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Baker Sterchi attorney Paul Venker has been recognized by Missouri Lawyers Media as a 2022 Legal Champion Award honoree, joining a class of five attorneys practicing in Missouri to receive the award.
The annual Legal Champion Awards are given to plaintiffs or defense lawyers, not based on the size of verdicts, but the importance of the principle or policy at stake. Venker is being recognized alongside Judge David Mason for efforts to install the Freedom Suits Memorial, honoring courageous slave plaintiffs who sued for their freedom in the decades leading up to the war, in downtown St. Louis.
Venker is
Continue Reading Paul Venker Recognized with 2022 Legal Champion Award by Missouri Lawyers Media

Baker Sterchi attorneys Megan Stumph-Turner and Nick Ruble contributed to the Missouri and Kansas sections of the 2022 ALFA International (ALFA) Business Litigation Practice Group Trade Secrets Compendium, with Mary Jo Headrick also contributing to the Missouri section.
The 2022 ALFA Business Litigation Trade Secrets Compendium is a quick reference for eight common topics relating to trade secrets, including statutory authority; the inevitable disclosure doctrine; state law differences from the DTSA; and more. The Missouri section can be found online here, and the Kansas section here.
Stumph-Turner is a steering committee member of ALFA’s Business Litigation Practice Group,
Continue Reading Stumph-Turner, Ruble and Headrick Contribute to ALFA Business Litigation Trade Secrets Compendium

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC and Foland, Wickens, Roper, Hofer & Crawford, P.C. announced today that the two law firms will merge effective Jan. 1, 2023.
The combined firm name will be Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC. Baker Sterchi managing member, Scott Kreamer, will continue to serve as the managing member of the merged firm. More than 20 Foland Wickens attorneys will move into the Baker Sterchi Crown Center offices in Kansas City, Missouri. The new firm will have offices throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.
Baker Sterchi managing member Scott Kreamer said: “Foland Wickens enjoys a great reputation
Continue Reading Baker Sterchi and Foland Wickens Announce Merger

The Eighth Circuit has held that §1692c(b), which prohibits unauthorized communications from debt collectors to third parties, cannot give rise to a non-consumer’s cause of action. The facts in Magdy are simple and straightforward. Magdy, a bankruptcy attorney, was contacted by a debt collection agency in regard to an account for a debtor. Magdy had to sift through old files and wasted valuable time and resources only to discover that, not only was Magdy not representing the consumer in this current dispute, but he had never represented the consumer in any capacity. Magdy then filed suit in Missouri state court,
Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Update: Non-Consumers Cannot Bring Action against Debt Collector for Violations of Section 1692c(b)

Baker Sterchi Member John Watt contributed to the Missouri and Kansas portions of the ALFA International (ALFA) Construction Practice Group’s 2022 Compendium.
The 2022 ALFA Construction Law Compendium is a quick reference for 13 common topics relating to construction litigation, including mechanic’s lien basics; statutes of limitation and repose; pre-suit notice of claim and opportunity to cure; and more. The Missouri section can be found online here, and the Kansas section here.
Located in the firm’s Kansas City office, Watt is a steering committee member of ALFA’s Construction Practice Group and served as program co-chair of the ALFA
Continue Reading John Watt Contributes to ALFA Construction Law Compendium

The Supreme Court is potentially poised to expand the circumstances under which an employer can sue a union for property damage incurred during a strike. In Glacier v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, the Supreme Court will decide the standard for when a court should determine that the National Labor Relations Act preempts state tort claims.
The plaintiff, Glacier Northwest, Inc. sued IBT Local174 for damage to property arising out of a strike. Glacier sells and delivers ready-mix concrete to state-wide businesses. Each job has custom-made concrete that must be delivered the same day it is
Continue Reading Last Exit to Seattle? Supreme Court to Determine Which Strike Tactics are Protected

Twenty-four Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice attorneys are recognized in the 2022 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars publication. The Super Lawyers publication recognizes lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Super Lawyers recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. Rising Stars are top up-and-coming attorneys in a state who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for ten years or less, with only two and a half percent of
Continue Reading Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Recognizes Twenty-Four Baker Sterchi Attorneys

In The One Group Hospitality, Inc. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri dismissed an insured business owner’s claim for the costs of suspending and limiting its restaurant operations during the COVID-19 pandemic under an “all risk” insurance policy. The court’s decision to terminate the litigation at the pleading stage was based on the express language of the policy limiting coverage to “direct physical loss or damage,” as well as a contamination exclusion.
The insured, an owner and operator of restaurants around the country, was forced to shut down
Continue Reading Insurer Wins Coverage Dispute for COVID-19 Business Losses

