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After joining the firm in 2006, Mr. Meadows represented numerous clients as part of the firm’s litigation practice. After ten years of gaining vast experience in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, Mr. Meadows assumed a new role with the firm in July 2016 as Of Counsel for Special Projects. Mr. Meadows practice currently relates only to select Special Projects in Kentucky and Tennessee, primarily related to providing legal counsel services to clients in the form of pre-litigation investigation, insurance coverage evaluation, bad faith claims handling analysis, pre-suit settlement negotiations, and efforts geared toward alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Meadows also works on developing context specific risk management strategies related to federal motor carrier operations and agribusiness concerns.
Outside of the office, Mr. Meadows enjoys beekeeping, and maintains a small apiary in his back yard.
Of Counsel, Walters Meadows Richardson, PLLC, Lexington, Kentucky
University of Kentucky, College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
Juris Doctor, May 2006
Order of the Coif
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology, Maintenance and Flight Concentration, Cum Laude, August 1996
Associate in Aviation Maintenance Technology, August 1996
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Commonwealth of Kentucky
State of Tennessee
Accomplishments and Honors
Member of Transportation Law Association
Graduated 14th in class, University of Kentucky, College of Law
Member of Order of the Coif, Kentucky Chapter
Holder of Federal Aviation Administration Aircraft Mechanics' Certificate with Airframe and Powerplant ratings (inactive)
Holder of Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Pilot's Certificate (inactive), Single and Multi-Engine Land Airplane, with Instrument rating, High Altitude Endorsement and High Performance Aircraft Endorsement
Eight years of experience in civilian and military aviation maintenance operations
Holder of Federal Communications Commission Amateur Radio License, Amateur Extra Class
Graduate of Flight Safety International Gulfstream III (DC)/Rolls Royce Spey initial maintenance school
June 2016, Clark County, KY: Harkness v. Nationwide Agribusiness Mr. Meadows represented an insurance agency that secured insurance coverage on a winery and tasting room in Clark County Kentucky. Coverage was bound 2-27-13. When a bill for the policy was sent to the owners of the winery, the owners decided the policy was too expensive and refused to pay the premium. The policy was canceled for non-payment of the premium. No premium was ever collected on the policy, and insurer initiated efforts to collect a premium for the coverage that was in place for two months. In response, the winery owners claimed they never authorized the policy to be issued and insisted on retroactive cancelation of the policy. The insurer agreed to cancel the policy retroactively after receiving a signed cancelation form on 8-6-13. During the retroactive cancelation process the winery owners renewed discussions with agent in an effort to obtain more acceptable coverage. No contract was ever finalized, and coverage was not bound. On 8-7-13, the winery burned to the ground resulting in a loss near 1 million dollars. Owners pursued contractual, equitable and negligence causes of action. Directed verdicts for the Defendants were obtained on the contract and negligence claims, and sent the equitable claim to the jury. After 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury found unanimously for the Defendants. See KTCR Report
October 2015, Owsley County, KY: On May 20, 2014, Pam Lane and her husband, Matt Lane, were driving their motorcycle on Hwy 30 in Owsley County. The speed limit on the roadway is 55 mph but the area where the accident happened had an advisory speed of 25 mph. Matt Lane was driving 40+ mph around a sharp, blind curve when he lost control and slid across the yellow line and under a large truck driven by James Baker. The truck was pulling a wood chipper. Baker saw the motorcycle lose control and immediately steered to the right, into a ditch, and up against a mountain. Matt Lane was killed instantly. Pam Lane had a traumatic leg amputation as a result of the accident.
Plaintiff initially claimed that Baker was in the middle of the road and that as a result, when Lane came around the curve, he was scared by the truck and laid the motorcycle down. This theory was based on expert Joey Stidham’s belief about the position of the wood chipper upon final rest. His theory was that if you simply backed the truck/chipper up a few feet, it would definitively prove that Baker was across the road. Stidham attempted to create an animation to show this, but was unsuccessful in doing so (Defendants were not allowed to examine Stidham on this issue despite deposition testimony from Stidham acknowledging this fact). Defense Expert Ken Agent pointed out the flaws in Stidham’s “innovative” theory. He indicated that the pre-impact brake marks proved that the truck was not over the center line as the truck could not have possibly gone into the ditch as quickly as it did had it been on the opposite side of the road.
