Brostron ranked top of the list in both the Top 50 St. Louis and Top 100 categories, having been among those who received the highest point totals in the Missouri nominations, research and blue ribbon review process.

    In addition, ten lawyers were selected for inclusion into the 2013 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers edition. They are John Fox Arnold, Kenneth C. Brostron, Matthew J. Eddy, Kevin L. Fritz, Stefan J. Glynias, Terrance J. Good, James C. Hetlage, Stephen G. Reuter, Richard D. Watters, and Wendy J. Wolf. Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars has selected Mark R. Feldhaus, Patrick E. Foppe and Sarah J. Hugg-Turner and Tricia J. Mueller as top young lawyers in Missouri and Kansas for 2013.

    CLICK HERE to view the Press Release.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Gets Top Rankings from U.S. News & World Report

    U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has given Lashly & Baer, P.C. top marks in the St. Louis region by ranking the firm “Best Law Firms” for Metropolitan St. Louis First-Tier in Corporate Law, Health Care Law, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants in 2014.

    CLICK HERE to download the press release.

  • Photocopiers – The New Hotspot for HIPAA Risks

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorneys, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier and Tricia J. Mueller, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Fall 2013 Newsletter entitled “Photocopiers-The New Hotspot for HIPAA Risks”. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Fall Newsletter. http://www.hfmastlouis.org/images/Newsletters/2013/GatewayGatheringsFall2013.pdf


  • Lashly & Baer Attorney Speaks at the 2013 MoASBO Fall Conference

    On Monday, October 21, 2013, Lisa O. Stump, presented “Social Networking – Legal Implications in School Operations,” at the 2013 Missouri Association of School Business Officials (MoASBO) Fall Conference. The presentation addressed student discipline for off-campus conduct occurring on social networking sites, employees and social networking, and district use of social networking.

    To view the presentation, click here.

     

     

  • Lashly & Baer Hires Three New Associates

    Michael P. McGinley, Hannah M. Nelson and Emily M. Slaten have joined Lashly & Baer, P.C. as associates.  McGinley holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and practices in the area of business litigation. He is a 1997 graduate of Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Nelson holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and practices in the area of health care.  She is a 2010 graduate of Saint Louis University, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in Spanish and Legal Studies. Slaten holds a J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and focuses her practice in the areas of governmental and public institutions law and education law.  She is a 2007 graduate of Saint Louis University, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in History and a certificate in Business Administration.

    CLICK HERE to download the press release.

  • Attorney At Law Magazine® Names Lisa O. Stump Attorney Of The Month

    Lisa O. Stump has recently been named Attorney at Law Magazine’s Attorney of the Month for the Greater St. Louis Edition Vol2No2. Her experience, professionalism, client services, and diverse client base were all attributes considered for her selection as Attorney of the Month. Attorney at Law Magazine® is a professional business to business trade magazine for all attorneys in the state of Missouri, with a goal of profiling only the most distinguished attorneys, who are considered driving forces in the legal community. To read the complete article click here.

     

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  • Fair Labor Standards Act for Schools

    James C. Hetlage of Lashly & Baer, P.C. presented a talk on the applicability of the Fair Labor Standards Act in school districts at the Missouri School Boards Association Annual Conference on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The seminar covered common issues faced by Missouri school districts and other public and private sector employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, including improper classification of exempt and non-exempt employees, how to properly calculate overtime pay, the use of comp time in lieu of overtime and potential liability that employers face in overtime cases.

    If you would like more information, please contact James Hetlage at
    (314) 621-2939, or at jhetlage@lashlybaer.com.

  • Illinois Bans Using Handheld Cell Phones Behind the Wheel

    Effective January 1st, Illinois drivers cannot legally hold cell phones and talk. Public Act 98-0506 subjects drivers to a blanket ban on the use of “electronic communication devices” while operating motor vehicles on any Illinois roadway. The new law expands an existing ban in the Illinois Vehicle Code on texting and emailing while driving and will prohibit all use of electronic communication devices while driving but for a few narrow exceptions for things like hands free telephone calls, GPS navigation, CB and HAM radios, and emergency situations. The new law creates an exception for phones and other devices that can be used “by pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication.” Thus, many smart phones, like iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S4, which have voice activated features that allow the device to be used solely with hands free voice commands will be permitted.

