Jeff practices trial and appellate litigation - with a concentration in the area of toxic tort and mass tort actions - as a member of the firm's Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team. He regularly represents a variety of companies in toxic tort cases alleging product and/or premise exposure to asbestos. Often working with major joint-defense groups and some of the nation's leading industrial hygiene defense experts, Jeff achieves favorable outcomes as he aggressively defends hundreds of asbestos cases nationwide.
Jeff's experience includes:
•Managing the national trial counsel defense team for a Fortune 1000 manufacturing company.
Defending a commercial developer in several lawsuits filed by adjoining property owners and citizen action groups opposing the $1 billion development of a controversial iron-ore smelter.
In addition to his toxic tort practice, Jeff regularly serves as lead counsel, at both the trial and appellate levels, in complex business and real estate-related litigation matters before state and federal courts. He has represented developers, contractors, municipalities, lenders, brokers and homeowner associations in real estate litigation involving land use, zoning, tax increment financing, condemnation, contract, lease, lien and other title disputes. He counsels insurance companies, financial institutions and other business entities in the prosecution and defense of business fraud actions and contract enforcement. Jeff's practice also includes the defense of professional malpractice and negligence claims.
Awards and Recognitions
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2005
•St. Louis County Bar Association, Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, 2001
Managed the national trial counsel defense team and brought to cost-effective and efficient resolution hundreds of asbestos exposure lawsuits for a Fortune 1000 company. Cases are defended in some of the toughest and most plaintiff-friendly venues in the country, including several 'judicial hellholes' (as identified by the American Tort Reform Association) in Texas, Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri.
•Obtained a jury verdict in the defense of a third-party administrative claims management company in which plaintiff sought more than $50 million in damages based on an alleged failure under a contract to refer claims for investigation.
•Represented through appeal a commercial developer in the defense of several lawsuits filed by adjoining property owners and citizen action groups opposing the $1 billion development of a controversial iron-ore smelter in Crystal City, Mo. Claims included easement, title, nuisance and boundary encroachment brought by numerous individual property owners, as well as a highly publicized lawsuit initiated by a politically motivated citizens' action committee, alleging a municipal entity's violation of Missouri's Sunshine Act.
•Obtained judgment in favor of legal professionals in defense of claims of malpractice, including the prosecution of collateral litigation through appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court on equitable claims to reform release at issue.
•Defended through appeal major commercial developer against numerous lawsuits brought and funded by local residents and business interests opposing the development of a $130 million retail development in St. Louis County, Mo. Claims ranged from procedural and statutory violations from the municipality's enactment of zoning and building permits, to claims of nuisance/quiet enjoyment rights violations resulting from construction and blasting, to due process and other constitutional abuses arising out of the municipality's approval of nearly $30 million in tax increment financing incentives for the developer.
•Pursued appeals in the Eastern and Southern Districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals that shaped the law on employer misrepresentations with regard to the 'at-will' employment doctrine and calibrating the statute of limitations on actions to recover life insurance benefits.
•Defended commercial developer in contract and property damage claims arising out of alleged construction/design defects at health club facility. The defense included the subsequent recovery of all litigation expenses in prosecution of declaratory judgment action against client's insurer for determination of coverage.
•Obtained judgment in defense of a real estate developer on contract claim in which plaintiff sought recovery of damages exceeding $1 million arising out of defendant's alleged breach of a right of first refusal agreement.
•Jeff's appellate cases and reported decisions include:
- Concerned Citizens for Crystal City v. City of Crystal City, 334 S.W. 3d 519 (Mo.App.E.D. 2010)
- Thirty and 141 L.P. v. Lowe's Home Centers Inc., 565 F. 3d 443 (Mo. 2009)
- Eisenberg v. McKee, 272 S.W. 3d 266 (Mo.App.E.D. 2008)
- State Auto Property v. Nigro Family Partnership L.P., 2008 WL 4790263 (E.D.Mo. 2008)
- Thirty and 141 L.P. v. Lowe's Home Centers Inc., 2008 WL 1995343 (E.D.Mo. 2008)
- Husch & Eppenberger LLC v. Eisenberg, 213 S.W. 3d 124 (Mo.App.E.D. 2006)
- Intertel Inc. v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., 204 S.W. 3d 183 (Mo.App.E.D. 2006)
- Curnes v. Equitable Life Assurance Society, 6 S.W. 3d 175 (Mo.App.S.D. 1999)
- Mannion v. K. Khan Inc., 992 S.W. 2d 198 (Mo.App.E.D. 1999)
- O'Neal v. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc., 996 S.W. 2d 700 (Mo.App.E.D. 1999)
- Brennan v. Molina, 934 S.W. 2d 631 (Mo.App.E.D. 1996)
- State ex rel. Referendum Petitioners Committee Regarding Ordinance No. 4639 v. Lasky, 932 S.W. 2d 392 (Mo. 1996)