After that theory failed, Joey Stidham came up with a second theory—that the brakes were defective in the truck. Despite dismissing all estimates from Mr. Baker and other witnesses, Stidham latched on to Mr. Baker’s testimony of his best “estimate” which he also called a “guess” as to how far he was from the motorcycles when he first saw them. The testimony of Baker was that he was 200-250 feet when he saw the motorcycles. As a result, he believed this definitively proved that the truck’s brakes had to have been defective. To support this, Stidham relied on his inspection of the truck that happened a year and a half later when the truck was out of service. However, the truck passed a Level 1 inspection given by a local KVE officer on the date in question. Mr. Stidham also stated that proof of the defective brakes was due to a lack of brake marks from the chipper. Again, Defense expert Ken Agent pointed out the numerous problems with this. According to Agent, the physical evidence definitively proved that the Lanes were travelling at least 40 mph and that it took them 2 seconds between the point at which they lost control and the impact with the truck. Brake marks from the truck, both pre- and post-impact marks show the truck was traveling 23 mph and was 57 feet from the point of impact when the motorcycle lost control. As a result, brakes—whether they were perfect or non-existent—would not have mattered. Additionally, mechanical expert Larry Baareman of Michigan also testified that the brakes as they existed on the truck at the time of Stidham’s inspection was definitively not the condition of the brakes on the date of the accident. However, even if they were in the same condition, the truck would have been capable of safely completing an emergency braking maneuver with no loss of braking capacity.
Plaintiffs also advanced a conspiracy theory suggesting that W.A. Kendall was trying to hide the truck/chipper involved in the accident; this was pushed due to errors in the paperwork that is done by the individual employees who use the truck involved in the accident. It is worth noting that this truck was in fact a spare truck and was not used on a daily basis. This truck was only used by Baker on the date in question because his other truck, ironically, was taken to the shop earlier in the day because a brake light had come on during his use of it that morning. Plaintiffs also claimed that WMR’s hiring of Ken Agent to go to the scene the day after the accident was further proof of the conspiracy. Plaintiffs also took issue with the non-mandatory drug test that the company administered to Baker on the night of the accident. When the test gave negative results, the urine was poured out. Plaintiffs claimed that the W.A. Kendall employees should have preserved the urine.
A jury of 12 women deliberated for approximately 3 hours and returned a 9-3 verdict in favor of Baker and W.A. Kendall. Pam Lane and Pam Lane as Administrator of the Estate of Matthew Lane v. James Baker and W.A. Kendall Co. See KTCR Report. See The Voice.
Mr. Meadows represented an insurance carrier in the successful defense of a District Court Declaratory Judgment on an insurance policy issued to a non-profit mental health treatment center. A patient began treating at a physician's private psychiatric practice. Several years after the doctor ceased being a patient, and the physician began working for the nonprofit clinic, the doctor sought an antidepressant prescription from the physician. The physician initially declined and discouraged the doctor from seeking to utilize the clinic for treatment but ultimately wrote the doctor a prescription, and the patient committed suicide shortly thereafter. The patient's estate sued, contending that the physician violated the standard of care. On appeal, the Court agreed with the District Court that the policy did not cover the physician with regard to the estate's claims. Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Nat H. Sandler, 381 Fed. Appx. 554 (6th Cir. Ky. 2010).
Mr. Meadows represented an insurance carrier in the successful appeal of a District Court Declaratory Judgment Action on procedural and substantive grounds. The claimant in the underlying action sought coverage under a treatment center's liability coverage for an allegedly inappropriate sexual relationship with a therapist. On appeal, the claimant challenged the District Court's decision to exercise the jurisdiction over this appeal granted it under the federal Declaratory Judgment Act. She further contended that the District Court erred in concluding that a therapist's sexual affair with her was outside the therapist's scope of employment as a matter of Kentucky law. The Court of Appeals held that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in exercising jurisdiction over the insurer's declaratory judgment action. The Court also agreed with the District Court's conclusion that engaging in sexual activities with a patient was not within the scope of employment of a therapist and thus were not covered under the insurance policy. Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Flowers, 513 F.3d 546 (6th Cir. Ky. 2008).
