Attorney of the Month Steven J. Terry

Steven Terry
A Reputation Built on Character and Results
By Haley Freeman

Click to read – Steve Terry TSR Injury Attorney of the Month

A well-recognized figure in the Twin Cities, Steven Terry is more than the founding partner of TSR Injury Law and the face that Minnesotans associate with the phrase “TSR Time.” Terry is a genuinely nice guy, husband and father, whose determination to do the right thing for injured people has guaranteed justice for thousands of Minnesota families.

Terry grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised by a well-educated trio: his father, Dr. Robert Terry, his mother, Dr. Jo-Ann Terry and his Harvard-educated stepfather, Frank Steiner. He attended high school at the well-regarded Cass Technical High School (of which Diana Ross is an alumna), where he was a minority in an institution that occupied a full city block in a crime-ridden area of downtown. He moved to Minnesota to be near his father and attend the University of Minnesota, where he developed an interest in criminology and sociology. “I got it into my head that I wanted to be an FBI agent,” he said. “That was my goal and why I went to law school.”

During his second year at William Mitchell College of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and served on the law review, Terry’s FBI fantasy faded away. “I started taking classes in torts, medical malpractice and products liability. I could not believe how interesting this area of law was. The material was so logical and entertaining that I would read assignments before they were due.”

While having lunch with a fellow law student who was clerking for an insurance defense firm, Terry experienced an epiphany. “He told me about a case where his law firm planned to assert the Emergency Doctrine to defend a car crash case. I truly did not understand why he would want to do that since it would further hurt the already injured plaintiff. We had a fairly serious discussion that day about what is right and wrong, and it became clear that I was wired to help the injured person and hold tortfeasors accountable for their actions. Plaintiff ’s work was my future.”

After clerking for The Honorable Isabel Gomez and working briefly for a corporate firm (he quit after a month of reading bank contracts), Terry found a position with two solo personal injury practitioners who hired him as a clerk and eventually as an associate. He then received some sage advice from his now brother-in-law, Peter Barry, who suggested that he advertise in the yellow pages. His bosses, however, didn’t want to make the investment, so Terry took a loan out against his home and made an agreement to share the profits on whatever business came in. Only a year later, Terry had so much work that he signed a separation agreement, took along his secretary Sherri Beyenhof (now the lead paralegal and business manager of TSR) and opened up Terry & Associates.

Terry attributes a great portion of his professional success to the lessons and support he received from his parents. When he was unable to get a bank loan for his new business, Terry’s father “gutted his retirement and gave me the money. He said he knew I was going to succeed. I paid it back with interest in about eight months, and the funds were very helpful, but it was his faith in me that I valued most. My mom instilled a hard work ethic (she earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan while raising me and working fulltime) and always showed me uncompromising love no matter how bad I messed up – loving me for who I am and not trying to make me into somebody else. I’ve always known that if things didn’t go well for me, I could only blame myself, because it was not for lack of foundation given to me by my parents.”

Eighty hour work weeks lasted a few years, and help was needed. The firm soon became Terry & Slane, when Terry was joined by his law school buddy, Chuck Slane. “Chuck used to give me files to litigate that his old firm did not want to handle. After a few years of handoffs, we decided working together would be better.” The firm’s next incarnation came when they were joined by Rich Ruohonen. “It is pronounced like Rich is ‘ruinin’’ the law firm,” Terry explained with his characteristic good humor. “So the firm became TSR, because nobody could pronounce Rich’s last name.”

Each attorney played to their strengths. Slane took over litigation; Terry focused on marketing, business development, firm management; and Ruohonen did both, often explaining “how his back hurts from carrying both of us.” By the time partners Nate Bjerke and Erik Willer came on board, the TSR brand was well-established and the firm elected not to change its name again.

Today, TSR Injury Law has grown to five partners, five associates and 27 staff members. Terry maintains a busy practice, consistently representing 200 clients and managing the firm. TSR’s continued growth is rooted in its culture of expert care, where clients are ethically represented and cases are rigorously pursued. Terry explains that while the TSR brand has become a local icon, it is the firm’s reputation for getting results that brings clients through the door. “Even though we advertise, the majority of our new business comes from current and past clients and from other professionals. We may not be very well-liked by the insurance companies’ bean counters, but the defense lawyers and claim adjusters refer their family to us when they need an attorney. They know who does it the right way and gets results. That’s the greatest testimonial there is.”

