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Aiding and Abetting

Though relatively rare, “aiding and abetting” can also result in civil liability. In Missouri, for harm resulting to a third person from the tortious conduct of another, one is subject to liability if he or she knows that the other’s conduct contitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other. Bradley […]

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Aggravating Circumstances for Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are generally only permissible in cases where the defendant committed an intentional wrongdoing. This is the case because the law is more inclined to penalize and punish willful and wanton conduct, as opposed to accidental or inadvertent conduct. Punitive damages may, however, be obtained from a jury in negligence cases if there are […]

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Negligent Entrustment of Personal Property

If you entrust someone with personal property, and he or she injures someone with or when using the personal property, you may be liable to the injured party for “negligent entrustment.” In Missouri, the elements of negligent entrustment are: (1) the entrustee was incompetent by reason of age, inexperience, habitual recklessness or otherwise; (2) the entrustor knew […]

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Negligent Failure to Procure Insurance

Most think of insurance disputes as relating to the nature and extent of coverage (e.g., uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist) or how much of the policy limits should be paid. There are circumstances, however, when the incorrect insurance is obtained and a claim  exists against the insurance agent/broker. An insurance agent/broker who is tasked with […]

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Contract Exculpatory Clauses for Future Negligence

What is the effect of all of those contractual waivers and releases you’re given at the last moment before you undertake an activity like skiing, sky-diving, or other dangerous acts? While public policy disfavors releases of future negligence, they are not prohibited. Milligan v. Chesterfield Village GP, LLC, 239 S.W.3d 613, 616 (Mo. Ct. App. 2007). […]

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Circumstantial Negligence: Res Ipsa Loquitur

A plaintiff/claimant has the burden of proof in a case. In other words, it is their responsibility to show the existence of facts which demonstrate they should recover in their case. In a negligence action, therefore, the plaintiff/claimant must prove that there was a certain (1) standard of care which was (2) breached and which […]

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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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Negligence

I hear it all the time…” So and so has been negligent, and thus I am entitled to money for compensatory damages and some punitive damages.” At which point I have to stop him or her and say that “negligence” has a special, nuanced meaning in the law. Very generally speaking, negligence occurs when (1) […]

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