News

  • Lashly & Baer Attorneys Assists ROi with the Acquisition of Healthcare Purchasing Alliance, LLC

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorneys Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, Michael D. Regan, and Breanne E. Sergent all represented Resource Optimization & Innovation in its negotiation with Healthcare Purchasing Alliance, LLC, the Orlando based member-driven organization dedicated to providing clinical quality and cost savings through health care group purchasing organization (GPO) services.

    HPA, previously owned by Orlando Health and South Lake Hospital, one of Florida’s most comprehensive private, not-for-profit health care networks, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of ROi, operating as a separate entity to manage HPA’s legacy contract portfolio and provide custom contracting solutions throughout the continuum of care for ROi. Through the HPA acquisition, Orlando Health and South Lake Hospital have agreed to a 7-year GPO membership term with ROi, while also maintaining membership with HPA.

    To read more about the partnership view the full press release visit www.roiscs.com.

  • Brostron and Feldhaus Successfully Defend Missouri Hospital

    Kenneth C. Brostron and Mark R. Feldhaus successfully defended one of their hospital clients in a medical negligence case. The trial involved a brain damaged child alleged to have suffered the injury during labor which left the child cognitively impaired. The hospital claimed the injury was due to an intrauterine infection. The plaintiff claimed the child, now almost 9 years old, would need to be institutionalized and could not work for the rest of his life. The trial lasted nearly four weeks and the plaintiff asked the jury to award over $20 million in damages. The jury deliberated for only two hours and returned a defense verdict 11-1.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Ranks Top Five On Multiple Small Business Monthly’s 2017 Best In Business Lists

    Small Business Monthly’s Best in Business section features Lashly & Baer, P.C. among companies nominated by SBM readers as being one of the top 5 companies in multiple categories. Lashly & Baer, P.C. was ranked top 5 for Best Law Firm and also Best in Value. Lashly & Baer was also honored as being a Best In Customer Service award recipient as well. The lists will appear in the 2017 Best in Business Listings.  To view the lists click here.

  • 2017 Missouri Legislative Update

    The bills approved by the Missouri General Assembly go into effect on August 28, 2017. There were a number of bills passed by the House and Senate of interest to local governments. The following is a list of several of the bills passed by the General Assembly which cities and governmental bodies in the region should review carefully:

    House Bill 451 – Many statutes relate only to cities within a certain population range, some of which are very broad, and some of which are quite narrow. This bill would clarify that, if a city is subject to a statute that is applicable only to cities with a certain population, such city remains subject to the statute if it subsequently loses population and falls out of the statutory range. A recent decision from the Court of Appeals, Missouri-American Water Co. v. Office of the Public Counsel, had suggested that only the City of St. Louis remained subject to such laws upon a loss in population. That case was ultimately decided by the Missouri Supreme Court on other grounds. This bill would resolve any uncertainty by amending the statute to explicitly state that any city is still subject to a statute with a population range if the city loses population and falls out of the range. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 7.

    House Bill 130 – This bill provides authorization for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to operate statewide, establishes a regulatory framework for such companies, and preempts local ordinances in conflict with state law. Drivers for traditional taxicab companies regulated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission are no longer required to undergo a background check by the Highway Patrol. The Commission can adopt its own regulations to conduct background checks through third parties. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on April 24.

    House Bill 1194 – This bill repeals local minimum wage ordinances that exceed the minimum wage established by state law. Only the City of St. Louis had such an ordinance remaining in effect. The Governor took no action on this bill, so it will become law on August 28, 2017. This law will preempt St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance. Additionally, this bill will preempt the higher minimum wage that was approved by voters in Kansas City earlier this month.

    Senate Bill 111 – This bill would require political subdivisions with a bond rating of AA+ or higher to issue such debts through a competitive process unless such political subdivision employs the services of a “municipal advisor,” which is defined in the bill. Additionally, this bill provides that a conviction for a federal misdemeanor would no longer disqualify a person from holding public office. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 11.

    House Bill 190 – This bill provides that community colleges can adopt traffic regulations on streets within their campuses. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 20.

    Senate Bill 112 – All political subdivisions must submit an annual financial report to the State Auditor. This bill would require the State Auditor to report any political subdivision failing to submit an annual financial statement to the Department of Revenue, which can fine the political subdivision $500 per day of noncompliance. Under current law, this penalty only applies to transportation development districts. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 11.

