Matthew J. Padberg Principal and Partner
For more than 35 years, Matthew J. Padberg has concentrated his law practice in representing individuals and families who have been impacted by either injury or death, in the areas of civil litigation, medical malpractice, aviation law, workers’ compensation, general personal injury law, and wrongful death.
Prior to entering the private practice, Matt received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983. While in law school, he worked at the Missouri Supreme Court and was a law clerk for the Eastern District Court of Appeals. After graduating law school, Matt clerked for Judge Jack K. Regan, a United States District Judge, Eastern District of Missouri. He then went on to practice at Padberg, McSweeney, Slater & Merz, from 1984 to 1999. In 1999, he founded the Padberg Appelbaum Knepper law firm where he continues to serve as a principal and partner.
Matt’s efforts have been celebrated by means of numerous awards and recognitions. Notably, in 1993, The Missouri Bar awarded him the Lon O. Hocker Trial Lawyer Award, which goes to only three trial attorneys every year. The same year Governor Mel Carnahan appointed Matt to the St. Louis Police Board, where he served as a commissioner from 1993 to 1996. Then, in 2001, Matt was invited and inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates, an association of trial attorneys dedicated to the preservation of the civil jury trial right provided by the U.S. Constitution. Matt also has the honor of being named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. And, most recently, Matt received the prestigious St. Louis Lawyers Association 2017 Award of Honor.
Matt is an adjunct professor of law at St. Louis University. He is also regularly requested to speak before lawyers at seminars, law schools and conventions.
Matt was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and spends his time outside of the courtroom with his wife Celeste and their children. Matt also volunteers for the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, as well as other legal organizations and charities that protect the rights of individuals to pursue justice and the standards of the civil justice system. And, on a nice day, you might even see Matt flying the skies of St. Louis. He is an instrumented rated pilot who has been flying for more than 25 years.
- During the 2005 expansion of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport runway system, Gene Keller was seriously injured when a dormant piece of dynamite exploded after he was instructed to drill into it. The stick of dynamite had misfired two days prior and the crew on site failed to neutralize the stick. Although the misfire had been reported to supervisors, Keller and a co-worker were never told of the incident. Matt represented Keller and successfully settled the case in 2011 against the engineering company overseeing the blasting for $2,000,000.00.
- A student at the University of Missouri Saint Louis died in a fire at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house where he was a resident. The local chapter of the fraternity was found to have broken multiple housing policies, including those pertaining to indoor smoking and fire detectors. Matt represented the parents of the student and successfully settled with the fraternity’s local chapter, the national organization and corporation. The confidential settlement was reached during trial in 2009, following the opening statements.
- In 1991, Ms. Ann Weiss went for a routine checkup with her OBGYN, Dr. Rojanasathit, who then failed to inform her of an abnormal Pap smear result. By 1995, she had developed cervical cancer and in 1996, she filed an action for medical malpractice against the doctor. While the court ultimately upheld the doctor's motion for summary judgment on the ground that Ms. Weiss’s action was barred by the two-year statute of limitations (section 516.105, RSMo 1994), her story made its way to the Missouri Legislature and became the basis for a revision of the statute. Today, in a case in which there is a negligent failure to inform a patient of negative medical test results, the two-year statute of limitations starts on the date of the discovery of such negligent failure to inform, or from the date on which the patient in the exercise of ordinary care should have discovered such alleged negligent failure to inform, whichever date first occurs.
- United Airlines Flight 232 crashed during an emergency landing in Sioux Falls, Iowa, in 1989. It was determined that the engine manufacturer had used defective metal casting techniques on critical components in the engine, causing it to explode mid flight and rendered controls to the aircraft only partially effective. Of the 296 people on board, 111 died in the accident and 185 survived. Matthew Padberg was involved in the representation of passengers and obtained combined settlements in excess of $20,000,000.00.
Professional & Community Involvment
- Missouri Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- St. Louis University School of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2001 – present
- Triad Bank, Incorporator / Board of Directors, 2004 - present
- Founders Bank, Incorporator / Board of Directors, 1995 - 2004
- Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry
- BREM Catholic Social Ministry
- Guardian Angel Settlement Board of Directors 1988 - 1993
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- National Trial Lawyers Association
- Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Board of Governors, 1991 - present
- The Lawyers Association of St. Louis
- President 1998 - 1999
- Executive Committee 1988 - 1999
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- St. Louis County Bar Association
- St. Louis Police Board Commissioner, 1993 – 1996
Published Works & PresentationsMatt regularly presents and writes on litigation topics, such as medical malpractice, products liability, litigation strategy and personal injury.
- Speaker, “Federal Practice & Procedure,” UMC, 1994
- Speaker, St. Louis Lawyers Association, All Medical Seminar, 1994
- Speaker, “Primer on Malpractice,” Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 1994
- Speaker, “Civil Jury Trial Demonstration Institute,” Washington University School of Law, 1993
- Speaker, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Bridge the Gap Seminar, 1993
- Speaker, “How to Win Auto Cases Without Going to Trial,” Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, 1992
- Speaker, “Winning the Difficult Injury Case,” UMKC, 1990
- Speaker, Continuing Legal Education, Adam’s Mark Hotel, 1990