Thomas P. Cartmell


Thomas P. Cartmell

Founding Partner

Tom Cartmell co-founded Wagstaff & Cartmell in 1997 and is now regarded as one of this region’s preeminent trial lawyers. For more than a decade, he has represented St. Luke’s Health System and Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics – two of this region’s largest hospitals. In recent years, Tom has distinguished himself as one of the country’s most accomplished lawyers in actions relating to pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.

Tom has extensive experience trying cases and arguing appeals. He has tried over 30 cases to verdict on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts. He has litigated a wide variety of product liability, consumer fraud, professional liability, antitrust, and commercial cases, and has significant experience in multi-district litigation.

Tom has been recognized as one of Kansas City’s outstanding trial lawyers on multiple occasions. For example, in 2001 he received the Thomas J. Conway Award, an award presented annually by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association to a trial lawyer who “represents his/her clients with zeal.” In 2003, he was awarded the Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, an award presented by the Missouri Bar Foundation to an outstanding trial lawyer in Kansas City for “outstanding expression of the qualities of professional competence, industry, integrity and courtesy indicative of a trial lawyer.” Tom also has been honored as one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” every year since 2004, has been included in the Kansas City Super Lawyers edition every year since 2006, and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2007. Tom has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Tom is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has also been elected a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers. Tom has been an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Kansas School of Law and is a frequent speaker at seminars that focus on trial tactics and strategy. He also is active in the community, having served as a member of the board of trustees for Ozanam, the Chairman of the Board for Crittenton Behavioral Health, and currently as the Municipal Court Judge in the City of Mission Hills, Kansas.

Tom graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Business Administration, obtained his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of law, and was an editor on the Kansas Law Review.

Recent Verdicts and Settlements

Obtained in excess of $30 million for clients against manufacturers of anti-inflammatory medications

Obtained in excess of $9.0 million in settlements for clients against manufacturers of Ephedra products

Received one of top five plaintiffs’ verdicts in Missouri in 2007 when he obtained a $3.02 million verdict representing a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse action

Obtained a $1.3 million settlement for a personal injury plaintiff

Obtained a $1.0 million verdict representing a plaintiff in a personal injury action

Obtained a defense verdict for Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City after offering $1.0 million to settle the personal injury case.

Product Liability Litigation
Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, Co-Lead Trial Counsel, In re Avandia Marketing Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Celebrex and Bextra MDL litigation

Trial counsel in first Bextra personal injury trial in nation; scheduled for trial in May 2008; settled on eve of trial and ultimately led to a $745 million settlement of all cases.

Represent Federal Signal Corporation, a manufacturer of sirens, in mass tort product liability litigation involving firefighters’ claims of hearing loss.

Represented third-party payors, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, in consumer fraud cases against Pfizer, Merck, and Schering-Plough; cases pending in federal courts across the country.

Member, expert/science committee and bankruptcy settlement/resolution counsel, Ephedra litigation; obtained over $50 million in settlements.

Experience in mass tort pharmaceutical and device litigation involving Baycol, Propulsid, Rezulin, Zyprexa, Paxil, Vioxx, Trasylol, Avandia, Digitek, Kugal Patch, and Medtronics Defibrillators.

Commercial and Antitrust Litigation
Representing State of Kansas in arbitration against tobacco companies arising from disputes over the Master Settlement Agreement

Representing State of Kansas in disputes with major oil companies over claims made against the state’s Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund

Representing local vending distributor appointed co-lead plaintiff in antitrust class action in multi-district litigation, In re Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation

Representing area farmer as an indirect purchaser in MDL antitrust class action, In re Potash Litigation

Practice Areas

Injury & Wrongful Death

Drug and Medical Devices

Medical Malpractice

Nursing Home Injuries/Abuse

Toxic Torts

Business Disputes

Antitrust Litigation

Securities & Financial Fraud Litigation


J.D., University of Kansas School of Law
• Editor, Kansas Law Review

B.S. in Business Administration, University of Kansas

Honors & Awards

Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal, 2004–2014

Best Lawyers in America, 2007–2014

Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2006–2014

Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, 2003

Thomas J. Conway Award, 2001

AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell




U.S. District Court, District of Kansas

U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Organizations

American Board of Trial Advocates

Crittenton Behavioral Health

International Society of Barristers, Fellow