About the firm’s sometimes controversial advertising image, Terry said, “I’ve had many lawyers come up and say they don’t like advertising in general, but respect our firm because we do a great job. We don’t just settle and get rid of cases. We try cases and get results. I can’t think of another plaintiff ’s firm that is trying as many cases as we are right now. Our best marketing is our results. Even if we lose at trial, our other clients win because insurance companies offer better settlements knowing we will not go away.”

Because of those litigation results, other firms are sending their cases to TSR. “When someone brings us a case, we take over and prepare it for trial. There are numerous instances when we show up at the first hearing and the insurance company will up their last ‘final offer.’ Over time, the momentum of what my litigation partners have created is the expectation of victory. We are serious about trying cases when offers are not fair. We recently added a courtroom to the firm so our attorneys can better practice and prepare for trial.”

Terry is also the current president of the Minnesota Association for Justice (formerly Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association). He has been on MAJ’s board of governors for almost 10 years with the last five on the presidential track. He became an active participant in the association as a new attorney, serving on its many committees and learning from more experienced lawyers. “I got involved, and those lawyers all took me under their wing,” he said.

As president, he is often at the legislature alongside executive director, Carla Ferrucci, and lobbyist, Joel Carlson, monitoring legislative hearings and promoting consumer rights bills that better protect Minnesota families. “Right now there is a Republican-led debate about rampant insurance fraud in Minnesota. National experts are brought in claiming Minnesota is under attack. The examples given, however, are problems in other states. What is frustrating is no one is pro-fraud. Consumers do not endorse insurance fraud and MAJ certainly does not endorse fraud. But, the question of how big the problem really is in Minnesota and what to do about it is debatable. Insurance companies have proposed that we eliminate certain consumer rights to curb fraud (with the clear inevitable result of protecting and increasing their profits). Instead, MAJ advocates for the enforcement of already existing consumer protection laws, which will achieve the same outcome while protecting current consumer rights. We don’t need more laws, we just need to enforce those we already have.”

Often honored by his peers, Terry has been recognized as a Minnesota Rising Star and Super Lawyer, and he received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Award for Professional Excellence for his generous pro bono work on the 35W Bridge Collapse Consortium.

Terry is well-known in the Twin Cities, and is frequently seen court-side rooting for the Timberwolves or in his helmet and leathers riding his Harley. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters, and Terry expresses that he likes officing close to his home and kid’s schools so he can be on hand to attend all of their extracurricular events.

His tenacity and unwavering commitment to his own principles have resulted in a gratifying and successful career. “I feel blessed to be where I am. This is absolutely what I was supposed to do with my life. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve found a way to practice law, run a business, do exactly what I’m good at and get to work with law partners that are true friends. I truly believe that a personal injury law firm can be aggressive and ethical while still being successful.”

TSR Supports Toys For Tots

TSR Injury Law has financially supported Toys for Tots for years. In addition to simply writing a Firm check, Steven Terry and family go shopping for kids! We often use multiple vehicles to transport toys since one is not enough. This tradition is a great away to teach our families that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Every year we focus on a different age group. Thinking about what teenagers versus toddlers want for the holidays is part of the fun challenge. The toys have been delivered to many local businesses to help them support this worthy cause.

Christmas Morning Head-On Car Crash Near Gilbert, MN

There was a serious head-on car crash near Gilbert early Christmas morning. Three people were involved in the two car crash.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol website, a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier was traveling eastbound on Minnesota Hwy 135 west of Gilbert, at 12:20 a.m. The Cavalier was in the westbound lane, passing vehicles, when it struck a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche heading west.

At least one person was seriously injured in the car crash. Officials have not released their identities or conditions. The website classified the crash as a serious injury accident.

There were multiple police departments working at the car crash site, including officers from Eveleth, Gilbert, and Virginia. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol were also called to the scene. The car crash did not appear to be weather-related.

Mom Talks About Alleged Abuse At Casino Day Care

(WCCO) The mother of a toddler that was allegedly physically and sexually assaulted by a 9-year-old child is speaking out.

