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Nate works as an insurance defense attorney, focusing on products liability law and asbestos defense litigation in Missouri and Illinois.  He has extensive experience advocating for a broad range of national businesses including manufacturers, premises owners, and contractors during all phases of litigation with the ultimate goal of mitigating and eliminating legal risk. He has also represented a variety of local professionals and entities including retail owners, medical professionals, design professionals, financial planners, and construction contractors.  He regularly appears for contested motions and trial settings in the circuit courts of Missouri and Illinois including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Madison County, and McLean County.

Prior to working at Rasmussen Dickey Moore, Nate gained experience as a law student extern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and as an extern clerk for the Honorable Carlos Murguia of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Outside of his legal practice, Nate is the President of Dutchtown Main Streets, an economic development nonprofit in south St. Louis city’s densest neighborhood that promotes a thriving community through shared prosperity. In 2017, he helped establish the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, the largest community-driven CID in Missouri. Nate, his wife Staci, and their son Thaddeus are active parishioners at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Dutchtown.

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Let Nate and the team at RDM put their experience to work for you. When you face claims in the challenging jurisdictions of Greater St. Louis and the Metro East areas, count on RDM to handle your case.

Education

  • University of Kansas

    Juris Doctor 2012

  • Grinnell College

    Bachelor of Arts 2008

Admissions

  • State of Missouri
  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois

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Activities

RDM's Knowledge Blog Posts by Nathan A. Lindsey

The Freedom Suits Memorial at the Civil Courts building in St. Louis.

This June, the Circuit Courts of St. Louis dedicated “Freedom’s Home,” a bronze statue memorializing the history of freedom suits in St. Louis. The four-ton bronze statue, sculpted by Preston Jackson, sits on the east side plaza of the Civil Courts Building in Downtown St. Louis. The black granite base of the statue is inscribed with the names of 330 people who petitioned for their freedom.

The Freedom Suits Memorial at the Civil Courts building in Downtown St. Louis.

Previously, RDM member attorney Nathan Lindsey wrote about the history of freedom suits in St. Louis. Beginning in 1824 with Winny v. Whitesides and continuing until the 1857 Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, over 300 enslaved Black people sued for their freedom in Missouri, with roughly half of them prevailing in their petitions. Many of these cases were filed at the Old Courthouse, located at the doorstep of RDM’s St. Louis office.

The petitions were grounded in the “once free, always free” doctrine established in Winny. The case established that when an enslaved person was taken to a free state or territory such as Illinois, that freedom became permanent. The petitioners faced a cumbersome legal process to sue for that freedom, but many persevered, filed suits, and, in some cases, won the freedom to which they were entitled.

The unveiling of the freedom suits memorial coincided with Juneteenth, which commemorates the 1865 announcement of the end of slavery in Texas. Declared a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates not only the emancipation of enslaved Black people but African-American culture as well.

A fingerprint being scanned for security. Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) regulates the collection and usage of biometric data by private entities.

The Illinois Supreme Court has answered a long-awaited question regarding the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and its interaction with the state’s workers compensation statute. In McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC, the Supreme Court addressed a certified question from the Court of Appeals to determine whether the Worker’s Compensation exclusivity provisions bar an employee’s claims filed under BIPA. The Court distinguished those workplace injuries suffered that were subject to the exclusivity provision, reasoning that a BIPA violation “is not the type of injury that categorically fits within the purview of the Compensation Act and is thus not compensable under the Compensation Act.”

In doing so, the Supreme Court removed what had previously been the prevailing defense for employers accused of technical violations of BIPA. The Court stated, “We are cognizant of the substantial consequences the legislature intended as a result of [BIPA] violations. Pursuant to [BIPA], the General Assembly has adopted a strategy to limit the risks posed by the growing use of biometrics by businesses and the difficulty in providing meaningful recourse once a person’s biometric identifiers or biometric information has been compromised.”

This dictum strengthens the recent holdings of Illinois’s Appellate courts, which have weighed in on the BIPA ruling on an expansive definition for when a claim accrues and leaving open the question of how to calculate damages for successive violations. This question may need to be addressed on remand in the McDonald case, which involves the repeated scanning of an employee’s fingerprint to keep track of worked time.

