Diane K. Watkins


Phone Number: 816.701.1140

4740 Grand Avenue Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64112

In Brief

Tried cases to verdict on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants

Argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Missouri Court of Appeals

Recognized by her peers as a Missouri and Kansas Rising Star in litigation for seven years

Serves as Co-Chair of the Privilege Log/Confidentiality Order Task Force and a member of the Third-Party Discovery Task Force in the In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2327)

Currently represents states in consumer protection litigation against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. pertaining to their marketing of transvaginal mesh products

Diane K. Watkins devotes her practice to the representation of injured parties in complex litigation against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. She has worked extensively in the ongoing litigation involving transvaginal mesh products against manufacturers Ethicon, Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, American Medical Systems, Inc., C.R. Bard, Inc., and others. Additionally, she has presented at national meetings on issues pertaining to the transvaginal mesh litigation.

Diane has also successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous medical malpractice, personal injury, business, and environmental actions. This representation has involved all aspects of litigation, up to, and including, jury verdict. Additionally, Diane has extensive experience in motions practice, brief writing, and oral argument, including at the appellate level in both federal and state courts. She also has represented indigent parties involved in family court matters on a pro bono basis.

She is a member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and is a graduate of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Leadership Academy.

Notable Litigation

  • In Re: Ethicon, Inc., MDL No.2327

    Wagstaff & Cartmell is heavily involved in this MDL. Tom Cartmell has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the four Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation MDLs in the Southern District of West Virginia in front of the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin. He is Co-Lead Counsel for the Ethicon MDL. Jeff Kuntz is currently the head of the Expert Committee and Bellwether Trial Co

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  • $10 Million Settlement – Environmental Property Damage

    Wagstaff & Cartmell reached a $10 million class action settlement with an engineering firm on behalf of a class of Northwest Missouri landowners. The case involved allegations that a tannery distributed tannery sludge containing hexavalent chromium to landowners to use as fertilizer in four Missouri counties from 1983 to 2009. The defendant, an engineering firm, provided consulting services to

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  • $3.02 Million Verdict – Novagradac v. Beverly Manor et al.

    Received one of the top-five plaintiffs’ verdicts in the State of Missouri in 2007 – $3.02 million verdict in Platte County, Missouri, while representing a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse action.

  • Defense Verdict – Alleged Failure to Timely Diagnose Stroke

    Wagstaff & Cartmell attorney, Diane Watkins, successfully defended a physician and a nurse in a jury trial in which the plaintiff alleged that the clients failed to timely diagnose a stroke.

  • Defense Verdict – Lawsuit Involving Brachial Plexus Injury

    Wagstaff & Cartmell attorney, Diane Watkins, successfully defended an OB/GYN in a jury trial involving a brachial plexus injury at birth, which was recognized as one of the top defense verdicts in 2007 by Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly.

  • Product Liability – Pain Pump Catheter Medical Device

    Wagstaff & Cartmell attorney, Diane Watkins, represented injured parties in product liability litigation against certain medical device manufacturers after numerous patients developed chondrolysis following the placement of a pain pump catheter at the conclusion of shoulder surgery.

  • Product Liability – SSRIs and Diabetes Drug

    Wagstaff & Cartmell attorney, Diane Watkins, represented parties injured by antidepressants in the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class, such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro. She currently represents parties who have suffered injuries, including pancreatic diseases, due to certain diabetes medications, such as Byetta.

  • Substantial Settlement – Breach of Trust

    As counsel for an elderly beneficiary of a revocable trust, Diane K. Watkins obtained a substantial settlement in a lawsuit involving claims for breach of trust and negligence against a large financial institution after the trust was substantially depleted by the beneficiary’s adult son.

  • Pelvic Mesh Repair System Products Liability Litigation (S.D.W.V.)

    In 2012, thousands of lawsuits filed nationwide against several manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products. These cases were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) into several MDLs before the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia. Among the dozens of lawyers who applied for leadership positions, Judge Goodwin selected Tom Cartmell as

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Practice Areas

Other Practice Areas

  • Drug and Medical Devices
  • Product Liability
  • Business Disputes
  • Toxic Torts

Prior Work

Counsel to the Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Staff Attorney, Kansas Court of Appeals


  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law, 2000
  • B.A., Kansas State University, 1997

Honors + Awards

Rising Star, Kansas City Star Magazine, 2010 – 2016