John M. Duggan
John has been lead trial counsel on over one hundred fifty (150) cases tried to a jury and/or to the court and briefed and argued over fifty (50) appeals.
Several cases involved over $50 million in claimed damages, and required up to 10 weeks to try. The types of cases John tries involve casualty and property losses sustained from catastrophic fires, lender liability disputes, wrongful death, products liability claims, construction defects, mechanic’s liens claims, rezoning disputes, condemnation, commercial lease disputes, and buy-sell agreement disputes just to mention a few.
John’s extensive appellate practice includes briefing and arguing before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits; the Kansas Supreme Court; the Missouri Supreme Court; the Kansas Court of Appeals; and the Missouri Court of Appeals.
- Business and Commercial Litigation
- Commercial Transactions
- Real Estate
- Land Use/Zoning
- Products Liability
- University of Iowa, J.D., 1988
- Iowa State University (Dean’s List), B.B.A. 1985
- Kansas Bar Association
- Missouri Bar Association
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Member KBA Appellate Practice Committee
- Member KCMBA Federal Practice Committee
- John and his wife Karen have triplets – Jack, Kate, and Joe.
- John loves reading, writing, and sports including playing golf.
Specific Trial Court Experience:
Mr. Duggan has tried over one hundred fifty (150) cases throughout the United States from Boston, Massachusetts to Council Bluffs, Iowa to Winfield, Kansas to St. Louis and Kansas City. The following cases are representative:
- Associated Wholesale Grocers v. Americold. (Warehouse fire)
Mr. Duggan acted as lead trial counsel in this ten-week trial involving property damage to food products stored in underground warehouses in Kansas City, Kansas under leases and bailment arrangements. The parties called over twenty expert witnesses in part to establish a fire’s cause and origin that destroyed stored food products, and Mr. Duggan successfully obtained an award in excess of $70 million.
- Suitt Construction Co. v. General Electric Capital Corporation. (Lender liability)
Mr. Duggan defended GE Capital against claims Suitt Construction made to over $25 million in fixtures financed by GE in a “state-of-the-art” beef processing plant in Arkansas City, Kansas. Mr. Duggan defended GE in the two-week trial and successfully obtained judgment for GE. The favorable judgment was affirmed on appeal.
- W.K. Jenkins v. Karla Jenkins. (Partnership dispute)
Mr. Duggan successfully represented W.K. Jenkins in a family dispute over ownership in partnerships and real estate. Mr. Duggan successfully obtained a judgment in favor of his client in excess of $8 million after a two week trial.
- KCP&L v. Strong. (Eminent domain)
Mr. Duggan represented the Strongs in this condemnation case where KCP&L condemned roughly 13 acres for a utility easement. After a one-week jury trial, Mr. Duggan secured a verdict of nearly $2.0 million which the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed on appeal.
- Security Pacific Housing Services, Inc. v. Cape Mobile Home, Inc. (Lender liability)
Mr. Duggan defended Security Pacific against lender liability claims filed by Cape Mobile under a floor plan financing arrangement during a six-week trial in Franklin County, Missouri where the Plaintiff claimed nearly $100 million in damages. The Plaintiff was awarded only $2 million in actual damages and the case was settled prior to a final decision on appeal.
- In the matter of Jane L. Kirkland Bedell Trust. (Lender liability)
Mr. Duggan defended Blue Ridge Bank & Trust on claims for breach of trust and fiduciary duty during a one week trial and successfully reduced damage claims before negotiating a resolution.
- Lampe v. Beatrice Foods Co. (Products liability/wrongful death)
Mr. Duggan defended Beatrice Foods Co. against claims arising out of wholly owned subsidiary’s jack stand manufacturing business. Plaintiffs were the children and wife of the deceased Mr. Lampe who died when a jack stand under his Buick allegedly collapsed causing his death. Mr. Duggan prepared the case and commenced the trial after which he was successful in securing a favorable settlement.
- Steelhead Townhomes, LLC v. Clearwater 2008 Note Program, LLC. (Lender liability)
Mr. Duggan tried this two-week jury trial involving a loan dispute on behalf of Steelhead Townhomes. Mr. Duggan secured an $800,000 award for his clients and obtained judgment for Steelhead on Clearwater’s counterclaim alleging nearly $1.0 million in damages.
- Major Hammett, II v. Atcheson (TIF development dispute).
Mr. Duggan was hired after the first trial to defend the case. The Court of Appeals affirmed liability findings, and only damages were re-tried. Plaintiff sought over $6.0 million in damages arising out of $100 million TIF project. Mr. Duggan successfully reduced the damage award to less than $150,000.
