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Steve Ward honored with Missouri Lawyers Award for top 5 defense verdict

January 24, 2020

McAfee & Taft trial lawyer Steve Ward was honored at the 2020 Missouri Lawyers Awards ceremony for his work in successfully defending Ford Motor Company in a high-stakes product liability and wrongful death lawsuit in April 2019.  The case, Kennedy v. Ford Motor Company, et al., was named a top 5 defense verdict of 2019 by Missouri Lawyers Media.  The annual awards event was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, on January 24, 2020.

Steve, along with partners Sherry Rozell and Brita Cantrell, obtained a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Ford Motor Company after a City of St. Louis jury deliberated just an hour in a case in which the plaintiff sought $5 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages.  This case marked the third defense verdict obtained by Steve and Sherry in an asbestos case in the City of St. Louis, a jurisdiction that has been consistently named in the Top 5 of American Tort Reform Foundation’s Judicial Hellholes®.

Steve is an experienced trial lawyer whose state and federal trial practice is concentrated on representing leading manufacturers and distributors of consumer and commercial products in the areas of products liability defense and other tort litigation.  He is particularly regarded for his decades of experience and expertise defending automakers and auto parts manufacturers in products liability litigation. For much of his career, he has served as trial counsel for two of the nation’s leading automakers in litigation involving claims of personal injury and wrongful death. In addition, he has served as lead trial counsel in cases arising from alleged asbestos exposure from automotive products, and has represented industrial and manufacturing companies in mass torts litigation resulting from exposures to workers during the manufacturing process.