Douglas manages a diverse civil defense practice, with a focus on professional negligence cases, industrial and construction-site injuries, product liability, and general business litigation. He regularly represents architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and individuals facing claims for professional malpractice, breach of contract, and personal injuries. He aggressively pursues his clients’ legal defenses, while always looking for opportunities to leverage a favorable result in the quickest and most cost-effective way. Douglas has experience handling and overseeing all stages of such disputes, including investigating facts, crafting persuasive legal briefs, developing expert strategies, taking and defending depositions, trying cases before judge and jury, and arguing appeals.
Douglas is an experienced writer and editor, having served as a Senior Articles Editor for the Science and Technology Law Review and on the editorial board of several other academic publications.
J.D., Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, cum laude, 2010
B.A., Southern Methodist University, with honors, 2007
Defending Workplace Injury Claims in Missouri and Kansas, continuing education presentation
U.S. District Courts for the District of Kansas, the Western District of Missouri, and the Eastern District of Missouri
The Missouri Bar
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
Johnson County Bar Association
Venue: Jackson County, Missouri
John Bordeau and Doug Hill obtained summary judgment in favor of their client, Michael Brown, in this co-employee liability case. After being injured in a workplace accident and collecting worker’s compensation benefits for the injury, Plaintiff sued his supervisor, Mr. Brown. Plaintiff claimed that Mr. Brown breached a personal duty to keep the workplace safe by failing to conduct inspections of the billboards and failing to respond to reports of unsafe conditions. Relying on cases defining the duty to provide a safe workplace as a non-delegable duty belonging to the employer, John and Doug convinced the trial court that Mr. Brown could not be held liable personally for the injuries alleged. Plaintiff appealed and ultimately agreed to a settlement, shortly before the Missouri Supreme Court was set to take up the case.
Venue: Johnson County, Kansas
John Bordeau and Doug Hill represented the general contractor in this complicated multi-party construction dispute. The building owners hired the contractor to build a new salon in Johnson County, Kansas, but upon completion claimed numerous defects in a commercial building. The owner brought a private arbitration action against the contractor, seeking $3,000,000 in damages. Prior to arbitration, the owner refused to discuss settlement unless the general contractor made an opening offer of $1.5 million. After a one-week arbitration, the owner was awarded only $500,000.
Concurrently, Mr. Bordeau and Mr. Hill prosecuted a civil case against the various contractors and suppliers who had been hired by their client and were involved in the allegedly defective work. That litigation resulted in numerous independent settlements, eventually recouping most of the amount awarded in the underlying arbitration.
Venue: Wyandotte County, Kansas
Sean Sturdivan and Doug Hill won full summary judgment for their client, a McDonald’s franchisee, in a slip-and-fall case in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The plaintiff and his wife took their grandchildren to McDonald’s on Christmas Eve, just as a major ice storm was getting underway. Sturdivan and Hill argued that, under Kansas case law, the “winter storm doctrine” precluded the plaintiff’s claim. They worked with their expert witness, local TV weatherman Bryan Busby, to show that even though there was no falling precipitation, the ice that formed on the sidewalk was part of a larger winter storm that began before the plaintiff’s fall and lasted into the next day. Thus, they argued, the McDonald’s franchise had no legal duty to remove the ice until a reasonable time after the storm had ended. The trial court agreed and granted full summary judgment in favor of the defendant.
Venue: Leavenworth County, Kansas
Brad Russell and Doug Hill successfully defended a construction contract laborer in two consolidated property damage and personal injury cases arising out of a construction zone traffic accident. Plaintiffs alleged that the firm’s client, a roadway construction contract laborer, contributed to the cause of a construction zone accident by failing to place adequate warnings of construction and by failing to use required amber lights on his construction vehicle. On cross-examination at trial, the plaintiff who had been driving the vehicle involved in the accident admitted that the presence or absence of amber lighting would not have made any difference in the outcome of the accident, and the jury returned a verdict of zero liability and zero damages.
Venue: Jackson County, Missouri
John Bordeau and Douglas Hill obtained a defense verdict after a jury trial in this breach of contract case. The plaintiff, a dentist, sought $135,000 for her claim that the defendant had overcharged her for dental supplies over a three-year period by failing to live up to an alleged “price matching” agreement. Mr. Bordeau and Mr. Hill successfully argued that no such contract existed, and the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the supplier.
Venue: Greene County, Missouri
Douglas Hill helped Farmers Insurance Company win summary judgment in this insurance coverage dispute in which the insured was attempting to stack several uninsured motorist insurance policies after a fatal automobile accident. The insured’s adult son, who had just moved out of his father’s home a few days earlier, was killed in the accident. The firm filed and argued a motion for summary judgment stating that the plaintiff could not stack the UM limits of the policies because his son did not qualify as a member of the household, since he had moved out prior to the accident. The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Farmers.
Venue: U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
Randy Scheer and Jacob Sappington obtained summary judgment in favor of the client (an engineering company) on all claims in a $110 million ethanol plant explosion case in Nebraska. Douglas Hill assisted with summary judgment strategy and briefing. The grant of summary judgment was also later affirmed on appeal by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.