Representative Trial Experience:
- In 2021, Mr. Comerford won a unanimous defense verdict in a jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota in a product liability case involving a propane explosion. The plaintiffs, who had suffered serious injuries in the explosion, alleged the explosion was caused by a leak through a water heater gas control valve manufactured by the firm’s client. The jury found in our client’s favor on both claims at issue involving negligent product design and strict product liability. The case is McMahan et al. v. Emerson Electric Co. et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-00022.
- Also in 2021, Mr. Comerford obtained summary judgment for Emerson Electric in a supply contract dispute in the Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington. Mr. Comerford also represented Emerson in defeating certification of a class action in a medical monitoring case, and upholding that result on appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District.
- In 2018, Mr. Comerford conducted a multi-week jury trial of a toxic tort lawsuit that was a retrial of a case that previously resulted in a $30 million verdict. A mistrial was declared on the second day of jury deliberations and the matter was later resolved. Mr. Comerford and Dowd Bennett were retained after the first verdict.
- In November of 2015, Mr. Comerford served as first chair in obtaining a unanimous defense verdict from a St. Louis County jury in favor of Missouri Baptist Medical Center on a plaintiff’s claim of retaliation in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act. The case was tried over two and a half weeks. Mr. Comerford earlier won summary judgment for Missouri Baptist on the plaintiff’s claim for race discrimination, and won summary judgment on all claims against the corporate parent of Missouri Baptist. The case is Jeffrey Carter, M.D. v. Missouri Baptist Medical Center, et al.
- In December of 2012, Mr. Comerford served as second chair in a federal jury trial in the case of Automation Service v. Emerson Process Management, et al. Mr. Comerford represented Emerson and its subsidiaries in a wide ranging dispute brought by a re-manufacturer of Emerson process control equipment. The plaintiff’s claims were resolved in Emerson’s favor at the dismissal and summary judgment stages. The jury ruled for Emerson on its counterclaims and awarded over $5.4 million in damages.
- Mr. Comerford served as second chair in a $280 million multi-week case in the Delaware Chancery Court. The case, Olson v. Viking Global Investors, was a dispute between the founders of a hedge fund and a departing member. The Chancery Court ruled in favor of Mr. Comerford’s clients and rejected the plaintiff’s claims in full.
Mr. Comerford’s first chair trial experience includes the case of Herschel, et al. v. Nixon, et al. Mr. Comerford’s clients were Administrative Law Judges for the State of Missouri.
Representative Appellate Experience:
Mr. Comerford has presented oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern, Western and Southern Districts of Missouri, including the following:
- In 2016, Mr. Comerford argued on behalf of BJC Healthcare and Missouri Baptist Medical Center in the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District in the matter of Jeffrey Carter, M.D. v. Missouri Baptist Medical Center, et al. The appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Mr. Comerford’s clients on the plaintiff’s claim for race discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act.
- In September, 2012, Mr. Comerford argued on behalf of Anheuser-Busch in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in the matter of Robert D. Carr v. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Anheuser-Busch and rejected the plaintiff’s claim for ERISA benefits under an Anheuser-Busch severance plan.
- In January, 2010, Mr. Comerford argued on behalf of HRI Properties and its subsidiary, Mermart, LLC, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The case, Dubinsky et al. v. Mermart LLC, involved a dispute brought by subordinate bondholders over the refinancing and redevelopment of a historic structure in the Washington Avenue Loft District of downtown St. Louis. The Eighth Circuit affirmed dismissal in favor of Mermart and rejected the plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligence, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
Representative Investigation and White Collar Experience
- Mr. Comerford represented a major defense contractor in an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service into allegations of improper billing and false claims. The matter was abandoned by the Government after an extensive investigation.
- Mr. Comerford represented a large agricultural company in an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Environmental Protection Agency into allegations of Clean Water Act violations.
- Mr. Comerford has represented a variety of individuals and corporations in investigations involving allegations of corporate mismanagement, mortgage fraud, band fraud and contractor fraud, as well as violations of the False Claims Act and environmental regulations.