Sunday, November 5, 2017

In re SuperValu, Inc.

15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2016.[1]  Data breaches are becoming more common, and some consumers want to sue the company that suffered the data breach.  There is a circuit split regarding whether the consumers whose information was stolen satisfy the injury element of standing.[2]  The Eighth Circuit contributed to that split in In re SuperValu by holding that the consumers did not satisfy the injury requirement because they had not yet and may never suffer identity theft.[3]

Gittemeier v. State of Missouri

            After his felony and misdemeanor convictions were affirmed, Paul Gittemeier filed a pro se post-conviction relief motion. Mr. Gittemeier’s appointed counsel filed an amended motion for post-conviction relief and received an extension of time from the motion court. Before that brief was filed, Mr. Gittemeier retained private counsel who also received an extension of time from the same motion court. When the court denied the motion for untimeliness, Paul asserted the doctrine of abandonment. The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the abandonment doctrine only applies to appointed post-conviction counsel, not privately retained counsel. The abandonment doctrine was put in place to help individuals whose attorneys abandon them during the post-conviction process; limiting this rule to appointed counsel only defeats the purpose behind the rule and punishes individuals who retain counsel.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mantia v. Missouri Department of Transportation

            A highway department employee who responded to the scene of approximately 1000 catastrophic automobile accidents needed to compare her work-related stress to that of similarly situated employees to receive workers’ chompensation benefits for her mental injury, according to the Supreme Court of Missouri.  The Court overruled the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, which found that the 2005 amendments to Missouri Revised Statutes section 287.120.8 required strict construction. This abrogated case law required claimants with mental injury claims to present evidence proving that the amount of stress they experienced was “extraordinary and unusual” compared to other similarly situated employees.  The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed and held that the term “objective” in the statute meant “whether the same or similar actual work events would cause a reasonable highway worker extraordinary and unusual stress.”[1]

Friday, October 6, 2017

State v. Johnson

Predatory sexual offenders, as defined in Missouri Revised Statutes section 558.018.5(3), are subject to a minimum sentence of life imprisonment with a chance of parole.[1] Angelo Johnson (“Defendant”) was convicted of twelve counts of sexually-related crimes against juveniles but tried to argue that he could not be a predatory sexual offender because that distinction only applied to prior acts.[2] The Supreme Court of Missouri disagreed, holding that section 558.018.5(3) applied to charged acts, was not facially unconstitutional, and the circuit court’s error from violating section 558.021.2 did not result in manifest injustice in State v. Johnson.[3]