About William P. Denning

William Denning concentrates his practice primarily in the area of litigation defending clients in significant injury, death and damages claims in the areas of product liability, trucking/transportation liability, catastrophic injuries, premises liability and medical/professional liability. He has tried jury and bench trials in both federal and state court obtaining defense verdicts in complex products liability actions as well as admitted-liability motor vehicle accidents. William has successfully argued on behalf of clients before the Court of Appeals in both Kansas and Missouri, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He has been a partner since 2010.

  • Education

    J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2003


    • Member of National Moot Court Team and National Trial Team

    • Recipient of John L. Sheridan and Thomas E. Deacy Sr. Awards as the most outstanding appellate and trial advocate

    • Law Review / Urban Lawyer staff member

    • B.S., Pittsburg State University, 1999

  • Awards & Publications

    Super Lawyers Rising Star in Kansas and Missouri in the area of general litigation in 2011 and 2012.

  • Bar Admissions & Professional Affiliations

    Missouri, 2003
    Kansas 2004
    U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
    U.S. District Court, Kansas
    United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
    United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
    United States Supreme Court
    Kansas Bar Association
    The Missouri Bar
    Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

  • Significant Accomplishments

    • Prince v. Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center of KC

      Venue: Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas Court of Appeals

      Willie Denning successfully defended this veterinary malpractice case, in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to diagnose and treat a dog in a timely manner for gastric dilation volvulus (flipped stomach). After Mr. Denning successfully convinced the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ Kansas Consumer Protection Act claims, the case went to trial, resulting in a full defense verdict. The plaintiff then appealed the dismissal of the consumer protection claims, and the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal after hearing oral arguments.

    • Porter v. Adrian Fabricators

      Venue: Wyandotte County, Kansas

      Willie Denning defended this product liability case involving a paraplegic plaintiff seeking over $2,000,000 in damages. The plaintiff was injured in an industrial accident where a stackable wire mesh container fell on him from the top of a stack of the containers. The plaintiff had been attempting to remove tires from one of the containers in the stack and claimed that the defendant negligently manufactured the containers and failed to provide adequate warnings about their use. After a trial by jury, Mr. Denning won a defense verdict for his client.

    • Leon v. Herndon

      Venue: Wyandotte County, Kansas

      William Denning won a defense verdict in this admitted liability case, in the District Court of Wyandotte County, Kansas. The Wyandotte County jury endorsed the defense theory of the case, concluding that even though the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle, the plaintiff did not suffer any injury as a result of the accident. Plaintiff sought $16,731.00 for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

    • Arriaga v. B&W Tax Service

      Venue: Wyandotte County, Kansas

      William Denning defended this premises liability action, in which Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on black ice on the sidewalk at Defendant’s accounting office and sustained a trimalleolar right ankle fracture which required surgery. Plaintiff sought to recover damages for medical expenses as well as lost wages in excess of $300,000 at trial. The jury assigned 49% of the fault to plaintiff and 51% of the fault to Defendant with total damages in the amount of $68,218.25 for a net verdict of $33,426.94 which was less than offered at mediation.

    • Sharp v. King

      Venue: Johnson County, Kansas

      William Denning defended this admitted liability rear end motor vehicle accident, in which Plaintiff was one week post knee replacement surgery and was stopped on an exit ramp when her vehicle was struck from behind by Defendant’s vehicle. Plaintiff claimed that as a result of the accident she suffered a fracture of her femur and that as a result of the fracture she had to undergo a complete replacement of her artificial knee with insertion of a femoral rod. Plaintiff sought damages for past medical expenses in excess of $100,000 as well as pain and suffering at trial. The jury awarded Plaintiff non-economic loss in the amount of $1,000 and medical expenses in the amount of $1,607.01. Total damages recovered by plaintiff were only $1,607.01.

    • Czechan v. Lewis, et al

      Venue: Johnson County, Kansas

      William Denning defended this personal injury action, in which Defendant motorist was involved in a motor vehicle collision at an intersection when another motorist failed to yield at the stop sign. Plaintiff was a passenger in the co-defendant’s vehicle and claimed soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. Plaintiff alleged that client was traveling too fast and failed to avoid the collision. Mr. Denning obtained a defense verdict, assigning no fault to his client.

    • Hooter v. Dryer

      Venue: Wyandotte County, Kansas

      William Denning defended this pedestrian motor vehicle accident, in which Defendant struck and injured Plaintiff as he and his daughter were crossing the roadway in the middle of the block. Defendant had driven approximately half a block when she struck Plaintiff, who was entering the third lane of traffic. As a result of being struck, Plaintiff suffered multiple fractures including fractured ribs and left tibia, pelvic fracture and a lung contusion and was non-ambulatory for six weeks. At trial, Plaintiff sought damages in excess of $130,000 seeking past medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The jury awarded Plaintiff $25,000 in pain and suffering, $38,452.24 in medical expenses (the amount paid), and $2,800 in wage loss. Mr. Denning successfully persuaded the jury to assign 45% of the fault to Plaintiff, resulting in only $36,438.73 to be awarded to Plaintiff.

