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Honors and Awards

The Trial Lawyer Magazine, Fall 2020 Issue

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Grant Davis has earned his selection among these top trial lawyers and has been honored with a feature in the Fall 2020 issue of The Trial Lawyer magazine.

In The News

Talc-Related Lawsuits Are Ongoing

Johnson & Johnson currently faces thousands of lawsuits filed on behalf of women who claim that the company’s iconic Baby Powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Honors and Awards

DBJ Attorneys Make the 2020 Power 30 Power List

DBJ Attorneys Grant Davis and Scott Bethune Make the 2020 Power 30 Power List.

Railroad

FRA Announces Continuous Rail Testing

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently posted a final rule in the Federal Register allowing railroads to utilize ultrasonic inspection technology, supported by global positioning systems (GPS), to perform continuous rail testing (Federal Railroad Administration Announces Rail Inspection Technology Rule to Improve Track Safety).

In The News

Judge Questions Roundup Settlement

According to a recent article in the St. Louis Business Journal, Bayer’s $10.9 billion Roundup settlement may be in question after a judge expressed concerns over possible “shenanigans” by the German pharmaceutical giant (Judge casts doubt on Bayer's $10.9B Roundup settlement, fears 'manipulation').

Railroad

FRA Awards $500K to Prevent RR Trespassing

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced the award of Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grants totaling in excess of $500,000 to law enforcement agencies in multiple states in support of life-saving trespass abatement efforts (Federal Railroad Administration Announces More Than $500,000 to Deter Trespassing).

Railroad

FRA Authorizes Trespassing Suicide Prevention Grants

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced the opportunity to compete for $293,000 in grant funds available for Railroad Trespassing Suicide Prevention Program projects (FRA Continues Commitment to Save Lives With Railroad Trespassing Suicide Prevention Grants).

In The News

Bayer Agrees to Pay $10B to Roundup Victims

German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer recently agreed to pay over $10 billion to settle tens of thousands of claims that its weed killer Roundup caused cancer (Roundup Maker to Pay $10 Billion to Settle Cancer Suits). The deal is one of the largest legal settlements in United States history, involving agreements with 25 different law firms for widely varying amounts. “It’s rare that we see a consensual settlement with that many zeros on it,” said Stanford University Law School professor Nora Freeman Engstrom.

Safety

USDOT to Provide Face Coverings for American Transportation Passengers

The United States government recently announced a plan to send almost 100 million cloth facial coverings for passenger use to the aviation, transit, and passenger rail transportation sectors (Federal Government to Distribute Nearly 100 Million Cloth Facial Coverings for Transportation Passengers). Approximately 86.8 million face coverings will be disbursed to airports, while 9.6 million will be allocated to 458 transit agencies and Amtrak. 

Railroad

FRA Announces $302M in Railroad Grants

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced that the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program) has awarded over $302 million in grant funds to assist in the repair and rehabilitation of railroad infrastructure across the nation.

Railroad

NTSB Issues Final Report on NY Railroad Death

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued its final report regarding the 2017 death of a railroad roadway worker who was struck and killed by a train in Queens Village, New York.

In The News

Bayer Backs Out of Roundup Settlements

Because many U.S. courts have been closed to the public during the coronavirus crisis, Bayer is no longer under pressure to settle cases before any more disastrous verdicts can further damage its stock price.

Railroad

FRA Allocates $1B for Amtrak in CARES Act Funding

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency in the United Sates Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently allocated over $1 billion to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). The funds, provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are intended to assist the railroad’s efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the United States.

Railroad

FRA Proposes Rule to Measure Passenger Train Performance

The proposed rule will create new, additional measurements to help evaluate Amtrak’s performance in serving the public, including financial results and customer service quality.

In The News

Bayer Nearing Roundup Settlement

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Bayer AG has tentatively reached agreement on settlement terms with six law firms who represent tens of thousands of plaintiffs allegedly damaged by the use of Roundup weed killer (Bayer Advances Toward Resolving Roundup Litigation). According to sources familiar with the matter, the litigation is moving closer to a final resolution.

Honors and Awards

Grant Davis Named to Inner Circle of Advocates

Davis, Bethune & Jones founding member Grant L. Davis recently received an offer to join the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the best plaintiff lawyers in the country. For nearly 50 years, the Inner Circle of Advocates has upheld a mission “to promote the highest standards of courtroom competence and the mutual fellowship and exchange of knowledge among outstanding trial lawyers.” Invitations to the Inner Circle are awarded to plaintiff attorneys who have demonstrated outstanding performance and success in the courtroom.

