Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Missouri

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The Supreme Court made permanent its preliminary writ of prohibition sought by PPG Industries, Inc. directing the circuit court to dismiss the underlying claim against it for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction over PPG. Hillboldt Curtainwall, Inc. sued PPG, a Pennsylvania-based corporation that made a product coating aluminum extrusions, for negligent misrepresentation based on PPG’s online representation on its website that Finishing dynamics as an “approved excursion applicator.” PPG filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, asserting that its website was insufficient to render it subject to the state’s personal jurisdiction. The circuit court overruled the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition, holding (1) because there was no tortious act within the state, the circuit court lacked personal jurisdiction over PPG; and (2) therefore, the circuit court should have sustained PPG’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. View "State ex rel. PPG Industries, Inc. v. Honorable Maura B. McShane" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment dismissing the the claims filed by the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank insurance Fund, by and through the Missouri attorney general (collectively, the State), against Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, holding that the appeal was timely and that the attorney general had authority to file this action on behalf of the Board. The State brought this action claiming breach of contract and, in the alternative, unjust enrichment. The circuit court sustained Pilot’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing, concluding that neither the Board nor the attorney general had authority to bring this lawsuit. The State appealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) under the procedural posture of this case, the State’s appeal was timely; and (2) the attorney general is authorized to sue Pilot on behalf of the Board under Mo. Rev. Stat. 27.060, and the Board had standing to sue Pilot for breach of contract. View "State ex rel. Attorney General v. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition sought by Relators prohibiting Respondent, the Honorable James F. Kanatzar, from taking any action other than granting their motion to dismiss the underlying wrongful death suit as barred by the statute of limitations. After Plaintiffs filed wrongful death claims against Relators, Relators filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the claims were time-barred under the three-year statute of limitations in Mo. Rev. Stat. 537.100 and the savages provision was not applicable. The circuit court overruled the motion to dismiss. Thereafter, Relators filed a petition for writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that because Plaintiffs’ third action was not filed within one year of the nonsuit of their first action - the only action filed within the limitations period - the savings provision did not apply and the third suit was time-barred. View "State ex rel. Goldsworthy v. Honorable James F. Kanatzar" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted mandamus relief to Relator, who sought to resign, revoke, or withdraw the circuit court’s medical authorization order authorizing the release of the decedent’s medical records, holding that the medical authorization order in this case was prohibited by this court’s precedent. Relator filed a wrongful death action against Defendants after his brother, the decedent, died allegedly from metastatic colon cancer. During discovery, Defendants sought an order from the circuit court authorizing the release of the decedent’s medical records. The circuit court signed an order authorizing the release of medical records. Relator then petitioned for this writ to prohibit the use of the decedent’s unlimited medical records. The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition, holding that the medical authorization was prohibited because there was no case-by-case review of the medical authorization designed to tailor the requests to the pleadings. View "State ex rel. Fennewald v. Honorable Patricia S. Joyce" on Justia Law

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Two former employees of the Missouri Department of Insurance (collectively, Employees) filed a petition in Jackson County circuit court requesting a writ of mandamus directing the Department and its director (collectively, Respondents) to pay Employees for lost wages and pensions. After an inquiry by the circuit court’s administrator, Employees instructed that the case be handled as a regular Jackson County case and not as a writ. In compliance with Employees’ instructions, summonses for a civil case were issued by the circuit court and served. The parties eventually filed competing motions for summary judgment. More than three years after the initial filing, the circuit court sustained Respondents’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that Employees failed to establish a basis for mandamus. The Supreme Court dismissed Employees’ appeal, holding that because the circuit court never granted a preliminary writ, the denial of mandamus relief was not subject to appeal. View "Bartlett v. Missouri Department of Insurance" on Justia Law