    • Unique Vacations v. Trip Mate, et al

      Venue: U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

      William Denning represented Plaintiff Unique Vacations in this breach of contract action, in which Defendant entered into a Travel Organization Agreement contract with the client whereby the client would receive profit sharing payments for travel insurance sold to its customers. The client alleged that Defendant breached the contract when Defendant failed to pay profit sharing owed to the client. At trial, the Court determined that Defendant had breached the contract and the client was owed over $300,000 in unpaid profit sharing.

    • Jani-King v. Carmeco

      Venue: Greene County, Missouri

      William Denning represented Plaintiff alleging that Defendant breached a services contract with the client. The client had entered into a written contract to provide cleaning services at facility owned by Defendant. Defendant purported to terminate the contract due to alleged defective performance by the client. The client sued seeking damages for breach of contract and liquidated damages, as well as attorney’s fees. At trial, Mr. Denning persuaded the Court that Defendant improperly terminated the contract and awarded client liquidated damages and attorney’s fees in the total amount of $36,956.87.

    • Cheek v. City of Edwardsville, Kansas et. al. and Doty v. City of Edwardsville, Kansas et al.

      Venue: U.S. District Court, District of Kansas

      William Denning successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of all Defendants on Plaintiff’s claims for retaliation and violation of Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights. Plaintiffs were majors with the Edwardsville, Kansas Police Department, and claimed that their employment was terminated as a result of their cooperation in and statements to the Kansas Attorney’s General office during an investigation of allegations of public corruption. Defendants denied that the officers were terminated in retaliation for their statements. In addition, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment and the United States Supreme Court denied writ of certiorari. (Case No. 08-1295)

    • Jackson County, Missouri v. Bill House Excavating

      Venue: Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District)

      William Denning defended this trespass and conversion action, in which Jackson County, Missouri, filed suit against its client for trespass and conversion, alleging that the company entered upon county property and removed soil. After suit was filed, Mr. Denning, on behalf of Defendants, moved to compel arbitration based upon the client’s agreement with the County. The circuit court denied the motion. On appeal, Mr. Denning obtained a reversal and remand from the court of appeals.

    • Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Jayhawk Fire Sprinkler Co., Inc.

      Venue: Jackson County, Missouri

      William Denning obtained summary judgment on behalf of his client in this subrogation action, in which Plaintiff filed suit seeking to recover damages for water damage as a result of failure of a sprinkler head installed by Defendant. Mr. Denning, on behalf of Defendants, sought summary judgment on basis that insured waived subrogation rights in the general contract. The court granted summary judgment and Plaintiff appealed. The court of appeals remanded and Mr. Denning successfully obtained summary judgment, again, in favor of his clients, finding that Plaintiff had waived subrogation rights pursuant to general contract.

    • Peterson v. Hensel Phelps, et al.

      Venue: U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

      William Denning successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of his client on a crossclaim asserted by the property owner for indemnity. Plaintiff filed suit seeking to recover for certain personal injuries when Plaintiff slipped and fell in the pool area at a hotel. The property owner filed a crossclaim against Mr. Denning’s client, seeking indemnity for Plaintiff’s personal injuries as the client acted as construction manager during construction of the hotel. Mr. Denning, on behalf of his client, sought summary judgment on the basis that the property owner could not seek indemnification for its own acts of negligence and the indemnity agreement was ambiguous. Mr. Denning won summary judgment after the Court found that the property owner was not entitled to indemnification for its own acts of negligence.

    • Spencer Reed Group v. Martin Pringle

      Venue: Johnson County, Kansas

      William Denning obtained summary judgment on behalf of his client in this breach of contract action, in which Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the client breached contract when the client refused to pay fees for attorneys which Plaintiff claimed it referred to Defendant under a Direct Hire Guarantee and Fee Agreement. Defendant disputed that the attorneys it hired were referred by Plaintiff and that any referral fee was owed. Mr. Denning obtained summary judgment, after the Court found that there was no evidence that the attorneys hired by the client had been referred by Plaintiff.

    • Wick et al v Paris Beauty Salons

      Venue: Jackson County, Missouri

      Brad Russell and William Denning obtained summary judgment in this multi-party products liability action in Jackson County, Missouri. The three plaintiffs had demanded more than $10 million in damages, based on claims that the defendants’ acrylic nail products caused auto-immune disorders.

    • Greer v. Galbraith

      Venue: Johnson County, Kansas

      In this personal injury lawsuit defended by Brad Russell and William Denning in Johnson County, Kansas, the plaintiff alleged a torn medial meniscus in the knee, S.I. joint dysfunction in the hip, lower back injuries, and soft tissue injuries to the neck. Plaintiff had incurred $32,140.04 in past medical expenses and alleged $118,000 in future medical expenses. Plaintiff also claimed significant interruption of her household services in that the injuries impaired her ability to provide care to a disabled adult daughter including feeding her three times a day by bending down onto the floor, and lifting her out of the bed. Prior to trial, plaintiff’s only demand was for the defendant’s $100,000 policy limits. Defendant had offered $6,500 in a pretrial settlement conference and was willing to contribute additional sums of money towards settlement; however, plaintiff never reduced her settlement demand below the $100,000 policy limits. At trial, the jury returned a verdict totaling only $7,100.