Justia Missouri Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Products Liability
Sherrer v. Boston Scientific Corp.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC) and C.R. Bard Inc. on Plaintiff's claims related to Defendants' design and manufacture of polypropylene mesh slings that were surgically implanted in Plaintiff, holding that any errors were not prejudicial.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the circuit court did not err in excluding evidence of Bard's prior convictions; (2) the circuit court erred by not sustaining Plaintiff's objections to BSC's and Bard's use of her claims brought in the original petition against former defendants, but the errors were not prejudicial; and (3) the circuit court did not manifestly abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiff's request for a mistrial after Bard displayed to the jury prejudicial evidence of Plaintiff's settlements with the dismissed defendants. View "Sherrer v. Boston Scientific Corp." on Justia Law
State ex rel. LG Chem, Ltd. v. Honorable McLaughlin
The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ sought by LG Chem, Ltd. to prohibit the circuit court from enforcing its over overruling LG Chem's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that due process prohibited Missouri courts from asserting personal jurisdiction over LG Chem in this matter.LG Chem, a Korean company with its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, manufactured model 18650 lithium-ion batteries. Peter Bishop sued LG Chem in the St. Louis County circuit court alleging that he purchased one of LG Chem's batteries in a store located in St. Peters, Missouri for use in his e-cigarette. Bishop alleged that the battery spontaneously exploded in his pocket, resulting in burn injuries. LG filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The circuit court overruled the motion on the merits. LG then sought a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition. The Court then made its preliminary writ permanent with directions to the circuit court to vacate its order overruling LG Chem's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that LG Chem lacked sufficient minimum contacts with the state of Missouri, and therefore, the assertion of personal jurisdiction over LG Chem would violate due process. View "State ex rel. LG Chem, Ltd. v. Honorable McLaughlin" on Justia Law
Johnson v. Auto Handling Corp.
Robert Johnson brought a products liability case against Cottrell Inc. and Auto Handling Corp. At the conclusion of Johnson’s case the trial court directed a verdict in favor of Auto Handling on all of Johnson’s theories against it. The jury returned verdicts in favor of Johnson on his claims against Cottrell of negligence as submitted in Instruction 10 and of strict liability failure to warn as submitted in Instruction 13. The trial court entered judgment against Cottrell on the negligence verdict for $1,150,332. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the trial court erred in granting Auto Handling’s motion for directed verdict; and (2) Instruction 10 was error, and because the error was prejudicial the judgment in favor of Johnson on his negligence claims against Cottrell is reversed. Because of the intertwined nature of the evidence and the various theories against the two defendants, the case is remanded for retrial as to the negligent maintenance and inspection claim against Auto Handling and as to Johnson’s negligence claims and strict liability failure to warn claim against Cottrell. View "Johnson v. Auto Handling Corp." on Justia Law
State ex rel. Malashock v. Honorable Michael T. Jamison
When Plaintiff’s utility terrain vehicle (UTV) overturned the roof of the UTV failed and caused Plaintiff injuries. Plaintiff sued Chesterfield Valley Sports, Inc. (Defendant). Prior to trial, Plaintiff designated Herbert Newbold as an expert witness. Plaintiff then rescinded Newbold’s expert witness designation without disclosing Newbold’s expert analysis or conclusions. Thereafter, Defendant filed a motion to amend the scheduling order to permit Newbold’s deposition. Plaintiff objected, asserting that Newbold’s opinions and conclusions were protected from discovery by the work product doctrine. The trial court sustained Defendant’s motion, concluding that Plaintiff had waived the protections afforded by the work product doctrine by designating Newbold as an expert witness. Plaintiff subsequently filed the instant petition for a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition, which it made permanent, holding (1) designating an expert witness does not, standing alone, irrevocably waive the protections afforded by the work product doctrine; and (2) in this case, there was no disclosing event that waived the work product privilege. View "State ex rel. Malashock v. Honorable Michael T. Jamison" on Justia Law
State ex rel. Schwarz Pharma, Inc. v. Judge Dowd
Schwarz Pharma Inc. was sued in seven individual actions by Plaintiffs, who filed suit in the St. Louis city court. Schwarz filed a motion to transfer venue in these seven individual actions under Mo. R. Civ. P. 51.045. The trial court ruled that the motions were untimely because they were not filed within the sixty-day period after Schwarz was served. Schwarz wrought writs of prohibition in the court of appeals, which denied relief. The Supreme Court granted relief, holding (1) the trial court erred in ruling that Schwarz’s motions to transfer venue were untimely; (2) Schwarz’s timely filed motions demonstrated that venue was improper in St. Louis city; and (3) therefore, the trial court was required to sustain the timely filed motions to transfer venue. View "State ex rel. Schwarz Pharma, Inc. v. Judge Dowd" on Justia Law