In The News

FRA Announces 2020 Trespass Prevention & Grade Crossing Technology Summits

Pedestrian deaths from railroad trespassing have increased nearly 20 percent in recent years. Approximately 95 percent of all railroad-related fatalities in the United States are the result of illegal trespassing or highway-grade crossing collisions, the vast majority of which are preventable. To help reduce these tragedies, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is sponsoring six free, two-day Railroad Trespass Prevention and Grade Crossing Technology Summits across the United States (2020 FRA Railroad Trespass Prevention and Grade Crossing Technology Summits).

In The News

St. Louis Roundup Trial Postponed

Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Hogan recently announced the indefinite postponement of the ongoing Roundup cancer trial in St. Louis. The postponement news has fueled speculation that Bayer may be close to reaching a global settlement of the tens of thousands of similar Roundup cases being pursued around the world.

Results

Mediator Says Roundup Settlement Near

A recent article in Bloomberg News suggested that Bayer may be close to settling over 75,000 cancer claims resulting from its sales of Roundup weed-killer after the number of claims nearly doubled since September 2019 (Bayer Roundup Deal Is Close as Claims Surge, Mediator Says). Court-appointed mediator Ken Feinberg said that he is “cautiously optimistic” a comprehensive deal will be reached within the next month.

In The News

FRA Creates Webpage to Report Blocked RR Crossings

Blocked railroad crossings present a variety of potential safety hazards, especially in locations where the tracks are frequently obstructed for lengthy time periods. For example, exasperated drivers may try to speed across the tracks mere moments before a train arrives. Similarly, pedestrians may attempt to squeeze between railcars stopped on the tracks. In addition, blocked crossings create many other inconveniences for people in the surrounding community, including causing roadway congestion and making people late for work, school, and appointments.

Safety

Innovation Improves Railroad Safety

A recent article published by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) notes that technological innovations have dramatically increased the safety of United States freight railroads (The Eyes & Ears of Freight Rail). Over the last ten years, train accidents have decreased by ten percent and train derailments have declined by nine percent.

In The News

FRA Releases PTC Status Update

Since 2008, the DOT has promoted PTC through technical support and approximately $2.5 billion in funding for freight, intercity, and commuter railroads. “We remain steadfast in compelling and assisting railroads to successfully complete all steps necessary for full PTC implementation,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “The magnitude of this undertaking is immense, but putting PTC systems into operation demands diligence and a continued sense of urgency.”

In The News

USDOT Awards $900M in BUILD Grants

The program provides an opportunity for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that attempt to achieve important national objectives. “The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” Chao said.

In The News

Fines Issued for Deadly NC Gas Explosion

The North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) recently levied fines totaling $21,200 against PSNC Energy (PSNC) and two of its subcontractors for their actions resulting in a fatal gas-line explosion in downtown Durham last April. If you have been injured in a natural gas explosion, it is crucial that you hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Railroad

FRA Provides $396M for Railroad Improvements

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program). The NOFO provides $396 million in grant funding for railroad improvements across the country.

In The News

Huge Verdicts Don’t Halt Roundup Sales

A number of court cases have resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts in favor of plaintiffs who claimed their use of Roundup, a weedkiller sold at hardware and home-improvement stores across the country, gave them cancer. However, a recent New York Times article noted that many Americans, especially farmers, continue to use the product

In The News

Super Lawyer 2019: Grant L. Davis

Only a few attorneys from each state are selected to Super Lawyers designation for any given year, and this year DBJ's own Grant L. Davis has again been selected as a Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Kansas City, MO.

In The News

Landlord on Trial for Natural Gas Explosion

Along with two accomplices, the landlord has been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for setting up an illegal gas line that caused the 2015 explosion that killed two people and injured 13 others.

Wrongful Death

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

When a person dies from the willful malice or negligence of another, the survivors may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator. The type of claim can be made regardless of whether or not the person is charged with any criminal act.

Safety

NTSB Updates Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently updated the list of safety recommendations from its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.

In The News

$143 Million Settlement after Natural Gas Explosion

As a result of the settlement, residents can recover compensation for property damage and disruption of their lives, and businesses can be reimbursed for lost income and inventory. NiSource claims to have spent over $1 billion in response to the disaster.