    If you would like more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney, or Patrick E. Foppe at (314) 621-2939, or at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com

  • Missouri Legislature Overrides Veto of Volunteer Health Services Act

    By Richard D. Watters – On September 11, 2013, the Missouri Legislature overruled the Governor’s veto of the Volunteer Health Services Act which protects licensed healthcare providers (physicians, dentists, nurses, optometrists, mental health professionals and other state licensed or certified healthcare providers) from liability for civil damages for any act or omission resulting from healthcare services provided within their specialty and without charge, unless the act or omission was the result of a conscious disregard of the ordinary standard of care or willful misconduct.  Healthcare providers may be licensed by any state, but if not licensed in Missouri, they may not provide more than 60 days of service in any 90 day period.

    Not all volunteer health services are entitled to protection.  They must be provided to the patients of a sponsoring organization which arranges for such volunteer services.  The sponsoring organization must register with the state, maintain a list of its providers and their licenses, and file quarterly reports identifying the individuals providing the free healthcare services.

    CLICK HERE to download this article.

  • New Law in Missouri Requires Uninsured Motorists to Forfeit Recovery of Noneconomic Damages Under Certain Circumstances

    Yesterday, the Missouri Legislature overrode Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 339, which requires uninsured motorists to forfeit recovery of non-economic damages under certain circumstances. The new law, now section 303.390 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, prohibits an uninsured driver who is the owner of the vehicle or a driver operating a vehicle with or without permission who is uninsured from collecting for non-economic damages in a civil action against an insured motorist alleged to be at fault for an accident. The provisions do not apply to an uninsured driver who has lost his or her insurance coverage for failure to pay unless the notification of termination or non-renewal was provided at least six months prior to the accident. Reductions in damage awards based on the new law will not be disclosed to the trier of fact.

    The limitation does not apply to passengers in an uninsured driver’s vehicle and does not limit the recovery of benefits provided or economic losses. Recovery of non-economic damages in instances where an insured driver who is at fault because of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or who is convicted of involuntary manslaughter or second degree assault will still be allowed under the new law.

    If held constitutional by the courts of Missouri, the new law will dramatically limit recovery for injuries in cases to which it applies. Practitioners would be well advised to conduct discovery on these issues. Further, it remains to be seen whether the new law will require juries to complete a special verdict form allocating economic and non-economic damages similar to special verdicts required in medical malpractice cases in Missouri.

    The full text of Section 303.390 reads:

    1. An uninsured motorist shall waive the ability to have a cause of action or otherwise collect for non-economic loss against a person who is in compliance with the financial responsibility laws of this chapter due to a motor vehicle accident in which the insured driver is alleged to be at fault. For purposes of this section, the term “uninsured motorist” shall include:

    (1) An uninsured driver who is the owner of the vehicle;

    (2) An uninsured permissive driver of the vehicle; and

    (3) Any uninsured non-permissive driver. Such waiver shall not apply if it can be proven that the accident was caused, in whole or in part, by a tort-feasor who operated a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who is convicted of involuntary manslaughter under subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 565.024, or assault in the second degree under subdivision (4) of subsection 1 of section 565.060.

    2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an uninsured motorist whose immediately previous insurance policy meeting the requirements of section 303.190 was terminated or non-renewed for failure to pay the premium, unless notice of termination or non-renewal for failure to pay such premium was provided by such insurer at least six months prior to the time of the accident.

    3. In an action against a person who is in compliance with the financial responsibility laws prescribed by this chapter by a person deemed to have waived recovery under subsection 1 of this section:

    (1) Any award in favor of such person shall be reduced by an amount equal to the portion of the award representing compensation for non-economic losses;

    (2) The trier of fact shall not be informed, directly or indirectly, of such waiver or of its effect on the total amount of such person’s recovery.

