Biography

In his legal experience of more than 40 years, Thomas R. Larson has built a reputation as one of the area's most distinguished litigators. He serves as regional counsel advising and handling litigation for numerous manufacturers and businesses, and he also serves as national litigation counsel in asbestos claims for a large manufacturer of agricultural equipment.

Having served as lead trial counsel on more than 50 jury trials, during which he has amassed a winning percentage of 85%, Tom is one of only a handful of lawyers to win a defense verdict in an asbestos case in the City of St. Louis (Goede v. Aerojet Gen. Corp.). He also has the distinction of being one of a select group of attorneys to be recognized for his significant verdicts (Nichols v. Kubota Tractor Corp. and D.D. Beal v. Mid-Missouri Bank) as both defense and plaintiff's counsel by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

In addition to his success in jury trials, Tom has an impressive record handling appeals including after trial court losses by other counsel. His win record of 90% as appellant far exceeds the statistical average and his win record of 90% as respondent matches the statistical average. Appellate cases handled or briefed by him have helped to shape Missouri law for the past 40 years, including frequently cited cases establishing that a manufacturer cannot be liable for negligent design where the hazard is "open and obvious" (Morrison v. Kubota Tractor Corp.), designing a jury instruction approved by the Missouri Supreme Court for submitting comparative fault on the part of a plaintiff in a product liability case (Eglehoff v. Holt), establishing rules limiting the availability of punitive damages (Angotti v. Celotex), establishing rules that limit the liability of a component part manufacturer (Sperry v. Bauermeister, Inc.), and many others.

Tom’s track record of success and innovation has not only demonstrated itself in the courtroom, but in the management of cases, as well. Here are a couple of examples:

  • He has developed protocols for the efficient and focused defense of mass tort litigation which have drastically reduced defense costs, while keeping settlement payments down.
  • He was instrumental increasing the size of a client’s insurance recovery for a hurricane loss by more than 15% against strong opposition by the insurer, resulting in a total recovery of over $56 million.
  • He has successfully designed and initiated a system and protocols in which a predecessor-in-interest and its successor-in-interest to certain liabilities now work together with one another in such a way that both parties have reduced their year-to-year costs associated with those liabilities. 

Tom believes that his clients benefit most when they achieve a quick and effective result. His philosophy is understanding the risks and rewards associated with a particular matter are essential to determining how it should be handled. According to Tom, "Within a short period of time (30-60 days), we assimilate the essential facts and accurately advise our client on the possibility of winning, the probable award, and the expected costs. With this information, we design protocols that permit our clients to minimize their legal expenses, and we work to find innovative strategies that enable our clients to resolve their matters quickly and successfully. When all else fails, we have the experience and knowledge to take our cases to trial and give our clients an excellent chance of winning."

Tom is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America's Trial Lawyer Honorary Society and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers® for 2020-2024.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Washburn University School of Law (J.D., 1974)
  • University of Kansas (B.A., 1972)
    • Political Science and Philosophy

Legal Background

  • Larson & Larson, P.C., Kansas City, MO (1995-2007), President, 10-lawyer, AV-rated boutique litigation firm
  • Watson & Marshall, LLC, Kansas City, MO (1990-1995), Chairman, litigation department (75 lawyers) and Executive Committee
  • Morris, Larson, King, Stamper & Bold, Kansas City, MO (1974-1990), Director, litigation department

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Diversity Law Institute
  • Member, Trial Law Institute
  • Barrister, Order of Justitia
  • Advocate, Order of Certus

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts, Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri, District of Kansas
  • Missouri Bar
  • Kansas Bar