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Newsletter – Spring 2014

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To Pay or Not To Pay:
The Red Light Camera Debate Continues


Red Light CamerasA common question we hear a lot is, “Do I need to pay this ticket I received in the mail? It says a camera caught me going through a red light.”
No, our personal injury practice isn’t evolving into traffic law. But, as the red light camera debate heats up, we thought we could shed some light on the matter.
The answer to this question is still up for debate. To date, several courts in Missouri have made rulings that these cameras invade the privacy rights of cited vehicle owners. For instance, in St. Louis, Circuit Judge Stephen Ohmer recently ruled that the City of St. Louis’ ordinance permitting the city to issue red light citations is invalid. The court found that the ordinance directly invades the privacy rights of cited vehicle owners. The utmost concern, the court noted in its opinion, was the idea that the driver of the vehicle was presumed to be the vehicle’s owner. Similar rulings have been made against photo enforcement ordinances in Ellisville, Arnold and Moline Acres.
The Moline Acres ordinance was also invalided by the Missouri Court of Appeals sitting in St. Louis. The Court of Appeals also found that the municipal ordinance violated state law by presuming the owner of the vehicle to be the driver of at the time of the supposed violation.
In response, some municipalities have discontinued their use of the cameras, while others are appealing the decision and hoping to take their case to the Missouri Supreme Court.
In fact, two days after his ruling against the City of St. Louis, Ohmer put a hold on his own ruling to allow time for appeals. During this time, the city can still operate their red light cameras, but any fines collected must be kept in an escrow account and would, presumably, be returned if Ohmer’s ruling stands on appeal.
To date, the Missouri Supreme Court has refused to enter the debate. In fact, it recently denied transfer requests from three cities — Creve Coeur, Kansas City and Florissant – whose red light camera laws were challenged in lower courts.
The Missouri Supreme Court has yet to address the rulings of the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District in regards to challenges to the Ellisville and Arnold photo enforcement ordinances. A spokesperson for the red light camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions, Inc., said he was hopeful the Missouri Supreme Court would hear at least one of the remaining cases. St. Louis City Counselor Michael Garvin said recently that there were six conflicting court decisions across Missouri dealing with red light cameras.
“Until those issues are decided by the Missouri Supreme Court, there is no clear guidance,” he said.
So, that brings us back to the original question…should I pay this red light camera ticket? The answer is a grey area for now.
Our best advice: drive safely and stop at those red lights!
About Our Firm
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For over 30 years, Casey & Devoti has diligently protected the rights of its clients with honesty and integrity. Our lawyers are dedicated to providing individuals and small companies with first-class, professional and aggressive legal representation. Our lawyers have extensive trial experience representing clients in matters such as, automobile and truck accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability and commercial disputes. Casey & Devoti proudly serves the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Learn more about Casey & Devoti and its rich history of aggressively protecting clients’ rights at www.caseydevoti.com.
Trending Topics
Be a Force of Nature
Be a Force of NatureAfter this brutal winter, spring can’t arrive soon enough! But spring in the Midwest is often a rollercoaster of rainy days, windy days and drastic temperature swings. Many times, these factors can come together to create the perfect storm.
When a storm does blow up, being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. The deadliest and most destructive tornado of 2013, an EF-5 on May 20 in Moore, Oklahoma caused more than $2 billion in property damage. Even though severe weather was anticipated days in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.

Although the first week of March was National Severe Weather Preparedness week, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). FEMA and NOAA are still asking people to Be a Force of Nature by knowing your areas risks, preparing a severe weather plan and then sharing that plan with friends and family.

Be a Force of Nature:

  • Ensure you and your family knows your surroundings and risk for specific weather events.
  • Have an emergency plan for shelter and communications, and know what to do before severe weather strikes. Post your plan in your home and go over it with your family.
  • Download and prepare a Family Communications Plan for Parents and Kids, so that you and your loved ones can communicate and easily reunite during a severe weather event.
  • Identify an appropriate shelter in your home, neighborhood and community ahead of time.
  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit to keep on hand.
  • Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place, like a safe-deposit box.
  • Learn how to strengthen your home and business against severe weather.
  • Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disaster. Sign up for additional alerts through social media and your local news. Understand these local warning systems and signals.
  • Text your loved ones and let them know you are safe and where you are.
  • Be Alert! Listen to the weather forecast on radio or television. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio for weather updates and sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your cellphone.
  • Remember: Once you have a plan in place, share your story with friends and family.