    4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude recovery against an alleged tort-feasor of benefits provided or economic loss coverage.

    5. Passengers in the uninsured motor vehicle are not subject to such recovery limitation.

    For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney or Patrick E. Foppe at (314) 621-2939.

     

     

     

     

  • Three Lashly & Baer, P.C. Attorneys Selected in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014

    Monday, August 19, 2013 – The law firm of Lashly & Baer, P.C. is proud to announce that John Fox Arnold (Corporate Law), Kenneth C. Brostron (Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants); and Richard D. Watters (Health Care Law) have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

    CLICK HERE to download the press release.

  • Patrick E. Foppe Named Among Up & Coming Lawyers of 2013

    Congratulations to Patrick E. Foppe, a Partner at Lashly & Baer, P.C., for being selected as an award honoree for the Missouri Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming Award for 2013. Recipients of the award are recognized for their professional and academic accomplishments, as well as, their dedication to the community. Patrick will be featured in a  special section of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly on September 9, 2013 and will be honored at the 2013 Up & Coming Awards Ceremony on September 13, 2013 at the Chase Park Plaza.

     

     

  • Federal Appeals Court Upholds Most New Hours Of Service Rules

    On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited ruling on the challenge by the American Trucking Association (ATA) to the most recent revisions in the hours-of-service rules promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which went into full effect on July 1, 2013. The new rules added the following new provisions:

    • 30–Minute Off–Duty Break, which bars truckers from driving past 8 hours unless they have had an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes;

    • Once–Per–Week Restriction, which allows truckers to invoke the 34–hour restart provision only once every 168 hours (or 7 days);

    • Two–Night Requirement, which also mandates that the 34–hour restart include two blocks of time from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

    The court upheld these new rules, except struck down the 30-minute off-duty break for short-haul drivers only. Even though the court agreed with the ATA that the FMCSA’s justification for the rules had serious flaws, it declined to “second-guess” the agency’s methodologies and interpretations of the evidence, instead taking a “highly deferential” approach to the agency’s presumed expertise, concluding that “FMCSA won the day not through the strengths of its rulemaking prowess,” but rather through “an artless war of attrition . . . .”

    Further, the court found no merit in the challenge of the coalition of interest groups that have repeatedly fought to make a working regulation more restrictive, correctly concluding it “would have been unreasonable and unfounded on the record” to reduce the driving day from 11 to 10 hours. The court also rejected the groups’ call to eliminate the restart altogether.

    At present, it is unclear whether any party will appeal the court’s ruling. The case is styled: Am. Trucking Associations, Inc. v. Fed. Motor Carrier Safety Admin., 12-1092, 2013 WL 3956992 (D.C. Cir., Aug. 2, 2013).

    For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney or Patrick E. Foppe at (314) 621-2939.

     

  • Federal Appeals Court Upholds Most New Hours of Service Rules

    On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited ruling on the challenge by the American Trucking Association (ATA) to the most recent revisions in the hours-of-service rules promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which went into full effect on July 1, 2013. The new rules added the following new provisions:

    • 30–Minute Off–Duty Break, which bars truckers from driving past 8 hours unless they have had an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes;

    • Once–Per–Week Restriction, which allows truckers to invoke the 34–hour restart provision only once every 168 hours (or 7 days);

    • Two–Night Requirement, which also mandates that the 34–hour restart include two blocks of time from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

    The court upheld these new rules, except struck down the 30-minute off-duty break for short-haul drivers only. Even though the court agreed with the ATA that the FMCSA’s justification for the rules had serious flaws, it declined to “second-guess” the agency’s methodologies and interpretations of the evidence, instead taking a “highly deferential” approach to the agency’s presumed expertise, concluding that “FMCSA won the day not through the strengths of its rulemaking prowess,” but rather through “an artless war of attrition . . . .”

