Matt’s litigation practice is focused on guiding hospitals and health care practitioners through medical malpractice and other health care related litigation. Additionally, Matt has experience litigating in the areas of employment law, construction law, premises liability, general insurance defense, commercial litigation, and in representing plaintiffs in their personal injury claims.
Matt practices in both the state and federal courts of South Dakota. Matt has obtained favorable jury verdicts for his clients, he has had consistent success in court trials and in motion practice, and he has efficiently and effectively resolved countless other disputes.
Matt grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and then attended the University of South Dakota for both undergraduate studies and law school. During his undergraduate time, he played football for the University and was named Academic All-American (Second Team). In law school, he was involved in various organizations, including trial team, and he graduated with Sterling Honors (top 10% of class).
Following law school, Matt completed a clerkship with the Second Judicial Circuit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He then joined the Firm’s Litigation Section in August of 2011 and was named a Partner in January of 2018. During his time with the Firm, Matt has represented clients in both the State and Federal Courts of South Dakota, including at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Matt has experience in:
- Guiding hospitals and health care practitioners through medical malpractice litigation and licensing disputes;
- Representing employers and municipalities in wrongful termination litigation;
- Counseling trustees and beneficiaries in trust and estate disputes;
- Litigating construction defect cases on behalf of general contractors, design professionals, and subcontractors;
- Representing businesses and property owners in contract disputes, property disputes, and other complex commercial and trade secret litigation;
- Representing individuals injured in auto accident and other personal injury disputes.
- Assisting businesses, both small and large, in premises liability litigation
- Construction Professional Malpractice Litigation
- Construction Defect Litigation
- General Construction Litigation
- Insurance & Coverage Litigation
- Construction Contract & Document Negotiation
- Construction Licensing Matters
- Construction Education & Risk Management
- Other Construction Advice & Representation
Professional and Community
Licensed to Practice in South Dakota’s state and federal courts, as well as at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
State Bar of South Dakota
• Evidence Committee (2012-Present) ◦ Committee Co-Chair (2018-Present)
• Law School Committee (2018-Present)
Second Circuit Bar Association Member
• Young Lawyers Committee
• Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee
South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association Member
South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association Member
The University of South Dakota Foundation
Sioux Empire United Way Volunteer
Awards and Recognition
South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association – 2017 Rising Star Award
AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell – Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Reported Cases and Results
Favorable Trial Results
• 2016 (jury) – Obtained a defense verdict for a pediatric gastroenterologist in a medical malpractice trial wherein the plaintiff asked for over $5 million in damages.
* Basil O’Day and Tracy McClure, as Guardian ad Litem for N.W.O. v. Stephen Nanton, M.D., Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-1717.
* Decision affirmed by the South Dakota Supreme Court. O’Day v. Nanton, 2017 S.D. 90, —N.W.2d—-.
• 2016 (jury) – Represented a local hospital and its nursing staff in a bariatric surgery and sepsis case, which the plaintiff dismissed three days into trial.
* Lakisha M. Brown and Dustin Brown v. The Surgical Institute of South Dakota and Avera McKennan, Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-3090.
• 2015 (jury) – Obtained a defense verdict for a hospital in a wrongful termination trial wherein the plaintiff physician presented a damages model of nearly $6 million in allegedly lost wages.
* Dr. Sonia Hernandez, D.O., v. Avera Queen of Peace Hospital (AQOP) & Dr. Joe Krall, First Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-268.
* Decision affirmed by the South Dakota Supreme Court. Hernandez v. Avera Queen of Peace, 886 N.W.2d 338 (S.D. 2016).
• 2014 (jury) – Obtained a directed verdict for a hospital in a premises liability trial.
* Cynthia Leonard v. Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, Inc., Third Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 13-0538.
• 2013 (jury) – Obtained a Plaintiff’s verdict for an individual and his business, in a breach of contract and defamation trial, of approximately $250,000.
* Dudley J. Deffenbaugh, Individually and Deffenbaugh Construction Inc., d/b/a Deffenbaugh Homes v. Janeen Steffen, Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-2477.
• 2015 (court) – Obtained a favorable result for a local municipality in a property dispute.
* Cory Baker and Donal Gohman v. City of Brandon, Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 14-458.
• 2014 (court) – Obtained a favorable result for a hospital in a property dispute.
* Avera McKennan v. Brady Spurlin, Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 14-1689.
Other Noteworthy Experience and Published Opinions
• 2017 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of a national truck stop chain in a motor vehicle accident case. The judgment was summarily affirmed by the S.D. Supreme Court.
* Alfreda Siems v. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, Second Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 14-1067 (April 18, 2017), summarily aff’d, S.D. Sup. Ct., Appeal No. 28254 (Nov. 13, 2017).
• 2016 – On behalf of a hospital, successfully appealed and overturned a trial court’s discovery decision undermining the medical peer review protection in South Dakota.
* Novotny v. Sacred Heart Health Services, et al, 2016 SD 75, 887 N.W.2d 83.
• 2016 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of a city in a wrongful termination case.
* Griffith v. City of Watertown, 2016 WL 4275635 (D.S.D. August 12, 2016).
• 2016 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of a county and county official in a §1983 and wrongful termination case.
* Nicole Knisley v. Lake County et al, 2016 WL 1464553 (D.S.D. April 12, 2016).
• 2015 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of a siding subcontractor being sued for design and/or installation defects, said judgment later being affirmed by the S.D. Supreme Court.
* Gades v. Meyer Modernizing Co., Inc., 2015 SD 42, 865 N.W.2d 155.
• 2013 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of a South Dakota county, dismissing a plaintiff’s personal injury claim premised upon an alleged defect in one of the county’s highways.
* Cindy Kuemper v. Hamlin County et al, Third Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-23 (October 11, 2013).
Won summary judgment dismissals in multiple medical malpractice cases:
• Leggins v. Eggert, 2014 WL 1285786 (D.S.D. March 27, 2014). • Christine C. Gould v. Avera McKennan Hospital et al, Second Judicial Circuit Court, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 13-2424 (April 1, 2014).
• Erin Eiler v. Avera McKennan Hospital et al, Second Judicial Circuit Court, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 12-2166 (Oct. 17, 2013) (summarily affirmed by the South Dakota Supreme Court (No. 26868), September 2, 2014); Erin Eiler v. Avera
• McKennan Hospital et al, 2016 WL 1117441 (D.S.D. March 21, 2016).
* Sheris Red Feather et al v. Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota et al, Fourth Judicial Circuit, State of South Dakota, Civ. No. 11-734 (September 12, 2012).
• Other searchable opinions include: Mittleider v. Dakota, Minnesota, Eastern R.R., 2014 WL 1093812 (D.S.D. March 19, 2014) and 2012 WL 1231939 (D.S.D. April 12, 2012) (representing the plaintiff in a breach of employment contract suit against the DM&E and Canadian Pacific Railroad); Anspach vs. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 2013 WL 842450 (D.S.D. March 6, 2013) (representing a life insurer in a bad faith lawsuit).
Publications and Presentations
See the Boyce Law Firm Healthcare Law Blog at: http://www.boycehealthlawobserver.com/
Murphy, Matthew D., The Medical Peer Review Privilege Survives A New Attack – The Crime-Fraud Exception, DRI, MedLaw Update, Volume 22, Issue 3 (August 31, 2017)
2017: SDTLA – Mock Trial Presentation during USD School of Law Orientation Week
2016: SDTLA – Mock Trail Presentation during USD School of Law Orientation Week
2015: “Peer Review Protection” – Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Staff