Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bishop & Assocs., LLC v. Ameren Corp.

          After reporting possible issues with facilities owned by Ameren Corporation (“Ameren”), its plumbing contractor’s (“Bishop”) long-time employment with Ameren was terminated. When Bishop filed suit against Ameren for a public policy violation, the Supreme Court of Missouri, upon transfer, held that there is no common law cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy for independent contractors, affirming the circuit court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Ameren and its supervisors. The Court held that the narrow public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine only applies in the employee-employer context, which excludes independent contractors.

Bowers v. Bowers

            The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, decision in Bowers v. Bowers sets a troubling precedent for all parties involved in custody battles when there are more than two "parents" hoping to secure parenting time with their minor children. The complex nature of custody cases is further complicated with this new precedent that gives additional weight to the rights of non-biological parents and other third-party individuals hoping to obtain custody of minor children involved in litigation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Newsome v. Kansas City Missouri Scool District

            It is important for the courts to recognize the public policy exception to at-will employment because it prevents employers from firing employees for following statutes and other rules.  The Supreme Court of Missouri first recognized a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy in 2010.[1]  In Newsome, the Supreme Court of Missouri expanded the public policy exception to at-will employment.[2]  The court upheld an employee’s claim against a school district for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy when the employee refused to alter the school district’s contract in violation of the policy behind a statute.

Wilson v. P.B. Patel, M.D., P.C.

            The Supreme Court of Missouri overturned a jury verdict in favor of the defendant in a medical malpractice case, stating that evidence regarding the patient's informed consent to the procedure was not relevant and likely confused the jury.[1]  The court stated that the trial judge should have granted Plaintiff Josephine Wilson's request for a withdrawal instruction relating to the fact that she signed a consent form allowing Defendant Dr. Rohtashav Dhir to perform the procedure.[2]  The case was brought on improper care grounds and not on lack of informed consent grounds, which are separate and distinct theories of medical malpractice.[3]  This case note will examine the procedural issues raised when evidence is introduced by both parties on a different theory of negligence than what was presented in the pleadings and affirmative defenses.