Missouri State Contract Cases 2012 (Part 05): Roundup

by Brian Rogers on April 30, 2012

in Missouri Contract Cases

River Oaks Home Association v. Lounce

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District reversed the trial court’s ruling that Zeria Lounce was individually liable for home association assessments where she had transferred her home’s title to her revocable living trust. Although Lounce didn’t inform the association of the transfer of her property to the trust, the home association and declaration of restrictions and covenants documents did not require her to notify the home association of the transfer.

Massie v. Colvin

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District affirmed the trial court’s judgment for defendant land sellers and real estate agency on the plaintiff’s misrepresentation claims. Expressions of confidence by defendants that a neighbor would allow property burdened by an easement to be fenced and gated were mere predictions or opinions about what the neighbor would do rather than expressions of fact. Statements, representations, or predictions about an independent third party’s future acts do not constitute misrepresentation.

Napus Federal Credit Union v. Campbell

The circuit court’s granting of a credit union’s summary judgment motion was overturned on appeal by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District because the credit union did not respond to the defendant’s affirmative defenses or counterclaims. A claimant moving for summary judgment in the face of an affirmative defense must also establish that the affirmative defense fails as a matter of law. The credit union was required to negate the defendant’s stated affirmative defenses by proving there were no genuine issues of material fact such that it was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, but the credit union failed to do so.

Carson v. Dixon Cemetery

Plaintiff Carol Carson was one of the purchasers of a cemetery plot that was sold to multiple purchasers. She brought suit against Dixon Cemetery claiming fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation and negligence per se. The trial court granted the cemetery’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the suit was barred by Section 516.120 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, which is the applicable statute of limitation.

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District reversed the lower court, ruling that Carson’s claim was not barred. Although the plaintiff had constructive knowledge of the claims of others to the cemetery plot she had purchased, it was not until a judgment was entered in a prior suit declaring her not to be the record owner that she could ascertain that she was damaged. Only then did the five-year statute of limitations begin to run.

Pierson v. Kirkpatrick, d/b/a A-1 Home Inspection

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District affirmed the trial court’s judgment awarding plaintiffs $5,875 on a claim relating to Kirkpatrick’s inspection of a home purchased by the plaintiffs in Springfield, Missouri. Although the trial court did not consider a purported limitation of liability provision in the home inspector’s contract with the plaintiffs, it was invited error resulting from the opening statement of defendant’s counsel. The appellate court stated, “The trial court was entitled to rely on the statements by Appellant’s counsel and to isolate the issues before it in accordance with those statements. Appellant cannot now complain that the trial court failed to consider certain issues when it clearly isolated the issues before the trial court in its opening statement.”

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