What constitutes biometric information and how does BIPA protect it?

Illinois enacted the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act in 2008 to create a private tort action in response to privacy violations related to biometric data. BIPA states a “Biometric Identifier” means a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry.

Given the rise of biometric data used across industries such as transportation, finance, hospitality, retail, and education, all businesses must be keenly aware of the requirements under the act. Any private entity which collects biometric information must:

  • Create a publicly available policy on its biometric data practices;
  • Provide disclosures;
  • Obtain releases from individuals for whom biometric identifiers are collected before the collection occurs; and
  • Use a reasonable standard of care based on industry to store, transmit, and protect the information.

Who can make a BIPA claim?

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act is written broadly to protect any individual (consumers, employees, etc.) who might have a biometric identifier collected by a private entity.

Importantly, in a watershed 2019 decision by the Illinois Supreme Court in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., the Court’s unanimous decision settled a circuit split among Illinois appellate courts regarding the pleading standard for demonstrating a claimant was “aggrieved” under the act determining a claimant need not plead actual harm to recover under the statute.

Six Flags had a practice of collecting fingerprints for pass membership to their amusement park but had not complied with the notice and consent provisions of BIPA. The Second District Illinois Appellate Court dismissed the claim given there was no breach and consequently no actual harm demonstrated. However, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision, finding that “aggrieved” under BIPA included technical violations of the statutory requirements because they created substantive rights. 

“Such a characterization, however, misapprehends the nature of the harm our legislature is attempting to combat through this legislation. The Act vests in individuals and customers the right to control their biometric information by requiring notice before collection and giving them the power to say no by withholding consent.”

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act has distinct subparts which could each constitute individual violations:

  • Failing to develop a written policy under 15(a);
  • Failing to provide written notice of collection under 15(b);
  • Profiting from the biometric data under 15(c);
  • Unlawfully disclosing the biometric identifier under 15(d); or
  • Not taking reasonable care in storing, transmitting, or otherwise protecting the information under 15(e).

When does a BIPA claim accrue?

In Watson v. Legacy Healthcare Financial Services, LLC et al., the First District Illinois Appellate Court determined that a claim does not accrue on only the initial capture of a claimant’s biometric data but at the time of each individual capture.

What are the damages in a BIPA claim?

The court in Watson did not address whether each capture represented a separate violation under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act or how multiple captures of biometric data might affect monetary damages under BIPA, which establishes damages in the amount of $1,000 for each negligent violation and up to $5,000 for intentional or reckless violations. A claimant is entitled to seek more if their actual damages would exceed the statutory amount. 

In enacting the law, the Illinois General Assembly expressly noted that “[b]iometrics are unlike other unique identifiers that are used to access finances or other sensitive information. For example, Social Security numbers, when compromised, can be changed. Biometrics, however, are biologically unique to the individual; therefore, once compromised, the individual has no recourse, is at heightened risk for identity theft, and is likely to withdraw from biometric-facilitated transactions.”

Biometric Information Privacy outside of Illinois

Currently, only the states of Arkansas, California, Texas, and Washington have enacted legislation similar to Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. Additionally, several large cities have adopted their own biometric technology regulations, including New York City, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Portland, Oregon.

Numerous other legislatures, including Missouri, have bills in the works to adopt BIPA-like legislation in the future.

Protect yourself from BIPA claims

Technology evolves, and so does the law. Whether your business is on the cutting edge or keeping up with the times, it’s imperative that you have skilled counsel on your side. The attorneys at Rasmussen Dickey Moore can help your business maintain compliance and stay out of the courtroom or work to extricate you from litigation should it arise. Contact RDM today to protect your business from BIPA claims.

Books in a law library. RDM carefully studies contract language and contract law to ensure our clients know what they're signing.

The Eastern District of Missouri recently highlighted the importance of plain language, or the ordinary meaning doctrine, which suggests words in contracts should be given their everyday meaning unless the context of the contract indicates an alternative.

