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Justin joined RDM as an associate in 2014 and quickly proved himself as a skilled attorney in the field of toxic torts, products liability, commercial litigation, and employment law. He became a member of the firm in 2020.

Justin’s trial and litigation experiences have led to favorable outcomes for his clients along with a nomination to the National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. Justin was part of the RDM team that delivered a Missouri Top Defense Verdict in 2017. He has demonstrated outstanding ability and performance throughout his early career.

Justin has demonstrated leadership as the chair of RDM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The committee seeks to develop the careers of young, diverse, or disadvantaged associates and to foster a safe and welcoming environment for all. Justin has helped to mentor associates on their path to leadership within the firm.

Developing leaders.

Justin leads in the courtroom and out: delivering results for clients, and coaching a new class of diverse associates to become the first class litigators and trial attorneys that make RDM stand out in a crowded field. Let Justin take the lead on your case.

Education

  • St. Louis University

    Juris Doctor 2011

  • University of Illinois

    Bachelor of Arts 2007

Admissions

  • State of Missouri
  • State of Illinois

Honors
& Awards

RDM's Knowledge Blog Posts by Justin U. Ijei

A doctor treating a patient for COVID-19. Photo courtesy of the US Navy.

A new trend relating to COVID-19 lawsuits is emerging. Employers are now facing lawsuits for “Take Home” infections.

In August, the daughter of Esperanza Ugalde filed a lawsuit against her father’s employer alleging that her mother died of COVID-19 that her father contracted during the scope of his employment at a meat processing plant. The complaint alleges that Ricardo Ugalde worked as a butcher and was “shoulder to shoulder” with his coworkers while working on the processing line. The plaintiff further alleges that the meat processing plant was aware that other employees had become infected with COVID-19 but took no measures to mitigate the spread within the facility.

The complaint includes several negligent actions against the employer. Some of those actions include failure to warn when it knew or should have known of a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility and actively creating a risk of harm for its employees and those with close contact with those employees by not disinfecting the facility nor providing personal protective equipment (PPE).

View the full Ugalde v. Aurora Packing Company complaint here.

This idea of “Take Home” exposure is nothing new. In fact, asbestos litigation has been dealing with these types of cases for quite a while. Praedicat, a firm that evaluates risks for insurers, states that 7% to 9% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths are believed to come from take-home infections. The firm further believes that if American fatalities reaches 300,000, businesses could see a cost up to $21 billion in litigation

To be successful, the plaintiff must show a strong causal chain that connects the sick family member to the worker, and then to the employer and the employer’s alleged negligent actions. Despite this hurdle, businesses should still protect themselves by establishing proper safety procedures for its employees by following CDC guidelines, OSHA regulations, and state and local laws.

Employment and labor law.

Justin Ijei and the Employment Law team at RDM can help your business eliminate potential risks before they arrive.

Contact RDM

A marijuana plant.

In 2018, Missouri became one of the 33 states to pass the legal use of medical marijuana. Since then, Missouri has issued 192 licenses to open dispensaries and 60 licenses to grow marijuana. According to the Associated Press, a lab in Maryland Heights, Missouri was recently approved to start testing samples of marijuana. The lab anticipates that medical marijuana will be available to patients by mid-October this year. 

The use of medicinal marijuana will create challenges for employers trying to keep a drug-free workplace.  Under the Missouri constitutional provision, a person is not permitted to bring a claim against any employer, former employer, or prospective employer for wrongful discharge, discrimination, or any similar cause of action or remedy, based on the employer prohibiting an employee, former employee, or prospective employee from being under the influence of marijuana while at work or disciplining the employee or former employee, up to and including termination from employment, for working or attempting to work while under the influence of marijuana (Mo. Const. Art. 14, § 1). 

Because there are no clear tests to determine whether an employee is under the influence during working hours, there are many questions that await to be answered. It will be important for employers to ensure that their drug-free policy is in compliance with state law.

Questions about employment law?

Justin Ijei and the team at Rasmussen Dickey Moore have extensive experience with employer/employee relationships and regulations. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Contact RDM

Gavel.

Rasmussen Dickey Moore’s trial victory for Lincoln Electric and Hobart Brothers in Laningham v. Hobart Brothers and Lincoln Electric was named as a “2017 Top 5 Defense Verdict” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Partners Kurt Rasmussen and Dyanna Ballou and associate Justin Ijei represented Hobart Brothers and Lincoln Electric in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri in May 2017.

On January 26th, the team was honored at the Missouri Lawyers Weekly luncheon at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri.

RDM delivers results.

RDM has the skills and experience to see your case through to the end.

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Gavel.

On Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, a jury in Jackson County, Missouri found welding rod manufacturers Hobart Brothers and Lincoln Electric not liable for damages related to asbestos claims. RDM attorneys Kurt Rasmussen, Dyanna Ballou, and Justin Ijei defended against the claim.

Jessica Shumaker at Missouri Lawyers Weekly has a full synopsis of the case, Laningham v. Hobart Brothers and Lincoln Electric.

Update: RDM’s victory in this case has been named a Top Defense Verdict for 2017.

A brown recluse. RDM successfully defended a premises liability claim involving a spider bite at a hotel.

RDM attorneys John Kellogg and Justin Ijei represented a motel sued by a guest for an alleged brown recluse spider bite in a motel room. After a four day trial, a Jackson County jury returned a unanimous defense verdict.

The case may have been one of the first Missouri premises liability cases involving an alleged venomous spider bite. “It was important to show the jury that our client acted appropriately and used adequate pest control measures in treating its property,” Ijei said. “We’re very pleased that the jury found no liability and rendered a verdict in our client’s favor.”

Premises liability.

Despite your best efforts to eliminate the potential for injury, accidents can happen. Call on RDM’s attorneys to help you when you face a premises liability claim.

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