Dennis Harms, Associate



After developing his skills at other St. Louis law firms, Dennis Harms joined Sandberg Phoenix in April 2012 as a member of the Health Law practice group.

Working with hospitals, physicians and physician groups, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, nurses and other healthcare professionals, Dennis is experienced in many legal matters, including medical malpractice, birth trauma litigation, health care regulatory and compliance issues, and state board disciplinary proceedings. He also supports the business law needs of health care providers, including negotiation of contracts between physicians and hospitals or practice groups, both on behalf of the individual health care provider or the employing entity, and consultation regarding risk management methods, HIPAA, HITECH and other matters.

“Being able to serve healthcare providers so that they can focus on patient care has always been of great interest to me,” says Dennis. “At Sandberg Phoenix, I get to learn from many of the best trial lawyers in the Midwest and apply my skill working with clients on a daily basis.”

Dennis also defends product and toxic tort litigation and handles personal injury and tort defense and professional liability matters for clients including insurance carriers and manufacturers and distributors of medical devices and other consumer products.

Outside his legal practice, Dennis keeps very busy volunteering at his church and with his childrens’ school, coaching baseball, softball, soccer, flag football and basketball teams. He is also an avid runner and enjoys regular exercise.


Attending Rockhurst University, Dennis earned a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Political Science, served as President of his fraternity and played rugby. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor from St. Louis University School of Law.

Dennis is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and currently serves on the Membership Committee and Young Lawyers Division.

Staying active in his community, Dennis served as Soccer Lay Director and member of the Executive Board of the St. Peter (Kirkwood) Athletic Association, as member of the City of Kirkwood’s Aquatics Advisory Commission and as Packmaster of Cub Scout Pack 323.

For his excellence in legal practice, Dennis was honored with the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis’ Young Lawyers Division Award of Merit in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Dennis is licensed to practice in Missouri, Illinois, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and Southern District of Illinois, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, and the Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals.


Notable Cases

Meyers v Doctor - In this lawsuit filed in St. Louis County, Rodney Sharp and Dennis Harms obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their clients, a local urologist and his employer.  The plaintiffs alleged the doctor failed to diagnose and treat a spinal lesion that caused permanent bladder and bowel incontinence and erectile dysfunction.  Plaintiffs asked the jury for more than $2.7 million.

Talluto v. LifeTime Fitness – Working with fellow Sandberg Phoenix attorney Rodney Sharp, Dennis obtained summary judgment in favor of client LifeTime Fitness (a Chartis insured) on a negligence claim involving a fall from a treadmill during a fitness test. The Plaintiff/Patron fell off the treadmill while being assisted by a personal trainer employed by LifeTime Fitness during her complimentary fitness examination. When the Plaintiff signed up as a member, she executed (electronically) a Member Usage Agreement which contained a Release releasing LifeTime Fitness from all future acts of negligence. After an intense oral argument, the judge ruled from the bench that the release language was not ambiguous and was binding to exculpate LifeTime Fitness from liability.

Langeneckert v. Ralph, M.D. – Dennis participated in the litigation of and second-chaired the trial of this matter at a previous firm. It was named one of the Top Defense Verdicts of 2007, according to Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly.

Grable v. Atlantic Casualty Ins. Co., 280 S.W.3d 104 (Mo.App. 2009)

Davies v. Chanduwadia, M.D., 261 S.W.3d 565 (Mo.App. E.D. May 27, 2008)


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2014 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved. Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard a law firm with a primary office located in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Website Design by Timmermann Group