Karen joined the Louisville office of SKO as a Member in 2022. She is a part of the firm’s Health Care and Torts, Trials, and Insurance practice groups, with a primary focus on medical malpractice and professional liability insurance defense. Her representation has included physicians, hospitals, nurses, rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care facilities throughout Kentucky and Indiana. Frequently asked to provide legal and risk education for her clients, Karen has given continuing education programs on risk reduction strategies and medical malpractice litigation to physicians, nurses, and healthcare facilities. She has served as a speaker and panelist for several healthcare professional organizations. Karen has served as a guest speaker for graduate nursing students, physicians in training, and law students on issues of litigation and risk management.
A native Louisvillian, Karen did her undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky before returning home to earn her J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. During law school, Karen served on the Journal of Law and Education and was the Dean of Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity. After completing her legal education, Karen became a partner at two Louisville litigation firms before forming McMasters Keith Butler, Inc. in 2009 with Beth McMasters and Ashley Butler. On January 1, 2022, the attorneys and staff of McMasters Keith Butler joined Stoll Keenon Ogden.
Karen has served as a Barrister in the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court and was a member of the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2007. She has been recognized by her peers as a SuperLawyer and was elected to membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. Karen is an active participant in several professional organizations specific to her work in defense of professional liability claims and is a member of Defense Research Institute, Kentucky Defense Counsel, the Kentucky Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and the Kentucky Academy of Hospital Attorneys.
Philanthropic endeavors are a passion for Karen and she has served several organizations over the years in a leadership capacity. She has served multiple terms on the Board of the Kentucky Opera and the Children’s Hospital Foundation. She completed a term as Board Chair of the Medical News Board of Trustees. Karen currently serves as Vice President of the Board of the LEE Initiative, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase equality and diversity in the restaurant industry. During the pandemic, the LEE Initiative expanded to provide a nationwide restaurant workers relief program, support for small farms, grants to Black-owned food businesses through a partnership with Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, relief to areas affected by disasters like the December 2021 tornados in Western Kentucky, and more.
Health Care: Karen works closely with health care providers, hospitals, and other health care entities in defense of claims involving medical malpractice, professional liability, and general insurance, and also provides education on risk management and medical malpractice litigation.
Torts, Trials, and Insurance: Building on decades of experience in litigation, Karen defends healthcare providers who are facing malpractice and wrongful death claims.
Lead Trial Counsel for Hospitalist and nurse facing malpractice suit. 40 year old patient died after hyperglycemic event. Patient’s family and experts alleged that death was caused by lack of appropriate monitoring and treatment. Hospitalist was dismissed by directed verdict. Nurse won defense verdict after 7-day jury trial.
Lead Trial Counsel for hospital in wrongful death suit brought by estate of kidney transplant patient. After three weeks of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for the hospital.
Lead Trial Counsel for hospital in wrongful death suit brought by estate of cancer patient alleging nursing malpractice in the post anesthesia care unit after surgery. Unanimous jury verdict was returned after a two-week jury trial.
Medical Malpractice Litigation and Introduction to Kentucky Court System, Spalding University
Obstetrical Negligence Norton Hospital, Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, Baptist Health
Richmond, and Baptist Health Corbin
Documentation in the Medical Record, Jewish Hospital, Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, Norton Hospital, Norton Children’s
Hospital, Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Carroll County Hospital, Baptist Health Corbin,
Baptist Health Richmond, and Kentucky Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Perioperative Nursing Liability, Jewish Hospital, Association of Operating Room Nurses, and Baptist Health Louisville
Policy and Procedure Writing, Jewish Hospital, Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, Norton Hospital, Norton Children’s Hospital,
Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Norton Audubon Hospital
Handling Patient Complaints, Jewish Hospital
Deposition and Trial Testimony, Jewish Hospital and Norton Hospital
Mold Litigation, Kentucky Claims Association
Mediations, Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court
Physician Handwriting, Norton Hospital, Norton Southwest, Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Women’s and Children’s
Hospital, and Baptist Health Corbin
Medication Errors, Norton Healthcare
Module 1: Healthcare Risk and Insurance Management, Kentucky Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Incident and Occurrence Reporting, Norton Hospital, Norton Children’s Hospital, Jewish Hospital, and Jewish Hospital
Risk Management in Perianesthesia Areas, Kentucky Society of Perianesthesia Nurses
Update … Confidentiality of Medical Records, Lorman Business Center, Inc.
Litigation for Physicians, Massac Memorial Hospital
Expert Witness Testimony in Litigation, Department of Plastic Surgery Residents and Faculty, University of Louisville School
Mediation Preparation, Kentucky Justice Association
Physician Risk Management, Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and American Association of