When a “question of fact” exists, a trial is often needed. It is improper for a Court to decide factual disputes without a trial, particularly on a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. But, when does a “question of fact” exist?
It exists in one of three situations. “A factual question exists if  evidentiary issues are actually contested, are  subject to conflicting interpretations, or  if reasonable persons might differ as to their significance.” Martin v. City of Washington, 848 S.W.2d 487, 492 (Mo. 1993). What is more, a party often receives the benefit of inferences derived from the evidence.
In a motion to dismiss, the pleading party (usually the plaintiff) receives the benefit of all inferences. The non-moving party on summary judgment receives similar benefits. Similarly, a plaintiff receives the benefit of all “reasonable inferences” at the directed verdict stage. Dhyne v. State Farm, 188 S.W.3d 454, 457 (Mo. 2006); compare Aughenbaugh v. Williams, 569 S.W.3d 514, 523 (Mo. Ct. App. 2018) (directed verdict is a “drastic remedy,” but Court cannot supply missing evidence or make forced inferences).