    Further, the court found no merit in the challenge of the coalition of interest groups that have repeatedly fought to make a working regulation more restrictive, correctly concluding it “would have been unreasonable and unfounded on the record” to reduce the driving day from 11 to 10 hours. The court also rejected the groups’ call to eliminate the restart altogether.

    At present, it is unclear whether any party will appeal the court’s ruling. The case is styled: Am. Trucking Associations, Inc. v. Fed. Motor Carrier Safety Admin., 12-1092, 2013 WL 3956992 (D.C. Cir., Aug. 2, 2013).

  • School-Based Health Centers Grow in Popularity

    Lashly & Baer partners, Lisa O. Stump and Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Summer 2013 Newsletter entitled “School Based Health Centers Grow in Popularity”. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Summer Newsletter.  http://www.hfmastlouis.org/documents/GatewayGatheringsSummer2013.pdf

  • Andrew G. Toennies Represents Client in Suit Over IP Addresses in St. Clair County Computer Hacking Case

    Toennies filed a motion to quash the LW Systems LLC v. Christopher Hubbard, et al. subpoenas and enter a protective order for his client, Comcast Cable Holdings LLC. The subpoenas in the case set out to identify the owners of numerous IP addresses for computer systems that supply content for adult website operator.

    Click here to read the full Madison-St. Clair Record article.  Judge Gleeson granted the motion to quash ISP subpoenas, click here to read Madison-St. Clair Records article.

  • Lashly & Baer Attorneys Obtain Dismissal of Lawsuit Involving Warehouse Accident

    Patrick E. Foppe and Kevin L. Fritz of Lashly & Baer, P.C. recently secured a judgment on the pleadings in favor of their client who was sued for allegedly stacking furniture at a warehouse that fell and caused plaintiff’s injury. Judge Messina of the Circuit Court of Kansas City, Missouri, dismissed plaintiff’s petition for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The case was styled: Hudson v. Wheeler, et al., Cause No. 1216-CV22106 (Circuit Court of Kansas City, MO).

  • Lashly & Baer Attorneys Secure Settlement For Workplace Accident Victim

    Kevin L. Fritz and Patrick E. Foppe of Lashly & Baer, P.C. were able to secure a $7 million settlement on behalf of their client after a workplace accident left him a quadriplegic. The plaintiff – who was walking through an unsecured area of a demolition project that involved removing sections of the plants’ exhaust system – was struck by a fallen piece of duct-work.

     

    Details appeared in the June 17, 2013 issue of Missouri Lawyers Weekly Verdicts & Settlements.

  • New Rules for Copying Electronic Medical Records

    By: Richard Watters – On July 3, 2013, the Governor signed HB 351 which, among other things, amends the existing law on the duty of physicians, chiropractors, hospitals, dentists and other duly licensed practitioners to provide patients with copies of their medical records.  As amended, if the patient, the patient’s authorized representative, or any person authorized by law to obtain records upon payment of a fee: (i) requests that the records be delivered electronically; (ii) the provider stores the records electronically; and (iii) the provider is capable of providing the records and a medical record affidavit in electronic format, then the records must be furnished electronically upon payment of the search and retrieval fee and the copying fee.  The allowable search and retrieval fee and the allowable copying fee the same as for paper records discussed below, but in the case of electronic records, there is a cap of $100 in total fees.

    If the patient does not request electronic records or the provider is unable to produce them electronically, then paper records may be provided.  The provider may charge a search and retrieval fee of not more than $22.82, a copying fee of $.53 per page, postage to include packaging and delivery costs and a notary fee, if requested, not to exceed $2.00.  If the provider stores the records offsite, the provider may charge additional labor costs of the offsite storage entity not to exceed $21.36.

    For records that cannot be duplicated on a standard commercial photocopy machine (x-rays for example), the provider may charge the reasonable cost of duplicating such records.

    These fees will be adjusted in February of each year.  These amendments will go into effect August 28, 2013.

     

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of this article.

