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Allen v. Trader

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

July 28, 2015

CLESLIE DAVID ALLEN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
M.W. TRADER and IVIE A. WARREN, Defendants-Respondents

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable J. Dan Conklin, Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: JAMES E. CORBETT, Springfield, MO.

For Respondent: JAMES R. LAYTON, Jefferson City, MO.

MARY W. SHEFFIELD, C.J. - OPINION AUTHOR. DANIEL E. SCOTT, P.J. - CONCURS. JEFFREY W. BATES, J. - CONCURS.

OPINION

MARY W. SHEFFIELD, C.J.

AFFIRMED

Cleslie David Allen (" Plaintiff" ) appeals from the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers Mark W. Trader (" Trooper Trader" ) and Ivie Warren (" Trooper Warren" ) (collectively " Defendants" ) on Plaintiff's petition for damages arising out of an automobile accident. We disagree with Plaintiff's arguments and affirm the trial court's judgment.

Standard of Review

" Appellate review of summary judgment is de novo." Southers v. City of Farmington, 263 S.W.3d 603, 608 (Mo. banc 2008). " Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party has demonstrated, on the basis of facts as to which there is no genuine dispute, a right to judgment as a matter of law." Id. In conducting this review, the appellate court must view " the record in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was entered." Id.

Factual and Procedural Background

The following recitation of facts is drawn from the parties' statements of uncontroverted material facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See id. In 1996, Plaintiff worked as a tow truck driver for Brines Tow Truck Service. On September 2 of that year, there was a two-car accident near the intersection of Highway 13 and Farm Road 94 in Greene County.

Defendants responded to the scene of the accident. One of the vehicles involved in the accident was partially in the roadway blocking traffic. By the time Plaintiff arrived at the accident scene, there were traffic cones in the roadway to direct traffic away from the obstruction.

Upon arriving, Plaintiff spoke with Trooper Trader, asked which vehicle he should take, and then proceeded to load up the vehicle. Then Plaintiff again spoke with Trooper Trader and asked where the accident debris was. Trooper Trader responded that it was near the intersection. Plaintiff told Trooper Trader that he was going to drive up to the next intersection to turn around and then park his truck on the other side of the road. Plaintiff never spoke to Trooper Warren that evening.

Trooper Warren did not believe there was any debris in the roadway that would impede traffic or that needed to be cleaned up. When Trooper Warren saw the tow truck pull away, she ordered some personnel from the fire ...


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