Mr. Meadows represented an insurance carrier that had issued a policy to a community and technical college. A student at the college was involved in a fatal accident driving home from school in a pickup truck that had been repaired at the college as part of a hands-on project. In finding the carrier had no obligation to provide coverage, because it had no substantial control over the vehicle once it left campus; and further held that a reasonable person would not say that [the college] had 'borrowed' the vehicle at the time of the accident. Westfield Ins. Co. v. Young, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158915, 7-8 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 6, 2012).
Mr. Meadows successfully defended a first party declaratory judgment action upholding a denial of coverage where a homeowner's adult son was allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine in the home which lead to a fire significantly damaging, and contaminating the residence. The Court found that the production of methamphetamine was on par with the production of moonshine and held that the conduct of [the son] in producing methamphetamine within the plaintiff's residence increased the hazard that the residence would be destroyed by fire or explosion and was excluded by the Policy. Robinson v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35028, 6-7 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 14, 2012).
Mr. Meadows represented an insurance carrier in the successful enforcement of a coverage denial based on a pollution exclusion in a petroleum distributor's insurance policy. The Court held: "Hardy Oil's claim involves a classic environmental catastrophe that led to a government-ordered cleanup. As Kentucky courts have recognized, these are exactly the type of situations that the pollution exclusion historically sought to exclude from coverage. Therefore, the pollution exclusion is not ambiguous as applied to the factual circumstances of this case, and Hardy Oil cannot claim coverage under the Liability Policy. An associated extra-contractual claim was successfully resolved as a result. Hardy Oil Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4760 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 11, 2013).
Mr. Meadows was successful in his defense of a coverage denial under a building products supplier’s policy for a judgment entered against the supplier on a former employee's lawsuit arising out of an employment dispute. Steier v. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54299 (W.D. Ky. June 2, 2010).
Mr. Meadows represented an insurance carrier on a successful appeal concerning the enforcement of a non-scheduled vehicle exclusion in the context of a motorcycle UIM claim. The same exclusion had been previously held void as against public policy with respect to automobiles, but Mr. Meadows was able to successfully argue that the same public policy concerns were not implicated when the exclusion was applied to motorcycles. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hartley, 2011 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 938 (Ky. Ct. App. Feb. 11, 2011).
Mr. Meadows represented a petroleum distributor that successfully achieved summary judgment, in favor of the distributor on a claim that the producer had contaminated the Whitesburg, Kentucky, water supply. Reynolds et al v. Childers Oil, 2012 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 386. In a Letcher Circuit Court Class Action,
Harrison v. Don Franklin Chevrolet. Mr. Meadows defended a car dealership in an assault case which achieved a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the defendant. See KTCR Report.
The plaintiffs, Hughie and Janice Harrison claimed that Mr. Harrison was struck in the back of the head by a dealership employee during a confrontation at Don Franklin Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Somerset, Kentucky. As a result, he claimed that he suffered significant physical and psychological injuries. Mr. Harrison made a claim for loss of consortium. Mr. Harrison went to Don Franklin Chevrolet, Buick, GMC on December 26, 2011, because he was angry over a supposed discrepancy in the interest rate on a vehicle purchased a year earlier. Upon entering the dealership, Mr. Harrison began verbally assaulting dealership employees. All attempts to calm Mr. Harrison were unsuccessful. As a result, Hughie Harrison claimed that as he was being escorted from the store, another dealership employee hit him on the head. The plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages for the claimed assault and injuries.
At trial, the plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Barry White, testified that he could not relate any of the plaintiff’s subjective complaints to the incident at Don Franklin Chevrolet. He said there were no injuries consistent with an assault.
The defense called a series of dealership employees who testified the plaintiff was irate when he entered the store and tripped over a rug while he was leaving. Additionally, the defense called Dr. David Shraberg to testify regarding the plaintiff’s complaints of severe psychological problems as a result of the alleged assault. Dr. Shraberg testified, that while the plaintiff had some psychological problems, there were related to events that had occurred prior to the incident at Don Franklin Chevrolet.
After a 25 minute deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant on liability. A judgement has not yet been entered.