Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable
Michael W. Noble.
A. Thompson, appellant, Pro se, St. Louis, MO.
E. Paasch, St. Louis, MO; Joseph P. Sommer, St. Louis, MO,
E. MOONEY, PRESIDING JUDGE. CLIFFORD H. AHRENS, J., and LISA
VAN AMBURG, J., concur.
E. MOONEY, PRESIDING JUDGE
defendant, Kayatana Thompson, appeals the judgment entered by
the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis against her and in
favor of the plaintiffs, Larry Williams and Lela Davis. The
plaintiffs sued the defendant for personal injuries and
property damage, respectively, that they sustained when the
defendant's vehicle struck the vehicle operated by
Williams and owned by Davis.
eight points on appeal, the defendant challenges the trial
court's grant of the plaintiffs' motion for a
directed verdict, the weight of the evidence to support
Williams's claim of personal injury, the trial
court's personal jurisdiction over her, the trial
court's subject-matter jurisdiction over Davis's
claim, and prejudicial statements the trial court allegedly
made. Because we conclude that the trial court erred in
granting the plaintiffs' motion for a directed verdict
based on the rear-end collision doctrine, we reverse and
remand to the trial court for a new trial.
February 21, 2010, plaintiff Williams drove the car owned by
his mother, plaintiff Davis, to the market. Williams was
stopped at a red light on southbound North Florissant at its
intersection with Madison in the City of St. Louis. Another
car was stopped in front of him at the light. The light
turned green, but the car ahead of Williams did not move
forward. After waiting about 30 seconds for the car ahead of
him to go, Williams honked his horn, and the car in front of
him proceeded forward. Williams testified that before he
could take his foot from the brake to drive forward, the
defendant's vehicle collided with the rear of the vehicle
he was driving. Williams testified that he suffered permanent
aggravation of pre-existing neck and back injuries, and that
he incurred approximately $18,000 in bills for medical
treatment of his injuries. Williams introduced no medical
records or bills into evidence. Williams called no doctor to
testify. Williams further testified that his mother's car
suffered damage that cost $845.09 to repair.
defendant, who appeared pro se at trial, admitted
that her vehicle collided with the rear of the
plaintiffs' vehicle. She testified in the plaintiffs'
case as follows.
Q. Miss Thompson, you were driving an automobile on February
21st, 2010, on North Florissant?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did the front of your vehicle ever come into contact with
the rear of Mr. ...