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A Bank provided loans to owners of eight condominium units. All eight owners became delinquent on their loans to the Bank and failed to make timely payments on the property owners’ association’s (POA) assessments. The Bank foreclosed on its deeds of trust and purchased all eight properties. The POA demanded payment from the Bank for all new assessments on the properties it purchased and demanded that the Bank pay past due assessments. The Bank sought relief by filing a declaratory judgment action and an action for monetary damages caused by the POA’s alder of the Bank’s title to the properties. The trial court entered partial summary judgment in favor of the Bank, declaring that the Bank was not obligated to pay past due assessments by the POA on properties the Bank purchased at a foreclosure sale. The trial court certified its order for immediate appeal and reserved judgment on Bank’s slander of title count. The POA appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that it lacked the authority to review the trial court’s partial judgment because the judgment did not dispose of a distinct judicial unit, and therefore, it was not a final judgment for purposes of Mo. Rev. Stat. 512.020(5). View "First National Bank of Dieterich v. Pointe Royale Property Owners' Association, Inc." on Justia Law

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Russel Parker, an Indiana resident, brought a personal injury action against Norfolk Southern Railway Company, a Virginia corporation, under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, alleging cumulative trauma sustained during his years of employment with Norfolk in Indiana. Norfolk moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction alleging that Missouri had no personal jurisdiction. The trial court overruled the motion without stating the grounds for its ruling. Norfolk sought a writ of prohibition directing the trial court to dismiss the suit. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition, which it subsequently made permanent, holding that Missouri did not have specific or general personal jurisdiction over Norfolk in the underlying personal injury action. View "State ex rel. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Hon. Colleen Dolan" on Justia Law

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When Plaintiff’s utility terrain vehicle (UTV) overturned the roof of the UTV failed and caused Plaintiff injuries. Plaintiff sued Chesterfield Valley Sports, Inc. (Defendant). Prior to trial, Plaintiff designated Herbert Newbold as an expert witness. Plaintiff then rescinded Newbold’s expert witness designation without disclosing Newbold’s expert analysis or conclusions. Thereafter, Defendant filed a motion to amend the scheduling order to permit Newbold’s deposition. Plaintiff objected, asserting that Newbold’s opinions and conclusions were protected from discovery by the work product doctrine. The trial court sustained Defendant’s motion, concluding that Plaintiff had waived the protections afforded by the work product doctrine by designating Newbold as an expert witness. Plaintiff subsequently filed the instant petition for a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition, which it made permanent, holding (1) designating an expert witness does not, standing alone, irrevocably waive the protections afforded by the work product doctrine; and (2) in this case, there was no disclosing event that waived the work product privilege. View "State ex rel. Malashock v. Honorable Michael T. Jamison" on Justia Law

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Heartland Title Services, Inc. filed a petition in the circuit court of Jackson County alleging professional malpractice claims against Paul Hasty and Hasty and Associates, LLC (collectively, Hasty). Hasty filed a motion to dismiss Heartland’s professional malpractice claim for lack of venue, arguing that the tort injury alleged occurred outside Missouri. The circuit court dismissed the count for lack of venue. Heartland sought relief in the Supreme Court with this original proceeding in mandamus. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ and then made permanent the preliminary writ, holding that venue was proper in any county in Missouri, including Jackson County. View "State ex rel. Heartland Title Services, Inc. v. Honorable Kevin D. Harrell" on Justia Law

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The Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund sued, alleging that Phillips improperly obtained reimbursement from the Fund. Wagoner, a participant in and potential claimant against the Fund (RSMo 319.138) moved to intervene and tendered a motion to dismiss. The court entered an interlocutory order overruling Wagoner’s motion to intervene. Wagoner did not seek an immediate appeal. The trial court entered a final judgment approving a settlement between the Fund and Phillips and dismissing the case with prejudice. Wagoner timely appealed. The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed, first holding that Wagoner complied with Rule 81.08(a) because he specified the only judgment from which he had a right to appeal, the final judgment. The court properly denied intervention. Wagoner’s motion did not articulate a specific, legally protectable interest in the subject matter of the suit. Even if Wagoner had demonstrated that he had a legally protectable interest in the suit and that his ability to protect that interest without intervening is impaired or impeded, Wagoner failed to show that the Fund’s Board of Directors would not adequately protect his interest without intervention. Wagoner does not allege that the Board’s pursuit of its claim was fraudulent, collusive, or a breach of its fiduciary duties. View "Mo. Petroleum Storage Tank Ins. Fund Bd. of Directors v. ConocoPhillips Co." on Justia Law