    Senate Bill 128 – This bill was vetoed by the Governor on July 14. The bill would provide that the county prosecuting attorney or a police department may request an audit of any political division by the State Auditor. It also provides that a municipal judge can serve more than five municipalities if they are part of a consolidated court system (such as the consolidated courts established in St. Ann and Normandy).

    Additionally, this bill provides that if a defendant is held in custody on a warrant for a minor traffic violation, the judge can waive or reduce the fine. Furthermore, it provides that all tickets for minor traffic violations must state the date and time of the court hearing or the ticket is void. Some cities presently write “TVB” in the box for a court date or only provide notice of a court date if the ticket has not been paid through a traffic violation bureau within 30 days. This practice would be prohibited under this bill. Finally, this bill provides that any person found guilty of driving while intoxicated must attend a victim impact panel.

    Senate Bill 182 – This bill provides that political subdivisions, in letting contracts for repair, remodeling, or demolition of a facility, cannot require bidders to enter into a project labor agreement, or give preference to bidders that offer to enter into such agreement. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 30.

    Senate Bill 5 – 2nd Special Session – This bill enacted numerous restrictions and regulations relating to abortion. The bill grants authority to the Attorney General to prosecute violations of state laws relating to abortion anywhere in the state. Further, this bill preempts cities from enacting an ordinance that prohibits, restricts, or adversely affects an “alternatives to abortion agency” or its employees. The bill states that cities may enforce their zoning, land use, and building code regulations with regard to such agency. The bill also preempts local ordinances requiring real estate agents to conduct real estate transactions with abortion providers, and local ordinances requiring health plans to include benefits not required by state law. This bill was signed by the Governor on July 26. Since it was passed at a special session, it will go into effect ninety days after the Governor’s signature, which will be October 24, 2017.

    Legislation passed during the regular session that was vetoed by the Governor could become law by a vote of two-thirds majorities of both the House and the Senate during the veto session in September. The Governor has indicated he may call additional special sessions. Local governments should pay close attention to any legislation passed in a special session that would undermine or erode the authority of local governments.

    For more information, please contact Brian J. Malone at bmalone@lashlybaer.com, or at 314-436-8375, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Missouri’s Right To Work Suspended By The Citizens

    As you are likely aware, Missouri became the 28th “Right to Work” state after Governor Greitens signed Senate Bill 19 into law in February 2017.

    Right-to-work laws prohibit employers from requiring their employees to pay union dues, prohibiting common “fair share” provisions in agreements between labor organizations and employers that require the employer to collect union dues from union and non-union employees alike.

    Missouri’s right-to-work statute contains a grandfather clause exempting any agreement between an employer and a labor organization that is entered into before the statute goes into effect. This enables unions to keep collecting dues from non-union workers until the current agreement containing the fair share provision expires. However, if any such agreement is renewed, extended, amended or modified after the law takes effect, it will no longer be covered by the exemption, and the provision mandating union dues will be void.

    Missouri’s right-to-work statute was set to take effect on August 28, 2017; however, the Missouri Constitution provides for a “citizen’s veto,” requiring that legislation passed by the General Assembly be stayed and referred to the voters if five percent of the voters in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts sign a petition before the law takes effect.

    Right-to-work opponents submitted more than 300,000 petition signatures on August 18, 2017, and the legislation was officially stayed pending verification of the petition signatures by the Secretary of State. Verification is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. If at least 100,000 of the submitted signatures can be verified, Missouri’s right-to-work statute will not take effect, if at all, until after the 2018 referendum. Right-to-work legislation was defeated when it last appeared on Missouri ballots in 1978.

    In the meantime, if desired, employers and labor organizations may continue to enter into agreements containing “fair share” provisions, and these agreements will be covered by the grandfather provision until they expire or are modified.

    For more information, please contact Allison M. Scime at ascime@lashlybaer.com, or at 314-436-8342, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Lashly & Baer Attorney Assists in an Important ROi Business Partnership Agreement

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney Stuart J. Vogelsmeier represented Resource Optimization & Innovation in its negotiation with Virtua, one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems.

    Virtua has signed an agreement with Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi), a provider-owned supply chain organization, for access to ROi’s comprehensive cost management and supply chain services including strategic contracting and sourcing, utilization management, service line management, clinical and operational consulting, clinical and supply chain analytics, private label products and custom surgical packs. Through the five-year agreement that began July 1, 2017, ROi will serve as the preferred group purchasing organization (GPO) for Virtua.

