Courts Bulletin - 11-Apr

The latest court decisions are summarized each month in the Courts Bulletin. This publication keeps Missouri Bar members current with rulings in selected areas of the law. Selected federal court opinion summaries, new or amended rules of court and other matters of interest to practitioners are also included from time to time. A panel of volunteer lawyers, all authorities in their respective subject areas, prepare the case summaries.
In this Issue:


Administrative Hearing Commission
School nurse is not subject to discipline for violating school policy by taking medical administration book home, where she was ignorant of policy and no harm was caused. State Board of Nursing v. Hampton, No. 10-0687 BN (Mo. AHC, March 16, 2011), Chapel, C.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Bankruptcy Law
In determining whether an award contained within a divorce decree is a "domestic support obligation," the plain function of the award is not undermined by a disparity in property distribution; award of attorney fees is a domestic support obligation. In re Phegley, 443 B.R. 154 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2011).
Full Summary and Other Cases

Civil Practice and Procedure
Denial of motion for new trial based on alleged intentional nondisclosures by a juror affirmed, holding that only topics specified in the new trial motion were preserved for review, even if the hearing on the motion addressed an additional alleged nondisclosure. Shields v. Freightliner of Joplin, Inc., No. 29515 (Mo. App. S.D., February 28, 2011), Bates, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Constitutional Law
Section 632.495, pertaining to sexually violent predators, does not violate due process rights. In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of James Brasch, No.91186 (Mo. Banc, Feb. 8, 2011) Fischer, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Criminal Law
Stop exceeded the scope of its purpose, and taint was not attenuated by the discovery of an outstanding warrant. State v. Grayson, No. 90971 (Mo. banc, March 29, 2011), Stith, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Employee Benefits
Court refuses to apply "abuse of discretion" standard of review to appeal of a benefit denial even though the self-funded, governmental medical benefits plan had "Firestone language" reserving to the employer the discretion to make final interpretations of the plan and determine questions of fact and eligibility. Thiemann v. Columbia Public School District, No. 72791 (Mo. App. W.D., March 22, 2011), Martin, P.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Family Law
Repeated requests for relocation, denied by the court, held not to justify a modification of custody. Hendry v. Osia, No. 94722 (Mo. App. E.D., March 29, 2011), Norton, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Local Government
Water tower repainting constitutes construction requiring the payment of prevailing wages under the Prevailing Wage Act. Utility Service Co., Inc. v. Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, No. 90963 (Mo. Banc, March 1, 2011), Russell, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Medical Malpractice
Dangerous condition of property which waives government hospital's sovereign immunity does not arise where hospital employee inappropriately touched a female patient in an exam room that had a lock on the door. Rodgers v. City of North Kansas City, et al., No. 72328 (Mo. App. W.D., March 8, 2011), Howard, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Property Law
Municipalities, school districts and other public corporations not limited to quo warranto action by Attorney General or local prosecuting attorney and may bring a declaratory action to determine a boundary dispute with another municipality, school district or other public corporation.City of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri v. City of O'Fallon, Missouri, No. 90790 (Mo. Banc, October 26, 2010), Smith, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Public Service Commission
Statute allowing rate schedule to include a fuel adjustment clause, under which rate changes according to utility's cost of fuel subject to Public Service Commission's review, violates no constitutional provision. State ex rel. AG Processing, et al. vs. Public Service Commission, et al., Nos. 71986 and 71987 (Mo. App. W.D., March 1, 2011), Ahuja,  J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Tort Law
Relation back of amendments under Rule 55.33 applies to a change of parties where party sought to be added has been given notice sufficient to defend himself against the claims.  Johnson v. Delmar Gardens West, Inc., Delmar Gardens of Chesterfield, L.L.C., d/b/a Delmar Gardens of Chesterfield, and Delmar Gardens of Chesterfield, Inc., No. 95317 (Mo. App. E.D., March 8, 2011), Sullivan, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Workers' Compensation
A spouse's right to assume the permanent total benefits of her husband vested at the time of her husband's original accident, despite the fact that her husband died after the June 2008 statutory changes that legislatively abrogated Schoemehl v. Treasurer of Missouri, 217 S.W.3d 900 (Mo. banc 2007). Gervich v. Condaire and Treasurer of Missouri, No. ED 94726 (Mo. App. E.D., March 8, 2011), Mooney, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases