Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Love v. Piatchek

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fifth Division

November 8, 2016

KATHRYN LOVE and DELORES HENRY Plaintiffs/Appellants,
v.
PAUL PIATCHEK, et al. Defendants/Respondents.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Honorable David L. Dowd[*]

          OPINION

          MARY K. HOFF, JUDGE.

         Kathryn Love (Mother) and Delores Henry (Grandmother) appeal from the trial court's judgment dismissing as untimely their wrongful death lawsuit against the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners and certain St. Louis police officers after Mother's son, Darrell Williams, Jr., was shot and killed by two officers. We affirm.

         Background

         On November 18, 2009, Darrell Williams was riding in a car with friends when the police gave chase and ultimately stopped the vehicle using tire spikes, causing the vehicle to spin out of control and flip over. The officers then approached the vehicle and discharged their firearms, killing Darrell and one of his friends.

         In January 2010, Grandmother, describing herself as "next of kin, " filed a wrongful death suit alleging that the Respondent officers opened fire on the occupants of the vehicle without cause and with excessive force. Grandmother's petition did not mention either of Darrell's parents, who were both incarcerated at the time. Respondents answered the petition, and the parties began discovery. Jury trial dates were set and continued successively from 2011 until 2014. In April 2014, one week before trial, Grandmother dismissed her suit without prejudice.

         In August 2014, Mother filed her own wrongful death suit on the same facts. The case was removed to federal court in October and remanded to the state trial court in December. In March 2015, Respondents moved to dismiss Mother's suit for untimeliness, asserting that the statute of limitations expired in November 2012, three years after Darrell's death. Grandmother moved to intervene, and the trial court granted that motion. Respondents renewed their motion to dismiss, asserting that Grandmother's addition as a plaintiff failed to save Mother's petition from untimeliness under the saving statute (§537.100). The trial court granted Respondents' motion to dismiss, reasoning that Grandmother's original petition was invalid because she was not an eligible plaintiff in the first instance, so there was nothing for the saving statute to save. This appeal followed.

         Standard of Review

         We review the trial court's grant of a motion to dismiss de novo. Grace v. St. Louis County, 348 S.W.3d 120, 124 (Mo. App. E.D. 2011). When reviewing the dismissal of a petition for failure to state a claim, we treat the facts contained in the petition as true and construe them liberally in favor of the plaintiffs, granting the plaintiffs all reasonable inferences therefrom. Id.

         Wrongful Death Statute

         Section 537.080, creating a cause of action for wrongful death, entitles the following classes of plaintiffs to file the suit:

(1) The spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive;
(2)If there be no persons in class (1) entitled to bring the action, then the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants […];
(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then a plaintiff ad litem appointed by the court. […] Such plaintiff ad litem shall be some suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action.

         Section 537.100 imposes a three-year statute of limitations but, in the event of a non-suit, allows an additional year for the filing of a new ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.