Courts Bulletin 11-Feb

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
Discipline of police officer for use of firearm in domestic dispute proved by officer's failure to answer complaint or respond to request for admissions. Director of  Department of Public Safety v. McGee, No. 08-1605 PO (Mo. AHC, February 10, 2011), Chapel, C.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Bankruptcy Law
Ransom v. FIA Card Services, N.A., No. 09-907 (U.S. January 11, 2011), Kagan, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Civil Practice & Procedure
Affirming judgment granting a new trial based on long-standing standard of review that a grant of a new trial on the ground that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence will generally not be disturbed as long as the Plaintiff made a submissible case; Defendant-Appellant's constitutional challenge to that standard is rejected. Forester v. Clarke, No. 30105 (Mo. App. S.D., January 12, 2011), Bates, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Construction Law
Damages in Plaintiffs' breach of contract claims were properly awarded by the trial court where those damages were based on the costs incurred by Plaintiffs to repair two defective septic systems installed by Defendant, and Plaintiffs had no burden to demonstrate that the cost of repair was less than the diminution in value to the real estate resulting from the defective septic systems. Cason v. King, No. 30183 (Mo. App. S.D., November 18, 2010), Burrell, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Criminal Law
Postconviction movant failed to prove that his understanding of his jury trial waiver was impaired by not having a Spanish interpreter present.  Sanchez v. State, No. 30384 (Mo. App. S.D., January 27, 2011), Barney, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Elder Law
Where an individual signs a contract as the "Responsible Party," that individual is a party to the contract, regardless if he was signing on behalf of another. Martha's Hands, LLC v. Rothman, No. 94341 (MO. App. E.D., December 28, 2010), Odenwald, J. 
Full Summary and Other Cases

Family Law
Marriage annulled rather than dissolved.  Meadows v. Meadows, No. 30426 (Mo. App. S.D., January 11, 2011), Barney, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Insurance Law
Named driver exclusion upheld.  Yates v. Progressive Preferred Insurance Company, No. 71859 (Mo. App. W.D., February 1, 2011), Mitchell, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Labor Law - Federal
Eighth Circuit affirms district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of hospital's CEO and various hospital board members on a doctor's action alleging that the hospital violated his due process rights and interfered with business expectancy, holding: (1) an independent contractor agreement did not provide the doctor with a reasonable expectation of continued employment in the hospital's emergency room; and (2) the hospital's contractual right to request the doctor's removal from the hospital precluded the doctor's claim for tortious interference with business expectancy.  Schueller v. Goddard, No. 09-3047, 2011 WL 292207 (8th Cir. Feb. 1, 2011).
Full Summary and Other Cases

Local Government
Purchaser has standing to oppose setting aside tax sale even when County is requesting party.  Manager of Revenue of Jackson County v. Nigro Family Partnership, No. 71978 (Mo. App. W.D.,   November 30, 2010), Martin, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Medical Malpractice
Court may grant new trial to Plaintiff one time on grounds that verdict for Defendant was against the weight of the evidence; court of appeals will not disturb that ruling unless Plaintiff failed to make a submissible case.  Forester v. Clarke, No. 30105 (Mo. App. S.D., January 12, 2011), Bates, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Probate & Trust Law
Randy Dale Vanniewaal appeals a judgment of undue influence to derive a benefit from Charles Michael Hock.  In the Estate of Charles Michael Hock, Deceased, Susan Hanson v. Vanniewaal, No. 30100 (Mo. App. S.D., September 20, 2010), Lynch, P.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Taxation Law in Missouri
Sales and Use Tax - Purchases of raw granite slabs used in constructing installed countertops exempt from tax - treated as materials used or consumed in the manufacture of a product.  E & B Granite, Inc. v. Director of Revenue, No. 91010 (Mo. banc, February 8, 2011), Price, C.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Tort Law
Similar injuries from separate accidents does not mandate defendant in first accident receiving credit for settlement of claims in second accident.  Stevenson v. Aquila, No. 72214 (Mo. App. W.D., December 21, 2010), Martin, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

Workers' Compensation
Does the DWC retain jurisdiction and the authority to enter an amended award?  Thomas v. Treasurer of the State of  Missouri, No. 72432 (Mo. App. W.D., December 14, 2010), Martin, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases