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Kevin Sullivan is a founding principal and partner at Sauter Sullivan. Kevin is admitted to practice in Missouri, Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, and U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. He graduated from the University of Tulsa, with a B.S.B.A. with an Accounting major in 1989, and received his J.D. from The University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, in 1992. His areas of practice include:
Articles related to Kevin Sullivan:
- SAUTER SULLIVAN HELPS OBTAIN LARGEST EVER PLAINTIFF’S LEGAL MALPRACTICE VERDICT REPORTED IN STATE OF MISSOURI- $10.5 MILLION DOLLARS
The law firm of Sauter Sullivan in St. Louis is proud to announce that Kevin Sullivan has been named as a 2015 winner in the category of “Attorneys Securing the Largest Reported Plaintiff Verdicts/Judgments” which is awarded by Missouri’s preeminent legal publication, Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Congratulations, Kevin! The Sauter Sullivan firm was co-counsel with the Thompson Coburn firm representing a client that had to sue its former lawyers for legal malpractice. According to Missouri Lawyers Weekly, the $10.5 Million verdict obtained on behalf of the client was the largest ever reported legal malpractice verdict/judgment in history in the State of Missouri
The case involved the touchy issue of Legal Malpractice, in which a lawyer is put in the position of having to sue another lawyer to protect the integrity of the legal profession and get justice for the clients of the attorneys who were negligent and caused them harm. “Integrity and professionalism are the cornerstones of the legal profession,” says Sullivan. “Certainly, we are all human and mistakes happen, and the courts have remedies available to correct mistakes made by attorneys. But if the lawyers at fault will not admit to their error or worse, try to cover it up, then the lawyers must be held accountable for their conduct. If we fail to hold the offending lawyers accountable, clients and the public will have no faith in the integrity of the legal system or the lawyers who work day in and day out within that system. That’s what happened in this case.”
- Vacationer Injured in Rented Boat Accident at Lake of the Ozarks Gets $2 Million Settlement with the Help of Sauter Sullivan
A 47 year old St. Charles County mother was vacationing with her family at the Lake of the Ozarks over the 4th of July holiday. The family rented a 26 foot Bayliner deck boat from a local boat rental company for a day on the water. The boat traffic on the Lake that holiday weekend was significant and there were waves over 6 feet high in the main channel. The lady’s husband had very little experience operating a boat and the rental company did not provide him with any real training or warnings about the hazards of boating during a busy holiday weekend. The husband was driving the boat through the main channel with his wife and kids sitting in front. The boat hit some huge waves straight on without throttling or slowing down throwing the lady in to the air. She landed hard on the seat on her tailbone and ended up with an L-1 burst fracture resulting in an incomplete spinal cord injury.
This lady was airlifted to a hospital and had to undergo a posterior lumbar decompression and fusion surgery with implanted hardware. Over the next couple years she had extensive therapy and rehab and had several other surgical procedures. She has daily pain and problems from her permanent injuries, but makes the best of things. She is no longer able to work and her medical bills were extensive.
This was a difficult situation for the family. The husband was probably traveling too fast for the conditions due to his inexperience. The boat rental company should not have sent the family out in the boat that day without training and instruction about how to handle the conditions. There were concerns about how to pay the bills, finding insurance coverage and, most importantly, the sticky situation about a wife having to bring a claim against her husband.
They needed legal help, so they contacted Kevin Sullivan of the Sauter Sullivan law firm. Things did not look promising at first from a legal standpoint, with all parties assuming the rental company’s insurance policy would not cover negligence of the renter of the boat. Sullivan did his due diligence and to everyone’s surprise found the boat rental company had two policies with operator negligence coverage. One included $1 Million in coverage, and the other included an additional $1 Million in excess coverage. The problem…the husband was the negligent operator, which meant the wife would have to file the claim against her husband! Of course, she didn’t want to sue her husband, but in light of the seriousness of her injuries and the lifetime of debilitation, pain and suffering she was facing, it was the only way she could recover damages. Without this insurance money, the family could be facing serious financial troubles in addition to everything else. Kevin Sullivan filed a claim against the insurance policies and was able to secure the $2 Million insurance money for his client and this family. Most importantly, he was able to do so without having to file a lawsuit against the husband.
- $5.2 Million Settlement in Delivery Van Accident Case
In July of 2011, a mother was stopped at a traffic light with her 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter on Illinois route 15 in Belleville, Illinois. The driver of a commercial delivery van / truck was using his cellular phone instead of paying attention and slammed into the back of the woman’s car at almost 50 miles per hour! Witnesses said the impact was so tremendous that it sounded like a bomb going off.
- Sauter Sullivan Gets An $850,000 Settlement for Client Hit By Drunk Driver
Kevin Sullivan at Sauter Sullivan represented a 37 year old construction worker named Robert “Bobbie” Wilson. He was on his way home shortly after midnight on Highway 270 when he was hit by a wrong way drunk driver. He had a burst fracture in his back at L-3 and injuries to his right toe and foot. He had pretty significant medical bills and was out of work for a while. Unfortunately, the drunk driver that caused the crash did not have nearly enough insurance coverage to compensate Bobbie for his serious injuries. During our investigation of the crash, we learned that the wrong way drunk driver had been drinking all night on his birthday at a bar called Redbirds Sports Café in St. Louis. He crashed in to Bobbie’s vehicle shortly after leaving the bar.
