(1981 to present)
• Breach of fiduciary duty.
(a) Brought suit on behalf of beneficiaries against substantial, regional bank for
failure as Trustee to bring about the sale of prime commercial real estate in St. Charles
County for close to fair market value as a result of refusal to subdivide the property into
usable parcels. Suit was also against large commercial realtor hired by the bank for
failure to conduct itself within the standard of care and for acting in conflict with the
interests of the trust and in favor of other clients of the commercial real estate firm.
(b) Litigated against a trustee of trusts for two young women and obtained
judgments in excess of $2,000,000. Trustee invested large sums from the trusts in real
estate ventures for which entities he owned served as general partner. Unfortunately,
the Trustee was not insured; however, her served prison time.
• Legal Negligence (malpractice):
(a) Claim against law firm for failure to include subsidiary corporations in a
corporate bankruptcy. Subsidiary had long term leases on retail locations. Law firm
caused client to default on the long term leases while trying to renegotiate the leases as
if they came within the bankruptcy when they did not. Subsidiary lost the leases,
several of which were extremely profitable. Confidential settlement for policy limits.
(b) Jury verdict against an attorney for mishandling a divorce which resulted in a
judgment of $500,000, reduced to $300,000 for client’s comparative fault (handled
successfully through appeal).
(c) Claim against attorney/trustee for investing a substantial portion of funds
client received after sale of her interest in a building as settlement of divorce in high risk
technology stocks after April 2000. Attorney/trustee lost over one-half of the value of
client’s net worth (after consideration for paying capital gains taxes) in 18 months.
Client was a woman over 50 who had modest earnings from her work. Confidential
settlement for a significant portion of loss.
(d) Suit against attorney for conflict of interest when representing three persons
forming a limited liability corporation to perform contracting work when one of the three
forming the LLC was the attorney’s husband.
(e) Suit against attorney for acting in conflict with interests of husband when
creating a house trust for estate tax purposes. During the course of the representation,
wife requested that attorney insert clauses into the trust for her benefit in the event the
couple should become divorced. Attorney complied with wife’s instructions, but did not
inform husband (who was also an attorney) of the changes.
(f) Claim against divorce attorney for failing to investigate and have judge
distribute husband’s governmental pension in divorce litigation resulting in significant
loss to wife. Confidential settlement for policy limits.
• Other Business Oriented Claims. Have handled various breach of contract
claims and other business litigation, often working with an attorney with expertise in
business law e.g., breach of a commercial lease, counterclaim asserted when
defending against suit by a bank for amounts past due on notes by alleging lender
liability and settling whereby clients saved over $400,000 due on the notes; suit against
former directors of a bank and the FDIC for lender liability, RICO violations, fraud,
breach of contract, and wrongful appropriation of a shopping center (confidential
settlement favorable to clients).
• Insurance Litigation. Represented clients in various suits involving insurance
coverage under automobile and homeowner's insurance policies, disability benefits, fire
loss, and health insurance policies. A fire loss case resulted in a settlement of
$235,000. A health insurance benefits case focused upon whether an HMO provided
primary coverage for a young child who became comatose after having seizures or
whether Southwestern Bell's health benefits plan provided primary coverage. Case
settled for $295,000.
• Claim Against Stock Broker: Handled arbitration against a stockbroker and his
employer for placing an older women in unsuitable investments and received an award
which was later affirmed by the Circuit Court and upheld by the Missouri Court of
• False Claims Act. One of several attorneys who represent two medical coders in
a “whistleblower” suit against a university and its teaching physicians for falsely billing
Medicare and Medicaid for services rendered by residents outside the presence of the
teaching physicians. We are suing on behalf of the federal government. Currently on
• Medical Negligence (malpractice):
(a) Litigated to verdict for $1,500,000 a wrongful death claim for failure properly
to monitor a three year old with severe bacterial pneumonia and sepsis and to provide
proper supportive therapies which would have prevented the child’s death before
antibiotics were able to fight off the infection.
(b) Litigated to judgment for $300,000 for the wrongful removal of a woman’s
uterus and ovary when operating for ectopic pregnancy and to judgment for $70,000
for failure to secure a drain tube.
(c) Filed suit against emergency room doctor and hospital for failure properly to
diagnose that patient had suffered a stroke and an intercranial bleed, which resulted in
permanent brain injury. Confidential settlement.
• Product Liability. Successfully litigated a case against the manufacturer of a
Chipper/Shredder for design defects resulting in a young man's hand being pulled into
the machine, causing significant mutilation of his hand.
• Civil Rights. Have handled police misconduct claims, constitutional claims
against prison officials, and First Amendment employment claim.
• Other Civil Claims (Personal Injury). Have handled automobile accidents and
premises liability cases. Worked with accident reconstruction experts, other engineers,
and medical experts. Worker's Compensation.
• Appeals. Have both written Briefs and worked with others who principally
handled an appeal. Appeals principally handled include enforcing a judgment entered
upon an arbitrator's award against a stockbroker; a claim for disability benefits under an
insurance policy; a suit determining the liability of a grandmother for negligent
supervision of her grandchildren and failing to prevent sexual abuse by the
grandfather; a claim for health insurance benefits due under government programs; a
suit determining the validity of a divorce in the underlying action in a legal malpractice
claim; and several legal malpractice claims. Have coauthored the brief in appeal of
False Claims Act case. Have worked with other attorneys who principally handled the
appeals of two legal malpractice cases and of a claim against Southwestern Bell for the
failure of the 911 system to provide police with an address so that they might have
prevented a rape (before Caller I.D.).
• Authored article on handling legal malpractice claims from a plaintiff attorney’s
perspective for journal published by Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.
|Laurence D. Mass