Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Andra v. Left Gate Property Holding, Inc.

Opinion handed down Feb. 24, 2015
The plaintiff, Issiah Andra, purchased a vehicle through an eBay online auction service on July 15, 2011.  The defendant, Left Gate Property Holding, Inc. (“Left Gate”) was the seller of the vehicle.  Left Gate was a “top-rated” seller on eBay and headquartered at a seventy-acre facility in Stafford, Texas.
Upon taking delivery of the vehicle, Mr. Andra noticed several inconsistencies between the vehicle’s actual state and what the eBay listing had described.  Left Gate agreed to pay for the necessary repairs, but failed to do so.  Mr. Andra ultimately filed suit against Left Gate in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.  Left Gate argued that the Missouri trial court did not have personal jurisdiction to hear the case.  The trial court agreed with Left Gate and dismissed the action for lack of personal jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court of Missouri[1] reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case, holding that because of “Left Gate’s substantial, long-term business transactions in Missouri as well as its alleged fraudulent misrepresentations, telephone and mail correspondence, and continuing warranty obligations directed toward a Missouri resident[,] . . . Missouri may assert personal jurisdiction over Left Gate.”[2]

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC

Opinion handed down April 14, 2015
Several landowners (“Appellants”) filed suit against Cargill Pork, LLC (“Cargill”) and Bohr Farms, LLC (“Bohr” and, together, “Respondents”) for temporary nuisance, negligence, and conspiracy allegedly arising from Respondents’ large-scale hog operations.[1]  Appellants’ temporary nuisance claim sought an award for damages arising out of the loss of use and enjoyment of their properties.[2]  The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Respondents.[3]  On appeal, the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed the trial court’s judgment.[4]  The court determined that Missouri Revised Statutes Section 537.296 was constitutional and only authorized recovery for diminution of rental value or documented medical conditions arising from temporary nuisance – not for damages due to the loss of use or enjoyment of property.[5]  Further, the court found that the trial court did not err in denying Appellants’ damages for negligence and civil conspiracy, because these claims were dependent on the nuisance claim, and Section 537.296.6(1) precludes recovery in such a case.[6] 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Moore v. State of Missouri

Opinion handed down April 14, 2015
After a conviction of second-degree assault of a probation and parole officer in 2010, Charles K. Moore  was sentenced as a persistent felony offender and received a fifteen-year prison term.[1]  Mr. Moore filed a pro se post-conviction motion appealing his conviction and sentence.[2]  The motion court subsequently appointed counsel to Mr. Moore.[3]  Pursuant to Supreme Court of Missouri Rule 29.15 (“Rule 29.15”), counsel was given sixty days from appointment to file an amended motion.[4]  The appointed counsel failed to file the amended motion within the allotted time period; however, the court ruled against the amended motion anyway.[5]  After an appeal and transfer to the Supreme Court of Missouri, the court remanded the case to the trial court, holding that, in the event an amended motion is untimely filed by an appointed counsel, the trial court shall rule on whether counsel abandoned the movant before ruling on the merit of any post-conviction motions.[6]

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

David P. Oetting v. Green Jacobson, P.C.

Opinion handed down January 8, 2015
A 1998 merger between NationsBank and BankAmerica prompted multiple class actions and resulted in a 490 million dollar global settlement.[1]  After multiple distributions and a decade of litigation, 2.4 million dollars of the fund remained.[2]  In September 2012, counsel for the NationsBank classes moved to terminate the case and make a cy pres distribution of these surplus settlement funds to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (“LSEM”).[3]  The district court upheld this motion.[4]
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, however, finding that members of the classes had not been fully compensated, members should have been allowed to object or suggest alternatives for the cy pres distribution, and the charity was not the “next best” recipient usually required under cy pres principles.[5]