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James J. Hennelly

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Biography

James Hennelly's practice in the firm's healthcare law group concentrates on personal injury defense, including professional liability and product liability cases. Mr. Hennelly has represented numerous health care institutions and related staff on various health care issues primarily in the defense of professional negligence, tort claims and personal injury.

Distinction

Mr. Hennelly has successfully defended healthcare providers in numerous jury trials. He frequently lectures before physicians and nursing staffs on topics concerning professional negligence. He has also authored articles on professional negligence, as well as trial techniques.

Trial Results

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital for alleged failure to meet trauma center guidelines, failure to perform timely thoracic surgery upon teenage auto accident victim
Plaintiff's Injury : Wrongful death
Result : Defendant's verdict (three week trial)

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital and three physicians for alleged failure to appropriately treat myocardial infarction patient with antihypertensive medication
Plaintiff's Injury : Wrongful death
Result : Defendants' verdict for our hospital and three physicians (verdict against co-defendant for $20,000)

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital for alleged failure to follow appropriate, aseptic, intravenous therapy technique in administering long-term IV therapy.
Plaintiff's Injury : Sub acute bacterial endocarditis; surgery for replacement of heart valve
Result : Defendants' verdicts (three week trial)

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital and five nurses for alleged failure to monitor patient's intake and out put of fluid resulting in congestive heart failure.
Plaintiff's Injury : Wrongful death
Result: Defendants' verdict

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital for alleged failure to confirm removal of Penrose drain after breast biopsy.
Plaintiff's Injury : Second surgery to remove drain; permanent scarring; loss of consortium
Result : Defendant's verdict for hospital; verdict against the co-defendant for $28,250

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital for nurse's aide's alleged manipulation of traction resulting in leg dropping onto bed and fractured femur
Plaintiff's Injury : Postponement of external fixator surgery, refracture of femur; 30 day hospital admission; loss of consortium
Result : Defendant verdict in twelve minutes

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against hospital for alleged extravasation of radiopaque dye from IV for radiological procedure into surrounding tissue of patient's arm
Plaintiff's Injury : Permanent loss of sensation; scarring; pain; loss of consortium
Result: Directed verdict for hospital ($75,000 verdict against co-defendant radiologist)

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action/Product Liability Action against hospital, doctor and K pad manufacturer for burns to lower leg
Plaintiff's Injury : Second degree burns to lower leg; permanent lymphedema, scarring, swelling and difficulty walking; $8,600 in specials
Result : $10,000 verdict against hospital; $5,000 verdict against the co-defendant physician and defendant's verdict for manufacturer

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice/Product Liability Action against hospital for alleged use and sale of contaminated TPN solution
Plaintiff's Injury : Sepsis; prolonged hospital admission; near death; loss of consortium; $14,000 in specials
Result: Combined $33,000 verdict for product liability claim for patient and for loss of consortium for husband

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action for alleged failure to obtain informed consent for blood transfusion with AIDS tainted blood in 1982 neonate
Plaintiff's Injury : Wrongful death; $600,000 in specials
Result : After filing for Summary Judgment for Hospital, Plaintiff filed a non-suit as to our client and proceeded to trial solely against the co-defendant's physician

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against an E.R. nurse for failure to hook patient up to cardiac telemetry; she subsequently died from ventricular fibrillation two hours after admission
Plaintiff's Injury : Wrongful death; $680,000.00 in lost wages, funeral expenses, and medical bills
Result: Defendant's verdict in twenty-five minutes

Type of Action : Medical Malpractice Action against a hospital for allegedly failing to monitor patient's blood work while on medication.
Plaintiff's Injury : Triglyceride count of 8,000; coma; multi-organ system shut down; permanent paraplegia; permanent disability; wage losses $800,000; and past and future medical bills of $1,000,000
Result : Directed verdict for hospital; co-defendant physician settled

Type of Action : Medical malpractice action against physician (and co-defendant physician and hospital) for failing to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to mother in labor with group B strep infection.
Plaintiff's Injury : Brain damaged infant requiring round the clock care; past and future medial bills of $13,000,000
Result : Physician was dismissed during trial (co-defendants received defendants' verdicts)

Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability - Defense
  • Commercial Litigation

Education

  • Washington University School of Law, St Louis, Missouri
    • J.D. - 1975
  • Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • B.A. - 1972
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1999

Published Works

  • "Missouri Civil Procedure", Contributing Reviewing Editor, The Missouri Bar, 1983
  • "Health Law Newsletter", Editor, Lashly & Baer, 1990
  • "Evidence in Trial Practice in Missouri", Co-Author, Seminar, N.B.I., 1991
  • "Cross Examination", St. Louis Bar Association Bar Journal, 1991
  • "How to Gain Respect in the Courtroom" Chapter of "Medical Negligence: How to Avoid Liability and How to Prepare for Trial", BAMSL, 1991
  • "Trial Advocacy in Missouri", Co-Author, Seminar, N.B.I., 1993
  • "Taking and Defending Depositions,", Seminar, UMKC, 1993
  • "Medical Malpractice in Missouri,", Seminar, N.B.I., 1994
  • "Taking Effective Depositions,", Seminar, L.E.S., 1994