It’s been nearly a year since the alleged incident happened at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

It apparently took place here in the Kids Quest child care center owned by New Horizons.

A pending lawsuit is stalled because of a dispute over a key piece of evidence.

“When they brought him I was mortified. He was beaten head to toe,” said the victim’s mother, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her son’s identity.

She recalls the shock she felt after seeing her 3-year-old son that she left for about an hour and a half at Kids Quest while she had a birthday dinner to go to.

“He had bruising on his cheeks, on his neck. He had a ruptured blood vessel in his eye, a scratch along his eye,” she said. All of that happened allegedly at the hands of an older boy.

“Sick to my stomach that a 9-year-old could beat my son to that degree,” said the victim’s mom.

The day after the apparent abuse the doctor had more distressing news.

“He had assaulted him sexually. And so they immediately did tests, called Mille Lacs Police,” said the victim’s mom.

The physical abuse was captured on surveillance tape.

“It shows what looks to be an older child maybe rough housing a little bit too hard with a younger child,” said Rjay Brunkow, the Mille Lacs Band Solicitor General.

Security reports written after reviewing the tape said the 9-year-old boy kicked the toddler in the face, threw him to floor, held him there then carried him to the top of the gym into the tunnel.

“It’s not a see through tunnel,” said Brunkow.

That’s where the alleged sexual assault took place.

“In every jurisdiction in the state on Minnesota — if you aren’t on tribal land — you have the right as a victim of a crime to get a copy of a video tape that the police have obtained,” said Rich Ruohonen, the victim’s attorney.

However the Mille Lacs Band will only turn over the tape to the boy’s attorney if they “write the band a letter saying if the band were named as a defendant in the lawsuit, that the video tape would not be used against the band,” said Brunkow.

“It would be irresponsible of me as a lawyer, in representing my clients, to agree to that without at least seeing it,” said Ruohonen.

Meantime a distraught mother copes with a traumatized child

“Since this, he’s a completely different boy. He lashes out at myself, my mother, but my daughter is the main focus of his aggression,” said the victim’s mom. “I just wish they’d give us the tape to understand what my son went through.”

The boy’s attorney could plead his case before a tribal judge. That judge would then decide if he could have the tape.

The attorney said he’ll do that as a last resort. The casino day care where this happened is now closed.

Cambridge Man Hit by Train

A train accident was reported early Friday morning. A man was struck and killed by a northbound train east of downtown Cambridge, Minnesota, about 6:00 a.m. It happened near Hwy 95.

The name of the 29 year-old is being withheld pending relatives being notified. An eyewitness said there was at least one of the train cars off the tracks and the road was blocked for part of the morning.

It was a 64-car Union Pacific train that had departed Des Moines, Iowa at about 3:20 a.m. Cambridge was its final destination, said railway spokesman Tom Lang. It was reported that 47 of the cars were empty and none of the train cars were carrying any potentially hazardous cargo.

If you have been the victim of a train accident, contact a Minneapolis personal injury attorney from TSR Injury Law at (612) TSR-TIME or submit our free consultation form . Our attorneys are skilled, aggressive litigators with years of experience in accident case and are consistently named Super Lawyers and Top Lawyers by their peers.

Evidence in Minnesota Wrongful Death Case

Feeling all alone and overwhelmed? We care and we want to help. If you hire TSR Injury Law, we will gather the evidence, contact needed expert witnesses, handle all of the paperwork, and file your claim. Call us today at 612-TSR-TIME and one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys will fight for justice in your case.

Aspects of Wrongful Death Case

Three criteria have to be met to establish a wrongful death:

  • a human death occurred;
  • that death was caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or omission of a person or corporation; and
  • financial or emotional loss was suffered by the beneficiaries due to the Minnesota wrongful death.

In order to prove fault in a wrongful death case, witness supported evidence is necessary. The evidence presented by the plaintiff must be sufficient and compelling to convince the judge or jury to rule favorably. Witnesses must be willing to testify. Then they need to relay exactly what they saw or heard pertaining to the death. Physical evidence will be gathered, including:

  • medical reports;
  • corroborative witness testimonies; and
  • police reports.

Expert witness evidence can be invaluable to further explain issues that may not be obvious or discernible to the judge or jury. Expert witnesses are often used in product liability, vehicle safety, and workplace safety cases.

