Tom leverages his national litigation experience for the good of Fortune 500 corporations and executives. A member of the Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, he vigorously defends against product liability, toxic tort and environmental claims, achieving favorable, cost-effective results. His technology and manufacturing experience includes:
•Obtained favorable decision for major ammunition manufacturer that was sued in fatal shotgun explosion.
•Secured summary judgment for a supplier and maker of swimming pool chemicals in a significant fire at a home improvement store.
•Won defense verdict for Fortune 500 company when spouse of university professor alleged that fatal brain cancer was caused by workplace exposure to a chemical.
Tom is a former member of the Executive Board.
Awards and Recognitions
The Best Lawyers In America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, 2011-2015; Antitrust Law, 2013-2015
•Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, 2009-2014
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2005-2013
Metropolitan Saint Louis Sewer District, former chair
•Defended global provider of technology-based agricultural products when a class was certified consisting of all of the property owners along a world-renown fishing stream. The state-owned hatchery on the creek used paint containing the chemical polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in the 1960s and 1970s, and PCBs leaked onto the banks of the creek and resulted in an order not to eat the fish.
•Represented a Fortune 500 agricultural products company when plaintiff alleged that her husband, a university professor, died of brain cancer because of workplace exposure to a chemical. Obtained defense verdict that was affirmed on appeal. The case avoided potential liabilities in excess of $100 million because plaintiffs' counsel withdrew from similar product liability cases comprising 189 plaintiffs, and these suits were dismissed for failure to prosecute.
•Defended a major ammunition manufacturer when a shotgun exploded during a trap-shooting contest. The shrapnel resulting from explosion killed a young man. The shooter and manufacturer of the reloading machine claimed that the steel used in the shotgun barrel was defective. The jury found the cause of the accident was an overloaded shell. The jury assessed one third of the fault to the shooter and two thirds to the manufacturer of the reloading machine, based on its failure to include features that would prevent overfilling. The jury exonerated client completely. The case was significant because other plaintiffs had successfully challenged the steel used in competitor's shotguns, resulting in three verdicts ranging from $1 million to $7 million and a class-action settlement for $13 million.
•Represented a chemical supplier/manufacturer after a fire in the swimming pool chemical section of a big-box home supply center resulted in destruction of the building and inventory. Plaintiff's total claim was approximately $18 million. Moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff's claims were pre-empted by federal law. In response, plaintiff tried to amend its complaint to avoid pre-emption. Judge granted client's motion, affirmed on appeal and denied plaintiff's motion to amend its complaint.
•Defended corporate client in federal court in San Jose, Calif., in more than 250 related lawsuits, including several putative class-action cases, concerning alleged groundwater contamination arising from perchlorate use at a signal flare manufacturing facility. Many of the lawsuits were initially filed in state court and successfully removed, notwithstanding fraudulent joinder and fraudulent misjoinder of resident defendant issues. Several of the lawsuits sought certification of a medical monitoring class and actual and punitive damages for alleged residential property devaluation. The class certification allegations were dismissed. The jury trial resulted in a defense verdict on four bellwether cases.
•Represented St. Louis County and the landowner of a site proposed for a domed football stadium. Various environmental groups (backed by the City of St. Louis) attempted to block this development by challenging the Corps of Engineers' permit to discharge fill material into a wetland area on the site. Court upheld the Corps' decision not to revoke the permit, and the decision was affirmed on appeal.
In The News
8.19.14 Husch Blackwell Boasts 106 Best Lawyers on 2015 List, Seven Lawyers of the Year
Energy & Natural Resources ; Financial Services ; Food & Agribusiness ; Healthcare, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals ; Real Estate, Development & Construction ; Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
5.23.14 Chambers USA 2014 Gives Husch Blackwell High Rankings in Nine Areas of Law; 40 Attorneys Recognized
Energy & Natural Resources ; Healthcare, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals ; Real Estate, Development & Construction
10.16.13 In Missouri, 76 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named 2013 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
8.16.13 Best Lawyers 2014 Names 109 from Husch Blackwell, 13 Lawyers of the Year
Healthcare, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals ; Real Estate, Development & Construction ; Financial Services ; Energy & Natural Resources
6.03.13 Husch Blackwell Receives High Rankings, Praise from Clients in Chambers USA 2013
10.15.12 A Combined 84 Husch Blackwell Attorneys are Named 2012 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Missouri and Nebraska
8.23.12 2013 Best Lawyers Includes 106 Husch Blackwell Attorneys in 56 Practice Areas and 7 States
6.12.12 Husch Blackwell Receives Top Rankings from Chambers and Partners
Real Estate, Development & Construction
10.19.11 Super Lawyers 2011 Names 71 Husch Blackwell Attorneys from Missouri and Nebraska; an Additional 15 Listed as Rising Stars
9.06.11 More Than 100 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2012