     

  • Lashly & Baer Attorneys Have Been Hired to Represent City of Crestwood

    Lisa O. Stump has been selected as lead attorney for the representation of the City of Crestwood. The Crestwood Board of Aldermen unanimously approved Lashly & Baer as the city’s new legal representation. Read more at The South County Times

     

  • Restrictive Covenants in Physician and Nurse Practitioner Contracts

    By Richard D. Watters – Nowadays, almost all physician contracts and many nurse practitioner contracts contain restrictive covenants which generally prohibit or restrict the practitioner from competing against a former employer in the event the employment relationship should terminate.  Although Missouri courts will enforce restrictive covenants, they cannot be enforced if their sole purpose is to prevent competition.  The employer must have a legitimate business purpose or protectable interest to enforce restrictive covenants.  This is why such agreements generally refer to protecting the employer’s confidential business information and patient lists.

    In a new decision out of the Illinois Appellate Courts, a physician successfully challenged his former employer’s effort to enforce a restrictive covenant.  In Gastroenterology Consultants of the North Shore (“Group”) vs. Mick Meiselman, M.D. (“Physician”), the Group attempted to prevent Dr. Meiselman from practicing within a 15 mile radius of the Group’s office for three years, pursuant to a restrictive covenant in the Physician’s employment contract.  Dr. Meiselman was one of the founding members of the Group where he had worked for 15 years.  He and all Group physicians had the same restrictive covenant in their employment agreements.  When Dr. Meiselman left to join another practice, he continued treating patients he had seen while an employee of Group.  In denying the Group an injunction against Meiselman, the Court noted that, while with the Group, he billed for his own services, maintained his own office, and kept his own telephone number.  His compensation was based on his own productivity.  The Group did not advertise, promote or market his practice and was not actively involved in it other than to provide administrative services.  Referring physicians referred to individual doctors within the Group, including Dr. Meiselman, but not to the Group.  On these circumstances the Court found that the Group did not have a legitimate business interest that needed protection and refused to enforce the restrictive covenant.

    Groups that treat each physician as his/her own profit center on an eat-what-you-will compensation formula, with little real integration between physicians other than the sharing of administrative expenses, may not give the group practice a sufficient interest in the physician’s practice to be protectable by a restrictive covenant.

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of this article. 

     

  • Lashly & Baer Attorneys Obtain TRO for Client To Remove Manager From St Louis’s Chase Park Plaza Hotel

    Kenneth C. Brostron and Mark R. Feldhaus of Lashly & Baer, P.C. assisted in obtaining a temporary restraining order allowing their client to remove the manager from St. Louis’s Chase Park Plaza Hotel.  Click here to review the TRO.  A news story can be viewed on the St. Louis Post Dispatch website.

     

  • Missouri Court of Appeals Reverses Administrative Decision Requiring Special Use Conditions

    The case revolved around a request by MLB Holdings, a lessee of Curry Investment Company, for a special use permit to operate a pawn shop on a building and parking lot leased by Curry Investment to MLB. At a hearing on the request, the Kansas City Board of Zoning Adjustment staff determined that all requisite criteria for a special use permit were met with the MLB application. However, there were two existing outdoor advertising signs, which were nonconforming uses, located on the property in question. As a result, based on a general policy of removal of existing outdoor billboards as part of property development, the Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the special use permit, subject to removal of the two outdoor advertising signs. Curry Investment objected, and ultimately filed a petition with the circuit court, which found that the Board of Zoning Adjustment had exceeded its authority, and proceeded to modify the Board decision by striking the conditions requiring removal of the advertising signs. That decision was appealed.

    The Court of Appeals rejected the Board of Zoning Adjustment’s position and required the issuance of the special use permit to MLB without the condition for removal of the outdoor advertising signs. In doing so, the Court recognized these principles:

    • The Board of Zoning Adjustment’s ruling, rather than that of the circuit court, was reviewable. The scope of review was limited to determination as to whether the Board’s judgment was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, unlawful or in excess of its jurisdiction, with the evidence and reasonable inferences viewed in the light most favorable to the decision.