- Pomona Partners v. Richard C. Watkins. (Partnership dispute)
Mr. Duggan defended Mr. Watkins in claims for approximately $750,000 rooted in a partnership dispute and obtained a defense verdict for his client after a one-week jury trial. Mr. Duggan also successfully persuaded the jury to award Mr. Watkins money damages on Mr. Watkins’ counterclaim.
- Crème de la Crème (Kansas), Inc. v. R&R International, Inc. (Mechanics lien)
Mr. Duggan represented the property owner disputing nearly $1.0 million in mechanics liens filed after the general contractor went broke. Mr. Duggan tried the case and secured a defense verdict which was affirmed on appeal.
- Commercial Union Insurance Company v. Sea Harvest Food Co. (Admiralty law)
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained summary judgment for Commercial Union under its policy where the insured claimed damage to shrimp shipped from China. The admiralty law issues decided in the trial court on summary judgment were affirmed by the Tenth Circuit on appeal.
- Crumbaker v. Hunt Midwest Mining, Inc. (Due process/land use)
Mr. Duggan obtained summary judgment for property owners aggrieved by Hunt Midwest’s quarry operation expansion without following proper notice and public hearing requirements. The favorable summary judgment ruling was affirmed by the Kansas Supreme Court.
- Martin v. MaggieMoo’s Franchise Company, Inc. (Race discrimination)
Mr. Duggan defended MaggieMoo’s, an ice cream store franchisor, in this § 1981 race discrimination claim. After a two (2) week jury trial, Mr. Duggan secured a settlement for a nominal amount.
- HCC Investments, LLC v. American National Bank. (Lender liability)
Mr. Duggan was lead counsel against the Bank for breached loan commitments made to the Plaintiff real estate developer causing damages of nearly $30 million. On the eve of trial Mr. Duggan secured a successful settlement.
- Haldex Brake Corporation v. Trelleburg Coated Systems US, Inc. (Products liability)
Mr. Duggan represented Gasket Engineering which produced rubber membranes used in commercial truck brakes. After the truck brakes failed, the brakes were recalled, and Haldex and Trelleburg asserted claims against Gasket Engineering for over $4 million. Mr. Duggan prepared the defense securing dismissal of the claims with prejudice against his client who paid nothing.
- John Ray v. Kraft Manufacturing. (Products liability)
Mr. Duggan tried the plaintiffs’ products liability claim against the tool manufacturer and obtained a favorable settlement after jury trial.
- Kansas City Life Insurance Company v. Dairy Farmers of America. (Commercial lease)
Mr. Duggan tried this week long jury trial over a commercial lease, and thereafter secured payment for KCL.
- ConAgra, Inc. v. United Refrigeration Services. (Warehouse fire)
Mr. Duggan represented ConAgra seeking recovery for damages arising from a warehouse fire in Marshall, Missouri claiming in excess of $10 million in damages. Mr. Duggan successfully obtained full recovery for his client.
- Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. v. Bonner 486, LLC. (Breach of warranty)
Mr. Duggan successfully defended a real estate developer sued by Commonwealth for alleged breaches of warranties under a special warranty deed which conveyed title to a shopping center. After filing summary judgment, Mr. Duggan secured dismissal with prejudice of all claims against his client and his client paid nothing.
Specific Appellate Court Experience:
Mr. Duggan has briefed and/or argued over fifty (50) appellate cases before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Eight, and Tenth Circuits; the Kansas Supreme Court; Missouri Supreme Court; Kansas Court of Appeals; Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District; and the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. The following cases are representative:
- Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, 136 S.CT. 1072 (2016) (Affirming by an equally divided Court)
Mr. Duggan argued this Equal Credit Opportunity Act case before the Supreme Court of the United States which ended in a 4-4 decision leaving the question on whether ECOA “applicants” includes spousal guarantors unanswered.
- Americold Realty Trust v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 136 S.CT. 136 (2016)
Mr. Duggan prevailed before the Supreme Court of the United States in the case deciding the parameters of federal Court jurisdiction over real estate investments trusts under Article III.
- Kansas City Power & Light Co. v. Strong, 302 Kan. 712, 356 P.3d 1064 (2015).
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained a $2 million jury verdict in a condemnation case where KCP&L condemned thirteen (13) acres of property for a utility easement. The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict on appeal and announced that the damage approach urged by Mr. Duggan to measure harm inflicted to the property owner’s land could be used in future condemnation cases.