    To read more about the partnership view the press release or visit https://www.roiscs.com/press-awards.

  • Recent Changes in Missouri’s Firearms Laws

    For the past fifteen years, local governments throughout Missouri, and throughout the country, have had to navigate a rapidly changing landscape regarding firearms laws. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, such as DC v. Heller, and McDonald v. Chicago, have invalidated city ordinances banning handguns. Many changes to Missouri’s laws relating to firearms went into effect on January 1, 2017. Others went into effect on October 14, 2016, after the General Assembly overrode Governor Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656. Ensuring the safety of the public is one of the core responsibilities of local government. It is now legal in Missouri for most people to carry a firearm in all but a few specified places. These recent changes have forced cities to consider new strategies to adapt to the recent court decisions and new state laws.

    Recent History in Missouri

    As recently as 2002, it was a felony to carry a concealed firearm most anywhere. Openly carrying a firearm was not generally a crime in Missouri, though some cities banned open carrying. In 2003, Missouri authorized the issuance of concealed carry (“CCW”) permits. Since 2003, the statutes regulating firearms and CCW permits have been amended numerous times. In 2014, the Missouri Constitution was amended to declare the right to bear arms “unalienable,” and to subject any restriction to strict scrutiny. In 2016, Senate Bill 656 was passed, decriminalizing carrying a concealed firearm in all but a few locations. Currently, anyone able to possess a firearm can legally carry a concealed firearm in most places, except those places listed in section 571.107, of the Missouri Revised Statutes (“RSMo.”).

    Permits

    While a CCW permit is no longer necessary to carry a concealed weapon, a permit has advantages. As of 2014, city ordinances banning openly carrying a firearm are no longer applicable to persons holding a CCW permit. While a CCW permit doesn’t authorize carrying a concealed firearm into the places listed in 571.107 (police stations, polling places, jails, courthouses, certain gov’t. buildings, taverns, schools, & several others), it’s not a crime for CCW permit holders to do so. A CCW permit holder can be refused entry and fined $100 if he or she refuses to leave. Non-permit holders could be charged with the crime of unlawful use of a weapon under section 571.030, RSMo. The provisions of the unlawful use of a weapon statute banning carrying firearms at a church, polling place, government building, or a school do not apply to CCW permit holders. However, CCW permit holders carrying a concealed firearm can still be denied entry or cited for refusing to leave.

    Local Governments

    Under section 21.750, RSMo., cities cannot enact firearms laws more restrictive than state statutes. The Missouri General Assembly has preempted local ordinances relating to firearms, and has left only a few narrow areas in which a city can regulate. Cities can still regulate discharging firearms within the city, carrying concealed weapons into government buildings, and openly carrying firearms (though CCW permit holders can still openly carry in those cities). Though most people can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in many places, the law treats CCW permit holders very differently from non-permit holders.

    Generally speaking, there are four pertinent questions local officials must consider to determine whether a person can carry a firearm to a particular location:

    1. Is carrying a firearm in a particular location the crime of unlawful use of a weapon under section 571.030, RSMo.?
    2. Does section 571.107, RSMo. prohibit carrying a concealed firearm in the location?
    3. Has the city enacted an ordinance prohibiting openly carrying firearms? and
    4. Does the person carrying a firearm have a CCW permit?

    The circumstances under which a person can carry a firearm, openly or concealed, can be quite confusing. There are exceptions to laws and, in some cases, exceptions to the exceptions. City officials should carefully review the Missouri statutes and city ordinances and consult with their counsel to ensure that the public is kept safe and the state’s firearms laws are adequately and accurately enforced.

    UPDATE – June 23, 2017 – A circuit judge for the City of St. Louis has entered summary judgment in favor of the St. Louis Zoo in its lawsuit for an injunction preventing Jeffry Smith from openly carrying a firearm on the Zoo’s property. The Zoo posts signs at its entrances stating “no firearms or weapons allowed on this property.” The City of St. Louis has enacted an ordinance banning openly carrying firearms. Smith, who holds a CCW permit from Ohio, believed the Zoo’s ban on firearms was illegal and would not apply to him as a CCW permit holder. He announced his intent to openly carry a firearm on the Zoo grounds. In 2015, the Zoo was granted a preliminary injunction to prevent Smith from carrying a weapon on the Zoo grounds.