Potential damages evidence has to be presented to prove to the judge or jury that a recovery is just and fitting. Beneficial documentation includes:

  • bank records;
  • business sales journals;
  • business profit and loss reports; and
  • employer records.

Family of a Wrongful Death Victim?

Do not delay. Call a Minneapolis wrongful death lawyer at TSR Injury Law today at 612-TSR-TIME or submit our contact form. We are ready to help you today and there are no upfront fees if we take on your case.

TSR Injury Law. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

Tour Bus Crash I-90 Near Austin, Minnesota, At Least 2 Dead

A Strain Bus Lines Motorcoach crashed and rolled on Interstate 90 Wednesday afternoon. Initial reports are that at least 23 people were on the bus at the time of the crash and that at least 2 people died at the scene.

The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m. on eastbound I-90. The bus crossed over into the westbound lanes, crashed, and landed on its side in the ditch. The interstate was closed to enable medical crews to assist. Seven ambulances and six helicopters responded from the area including, Mayo Clinic, Mercy Hospital, Austin Medical Center, St. Mary’s Hospital (Rochester) and Naeve Hospital (Albert Lea).

According to Freeborn County Chief Deputy Gene Arnold the driver of the bus was critically injured and transported to St. Mary’s Hospital. Arnold also stated that there were not enough ambulances to transport all of the victims.

The bus was owned and operated by Strain Bus Lines Motorcoach Tours, Rochester. It was making its weekly Wednesday shuttle from Rochester, Byron, Kasson, and Blooming Prairie to Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa and back. The passengers were mostly senior citizens.

As recently as August of 2008, the bus had some mechanical issues. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Strain Bus Line has not had a fatal crash for the past two years, but they have had a higher percentage of buses that have been taken out of service compared to other bus companies.

Accident Victims Have Rights

The Minneapolis truck accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law are skilled, aggressive litigators. We have recovered millions for victims of motor vehicle accidents. Call (612) TSR-TIME or submit our free consultation form. Time is critical. Evidence needs to be preserved and witnesses interviewed.

Minneapolis Airline Accident Lawyer

Flying can be nerve-racking, even for the most confident travelers out there. There are so many things that can go wrong and, while the traffic in the air is not as intense as on the roads, there are other hazards to traveling 30,000 feet above ground. If you are faced with an airline accident, you could be looking at serious, life changing injuries.

Airplane Accident Fatalities

Many airplane accidents result in fatality. This is a hard fact to swallow and one of the reasons why most people are a little weary of flying. If you have lost a family member in an airline accident, then you will need some time to comprehend what his means for your future. How will you pay the bills without the regular income? How will you take care of the children without this inheritance? How will you be able to emotionally move on from this accident?

At TSR Injury Law Firm our Minnesota personal injury lawyers can help you see your options clearly and help you determine which steps to take to overcome this devastating loss. We can help you with insurance claims and uncover the facts behind the accident. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the airline or against the person responsible for the accident.

Causes of Aviation Injuries

Flying is considered one of the safest modes of transportation and if there is an airline accident, it is usually due to the neglect of someone, such as a pilot or mechanic. At TSR Injury Law Firm, we can help you with all types of airline injuries and accidents which may have resulted due to:

  • DUI and DWI airplane accidents
  • Mechanic defects with the plane
  • Servicing errors
  • Airline accident crashes

Getting over a serious airline injury is going to take time. You could be looking at years of care and hospitalization, especially if faced with a serious brain or spine injury which are quite common in sudden impact accidents such as airline crashes. Furthermore, you may want to take some time off work to grieve the loss of a loved one or to be with the injured person and make life a little better for them.

Moving Past an Airplane Accident

All of this can cost money and it is important that you understand what you are entitled to in terms of insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. At TSR Injury Law Firm, we can assist you with gaining compensation to pay for things like:

  • medical equipment, medications, and a personal nurse;
  • a loss of income and protected income for your family;
  • emotional suffering and therapy;
  • rehabilitation and recovery expenses; and more.

Minneapolis Aircraft Injury Lawyers

After a serious airline accident, you may not know where to turn. You can find all the answers you need and the strength to move forward by learning about your legal rights. TSR Injury Law Firm can help you during this stressful and emotionally draining part of your life. Call us at (612) TSR-TIME for a free initial consultation about your case or submit our free consultation form.