- CML-KS Blue Valley, LLC v. MJH Venture, LLC, 358 P.3d 877, 2015 WL 611995 (Kan. Ct. App. October 16, 2015)
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained the Court of Appeal’s reversal of a trial court entry of summary judgment against his clients. The trial court ruled that Mr. Duggan’s clients, by virtue of taking title to the property, merged the mortgage interest they owned in the property with the title. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling and directed the trial court to enter judgment in favor of Mr. Duggan’s clients.
- Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. v. Americold Corp., 934 P.2d 65 (Kan. 1997).
Mr. Duggan represented Plaintiffs in claims for insurance coverage where the insurer claimed an absolute pollution exclusion barred coverage. Mr. Duggan secured summary judgment in the trial court, and successfully obtained the Kansas Supreme Court’s mandate affirming the summary judgment in part. The primary issue decided was that the absolute pollution exclusion did not exclude coverage for smoke from a hostile fire.
- Commercial Union Insurance Company v. Sea Harvest Food Co., 251 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 2001).
Mr. Duggan successfully represented Commercial Union in obtaining a summary judgment for claimed damages under an insurance policy whereby Sea Harvest claimed shrimp that it had purchased from China had spoiled as a result of a common carriers fault in keeping railcars sufficiently refrigerated. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the admiralty law summary judgment rulings entered by the trial court.
- Cheryl Barnett v. Roy Rogers, Jr., 400 S.W.3d 38 (Mo. App. 2013).
Mr. Duggan successfully defended the famous Dale Evans and Roy Rogers’ family and Roy Rogers’ son, Roy Rogers, Jr. in a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. After successfully obtaining a trial court judgment in favor of Mr. Rogers after a weeklong trial, Mr. Duggan successfully defended the ruling on appeal securing the Court of Appeals’ holding affirming the judgment.
- Major Hammett, II v. Atcheson, 438 S.W.3d 452 (Mo. App. 2014).
Mr. Duggan was retained by Mr. Atcheson after another attorney had tried the case and lost a jury verdict. Mr. Duggan successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals to reverse the jury verdict based upon instructional error and remand the case for a new trial on the contract and partnership disputes involving claimed damages of over $6 million. At the second trial, Mr. Duggan reduced the damage award to less than $150,000.
- ConAgra, Inc. v. Arkwright Mut. Ins. Co., No. 78, 460 (Kan. App. 1999).
Mr. Duggan represented ConAgra in its claims for insurance coverage and disputes concerning subrogation rights against Arkwright totaling over $30 million. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Arkwright, but Mr. Duggan successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals to reverse and direct the trial court to enter judgment in favor of ConAgra.
- Crumbaker v. Hunt Midwest Min., Inc., 275 Kan. 872, 69 P.3d 601 (2003).
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling affirming summary judgment that Hunt Midwest and the City of De Soto had failed to follow due process requirements for public hearings in unlawfully expanding Hunt Midwest’s mining operations.
- Crème de la Crème (Kansas), Inc. v. R&R Intern. Inc., 32 Kan. App. 2d 490, 85 P.3d 205 (2004).
Mr. Duggan obtained a verdict in favor of the landowner defending a series of mechanics liens arising out of the general contractor’s failure to pay subcontractors. The Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed.
- Dowling Realty v. City of Shawnee, 32 Kan. App.2d 536, 85 P.3d 716 (2004).
Mr. Duggan was hired specifically to appeal a former trial counsel’s unfavorable trial verdict. Mr. Duggan, as Dowling Realty’s counsel, successfully obtained a reversal of the verdict in favor of the City with directions to enter judgment in favor of Dowling Realty.
- Suitt Construction Company, Inc. v. Hill, 150 P.3d 355, 2007 WL 219960 (Kan. App. 2007).
Mr. Duggan successfully tried this two-week case, and the Kansas Court of Appeals sustained the favorable judgment secured by Mr. Duggan on appeal holding that the mechanics liens were out of time and that the other equitable claims were invalid.
- Barney Ashner Homes, Inc. v. Farmers Bank, 351 S.W.3d 823 (Mo. App. 2011).
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained the Court of Appeal’s reversal of the trial court entry of summary judgment regarding this contract dispute.
- Bank of Blue Valley v. CWD Investments, LLC, 274 P.3d 45, 2012 WL 1237910 (Kan. App. 2012).
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained a Court of Appeal’s mandate reversing the trial court’s entry of judgment against his clients in the pre-trial motion stage.
- ConAgra, Inc. v. Americold Logistics, LLC, 776 F.3d 1175 (10th Cir. 2015).
Mr. Duggan successfully obtained the Tenth Circuit’s mandate reversing the trial court’s summary judgment grant against his client on a contract dispute.
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