We Represent Those Who Represent You

In 1946, the U.S. Congress led the way in easing the nearly absolute protection from lawsuit that a federal government agency and its employees were afforded under the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), enacted in that year, permits private parties to pursue negligence and some intentional wrongful acts committed by federal agencies and federal employees acting in the scope of employment. State laws modeled after the FTCA soon followed limiting immunity for state agencies and employees. As time passed, federal and state laws allowing private parties to sue the government in contract disputes were also enacted.

Baty Otto Coronado has wide-ranging experience defending government agencies and employees facing claims of wrongdoing that fall under this body of statutory law. We have successfully defended hundreds of governmental liability claims for state and municipal entities, as well as claims arising under federal statute. Our clients include state and local departments of transportation, public school districts, police and law enforcement agencies, among others, as well as employees of these entities.

Our practice in this area includes:

  • Investigating and responding to claims filed with the Missouri Human Rights Commission.
  • Defending suits brought pursuant to the Missouri Human Rights Act.
  • Defending claims for alleged civil rights violations.
  • Defending OIS (officer-involved shooting) claims.
  • Defending use-of-excessive-force claims.
  • Defending school districts and their employees in alleged bullying cases.
  • Defending government entities in property damage claims.
  • Defending government entities and their employees against all types of personal injury claims.
  • Enforcing government entities’ rights to sovereign immunity.
  • Enforcing government employees’ rights to official immunity and the application of the Public Duty Doctrine.
  • Negotiating settlements.
  • Defending and negotiating compromise resolutions of suits based on ordinance violations.
  • Advising government entities on responding to requests for documents under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
STL County Court Building

Baty Otto Coronado, offering governmental liability defense. 

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Representative Experience

  • Obtained a defense award for a state department of transportation in a triple wrongful death arbitration with allegations involving roadside design errors.
  • Recovered $500,000 for a state department of transportation relating to a product defect that resulted in fire loss of a public structure.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a school volunteer on a claim of negligent supervision in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a local municipality in an alleged electrocution case in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a local municipality in a motor vehicle accident case alleging failure to properly maintain a stop sign in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a local municipality in a slip-and-fall case alleging failure to maintain concrete stairs leading to a municipal facility in the Circuit Court of Buchanan County, Missouri.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a local municipality and its officers in an alleged excessive force case in the District Court of Atchison County, Kansas.
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss a potential class action against a local city accused of charging fees to municipal court defendants outside of statutory authority, upheld on appeal by the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals.
  • Prevailed on a motion for directed verdict at the close of plaintiff’s evidence for a local municipality in a fleeing-felon death case in the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment for a local municipality in a slip-and-fall at the local landfill in Buchanan County, Missouri.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment for a local municipality and its officers in an officer-involved shooting case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment in federal court in Missouri for a former deputy sheriff accused of violating an inmate’s constitutional right to adequate medical treatment while he was in a county jail.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment on several occasions for various local municipalities based on the application of sovereign immunity.