Minnesota Recreational Vehicle (RV) Accidents Lawyer

When you take out your RV, whether for a weekend camping trip with the kids, or a month long tour with your spouse, you don’t ever plan on getting injured. You may have an itinerary of where to go, where to stay, who to see and what to bring but you don’t count on what happens if you are in a serious accident. RV accidents can result in life threatening and even fatal consequences. Any accident that occurs on the road can result in devastating injuries including:

ATV and Recreational Vehicle Accidents

At TSR Injury Law Firm we handle all personal injuries on and off the road. If you have been injured or if you are enquiring on the behalf of a loved one that was killed on the roads in an RV accident, then you have certain legal rights. Our qualified Minneapolis auto accident attorneys can help you see your options and understand what comes next in the often confusing and stressful task of trying to mend your life back together after a serious road accident.

We can help you determine what you are entitled for and offer our assistance to those faced with:

  • Recreation vehicle accidents including campervans, motorcycles, ATV’s
  • Boating and jet ski accidents
  • Mechanic defects and product liability cases, such as improper tires
  • DUI and DWI road accidents

We offer our assistance in a number of different ways. Our goal is to make this often difficult task as simplified and stress free to you and for your family. After all you have been through, you deserve this and much more! We offer:

  • Complete investigation into the accident
  • Defective product and liability research
  • Insurance claims, denials and all other aspects of insurance related issues

Contact An RV Accident Lawyer in Minneapolis

Driving any type of vehicle on the road, from a motorcycle to a campervan, comes with certain risks. However, in many instances, the accident will not be your fault. There are several instances where you may be eligible for more compensation than what your insurance company is offering you. Instances where the accident is the direct result of someone else, such as a drunk driver, should be looked over by an experienced Minneapolis injury lawyer.

Call (612) TSR-TIME for a free initial consultation about your case or submit our free consultation form.

Compensation Claims For Lung Injury Victims

Your lungs play an important role in your life. Without properly functioning lungs you will have trouble breathing. You may suffer from serious brain damage if your lungs are unable to bring air to your brain or you may suffer from a serious heart injury if your lungs are unable to bring air to your heart. Either way, you could be looking at a whole new way of life and the potential for fatality as well.

What Can Cause a Lung Injury?

There are some lung injuries that can occur due to poor living habits, family genes or other problems. Smoking, for example, can often result in serious lung diseases such as cancer. However, in some instances, a lung injury can be the result of the neglect of someone else, such as an unsafe medication or a reckless driver. Lung punctures, for example, can result due to a sudden heavy impact often caused by a car accident. Serious complications with the lungs, such as pulmonary embolism, can happen for a number of different reasons including due to some medications such as Avandia and Yasmin birth control.

You can injure your lungs in many other ways as well. Breathing toxic chemicals, unsafe ventilators and asbestos poisoning can all impact your lungs. You may not find out about the damage until several years after the exposure. Car accidents, boating accidents and near drowning can also cause complications to the lung that may impact the rest of your life.

Lung Injury Assistance

At TSR Injury Law Firm we represent clients across Minnesota suffering the aftermaths of a lung injury. This includes:

  • Indirect and direct lung injuries
  • Injury caused by infection
  • Injury caused by chemicals or ventilation
  • Injury caused by asbestos or other harmful toxins
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Pulmonary aspiration
  • Ventilator lawsuits
  • Punctured lung
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sepsis lung injuries
  • Severe bleeding from an injury
  • Lung injury and car accidents
  • Drug overdose
  • Burns

Living with a lung injury can be stressful. You may have to watch what activities you do or be on medication for the rest of your life. You may have to quit your job and remain at home or in constant care. This is not something that you can now control but you can learn to live with it with the financial assistance of an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Trusted Lawyers in Minnesota

At TSR Injury Law Firm, we strive to help each and every individual gain the compensation they deserve. Whether you are enquiring for yourself or for a loved one, we can answer any questions and concerns that you may have. Our Minneapolis personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to go over your insurance claims and your situation.

If you have suffered from a lung injury or complication, then now is the time to call us at TSR. Call (612) TSR-TIME for a free initial consultation about your case or submit our free consultation form.