Railroad

NHTSA, FRA Launch “Stop. Trains Can’t” Campaign

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), agencies of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), recently relaunched a $5.6 million railroad crossing public safety awareness campaign (NHTSA and FRA Launch Rail Crossing Safety Campaign). The Stop. Trains Can’t campaign emphasizes the importance of drivers’ taking extra precautions at highway-rail grade crossings.

Railroad

NTSB Announces Cause of Fatal Amtrak Crash

Although the NTSB is fulfilling part of its duties by investigating these railroad accidents and issuing safety recommendations, it is long past time to require more proactive measures from the railroads themselves. The railroad industry’s focus on maximizing their own profits should not stop the NTSB from requiring them to install Positive Train Control on all of their trains.

Railroad

Supreme Court: Lost Railroad Wages Are Taxable

The United States Supreme Court recently held that payments to an injured employee for lost wages are taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) (High Court Calls Lost Wages Taxable in 7-2 Railway Ruling). The Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the railroad in BNSF Railway Company v. Loos, allowing the withholding of part of the employee’s lost wages to cover RRTA taxes.

NTSB

NTSB Finds Probable Cause of House Explosion

In a press release issued on February 27, 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that the probable cause of a fatal 2017 explosion in Millersville, Pennsylvania, was a faulty gas connection that allowed natural gas to leak into a single-family residence

Railroad

Federal Railroad Administration Introduces Grade Crossing Stats Tool

The Federal Railroad Administration introduced its new GX Dash! tool on its website to provide data on railroad crossings and collisions over the past 10 years.

Safety

Trump Administration Hinders Transportation Safety Rules

The Trump Administration has significantly watered down or eliminated several key transportation regulations that were designed to help keep Americans safe. These safety rollbacks in the Automobile, Commercial Trucks and Buses, Pipeline and Gas Storage Facility and Railroad sectors threaten to reduce the safety of workers, travelers and those who interact with these industries.

Safety

MoDOT Promotes B2B Seat Belt Event

MoDOT introduced its new Border to Border (B2B) program to support seat belt usage in Missouri. Officers across Missouri cited motorists for non-compliance with seat belt laws in an effort to draw attention to the safety importance and effectiveness of wearing seat belts.

Railroad

Federal Railroad Administration Hosts Positive Train Control Symposium

The Federal Railroad Administration hosted a positive train control symposium to bring thought leaders and experts together to discuss ways to improve train and railway safety.

NTSB

NTSB Releases Gas Explosion Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a report on the findings of its investigation into a 2016 fatal explosion in downtown Canton, Illinois. The report indicated that a contractor was in violation of state law when it caused a natural gas rupture and subsequent explosion that killed one person and injured 11 others.

In The News

DBJ’s Scott Bethune Named to Prestigious “Best of the Bar” List

Scott Bethune was named to the Kansas City Business Journal's 2018 Best of the Bar List. The honor is a result of practice-related peers nominating and promoting the title to Scott.

Safety

FRA Holds Grade Crossing Safety Summit

The Federal Railroad Administration held a summit to address railroad trespassing and crossing deaths.

Railroad

NTSB Holds Hearings on Amtrak Crashes

The National Transportation Safety Board held investigative hearings to review causes and circumstances related to recent deadly Washington state and South Carolina Amtrak crashes.

Railroad

CSX’s Commitment to Safety Questioned after Derailment

CSX Transportation's commitment to safety has been called out after a series of accidents, derailments and safety issues. CSX employees cite several safety factors and safeguards that are being ignored by CSX.

Safety

CSX Railroads Sacrifice Safety for Efficiency

CSX Railways has recently instituted management changes in an effort to bolster its profitability. Although business efficiency appears to have been achieved, the railroads safety metrics have declined as a result. Profits over safety once again...

Nursing Home

Trump Administration Reduces Nursing Home Fines for Violators

The Trump Administration has reduced fines for nursing homes found to be in violation of safety regulations designed to keep patients and residents safe and free from abuse.

NTSB

NTSB Releases Preliminary Duck Boat Report

The NTSB recently released its preliminary report on the tragic sinking of a Ride the Ducks boat at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. Although the report did not make conclusions on failures leading to the accident, it did identify several key questions and considerations it will be looking for answers to as the investigation continues.

Railroad

$200 Million in Positive Train Control Grants for Railroads

The Federal Railroad Administration has rolled out a $200 million investment to help finance the adoption of positive train control systems for 28 programs in 15 states. These systems are designed to make trains safer for passenger and commuter trains and have been resisted by rail carriers in the past due to wanting to avoid higher costs.

