Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Bank v. Fischer & Frichtel, Inc.[1]

Opinion handed down April 12, 2012

Fischer & Frichtel elected to default on their loan with First Bank.  After First Bank purchased the property at a foreclosure sale, it filed suit against Fischer & Frichtel to recover the unpaid principal and interest on the loan.  Over First Bank’s objection, the trial court instructed the jury to determine any deficiency owed by Fischer & Frichtel by using the fair market value of the property at the time of the foreclosure sale in its calculation.  After a jury verdict, First Bank filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that Missouri law requires the damage instruction to be based on the amount obtained at the foreclosure sale instead of the fair market value.  The trial court agreed and granted a new trial.  On appeal, the Supreme Court of Missouri held the damage instruction shall be based on the amount obtained at the foreclosure sale, affirming the trial court’s judgment granting a new trial.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sanders v. Ahmed[1]

Opinion handed down April 3, 2012

Ronald Sanders recovered judgments against Dr. Itekahlm Ahmed for the wrongful death of his wife.  After the jury returned a verdict awarding $9.2 million in non-economic damages, the trial court reduced the original verdict to about $1.25 million in accordance with a state statute that caps non-economic damages.  Sanders subsequently challenged the constitutionality of the damages award cap.  The Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the trial court’s ruling and concluded that the non-economic damages cap that applies to wrongful death cases does not violate the Missouri Constitution.