Kristie Holden V. Missouri Botanical Garden Michael Pitzer
Partner who tried case: Michael J. Pitzer
We represented: Missouri Botanical Garden
Venue: Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis
Facts: On June 6, 2006, plaintiff Kristie Holden was visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden when she missed a step while walking down the pathway. She took an air-step and fell, spraining her right ankle and fracturing her left ankle. Treatment included a metal plate and screws to retain the fragments. Her medical bills totaled $62,000. Plaintiff claimed that the single riser step in a path in the Japanese Garden was defective because it did not have visual cues which would cause plaintiff to see it. The defense was based upon the fact that the plaintiff failed to keep a careful lookout for a step that was obvious if she looked. Plaintiff’s last demand was $100,000. There was no offer. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Chris Lang, Safety National Casualty Corporation v. Austin Resolutions, Inc.
Partner who tried case: Christopher J. Lang
We represented: Safety National Casualty Corporation
Venue: United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
Facts: Plaintiff Safety National commenced this action against Austin Resolutions seeking damages arising out of the performance of (or failure to perform) an oral contract that was entered into between the parties. Specifically, Safety National hired Austin Resolutions, a company who specializes in negotiating substantial discounts on medical bills with providers, to negotiate and reduce medical bills owed to Regional Medical Center for care and treatment rendered to Sherry Hubble. Austin Resolutions’ fee was to be derived from a percentage of the savings or reduction that Austin Resolutions secured from the medical bills owing to Regional Medical Center. Austin Resolutions charged Safety National Casualty Corporation the sum total of $73,190.46, which was represented to be the fee based upon the negotiated savings. Safety National claimed that Austin Resolutions secured no savings or reduction from the medical bills owing to Regional Medical Center for the care and treatment rendered to Sherry Hubble and, thereby, breached its contract with Safety National. Further, Safety National contended that Austin Resolutions breached its implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and asserted claims for money had and received, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation.
Specials: Plaintiff alleged damages in the amount of $73,190.46, which represents the fee paid to Austin Resolutions for its purported cost containment services.
Demands: Plaintiff’s demand was $52,500 5 days before trial.
Offers: Defendant’s last offer made one week prior to trial was $25,000
Verdict/Result: Verdict in favor of the plaintiff Safety National Casualty Corporation as to all counts, with monetary damages in the amount of $73,190.46 awarded.