JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri recently dished out $4.8 million in a single settlement, $500,000 in attorney fees for another legal battle, and $300,000 in a judgment in another case.
The May 2019 Legal Expense Fund Report detailed the wide-ranging payments the Show-Me State made a variety of legal cases. The monthly reports were first made available online by then-Attorney General Josh Hawley in 2017 and have continued under Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
On May 6, the state paid out on a settlement from a 2017 case where a former-Kansas City teacher alleged she was fired because she is white. A jury awarded Patricia Daniels $4.3 million — $750,000 in compensatory damages and $3.6 million in punitive damages. A judge tacked on a post-judgment interest rate of 6.25 percent.
When the state paid it out this year, it cut a check for more than $4.8 million.
The judgment in the case was issued before the General Assembly capped punitive damages in discrimination lawsuits.
On May 21, the state cut two checks totaling more than $506,000 to groups that stopped some campaign finance limitations from going into effect. Stinson Leonard Street Law, representing the Association of Missouri Electrical Cooperatives (AMEC), and Todd Graves, representing the American Democracy Alliance, successfully prevented the Missouri Ethics Commission from enforcing a PAC-to-PAC contribution ban.
A U.S. District Court judge approved the state paying the attorneys fees in the case. Stinson Leonard Street was paid $241,465. American Democracy Alliance received $265,194.
On May 6, $301,372 was paid out in a judgment against the Missouri Department of Corrections for a policy which denied health care to a transgender offender.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.