Negligence, Third-Parties

Negligence requires a showing of (1) the existence of a duty to protect the plaintiff from injury, (2) breach of the duty, (3) causation and (4) an injury to plaintiff. Thiele v. Rieter, 838 S.W.2d 441, 442 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992).

Foreseeability is key in determining whether a duty exists. Wieland v. Owner-Operator Servs., Inc., 540 S.W.3d 845, 848 (Mo. 2018). There is generally no duty to protect against criminal acts of third-parties because such conduct is usually not foreseeable. There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) where the defendant knows, or has reason to know, that a third-party is about to commit harm; and (2) when the nature of a defendant’s business or past experiences provide a basis for the reasonable anticipation of criminal activity.


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