     

    • Under the nonconforming use doctrine, zoning restrictions adopted by a municipality may not be applied so as to require removal or cessation of an established use of land – a use which does not conform with a use authorized by the zoning restriction.

     

    • The issuing of a permit is a ministerial act, not a discretionary act, which may not be refused if the requirements of the applicable ordinance have been met.

     

    • Once the Board of Zoning Adjustment determined that all the criteria for the special use permit were met, the Board was unreasonable to require the removal of the nonconforming signs as a special use permit condition, since the Board proved no relation to sign removal with the special use criteria set out in the zoning code.

    The Court of Appeals accordingly concluded that the Board of Zoning Adjustment erred by conditioning its approval of the special use permit for the pawn shop on the removal of the two nonconforming, lawfully existing, outdoor advertising signs. The principles which the Court of Appeals relied upon may need to be considered in situations involving zoning requirements, permit applications and related conforming and nonconforming uses of property.

  • Physician-Owned Distributorships-Tread Carefully

    Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Spring 2013 Newsletter entitled “Physician Owned Distributorships-Tread Carefully.” CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Spring Newsletter.

     

  • Lashly & Baer Partner To Speak at the Investiture Ceremony of the North Shore University Health System

    Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, will speak at the Investiture Ceremony of the NorthShore University Health System, as Jay L. Goldstein, M.D. is invested as the Roy F. Kehl Chair of Gastroenterology.  The Ceremony will be held on June 11, 2013, at the NorthShore Evanston Hospital. Evanston, Illinois.  This Endowed Chair has been made possible by a bequest from long-time Lashly & Baer client, Roy F. Kehl, who died in February of 2011. During his lifetime, Mr. Kehl endowed the Gastroenterology Laboratory at NorthShore’s Evanston Hospital. In September of 2012, NorthShore named Mr. Kehl a Distinguished Benefactor in recognition of total gifts in excess of $4,000,000, and the award was presented to Mr. Vogelsmeier, as Mr. Kehl’s attorney and advisor. Lashly & Baer represented Mr. Kehl for over 50 years, and Mr. Vogelsmeier advised Mr. Kehl on the implementation of his charitable planned giving. Mr. Kehl was a nationally known organist and church music scholar, and was generally regarded as the world’s foremost historian on Steinway pianos.

    For more information on this event please click here.

  • EMPLOYER ALERT: New Form I-9 Must be Used By May 7th

    As of May 7, 2013, all employers in the United States will be required to use the new Form I-9 to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.   The new form adds additional data fields that must be filled out. You may access the new form by clicking on the following hyperlink Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.  Please note, failure to use the new I-9 form may result in penalties.

    If you have any questions regarding the completion, retention and/or responding to inquiries from any Federal agency regarding Form I-9, please contact Jim Hetlage at 314-621-2939.

  • Missouri Appellate Court Allows Imputed Liability Claims Against Employer Even After Admitting Agency When Punitive Damages Are At Issue

    In 1995, the Missouri Supreme Court adopted the majority view “that once an employer has admitted respondeat superior liability for a driver’s negligence, it is improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed liability.” McHaffie v. Bunch, 891 S.W.2d 822, 826 (Mo. banc 1995). The Missouri Supreme Court qualified its holding, however, noting that:

    it may be possible that an employer or entrustor may be held liable on a theory of negligence that does not derive from and is not dependent on the negligence of an entrustee or employee…. [I]t is also possible that an employer or an entrustor may be liable for punitive damages [that] would not be assessed against the employee/entrustee. See Clooney v. Geeting, 352 So.2d [1216,] 1220 [ (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1977) ]. Finally, it is conceivable that in a contribution action between an employer and employee, the relative fault of those two parties may be relevant. However, none of those circumstances exist here. Those issues await another day.