Pelopidas v. Keller

Pelopidas v. Keller involved a dispute between a previously married couple and their respective interest in a company. After divorcing, the couple agreed to retain their respective 50% ownership of the Pelopidas holding company. One spouse remained the owner/manager of the company and the other was an owner/employee drawing salary and benefits.

The owner/employee brought claims for breach of fiduciary duty in 2016. Ultimately, the owner/manager ex-spouse resigned from the company in 2019 and the company’s largest client and primary source of revenue terminated its business relationship with Pelopidas. Following these events, the parties mediated the lawsuit and entered into a written agreement titled “Memorandum of Settlement” outlining an agreed transfer of interest from the owner/employee to the owner/manager in exchange for a monetary payment.

The contract language included “Plaintiff’s stock shall be surrendered/sold, escrowed and pledged back to Plaintiff” and included a payment schedule over three and a half years. There was no effective date for the transfer of the owner/employee’s interest. In early 2020, the parties reached an impasse regarding finalizing the settlement and transfer of stock. The owner/employee then filed suit to enforce her version of the transfer of stock settlement which included a different effective date than that proposed by the owner/manager. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the owner/manager on the grounds that the effective date of the transfer of stock was the date in which the settlement was executed. The owner/employee appealed.

The Eastern District reversed the trial court’s ruling, instead directing the court to enter summary judgment in favor of the owner/employee. The Eastern District stated, “It is well established that the cardinal principle for contract interpretation is to ascertain the intention of the parties and to give effect to that intent.  To that end we use the plain, ordinary, and usual meaning of the contract’s words and consider the document as a whole.”

What’s The Difference Between Language of Performance and Language of Obligation?

The appeals court went on to determine the plain meaning of the use of “shall be” in relation to the transfer of the stock to determine the intent for whether it imposed a future obligation or immediate performance. The Court stated, “very simply, it is the only reasonable interpretation of the words “shall be” in [the contract clause], which clearly commands that each of these requirements occur sometime after [the date the settlement was executed].”

The Court went on to cite to the American Bar Association’s A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting which notes the differences between language of performance and language of obligation.

Language of Performance: Expresses actions accomplished by means of signing the contract itself, is typically accomplished by use of the word “hereby.”

Language of Obligation: States any duty a contract imposes on one or more parties and is typically accomplished by use of the word “shall” or “will.”

The Court noted that this plain language interpretation is reinforced by the fact that the dismissal of the underlying lawsuit was accomplished with the same language “shall be” with the intent that the lawsuit be dismissed at a future date following the execution of the supplemental documentation related to stock transfer.

“Hereby” vs. “Shall Be”

The takeaway lesson for businesses and contract drafters is to avoid utilizing any language of obligation if the intent of the parties is to effectuate the date of the agreement at the time of execution. In fact, the ABA manual specifically states in Section 3.72, that the word “shall” should not be used to express anything other than language of obligation in a contract. The alternative language to effectuate the date of the stock transfer as the date of the settlement execution could have been, “Plaintiff’s stock is hereby surrendered/sold, escrowed and shall be pledged back to Plaintiff.”

When drafting a contract, the details are of utmost importance. RDM’s Business Law Team understands the ins and outs of complex contractual agreements and can help you ensure that what you see is what you get. Contact RDM before you sign on the dotted line.

The futsal court in Marquette Park.

Rasmussen Dickey Moore member attorney Nate Lindsey recently participated in the kickoff event for the first outdoor futsal court in St. Louis. As part of his work with Dutchtown Main Streets, a volunteer-run community development non-profit, Nate teamed up with the organization’s subcommittee Allies of Marquette Park to usher in a new era of soccer to Marquette. Nate organized and collaborated with St. Louis CITY SC, the St. Louis Parks Department, and a host of private donors, community organizations, and contractors to have the futsal court installed at Marquette Park.

Continue reading RDM Attorney Nate Lindsey Helps Bring Futsal to Dutchtown
The Missouri Capitol. Missouri legislators recently amended laws pertaining to "065 agreements." Photo by Paul Sableman.