On October 13, 2022, a Jackson County (Independence), Missouri jury rejected personal injury claims by the Plaintiff in Katherine O’Haver v. Anesthesia Associates of Kansas City PC et al., Case No. 1816-CV30710. Plaintiff claimed that 3M Co.’s Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming System blanket caused her to develop a joint infection after the product was used on her at a Missouri hospital during a November 2016 left total knee arthroplasty surgery.
Plaintiff filed suit in November of 2018, but 3M was not named until an Amended Petition was filed in December of 2018, adding 3M and its alleged wholly owned
Continue Reading Jackson County, Missouri Jury Rejects 3M Surgical Blanket Infection Claims

In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) self-funding scheme violated the U.S. Constitution’s Appropriations Clause and the separation of powers. And though the Fifth Circuit’s decision narrowly considers the CFPB’s Payday Lending Rule, the Court’s holding begs the question: If the CFPB’s funding structure violates the Constitution, are all CFPB actions connected to that funding structure similarly unconstitutional?

In Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. v. CFPB, two trade groups brought an action challenging the validity of the CFPB’s Payday Lending Rule, specifically
Continue Reading Holding the Purse and Wielding the Sword: The Fifth Circuit Finds CFPB’s Funding Mechanism Unconstitutional

The Andersons, independent contractors of Aflac, alleged that defendant Hansen, an Aflac employee, forced his way into Ms. Anderson’s hotel room and raped her during a work conference in St. Louis Missouri. The Andersons filed tort claims against Hansen for the sexual assault.

Hansen filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration arguing that he was a third-party beneficiary under an arbitration clause in the Anderson’s contract with Aflac. The district court denied the Motion to Compel. Hansen appealed arguing that the tort claims “‘touch[ed] matters covered by the arbitration provision’ and [was] therefore [] subject to arbitration.”

The Eighth Circuit disagreed
Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Finds Arbitration Agreement Unenforceable in a Claim for Sexual Assault

Over time, since the enactment of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”), the overwhelming majority of Circuit Courts have adopted a “least sophisticated consumer” or “unsophisticated consumer” test when evaluating whether a debt collector’s communications or actions with respect to collecting a debt were deceptive or unlawful. But in a recent appellate decision, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a “reasonable consumer” test should be applied, deviating from the standard set forth by other courts.
In Tavernaro v. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., Tavernaro borrowed under a student loan and later defaulted on the debt. The debt
Continue Reading Tenth Circuit Mandates "Reasonable Consumer" standard for FDCPA claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of an employee’s claims that his union failed to fairly represent him and discriminated against him because of his race. In Hampton v. Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union of America, Local 218, the plaintiff alleged race discrimination based on how the Union handled the grievance of his termination from employment. In particular, Hampton asserted claims for race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and that the Union violated its duty to fairly represent him.

Hampton had been employed by Frito-Lay in
Continue Reading Federal Discrimination Claims against a Union Lacked Sufficient Factual Allegations, Tenth Circuit Affirms

Giudicy v. Mercy Hosps. E. Cmtys., 645 S.W.3d 492 (Mo. 2022) is a Supreme Court of Missouri case that dealt with the statutory affidavit of merit requirement in a medical negligence suit. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 538.225 requires a plaintiff to file an affidavit of merit against each defendant within 90 days after suit has been filed. The statute permits a court to extend the deadline, but not longer than 90 days, meaning there is an absolute 180-day deadline for the filing of an affidavit of merit. An affidavit of merit must be signed by the plaintiff or her
Continue Reading Too Little, Too Late – Untimely Filed Affidavit of Merit Requires Dismissal of Medical Negligence Lawsuit

Missouri creditors can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Missouri Supreme Court finds creditors do not need to ensure a defaulting customer received the post-sale explanation to preserve their rights to seek a deficiency judgment after repossession of goods. The Court also provided clarification as to what constitutes a private versus public sale under RSMO §400.9.
In The Central Trust Bank v. Barbara Branch, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed a circuit court’s judgment in favor Barbara and Alexis Branch (“the Branches”) on the bank’s petition for a deficiency judgment after the repossession and sale of a vehicle the
Continue Reading Secured Creditors of Missouri Get Some Guidance and Good News from the Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Court of Appeals has affirmed the general rule in Missouri that a business owner/operator has no duty to protect invitees from the criminal acts of third-parties. One hot summer day, the plaintiff in M.B. v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., et al. attended a concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, operated by Live Nation. She arrived at the concert with a male acquaintance (A.R.) and suspected that she had been given a date rape drug at some point during the evening. M.B. became sick and asked A.R. to get his truck so they could leave the concert early. While
Continue Reading Missouri business owners owe no general duty to protect against third-party criminal acts.