Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mayes v. Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City

Opinion issued
May 27, 2014

Link to Missouri Supreme Court Opinion

Family members brought a suit against doctor and hospital for wrongful death and lost chance of recovery after the death of Mr. Mayes on March 28, 2008.  After voluntarily dismissing the first suit, the plaintiffs filed a second suit but did not file the required affidavit by a health care provider certifying merit required by RSMo 538.225.  Defendants successfully moved to dismiss for failure to comply with statutory requirements, as the statute mandated dismissal.  After dismissal, the plaintiffs brought a third suit, but the third case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had run on both claims.  Plaintiffs appealed, arguing the unconstitutionality of 538.225 for the second and third cases and that they had substantially complied with the statutory requirements in the second case.  The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the constitutional objections were not preserved in the second case, that there was no substantial compliance, and the statute of limitations was properly applied and barred the third case.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Minact, Inc. v. Director of Revenue

Opinion issued
April 15, 2014

Link to [insert court] Opinion

         The Supreme Court of Missouri recently ruled that income from a “rabbi trust” used to finance a corporation’s deferred compensation plan for executives is business income subject to taxation and apportionment.[i]  In 2007, MINACT, INC., a Mississippi corporation that does business in multiple states, including Missouri,[ii] claimed $667,773 as non-business income on its tax return, thereby exempting that income from state taxation.[iii]  However, when the Missouri Director of Revenue refused to allow this claim, MINACT appealed to the Administrative Hearing Commission. On appeal the Commission held that the income was not business income as it failed to satisfy the transactional or functional tests employed by Missouri courts in finding the existence of business income for state taxation purposes.[iv]  Subsequently, the Director of Revenue appealed the Administrative Hearing Commission’s decision.[v]  Ultimately, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Director of Revenue, finding the income met the functional test because it is used to attract and retain important employees.[vi]   Thus, the Administrative Hearing Commission’s decision was overturned and the case remanded.[vii]

Commercial Barge Line Co. and American Commercial Barge Line, LLC, n/k/a American Commercial Lines, LLC, vs. Director of Revenue

Opinion issued
April 29, 2014

Link to Missouri Supreme Court Opinion

Commercial Barge Line and American Commercial Barge Line (collectively, Taxpayers) challenged the Administrative Hearing Commission’s determination that they owed Missouri sales and use tax on goods and supplies received by their towboats while they traveled the Mississippi River.  The Taxpayers argued that the taxes assessed against them violated the Commerce Clause because they were not fairly related to any service that Missouri provides to the Taxpayers. The Supreme Court of Missouri ultimately found the Taxpayer’s argument unpersuasive and affirmed the Administrative Hearing Commission’s ruling.   In so holding, the Court emphasized that the taxes were fairly related to services that the Taxpayers received from the state and were, therefore, not in violation of the Commerce Clause.