Representative Cases

  • Long v. Missouri Delta Medical Center, 33 S.W.3d 629, 2000, Mo.App. S.D., 2000605262
  • McNeill v. Community Title Co., 11 S.W.3d 863, 2000, Mo.App. E.D., 2000038860
  • Depew v. Hyland Center Assoc., 979 S.W.2d 506, 1998, Mo.App. E.D., 1998232802
  • Barr v. City Council of City of Chesterfield, 904 S.W.2d 27, 1995, Mo.App. E.D, 1995114114
  • Gubernik v. Steinberg v. Crotzer, 842 S.W.2d 587, 1992, Mo.App. E.D., 1992222165
  • Doe v. Berry, 967 F.2d 1255, 1992, 8th Cir. Mo., 1992117689
  • Campbell v. Ward, 792 F.Supp. 1150, 1992, E.D.Mo., 1992101445
  • Huelster v. St. Anthony's Medical Center, 755 S.W.2d 16, 1988, Mo.App. E.D., 1988100359
  • Disbrow v. Boehmer, 711 S.W.2d 917, 1986, Mo.App. E.D., 1986125132
  • Abshire v. Nordson Corp., 688 S.W.2d 1, 1985, Mo.App. E.D., 1985111855
  • U.S. v. Lask, 703 F.2d 293, 51 A.F.T.R.2d 83-1040, 1983, 8th Cir. Mo., 1983114792
  • Moore v. Credit Information Corp. of America, 673 F.2d 208, 1982, 8th Cir. Mo., 1982108691
  • Empire Petroleum, Inc. v. D.F. & Associates, Inc., 538 F.Supp. 615, 1982, E.D.Mo., 1982121093
  • Stella v. DePaul Community Health Center, Inc., 642 F.2d 258, 1981, 8th Cir. Mo., 1981109665
  • Stella v. DePaul Community Health Center, Inc., 487 F.Supp. 1017, 1980, E.D.Mo., 1980313744
  • State ex rel. Church's Fried Chicken, Inc. v. Board of Adjustment of City of St. Louis, 581 S.W.2d 861, 1979, Mo.App. E.D., 1979129815
  • Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. v. Dain, Kalman & Quail, Inc., 578 F.2d 1256, 1978-1 Trade Cases P 62,094, 1978, 8th Cir. Ia., 1978119281
  • Vorbeck v. McNeal, 560 S.W.2d 245, 1977, Mo.App., 1977138126

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Health Lawyers Association, Member
  • The Missouri Bar, Member
  • St. Charles County Bar Association, Member, 1981 to 1985
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Chairman, 1985 to 1985
  • Defense Research Institute, Member

Current Employment Position

  • Member of the Firm

Honors

  • Recipient, HSG Outstanding Defense Counsel Award (Mo.)

Classes & Seminars

  • Presenter: "Staff Physician Malpractice Issues", Centreville Township Hospital, 1986
  • Presenter: "Resident Malpractice Issues", St. Luke's Episcopal-Presbyterian Hospital, 1987
  • Presenter: "Mock Trial for Nursing Staff", Missouri Baptist Medical Center, 1990
  • Presenter: "Evidence in Trial Practice in Missouri", Marriott Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, 1991
  • Presenter: "Considerations for Physicians on Trial", BAMSL, and St. Louis Medical Society, 1991
  • Presenter: "Deposition Demonstration for Defendant Physicians", DePaul Health Center, 1992
  • Presenter: "Taking and Defending Depositions", Seminar, UMKC, Marriott Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, 1993
  • Presenter: "Trial Advocacy in Missouri", Seminar, N.B.I., Holiday Inn, Clayton, Missouri, 1994
  • Presenter: "Medical Malpractice in Missouri", Seminar, N.B.I., Holiday Inn, Clayton, Missouri, 1994
  • Presenter: "Taking Effective Depositions", Seminar, Lorman, Holiday Inn, St. Louis, Missouri

Representative Clients

  • Healthcare Services Group
  • Kindred Healthcare, Inc.
  • Missouri Hospital Plan
  • Reciprocal of America

Past Positions

  • Thompson Coburn LLP, Partner, 1994 to 1999
  • Lashly & Baer, P.C., Partner, 1981 to 1994
  • Lashly & Baer, P.C., Associate, 1977 to 1980
  • London, Greenbert & Fleming, Associate, 1976 to 1977
  • U.S. District Judge, Roy W. Harper, Law Clerk, 1975 to 1976