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Karen L. Keith

Member, Louisville

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.

Education
University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
1993, J.D.
University of Kentucky
1990, B.A.
Admissions
Kentucky
Indiana
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

Recognition

  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2020-2022

Affiliations

  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Indiana Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees- 2007-2022
  • Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court, Barrister, 2000-2002
  • Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2007
  • Focus Louisville Graduate
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Member
  • Kentucky Society for Healthcare Risk Management, Member
  • Kentucky Defense Counsel, Member
  • Kentucky Academy of Hospital Attorneys, Member
  • Kentucky Opera Board of Trustees, 2008-2015
  • Louisville Bar Foundation Board of Directors 
  • Frazier Rehabilitation Institute Advisory Board 
  • Kentucky Medical News, Board of Trustees, 2007-2011
  • Kentucky Citizens’ Foster Care Review Board
  • In League Counsel, Junior League of Louisville
  • Younger Women’s Club of Louisville
  • Delta Delta Delta alumnus
  • Delta Theta Phi alumnus
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Work Highlights

Medical Malpractice; Wrongful Death; Loss of Consortium- Jury Trial

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.

Medical Malpractice; Wrongful Death; Loss of Consortium- 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.

Medical Malpractice; Wrongful Death; Loss of Consortium- Jury Trial

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.

 

View All Work Highlights
News Seminars

 

     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
     Shelbyville

     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
     of Medicine

     Mediation Preparation, Kentucky Justice Association

     Physician Risk Management, Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and American Association of
     Plastic Surgeons