Missouri Lawyers Weekly will recognize Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partners Rob Adams, Mike Kleffner and Ann Songer for securing one of the largest defense verdicts in 2013 in Missouri at an awards event slated for January 24, 2014, in St. Louis.
Shook’s trial team represented Thomas Built Buses, Inc. and Freightliner LLC in a civil trial stemming from a May 9, 2005, school bus crash that resulted in two fatalities and multiple injuries. Plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that faulty brakes were responsible for the crash, seeking damages from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Thomas Built and Freightliner for allegedly failing to properly install and maintain the automatic slack adjusters for the bus’s brake system. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), however, attributed the accident to “pedal misapplication” and Shook in its closing arguments noted that inspectors never identified any mechanical issues with the brakes.
The jury ultimately agreed with the NTSB assessment, concluding that the driver accidentally pressed the accelerator in the moments before the crash.