    The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Smith from carrying a firearm at the Zoo (whether carried openly or concealed). The court found that, though the City’s open carry ban did not apply to Smith as a CCW permit holder, he was nevertheless prohibited from openly carrying a firearm by section 571.107, RSMo., which provides that a CCW permit does not authorize a person “to carry concealed firearms into: …” the seventeen enumerated locations, including educational facilities, day cares, and amusement parks. The court found that the Zoo qualified as a school facility and an amusement park. Critically, the court’s judgment indicates that the City’s open carry ban remained in effect, even as to CCW permit holders, at the locations listed in section 571.107. Therefore, carrying a firearm, whether openly or concealed, at the locations listed in 571.107 is prohibited in the City of St. Louis. Furthermore, the court found that the Zoo’s policy did not conflict with the Missouri Constitution’s declaration that the right to bear arms is unalienable, and that any restriction on that right is subject to strict scrutiny.

    Smith can appeal the court’s decision to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Until the court’s judgment is reversed or amended (or the pertinent statutes are amended by the General Assembly), section 571.107, RSMo. prohibits carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, to all the locations listed therein, even if the person carrying the firearm has a CCW permit. The case is styled Zoological Park Subdistrict of the Metropolitan Park Museum District v. Smith, 1522-CC09876.

    For more information, please contact Brian J. Malone at bmalone@lashlybaer.com, or at 314-436-8375, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

     

  • Missouri Supreme Court Limits Personal Jurisdiction Over Businesses In Missouri

    The Supreme Court of Missouri recently restricted the extent to which Missouri courts have general personal jurisdiction over corporations. Plaintiffs can no generally longer use Missouri courts to sue out-of-state companies that operate significant portions of their business in Missouri for suits unrelated to Missouri (albeit relatively small portion in relation to their overall operations) even if they have registered agent in Missouri. A copy of the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Company v. Dolan can be found here.

    The plaintiff sued Norfolk Southern Railway Company, a Virginia corporation, in St. Louis County, Missouri. The plaintiff was an Indiana resident, seeking recovery for a personal injury that occurred in Indiana. The action was unrelated to Missouri, but the plaintiff argued, among other things, that: (1) Norfolk Southern’s substantial and continuous contacts in Missouri were sufficient to establish general personal jurisdiction; and (2) Norfolk Southern consented to personal jurisdiction by complying with Missouri’s foreign corporation registration statutes. The Court soundly rejected the plaintiff’s arguments in the 6-0 decision.

    In Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that under the Due Process Clause a state may only exercise general jurisdiction (personal jurisdiction over a defendant for actions unrelated to the defendant’s activities in the state) over a corporate defendant in three situations: (1) when the corporation is incorporated in that state; (2) when the corporation’s principal place of business is in that state; or (3) in exceptional circumstances, when the corporation’s activities are “so substantial and of such a nature as to render the corporation at home in that State.” To determine whether a corporation is “essentially at home,” the court must appraise the corporation’s nationwide and worldwide activities and determine how the forum activities compare. Continuous and systematic business activities in a state are not enough for general personal jurisdiction when those activities only comprise a small portion of the defendant’s business overall.

    Following Daimler, the Missouri Supreme Court found that Norfolk Southern’s $232 million in Missouri revenue, 590 Missouri employees, and 400 miles of Missouri railroad tracks were not enough to establish general jurisdiction in Missouri. The Court noted that despite these substantial operations, Norfolk Southern’s Missouri business only accounts for approximately 2 percent of its employees, 2 percent of its revenue, and 2 percent of the tracks it owns or operates. Norfolk Southern had more substantial operations in several other states, so it could not reasonably be considered “at home” in Missouri.

    The court rejected plaintiff’s argument that Norfolk Southern consented to personal jurisdiction over any case filed against it in Missouri when it complied with Missouri’s foreign corporation registration statutes to do business in the state of Missouri and appointed a registered agent for service of process. The court stated that a “broad inference of consent based on registration would allow national corporations to be sued in every state, rendering Daimler pointless.” The court concluded that merely registering in a state does not open a corporation to lawsuits unrelated to that state.

