Tracy Hayes practice focuses on providing a defense for her clients when faced with the uncertainty of being named as a defendant in a lawsuit, whether it is based on a claim under Section 1983 or a state tort claim. Tracy’s practice concentrates on defense of government liability claims, civil rights defense, professional liability, bodily injury defense, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, and commercial litigation.
Dutton v. American Family
Venue: Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District); Supreme Court of Missouri Tracy Hayes defended this matter which involved the issue of whether liability policies stack. The issue was appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court and it held that under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), separate owner’s policy of automobile insurance which do not insure the accident vehicle do not have to provide coverage for an accident involving an owned auto that is covered by a separate policy. The Supreme Court held that Section 303.190.2 of the MVFRL (the statutory section setting forth requirements for owner’s policies of insurance) only requires an owner’s policy to provide coverage for the specifically designated vehicle (i.e. the vehicle set forth in the declarations page), and that if the insured owns a vehicle that is not involved in an accident and the policy insuring that vehicle includes an exclusion which excludes coverage for claims arising from the use of “owned vehicles” which are not insured by that policy, the provision is enforceable and the second non-accident vehicle policy does not have to pay minimum limits under the MVFRL.
Fire Insurance Exchange v. Horner, et al.
Venue: Jackson County, Missouri; Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District) Tracy Hayes successfully handled this appeal of the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of her client, Fire Insurance Exchange (FIE). FIE provided homeowners insurance to Caleb Horner. Caleb’s wife, Misty, died shortly after giving birth to their stillborn daughter, Sydney, in their home. Based on religious beliefs, Misty Horner did not receive any medical treatment during the pregnancy or delivery. The Mansfields, Misty’s parents, have brought a wrongful death action against Caleb Horner and various other parties for the wrongful death of Misty and Sydney. At issue in the appeal was whether there was insurance coverage for the wrongful death of Sydney. Pursuant to the terms of the insurance contract, there was an exclusion for injury to “any resident of the residence premises”. FIE denied coverage for both Misty and Sydney as residents of the household. FIE filed a declaratory judgment and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of FIE. Horner and the Mansfields appealed arguing that the insurance agreement was ambiguous as it related to Sydney because the policy did not define the residency for an unborn child. The Western District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the policy was not ambiguous, that an unborn child resides wherever her mother resides, and therefore, the policy did not provide coverage in the underlying wrongful death claim.
Macias v. Correct Care
Venue: Leavenworth County, Kansas; Kansas Court of Appeals In this matter, Plaintiff requested a medical screening panel. The District Court granted the various defendants’ motions to dismiss filed by Tracy Hayes. Plaintiff appealed the dismissal. As an issue of first impression, the Court of Appeals of Kansas held that a dismissal of a request for a medical screening panel was not an appealable order.
Tudor v. Wheatland Nursing
Venue: Russell County, Kansas; Kansas Court of Appeals; Supreme Court of Kansas Tracy Hayes successfully defended this action in which Plaintiff brought against a nursing home for the wrongful death of his brother. Plaintiff failed to designate an expert and Defendant obtained dismissal by summary judgment. The Plaintiff argued that because this was not a “medical malpractice” action, but an “ordinary negligence claim,” therefore experts were not required. The Court rejected this notion and stated that expert testimony is required when the matter is outside the common knowledge of the jury. In the alternative, Plaintiff argued that the standard of care was established by the Adult Care Home Licensure Act. The Court rejected plaintiff’s additional argument that a statute or regulation can set a standard of care and that a private cause of action was not contemplated under the Adult Care Home Licensure Act.
Farmers v. Wilson
Venue: Greene County, Missouri; Missouri Court of Appeals (Southern District) Tracy Hayes defended this Declaratory Judgment Action, where claimants were attempting to stack liability policies for a motorcycle and multiple automobile policies. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, held that the policies’ exclusions applied and nothing triggered the “Other Insurance” clauses in the policy. Therefore, the liability policies did not stack, and Ms. Hayes’ clients were successful.
- Kansas Bar Association
- The Missouri Bar
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
- DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar
- Kansas Association of Defense Counsel