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Spring Newsletter 2012
|In This Issue
• Insurance Company Study Identifies Top 10 Causes of Workers’ Compensation Claims
• Distracted Driving Campaign
• Client Awarded $1 Million Judgment
• Client Resolves Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim
• Casey & Devoti, The Injury Board and The Safety Report
• Casey and Devoti Recognized as “Top 40 Under 40”
|Insurance Company Study Identifies Top 10 Causes of Workers’ Compensation ClaimsMany of you earn your living either operating or working for small businesses. In fact, the United States’ Small Business Administration estimates that small businesses employ about one half of all private sector employees.
We know the challenges that you face at your workplace. Our firm’s work is driven by five people, each of whom is an integral part of the firm. When one of us misses time because of sickness or injury the rest of feel it as we take up the slack to ensure that our clients continue to receive the quality of legal service that we strive to provide. We also know the human cost caused by workplace injuries as nearly a quarter of our practice involves representing people injured at work.
In that regard, we found interesting a study of workplace injuries recently completed by one of the nation’s largest insurers, Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. The study revealed that the five leading causes of workplace injuries drive nearly 72% of our nation’s Workers’ Compensation costs. Those causes are:
The study also noted that after adjusting for inflation the overall direct costs of disabling workplace injuries decreased 4.6% in 2009 compared with 1998.
We’ve noticed that our volume of Workers’ Compensation claims has declined as a percentage of our practice over the last five years. That observation is not unusual or unexpected. After all, Missouri employers have taken great pains over the last ten years to make the workplace safer and their efforts have resulted in the reporting of less workplace injuries over each of the last 10 years accompanied by 10 consecutive years of declining numbers of Workers’ Compensation claim in Missouri.
The study reviewed 2009 data compiled from Liberty Mutual claims, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance. The study is available at: www.libertymutualgroup.com.
For information about our success making Missouri workplaces safer, visit the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and their most recent report on the Division of Workers’ Compensation at:http://labor.mo.gov/DWC/Forms/DWC2010AnnualReport.pdf.
<pDistracted Driving Campaign
April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.” During the month, Matt Casey and Matt Devoti will be joining more than 400 lawyers across the country in raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by making presentations to schools in our area.
Distracted driving refers to driving while being distracted. Distractions can be visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel) or cognitive (taking your mind off the road). Using a cell phone or texting are obvious examples of distracted driving; in fact, cell phone use is attributed to 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes. Other examples include putting on lipstick, changing the music, eating on the go and countless other “harmless” diversions.
The presentation that Matt and Matt will make was developed byEndDD.org, 60forSafety.org and Nodd.org in collaboration with safety professionals whose expertise includes framing an appropriate message to reach teens. The inspiration for EndDD.org was the death of Casey Feldman in 2009 by a distracted driver. Through the Casey Feldman Foundation, Casey’s friends and family created a public service video for the United States Department of Transportation which being across the country. To view the PSA and learn why the Feldman family chose to use their daughter’s tragedy to try to save other young lives, please visithttp://enddd.org/blog/the-impact/dot-video/.
During the presentation, we will explore the many types of driving distractions and engage the group to encourage discuss their experiences as drivers and passengers with distracted friends and family. Cell phone use will be discussed as well as strategies for speaking up when a driver practices distracted driving habits.
We look forward to working together to help our teens – all of us – make better decisions.
Client Awarded $1 Million Judgment
A Pulaski County judge awarded $1 million to a passenger represented by our firm following a bench trial.
The man was a passenger in a pick-up truck that left a rural highway on July 13, 2008. The truck turned over after leaving the road. The man was sitting in the front passenger seat of the truck at the time of the collision. The crash happened on Raleigh Road near its intersection with Red Oak Road in Pulaski County. The driver of the truck simply drove the vehicle too fast as he tried to navigate around a curve in the highway.
Our client suffered extensive injury to his neck, upper back and left hand. He was transported by helicopter to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia following the collision. The man worked as a painter prior to the crash. He has not yet been able to return to work.
Matt Devoti tried the case this past December in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County before Judge Mary Sheffield. At the end of the trial, Judge Sheffield entered judgment in favor of the man in the amount of $1 million. No appeal has been taken.
This is the second significant verdict that a client represented by Matt Devoti has received in the last 19 months in Pulaski County.
In May 2010, a woman represented by Matt was awarded $700,000 against a contractor who did maintenance work at Fort Leonard Wood. The woman injured a knee when she slipped on a slick floor recently cleaned by the contractor.
Client Resolves Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim
Casey & Devoti successfully settled a workplace sexual harassment and retaliation claim against a local bank prior to filing a lawsuit.
Our client, a female, was a longtime employee of a bank. She claimed that her supervisor, also a female, made sexual overtures to her and her husband which included the supervisor sending nude photographs of herself to our client’s husband. Our client declined the overtures and was subsequently denied promotion. The client then reported the alleged sexual harassment to human resources. Human resources investigated the claims, but concluded that it was unable to substantiate the claims. Shortly thereafter, an attorney hired by the supervisor threatened to file a lawsuit against our client for reporting the incident.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, Matt Casey was able to coordinate mediation between the parties which ultimately led to settlement of all issues. The parties and terms of the settlement are confidential.
Casey & Devoti, The Injury Board and The Safety Report
This past Summer, Casey & Devoti joined The Injury Board. The Injury Board is a national network of personal injury attorneys spanning nearly every state. Member lawyers are bound together by common values, including a commitment to developing legal proficiency in our chosen field, maintaining positive and professional relationships with current and former clients, putting people before profit, and defending the injured. We are proud members of The Injury Board.
Earlier this year we published our initial edition of The Safety Report. Produced by The Injury Board, the magazine promotes security and well-being through articles and safety tips and will be distributed on a quarterly basis. Our hope is that the information contained in The Safety Report will help you and those close to you avoid injury or, at the least, provide some guidance if injuries do occur.
Hopefully, you received your complimentary copy of The Safety Report in January and have had a chance to read through the magazine. If not, please let us know and we’ll make sure that a copy is sent to you and that you are on our mailing list for future editions. And, of course, we are be happy to add any family member or friend to our list to ensure their receipt of a complimentary copy of the magazine.
Casey and Devoti Recognized as “Top 40 Under 40”
Our firm is pleased to announce that Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have been selected for membership in The National Trial Lawyers Association: Top 40 Under 40. Matt and Matt are two of only 40 trial lawyers from Missouri to be chosen for membership in The Top 40 Under 40 Association.
The National Trial Lawyers Association: Top 40 Under 40 is a new professional organization of America’s top young trial attorneys. Membership into The Top 40 Under 40 Association is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results and leadership as a young trial lawyer.
Our Contact Information
Do you, a family member or friend need help? Please feel free to contact us at:
We are happy to meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge.
10 South Broadway, Suite 825, St. Louis, MO 63102
Copyright 2009 Casey & Devoti