  • Toennies to Speak at AdviCoach Speakers Series “Running a Business is Hard”

    Attorney Andrew G. Toennies will be speaking at an upcoming seminar titled “Running a Business Is Hard” presented by AdviCoach Business Advisors. Andy will use his over 23 years of legal knowledge to explain “How Not to Get Sued and Other Useful Legal Knowledge.” The three-part series will include other local business professionals who will be presenting on finance, marketing, and employment issues. The speakers will discuss the topics listed below and many more.

    • Ten Marketing Tips to Drive Business to Your Door!
    • Protecting Your ASSets with the Right Coverage!
    • Set Fire to Your Brand!
    • Employees – Why Don’t These Knuckleheads Do What They are Supposed To Do?
    • Get Your Clients Addicted to You!
    • LLCs and C-corps and S-Corps– OH MY!
    • Why Review my Financial Statements monthly? I just look at my checkbook to see if I have money.

    The sessions will be held on March 31st, April 28th, and May 11th. All sessions will be from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and held at the St. Clair Country Club, Belleville, IL. A light breakfast and refreshments will be served.  For the complete event flyer click here.

    Get registered today on Eventbrite!!  Seats will go fast!!

    To register for March 31st, follow this link:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/running-a-business-is-hard-session-1-tickets-32059828811
    To register for April 28th, follow this link:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/running-a-business-is-hard–session-2-tickets-32238032824

    To register for May 11th, follow this link:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/running-a-business-is-hard-session-3-tickets-32160614263

    *** If you register for a 3-part series pack before March 10th at midnight, you will receive special pricing***

    For more information, contact Teresa A. Pedigo at 217-433-6809 or tpedigo@advicoach.com

     

  • Brostron Obtains Defense Verdict for Physician

    Kenneth C. Brostron successfully defended a surgeon in a jury trial ending January, 26 2017. The 11-1 verdict came after the jury deliberated for one and half hours. The Plaintiff claimed that the surgeon was negligent in cutting her common and hepatic ducts during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The physician recognized the injury immediately and obtained assistance to repair. The doctor maintained such an injury is a reported complication of the surgery and was the result of the peculiar anatomy of the plaintiff.

  • Toennies Wins Appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Andrew G. Toennies recently won an appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals when they overturned a verdict at the District Court level on a Spoliation case against Brand Energy Services LLC and Dynegy Inc.  The appellate court reversed the District Court’s decision dismissing the case and sent the case back to the US District Court in Benton, IL for a trial on the merits.  Mr. Toennies also was able to secure a judgment for the same client against the employer before the Illinois Industrial Commission on two separate occasions.  He is now seeking sanctions and attorney’s fees against the employer Brand in state court in Randolph County, IL.

  • Lashly & Baer Ranked Best In Customer Service

    Congratulation to Lashly & Baer, P.C. for being ranked “Best In Customer Service” by the readers of St. Louis Small Business Monthly. The award will be featured in their February, 2017 issue. Click here to view the complete list of businesses recognized.

     

  • Lashly & Baer Attorney Assists in an Important ROi Business Partnership Agreement

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney Stuart J. Vogelsmeier represented Resource Optimization & Innovation in its negotiation with HPS, which resulted in HPS becoming the newest member of ROi’s supply chain partnership.

    HPS, a group purchasing organization (GPO) with more than 3,600 members, including 144 acute care and 1,466 non-acute care facilities, in 20 states, has signed an agreement with Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi), a provider-owned supply chain organization, for access to ROi’s comprehensive cost management and supply chain services. Through the 10-year agreement, effective January 13, 2017, ROi will serve as the exclusive GPO for HPS’ national contract portfolio.

  • Brostron and Wolf Recognized For Securing One of the Largest Reported Defense Wins in Missouri for 2016

    Congratulations to Kenneth C. Brostron and Wendy J. Wolf for being recognized as one of Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Top Verdicts & Settlements Award Honorees. Missouri Lawyers Weekly announced recently that Brostron and Wolf of Lashly and Baer will be recognized for securing one of the largest reported defense wins of 2016 in the state of Missouri.

    Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Missouri Lawyers Awards on January 27 will honor attorneys for their achievments in 2016. The winners received the largest verdicts, judgments and settlements reported by the news staff to their Verdicts & Settlements database.

    The official ranking will be announced during the awards event at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and published in the Top V&S edition of Missouri Lawyers Weekly on February 6th. To read the full announcement click here.

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