    Id. Recently, in Wilson v. Image Flooring, LLC, Nos. WD75141, WD 75142, 2013 WL 1110878, 2 (Mo. App. W.D. Mar 19, 2013), the Missouri Appellate Court for the Western District took up the issue of whether a “punitive damages exception” to the general rule barring direct negligence claims against an employer who had already admitted vicarious liability. While many federal courts in Missouri have addressed the question of whether there exists a punitive damages exception to the general rule under Missouri law, no Missouri court had yet addressed this issue. See Kwiatkowski v. Teton Transp., Inc., No. 11–1302–CV–W–ODS, 2012 WL 1413154, at 3–4 (W.D.Mo. Apr. 23, 2012). The Wilson court found that “if faced with the issue now, [the Missouri] Supreme Court would determine that such an exception exists.” Wilson,  2013 WL 1110878, 2. The Wilson Court explained:

    The rationale for the [the Missouri Supreme] Court’s holding in McHaffie was that, where vicarious liability was admitted and none of the direct liability theories could prevail in the absence of proof of the employee’s negligence, the employer’s liability was necessarily fixed by the negligence of the employee. McHaffie, 891 S.W.2d at 826. Thus, any additional evidence supporting direct liability claims could serve only to waste time and possibly prejudice the defendants. Id.

    The same cannot be said, however, when a claim for punitive damages based upon the direct liability theories is raised. If an employer’s hiring, training, supervision, or entrustment practices can be characterized as demonstrating complete indifference or a conscious disregard for the safety of others, then the plaintiff would be required to present additional evidence, above and beyond demonstrating the employee’s negligence, to support a claim for punitive damages. Unlike in the McHaffie scenario, this evidence would have a relevant, non-prejudicial purpose. And because the primary concern in McHaffie was the introduction of extraneous, potentially prejudicial evidence, we believe that the rule announced in McHaffie does not apply where punitive damages are claimed against the employer, thus making the additional evidence both relevant and material.

    Id.

     Wilson v. Image Flooring, LLC

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney, Mark H. Levison, has been selected as one of the Top 100 St. Louisans To Know To Succeed in Business

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Mark H. Levison, has been selected by Small Business Monthly as one of the Top 100 St. Louisans To Know To Succeed in Business. Mr. Levison was selected by a team of editors and community leaders who identified these individuals based on their contributions to the area businesses and the overall
    business community.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Announces Patrick E. Foppe Named Member

    The law firm of Lashly & Baer, P.C. announces that Patrick E. Foppe has been named a member of the firm. Mr. Foppe has been with the firm since 2008, and focuses his practice in civil litigation with an emphasis in transportation-related matters including high-exposure claims involving tractor-trailer accidents, wrongful death, products liability, personal injury, premises liability, and general negligence. He holds a J.D. and a B.S. in International Business, summa cum laude, from Saint Louis University.

  • Waiving Co-Pays and Deductibles – Part II

    Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Winter Newsletter entitled “Waiving Co-Pays and Deductibles.-Part Two.”  CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Winter Newsletter.

  • Lashly & Baer Partner Presented “Key Compliance Issues for 2013”

    Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, presented “Key Compliance Issues for 2013” at the Healthcare Financial Management Association Greater St. Louis Chapter Annual Legislative Update on February 26, 2013. Click here to download the presentation.

  • Navigating the aftermath of the ‘fiscal cliff’

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Christopher Castellanos, discusses the fiscal-cliff aftermath with the St. Louis Business JournalClick here to view the St. Louis Business Journal article.

  • Resolving Estate, Will and Trust Contests

    Christopher D. Castellanos will be speaking at a CLE seminar on Resolving Estate, Will and Trust Contests, sponsored by the National Business Institute.  He will be speaking on ethical considerations including avoiding conflicts of interest, getting a written retainer and being professional.  In addition, he will speak on gathering evidence including medical records, bank records, tax returns and depositions. The seminar is being held on Monday, March 11, 2013.  To find out more information, visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • Lashly & Baer Attorney Takes Part in Washington University School of Law’s Admitted Students Day

    Attorney Christopher D. Castellanos was featured as an alumni panelist at Washington University School of Law’s Admitted Students Day on Friday, January 25, 2013.  The event allows prospective law students to gain insight into the experiences of previous law students during their studies at Washington University.

