Claimant Summary Judgment Motions

Summary judgment is a procedure where the Court concludes one side to a lawsuit wins under the law without a trial. It requires there to be (1) no dispute about material facts and (2) that the moving party is entitled to judgment under the law. Summary judgment is an “extreme and drastic remedy” that must be applied with the exercise of “great care.” Robinson v. Ahmad Cardiology, Inc., 33 S.W.3d 194, 198 (Mo. App. E.D. 2000).

Summary judgment procedures differ greatly if the moving party is a “claimant” or “defending party.” ITT Commercial Finance v. Mid-Am. Marine, 854 S.W.2d 371, 380 (Mo. 1993). A “claimant” is one who “seeks to recover” under a petition or claim. Id. A “claimant” must establish that there is no genuine dispute as to those material facts upon which the “claimant” would have had the burden of persuasion at trial. Id. at 381. Moreover, where a defendant has raised an affirmative defense, a claimant’s right to judgment depends just as much on the non-viability of that affirmative defense. Id.; Moore Automotive Group, Inc. v. Lewis, 362 S.W.3d 462, 467 (Mo. App. E.D. 2012). So, “a claimant moving for summary judgment in the face of an affirmative defense must also establish that the affirmative defense fails as a matter of law.” Id. at 380.

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