NTSB

NTSB Announces Probable Cause of Deadly Mississippi Railroad Crossing Accident

NTSB announces the likely cause of 2017 Biloxi railroad crossing accident. SJB represent those injured in railroad crossing accidents across the United States.

In The News

Deadly Gas Explosions Caused by Pressure in Pipes

Deadly Boston gas explosions could have been avoided. DBJ is committed to public safety and representing explosion victims who have been harmed through negligence.

Results

DBJ Wins $3.5 Million Cass County FELA Verdict

DBJ wins $3.5 million major verdict on behalf of client injured in an avoidable railroad injury case. The case was tried to a jury in Cass County, Missouri.

Results

DBJ Earns $550k Verdict for Ward Parkway Auto Crash

Grant Davis and DBJ win $550,000 Jury Verdict on behalf of motor vehicle accident victim in Jackson County, Missouri.

Honors and Awards

DBJ congratulates its attorneys selected to 2017 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

For DBJ, it’s about more than just obtaining the largest result; it's about demanding accountability for the people and causes we stand behind. DBJ congratulates its attorneys selected to 2017 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

In The News

The Law Firm of Davis Bethune & Jones is Proud to Congratulate Scott S. Bethune for His Inclusion in KCBJ’s 2017 “Best of the Bar”

Kansas City Business Journal’s 2017 “Best of the Bar” lists DBJ's own Scott S. Bethune

Honors and Awards

Three Partners Named “Lawyers of the Year” for 2018 Best Lawyers in the Kansas City Area

Grant L. Davis, Scott S. Bethune, and Thomas C. Jones of DBJ Law have all been named Lawyers of the Year for 2018 Best Lawyers in the Kansas City Area.

Community Giving

George Brett Thanks DBJ for Their Continued ALS Research Support

DBJ has supported amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research for over a decade, and after again sponsoring the Joe McGuff ALS Golf Classic in 2017 received a special thank you from none other than retired third baseman and designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, George Brett.

In The News

Wes Shumate Awarded Prestiges KCMBA Thomas J. Conway Award

Each year the KCMBA Thomas J. Conway Award is presented to a young trial attorney with very special qualities.  Wes Shumate has been honored with the Award for 2017.

Community Giving

Tom Watson Thanks DBJ for Their ALS Support

Kansas City sports icons George Brett and Tom Watson have supported this Kansas City tradition for more than a decade, and this year DBJ received a special thanks from Tom Watson for their Major Sponsorship of the event and continued support.

Railroad

Bus Carrying Seniors Struck by Train in Biloxi, Mississippi

DBJ expertly represents families of those injured in dangerous railroad crossings like the senseless tragedy that occurred in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In The News

DBJ Lawyers Featured as Best Lawyers in 435 Magazine

DBJ attorneys Grant L. Davis, Scott S. Bethune and Thomas C. Jones were each featured as Best Lawyers in the November, 2016 issue of 435 Magazine.

Community Giving

DBJ Charitable Foundation Fund Supports Important Causes

DBJ is proud to have established its Foundation to support charitable organizations that advance the education and well being of those most in need.

Community Giving

DBJ Proudly Supports Operation Breakthrough

DBJ is proud to support Operation Breakthrough and it's important role in helping at-risk urban youth, as well as the KCMBA Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance program and its commitment to Operation Breakthrough.

In The News

Record-Setting Lawyer Gets Kick From Plaintiffs’ Work

With a string of multi-million dollar verdicts, including a Missouri record $160 million judgment in a railroad crossing case, Kansas City plaintiff’s lawyer Grant L. Davis has earned a place among the most respected – and feared – lawyers in the state. What most of Davis’ colleagues don’t know is that he had a previous career as a professional kickboxer.

Honors and Awards

Grant Davis Receives Tom Strong Award

Grant Davis was honored to receive the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys Tom Strong Award for exemplifying the qualities of professionalism, ethics, character and courtroom success.

Honors and Awards

Scott Bethune and Grant Davis Co-Kings of LEAP

DBJ Partners Scott Bethune and Grant Davis Named "Kings" of LEAP in 2014.

Community Giving

DB&J Supports the Joe McGuff ALS Golf Classic

Davis, Bethune & Jones was proud to be the presenting sponsor of the 2015 Joe McGuff ALS Golf Classic.