Brandon Copeland joined Brown & James in 2006 and practices in the firm’s St. Louis office. Prior to joining Brown & James, he worked for a national insurance company as a field claims adjuster for five years. During that time, he gained valuable experience in the proper handling of property and liability insurance claims. Mr. Copeland puts his field experience to work focusing his practice in the area of insurance law, including coverage disputes and arson-fraud litigation. He also practices in the areas of construction law and premises liability.
Academic Honors and Activities
Academic Excellence Award – Civil Procedure
Henderson v. United Presbyterian Church – The plaintiff was working as a caregiver for an elderly church member when she alleges she slipped and fell on a set of stairs leading from the street to the entrance of the church. She sustained a broken ankle, torn tendon, and nerve damage that required two surgeries to repair. We argued that plaintiff was responsible for her injuries due to her failure to keep a careful lookout for ice on the stairs when she was aware of ice on other parts of the property and freezing rain earlier in the day. Plaintiff asked the jury to award her $200,000. The jury returned a unanimous verdict finding plaintiff’s damages totaled $10,000 and assessing her 90 percent at fault for the accident—resulting in a $1,000 net verdict that was reduced to zero by a setoff in favor of defendant.
Bacon v. OJ Laughlin – The plaintiffs alleged that defendants failed to construct a large addition to their home in a workmanlike manner, resulting in damage and mold throughout the home. As a result, the plaintiffs vacated the home for six months while remediation and repairs took place and discarded much of their personal property. After eight days of trial, and almost three days of deliberations, the jury returned with a full defense verdict for the client.
Collins v. Rader – Plaintiff was injured as he exited from the emergency exit of a school bus used for transportation from defendant’s restaurant to University of Missouri home football games when the front door of the bus “jammed” causing passengers to exit from the back. He alleged the defendant was responsible for the bus driver’s negligent actions and the defendant’s failure to hire a competent transportation company to operate the shuttle. Plaintiff sustained $153,000 in medical bills ($51,000 after adjustments) as a result of treatment for his injury. The jury returned an 11-1 verdict in favor of the defendant.
Cima v. Heartland Credit Union – Plaintiff alleged that our client withheld a portion of her checking account withdrawal. The court found for our client and against plaintiff on all claims.
Eisenmann v. Podhorn (Mo. App. E.D. 2017) – The court granted our cross-appeal and request for a new trial on damages based on the court’s prejudicial jury instruction that directed the jury to consider the original plaintiffs’ failure to mitigate against our client. Our client was a contractor with a third-party claim against the soils engineer it hired to ensure the lot our client was building on was suitable. We also tried the case in the circuit court where the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client with a finding of 100 percent fault on the part of the soils engineer.