In most cases in which a plaintiff brings a lawsuit — whether it be for breach of trust or even a personal injury claim — the plaintiff must prove causation. In other words, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s improper conduct actually caused cognizable harm to the plaintiff. In certain circumstances, like medical malpractice situations, causation is not straightforward.
Causation can never rest on speculation, and is generally a fact question to be decided by the jury/judge deciding the case. Fabricor, Inc. v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., 24 S.W.3d 82, 95 (Mo. Ct. App. 2000). In certain situations, causation must be demonstrated by inferences made from circumstantial evidence. For example, a close temporal connection can be circumstantial evidence of causation. McGaughy v. Laclede Gas Co., 604 S.W.3d 730, 752 (Mo. Ct. App. 2020).