  • Missouri Courts Examining Possible Exceptions to When a Plaintiff Can Pursue Other Imputed Theories of Liability Against an Employer Even After Respondeat Superior Liability is Admitted

    Missouri follows the majority rule that a jury cannot generally assess a defendant employer’s fault based on imputed theories of liability, such as “negligent entrustment” or “negligent hiring,” after an employer has admitted the wrongdoer was its agent acting within the scope of his/her agency at the time of the accident. McHaffie v. Bunch, 891 S.W.2d 822, 826–27 (Mo. banc 1995). In other words, in cases where respondeat superior liability is admitted, it is generally improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed or derivative liability. The rationale is that allowing other theories of imputed liability “serves no real purpose,” wastes the time and energy of the court and litigants because the employer’s liability “is fixed by the amount of liability of the employee,” and opens the door to potentially inflammatory and irrelevant evidence. McHaffie, 891 S.W.2d at 826. Importantly, however, the Missouri Supreme Court in McHaffie left open the possibility for several exceptions to the general rule. Id. at 826. For instance, “an employer or entrustor may be held liable on a theory of negligence that does not derive from and is not dependent on the negligence of an entrustee or employee,” or “an employer or an entrustor may be liable for punitive damages which would not be assessed against the employee/entrustee.” Id.. The contours of these possible exceptions to the general rule are the subject to recent appeals in Missouri.

    First, in Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., WD73984, 2013 WL 150838 (Mo. App. W.D. Jan. 15, 2013), the Missouri Western District Appellate Court held that negligent supervision and training claims, like negligent hiring and negligent entrustment claims, are based on theories of imputed liability. Imputed liability claims involve those which there is no evidence that the “employer’s lack of care” caused a plaintiff’s injuries “in the absence of the negligence by the employee.” Id. Therefore, negligent supervision and training claims, like negligent hiring and negligent entrustment claims, are generally barred when the issue of agency is admitted.

    Second, whether there is a so-called “punitive damages exception” to the general rule is currently before the Missouri Western Appellate Court. See Wilson v. Image Flooring, LLC, et al., WD 751412012 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012). Although never before formally recognized by a Missouri appellate court, many jurisdictions allow a plaintiff to proceed under other imputed negligence theories after respondeat superior liability is admitted when punitive damages are at issue. Likewise, several federal district courts while applying Missouri law have recognized a “punitive damages exception.” See e.g., Jackson v. Wiersema Charter Serv., Inc., 2009 WL 1310064 (E.D.Mo. 2009); Miller v. Crete Carrier Corp., 2003 WL 25694930 (E.D.Mo. 2003); Burroughs v. Mackie Moving Systems Corp.,  2010 WL 576799 (E.D.Mo. 2010); Kwiatkowski v. Teton Transp., Inc.,  2012 WL 1413154, 4 (W.D.Mo. 2012). These federal decisions, though persuasive and authoritative, are not of course binding on Missouri state courts. The ruling in the Wilson case, which is expected this spring or summer, will likely help resolve whether Missouri allows for a “punitive damages exception.”

  • Local Law Firm Gets Top Rankings From U.S. News & World Report and Three Attorneys Also Named in The Best Lawyers in America®

    U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have released the 2013 Best Law Firms rankings, and St. Louis’ Lashly & Baer, P.C., has been given top marks in the St. Louis region.

    In the National rankings, Lashly & Baer earned “National First-Tier Rankings” in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants while earning “National Third-Tier” in Health Care Law.

    In the St. Louis rankings, Lashly & Baer earned “St. Louis First-Tier” in Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, while earning “St. Louis Second-Tier Rankings” in Corporate Law.

    In addition to this recognition, three attorneys from Lashly & Baer have been included in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.  Richard D. Watters, listed in Health Care Law, recently joined a distinguished group of attorneys who have been included inBest Lawyers for 20 years or longer.  Also listed in Best Lawyers were John Fox Arnold in Corporate Law and Kenneth C. Brostron in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

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