Timothy Thornton, president and CEO of St. Louis law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, died Sunday (June 23, 2019) after his bicycle was struck by a pickup truck in Wildwood. He was 64.
The accident occurred at 4:45 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 100 and Melrose Road. Mr. Thornton, who lived in Chesterfield, died several hours later at a hospital.
Mr. Thornton, who joined Greensfelder in 1981, won a landmark case in 2007 when he successfully defended four engineering firms — known as the Cross County Collaborative — against Metro. The public transit agency had sued the engineering firms for negligence, breach of contract and fraud over delays and more than $120 million in cost overruns for the 8-mile MetroLink extension to Clayton and Shrewsbury.
Instead of awarding Metro any of the $81 million it sought, the jury gave the firms in the collaborative $2.56 million.
The Post-Dispatch profiled Mr. Thornton as the case wrapped up in December 2007.
“This is a huge loss for the Greensfelder family,” Greensfelder Chief Operating Officer Heather Henry said in a statement about Mr. Thornton’s death. “Tim was an inspiring and widely admired leader and will be greatly missed. His passion for the firm and its people was contagious.”
Mr. Thornton became Greensfelder’s first CEO in 2016, working to improve the firm’s Chicago office, diversity initiatives and help carry out a new strategic growth plan, according to the statement.
The statement said Mr. Thornton “was known as a great leader, and an even better person” for the way he treated his fellow employees like family.
“It is very hard to lose such a great person, friend and colleague,” said Andy Manuel, leader of Greensfelder’s construction practice group. “Tim built lasting relationships on both a personal and professional level with our construction clients, service provider experts, co-counsel, and opposing counsel that we will strive to continue.”
In 2017, Mr. Thornton was honored as a top “Law Firm Leader” by Missouri Lawyers Media during its annual Missouri Lawyers Awards.
Mr. Thornton is survived by his wife, Terry, three children and a granddaughter. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A spokesman for the St. Louis County Police said the fatal incident remains under investigation.