Kevin filed a lawsuit to hold the bar responsible for serving the drunk driver too much alcohol that night which resulted in the highway crash. A claim against a restaurant or bar based upon overserving alcohol to a customer is called a dram shop claim. In Missouri, in order to hold a bar responsible for the conduct of a drunk driver you have to prove that the customer was “visibly intoxicated” at the time the customer was served alcohol at the bar. This is a difficult standard because, of course, the bar and its employees never admit that the person they served was ever “visibly intoxicated” and therefore it is hard to prove and win your case. During our lawsuit, we were able to obtain a detailed computer receipt that showed that the man was at the bar for 4 ½ hours and that during that period of time he was served and paid for 192 ounces of beer (Sam Adams) and 6 Jameson whiskey shots. We also obtained the alcohol influence report in which the investigating police officer confirmed that the driver was highly intoxicated and documented admissions from the man that he had been drinking way too much at Redbirds just before the crash. Finally, we also were able to get a blood alcohol test result from shortly after the accident that confirmed the man was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Given all of this evidence, we were able to convince the insurance company for Redbirds that the bar was responsible and that the man must have been “visibly intoxicated” when he was served the alcohol at the bar. A fair settlement was reached for Bobbie on his dram shop claim against the bar. Kevin Sullivan was able to obtain an $850,000 settlement for his client.
If you or a loved one have been injured or harmed by a drunk driver please call Kevin Sullivan at the Sauter Sullivan Law Firm.
- $450,000 Settlement for Truck Driver Hit While Changing Tire
A young, recently married couple from a small town in Southern Illinois was faced with uncertainty after the husband was involved in a terrible truck accident. The husband drives a truck for a living, and was travelling on Highway 57 near Effingham, Illinois, when he had a tire blow out on his tractor-trailer. He put on his flashers and pulled his truck completely off the highway on to the shoulder.
- Kevin Sullivan Helps Car Accident Victim Get $355,000 Settlement from Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In June, 2014, a high level executive with a financial services firm was injured in a rear end car accident in St. Louis, Missouri, and suffered injuries to his neck and back, including a disc herniation in his cervical spine. Immediately following the accident, he was shaken up but thought he would be fine. After a day or so, he had tremendous neck and back pain and went to see a doctor that he was familiar with from the past. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with damage to the discs in his neck from the crash and was referred immediately to an orthopedic surgeon. Within a week or so he ended up having a multi-level cervical fusion and physical therapy rehab thereafter. He lived an active lifestyle, and was a competitive tennis player, but his injuries prevented him playing the sport he loved. After the surgery, he had difficulty sleeping and for a couple weeks and he could not use his right arm due to nerve damage from the surgery. The nerves would regenerate in time, but it was a slow process that took months, during which time he continued to have extensive weakness, numbness and loss of feeling in his tricep, bicep and left arm. Lots of physical therapy and time helped make things better and he is doing much better today.
The client came to personal injury attorney Kevin Sullivan for help with his car accident case. Sullivan investigated and found that the young woman who rear ended his client’s vehicle had limited insurance that would not come close to even covering the client’s medical expenses and lost time from work. Thankfully, Kevin found that his client’s insurance policy included underinsured motorist coverage, which could be used to cover the difference between what he deserved and what the woman’s limited coverage could provide for him. After significant discussions and ongoing negotiations with the insurance company the firm was able to get this client a settlement of $355,000 which was fair and reasonable compensation for his injuries.
- Woman Attacked by Bees on Apartment Balcony Falls and Is Seriously Injured – Sauter Sullivan Holds Apartment Complex Liable for Dangerous Condition – Client Recovers $205,000 for Her Injuries
In July 2014, a 35 year old mother had moved with her young boys to a 2 bedroom second floor apartment building in an apartment complex in St. Louis County. The apartment had an outdoor balcony, with a railing, that the family could access from the kitchen. Shortly after moving in the woman noticed an infestation of bees located in the door threshold on the balcony. There were hundreds of bees and it was a danger to the family. The woman used several cans of Raid to eliminate the problem and complained to the property manager repeatedly, but the apartment complex failed to take care of the problem. On the morning of August 8th, she dropped off with the property manager a “move in” inspection sheet which she had filled out again requesting that the property manager take care of the problem. Specifically, she wrote: “Bee hive in door threshold to deck, I’ve gone through 2 cans of Raid killing approximately 400 bees but I’m still getting attacked. May need exterminator??” She received no help from the landlord despite this notice.
On the evening of August 8th, she was out on the balcony and was attacked by the bees causing her to backpedal against the balcony railing and flip over the railing landing on the concrete pavement 18 feet below. She had a broken right clavicle in her shoulder and fractures to her pelvis. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she spent 8 days and had an open reduction internal fixation surgical procedure to repair the broken clavicle. She was in an enormous amount of pain, had no health insurance and lost her job because of her injuries. Most importantly she could not take care of her children. While her injuries have healed for the most part, she still has ongoing problems due to the broken bones and severe injuries.
The apartment complex initially refused to accept responsibility for the incident, even denying there was actually a bee infestation. The woman then turned to Kevin Sullivan at Sauter Sullivan for help. A thorough investigation was done and a maintenance man was identified who was aware of the bee infestation and the attempts to get rid of it before the fall. She also had posted pictures of hundreds of bees in a pool of Raid on her Facebook page which were gathered as evidence. The written “move in” sheet she had dropped off was located and used as evidence.
The Sauter Sullivan firm also determined that the railing height itself was dangerous as it was not at an adequate height to protect somebody from going over it. The firm argued that if the railing had been at a safe height, the client would not have gone over it and been injured. The sole purpose of a balcony railing is to protect against someone falling off the balcony. The insurance company for the apartment complex denied the woman’s claim and refused to compensate her for her injuries and damages. Sauter Sullivan filed a lawsuit in St. Louis County on the woman’s behalf. The case was ultimately settled for $205,000 which amounted to fair and just compensation for this woman.