- Bachelor of Arts – Political Science 1995, Saint Louis University
- Juris Doctor 1998, Saint Louis University School of Law
- Admitted to Practice in Missouri 1998, Illinois 2002 and Federal Court 2001
- Member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Defense of Workers’ Compensation in Missouri and Illinois
- Past President of Kids’ Chance, Inc. of Missouri (charitable organization providing scholarships to the children of employees who were either killed or severely disabled in work related injuries in Missouri).
- Co-chair for the Kids’ Chance Golf Tournament annual fund-raiser.
Significant Arbitration/Commission Decisions
- Kevin Holder v. Funk Pest Control and Tree Service 12 WC 21097
The petitioner worked for a tree trimming company and alleged injury to his neck while working in a boom when he cut a large limb from a tree that allegedly fell on him. Accident was disputed as well as medical causation. The accident was not reported by petitioner until after he was terminated from his employment and there were several inconsistencies in the records about when and how the injury allegedly occurred. Petitioner had a witness testify at trial to support his claim of accident and injury and the Employer testified as well. Petitioner’s witness was found to not be credible, as was Petitioner. The arbitrator found the petitioner did not sustain an accidental injury arising out of an in the course of his employment. Even assuming arguendo petitioner did sustain a work-related injury, the arbitrator concluded he had failed to meet his burden on medical causation as well. The petitioner’s claim for compensation was denied. The matter was appealed by the petitioner with the Commission affirming and adopting the Arbitration Decision.
- Lisa Richmond v. Cambridge House of Maryville 14 WC 1827
Petitioner alleged injury to her left knee after being “knee’d” by a co-worker as she was getting her lunch tray. The claim was denied on the basis of “horseplay” and that the petitioner was at no greater risk for injury as a result of the co-workers actions. The co-worker testified that she accidently bumped the petitioner and the arbitrator found petitioner’s complaints of injury inconsistent. The arbitrator denied petitioner’s claim stating she was not performing tasks to her employer’s benefit at the time of the incident and that petitioner’s injury did not arise out of her employment. Furthermore, the arbitrator found that the petitioner failed to present evidence that her risk of injury was peculiar to or increased by the nature of her employment. Petitioner filed an appeal and the Commission reversed the decision on accident but found her current condition not related to the work injury and denied over $20,000 in past medical bills as well as future medical treatment. The total TTD and PPD award was $1,842.66 and the matter was settled.
- Kim Phelps v. Pinnacle Staffing, Inc., 15 WC 11481
Petitioner was working through at temporary agency at Continental Tire Company and claimed that on March 8, 2015 she was inspecting tires and moving a tire above her head sustaining injury to her right side and upper back. Medical records revealed a history of a pulled muscle in her shoulders and neck on February 20, 2015 but no history of injury on March 8, 2015. Petitioner had also been seeing a chiropractor and her primary care physician prior to the alleged injury for similar complaints. Petitioner was subsequently diagnosed with multiple non-healing rib fractures but the IME physician, Dr. Cantrell, opined that they were not related to any alleged injury. Petitioner was demanding additional medical treatment. Arbitrator Nowak found Petitioner failed to meet her burden of establishing she sustained an accident which arose out of and in the course of her employment or that her condition of ill-being was causally related to the alleged work injury. All benefits were denied. Petitioner filed an un-timely Petition for Review and it is anticipated it will be dismissed.
- John Bumphus v. UniQue Personnel Consultants 15 WC 27577
Petitioner alleged a “mental-mental” injury allegedly the result of being denied a “reasonable accommodation” for a pre-exiting back injury. Petitioner testified that on July 17, 2015 he went to Respondent’s office to discuss his “reasonable accommodation” due to back pain. He testified that he became “flustered” but there was no evidence of a definite, sudden emotional event. Furthermore, Petitioner did not present any objective medical evidence supporting a psychological injury, causation and disability. The Arbitrator found that Petitioner’s alleged interactions with his co-workers did not rise to a level greater than day-to-day emotional strain and tension which all employees must experience. In addition, any alleged injury was not the “major contributing factor” of Petitioner’s mental disorder given his admitted pre-existing PTSD condition. All benefits were denied. Petitioner has filed an appeal that is pending.
- James Klump v. Midland Railway Supply, Inc. 16 WC2470
Petitioner alleges he was assaulted by a co-worker on December 24, 2015. There was no dispute over the nature of the conversation leading up to the altercation and that it pertained to a work issue, however, there was a dispute about whether Petitioner was the initial aggressor. Petitioner testified on his own behalf and three witnesses were called to testify on behalf of the Respondent. Arbitrator Rowe-Sullivan found that Petitioner failed to meet his burden proving that an accident arose out of and in the course of his employment. The evidence established that Petitioner was the initial aggressor. All benefits were denied. No appeal was filed.