On June 29th, 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law SS HB 345, which will go into effect on August 28th. The law amends Missouri’s unique statutory law, predominantly viewed as favoring policy holders and plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking garnishments and third-party actions against insurance companies.  

Insurance carriers who believe they have a defense to coverage have faced complex risk analysis in Missouri. While the duty to defend is generally broader than the duty to indemnify, third-party claims against carriers in Missouri have become an increasingly popular weapon.

When faced with a claim, a carrier has a few options: 

  • Accept the defense of the claim without any reservation of rights, which triggers a duty to indemnify;
  • Defend under reservation of rights and file a declaration action to determine coverage; or
  • Outright deny coverage and a defense.

What is an 065 Agreement?

In Missouri, when there is a dispute as to coverage between a defendant and its insurer, R.S.Mo. § 537.065 allows plaintiff and defendant to enter into an agreement that a plaintiff will only collect on a judgment from the defendant’s insurance carrier. These agreements usually arise when there has been a disclaimer of coverage or a rejection of a reservation of rights defense which is treated as a denial of coverage in Missouri.

Prior to HB 345, parties could enter into an 065 settlement agreement to shift liability to one party or insurer. Parties could provide notice only at the eleventh hour before a judgment in the matter was entered, and the insurer would then be bound by the judgment.  Several recent cases—Britt v. Otto, Aguilar v. GEICO, and Geiler v. Liberty (see our recent analysis of this case)—illustrate how the past provisions of 537.065 had been used by plaintiffs to set up insurers for bad faith claims, obtain rulings in alternative dispute resolution settings, and effectively wipe away the insurer’s ability to do anything to protect its own interests unless it agrees to provide full coverage from the outset.

What are the new changes to 537.065?

Timing

In 2017, an amendment was passed and signed into law requiring that before a judgment could be entered in an 065 agreement, an insurer needed to be provided with written notice of the execution of the contract and be given thirty days to intervene as a matter of right in pending litigation involving the claim for damages. The most recent amendments attempt to close the timing loopholes that allowed gamesmanship of notice to carriers with specific timelines for different scenarios of litigation:

If any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section, then, within thirty days after such execution, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of any such action. 

If any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section but is thereafter dismissed, then, within thirty days after the refiling of that action or the filing of any subsequent action arising out of the claim for damages against the tort-feasor, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of the refiled or subsequently filed action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor.

If no action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section, then, within thirty days after the tort-feasor receives notice of any subsequent action, by service of process or otherwise, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor.

Rights After Intervention

New language in 537.065 also makes clear that if an insurance carrier chooses to intervene in an 065 agreement then, “the intervenor shall have all rights afforded to defendants under the Missouri rules of civil procedure and reasonable and sufficient time to meaningfully assert its position including, but not limited to, the right and time to conduct discovery, the right and time to engage in motion practice, and the right to a trial by jury and sufficient time to prepare for trial.” Further, no order regarding the claim matter shall be binding on the carrier choosing to intervene if the order is entered prior to the intervention.

No Private Arbitration End Run

The law also amends Missouri’s Uniform Arbitration Act to make clear that plaintiffs may not use private arbitration to circumvent proper notice to the carrier and the opportunity to intervene.  Any arbitration occurring without the consent of the insurer is not binding and the choice not to participate shall not be construed to be bad faith.

In Conclusion

The changes to 537.065 go into effect on August 28th, 2021. Even when the changes become effective, insurers must continue to stay on their toes as plaintiffs’ attorneys seek opportunities to stay one step ahead.

While the changes to Missouri law may be more favorable to insurers, it is still absolutely essential that insurers have the right counsel to help them assess their options. RDM’s extensive experience in complex claims coverage allows us to provide detailed assessments accounting for a wide array of possible outcomes. Though the laws may change, insurers should remain vigilant when it comes to their Missouri claims.

From coverage opinions to defense at trial, RDM’s Insurance Law team can lead insurers through complex claims at every step of the way keeping them informed and prepared for the latest changes in state law. Contact RDM today to discuss how new laws may affect you.