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Lost Profits, Income, Consequential Damages

Lost profits, income or revenue often form a major component of a plaintiff’s damages in business disputes, contract disputes and employment disputes. Loss of profits generally means the amount of money a plaintiff would have realized but for the Defendant’s conduct. Meridian Enters. Corp. v. KCBS, Inc., 910 S.W.2d 329, 331 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995). For […]

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Trade Secret Disputes, Damages, Misappropriation

Trade secret litigation (often used interchangeably with confidential information) usually centers on an individual misappropriating and/or unfairly using a businesses trade secret to the detriment of a business. A “trade secret” can include “any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one’s business, and which gives him an opportunity to obtain […]

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Contribution, Joint Liability

A common defense of a defendant in a civil lawsuit is that another third-party is partially responsible for any harm caused. Defendants, therefore, will often plead and argue for “contribution” when more than one person is potentially at fault. Missouri law is clear that when “two or more persons become liable in tort to the […]

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Quantum Meruit versus Unjust Enrichment

Although the two are often confused and melded together, quantum meruit and unjust enrichment are distinct legal theories which can form the basis for a lawsuit. In practice, they are often pleaded and argued together; however, they have different measures of damages.  Quantum meruit requires that the plaintiff prove: (1) he provided the defendant with […]

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Collateral Source Rule

Tort damages are designed to be compensatory in nature and make a party whole. The collateral source rule is an exception to this rule. It provides that a wrongdoer is not entitled to have the damages to which he/she is liable reduced by the fact that plaintiff has received or will receive compensation or indemnity for […]

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Trustee Good Faith Discretion, Breach of Trust

A trustee has the duty to exercise the requisite care, skill and diligence of a person of ordinary prudence would exercise. Jarvis v. Boatmen’s National Bank of St. Louis, 478 S.W.2d 266, 273 (Mo. 1972). The specific actions necessary to accomplish this goal depends on the nature of the trust, particularly its assets and distribution schemes. […]

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When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin to Run?

The statute of limitations exists to bar stale claims. You can have the best claim in the world, but if it’s not filed within the applicable limitations period then it is absolutely barred. The limitations periods vary depending on the claim. For instance, defamation claims are subject to a two (2) year limitation period; breach […]

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The Importance of Damages in Litigation

To make the prosecution of any civil case worthwhile, there has to be sufficient damages to justify the time and expense of litigation. Very often we receive questions which, based on how the factual circumstances are presented, suggest that liability exists, but the damages complained of do not warrant the filing of a case. For […]

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