Our Contact Information
Have you been hurt by the negligence of another? Please contact us for a free consultation:
We are happy to meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge.
Latest News
Casey & Devoti Secures Judgment Against Joyce Meyer Ministries
A woman represented by Casey & Devoti was successful in her case against Joyce Meyer Ministries. A jury in the City of St. Louis awarded the woman $280,000 following a five-day trial that concluded on March 7, 2014.

The woman attended Joyce Meyer’s “Love Life” Womens Conference in September 2010 at the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis. She injured both of her legs when she fell into a “window display” constructed by the ministry’s carpenters. Her most significant injury was a severe abrasion to her left shin, which later became infected and caused major inflammation in her lower left extremity. She was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which is more commonly known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

The window display was erected in a boutique area where Joyce Meyer Ministries sold souvenirs, including logo t-shirts, bags and jewelry. It resembled a storefront or shadow box and was placed in an area in the boutique in which the ministry routed women from the boutique’s sales floor after they paid for their purchases.

Several conference attendees and multiple Joyce Meyer employees described the area as “congested” and “crowded” when the firm’s client fell. These same witnesses also said that conference attendees were standing “shoulder-to-shoulder” and had limited sight distance. The window display served no purpose other than to look aesthetically pleasing and to draw women into the boutique. The ministry’s employees admitted at trial that they could have just as easily placed the window display outside of the boutique and in the main concourse of the Edward Jones Dome, where its presence would have achieved both purposes.

The jury deliberated for three hours and found that the woman represented by the firm suffered damage amounting to $400,000. The jury also found Joyce Meyer Ministries to be 70% at fault and the woman who fell to be 30% at fault. After receiving the jury’s verdict, Judge Edward Sweeney entered judgment in favor of the woman for $280,000.

Matt Devoti represented the woman at trial. He was assisted by Josh Harp of the Harp Law Firm in Frankfort, Ky.

Joyce Meyer Ministries is a faith-based corporation that has a campus in Fenton, Mo. It employs more than 800 people in 14 offices around the world, including more than 500 in the world headquarters.

If you have been injured by the negligence of another, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering. We will be happy to review the circumstances surrounding your injury and, if merited, assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.

Matt Devoti Appointed to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board of Directors
Cystic Fibrosis
Casey & Devoti is pleased to announce the appointment of partner Matthew Devoti to the board of directors of the Gateway Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“I am honored to have been selected to sit on the CFF Gateway Chapter Board of Directors,” said Devoti. “This organization has been instrumental in advancing the treatment of this debilitating disease in the St. Louis area.I look forward to serving on the board and collaborating with the local business community to implement successful fundraising events like The Wine Opener.”
Casey & Devoti has been a strong supporter of the Gateway Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for several years. Last fall, the firm teamed up with several other local businesses to sponsor the Gateway Chapters Annual Wine Opener, which drew a crowd of nearly 400 people and raised almost $70,000 for the foundation. In addition to sponsoring the event, Devoti personally served on the planning committee and was a key player in helping make the event a success.
This year Devoti has stepped up his hands-on work with the Gateway Chapter of CFF by serving as Co-Host for the 2014 Wine Opener. This years annual fundraising event is scheduled for Sept. 19 and will be held at the Moto Museum in St. Louis. The event will feature a VIP reception, appetizers, unlimited wine tastings, live and silent auctions and many door prizes.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. The Gateway Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a fundraising arm, whose purpose is to advance fundraising efforts, research and community awareness for children and adults living with Cystic Fibrosis in the St. Louis area. To learn more about the foundation, go to http://www.cff.org/chapters/gateway.

Ready for Some March Madness?
March MadnessMarch Madness 2014 is upon us. Again this year, Casey & Devoti will be sponsoring a bracket pool through cbssports.com. We’ll be giving away $350 in VISA gift cards to the top three finishers.

The bracket pool is free to enter and is open to all recipients of this email – firm family, friends, current and past clients. To register go to the Casey& Devoti pool webpage.
Last year, the top three finishers won Target and Shell gift cards totaling $250!

The Safety Report
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