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Statute of Limitations

Missouri Laws On Wrongful Death and Survival

537.080. Action for wrongful death--who may sue--limitation

1. Whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for:

(1) By 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 by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages set out in section 537.090 because of the death;

(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then by a plaintiff ad litem. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the action for damages provided in this section upon application of some person entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. 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. Such court may, in its discretion, require that such plaintiff ad litem give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.

2. Only one action may be brought under this section against any one defendant for the death of any one person.

537.090. Damages to be determined by jury--factors to be considered

In every action brought under section 537.080, the trier of the facts may give to the party or parties entitled thereto such damages as the trier of the facts may deem fair and just for the death and loss thus occasioned, having regard to the pecuniary losses suffered by reason of the death, funeral expenses, and the reasonable value of the services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support of which those on whose behalf suit may be brought have been deprived by reason of such death and without limiting such damages to those which would be sustained prior to attaining the age of majority by the deceased or by the person suffering any such loss.

In addition, the trier of the facts may award such damages as the deceased may have suffered between the time of injury and the time of death and for the recovery of which the deceased might have maintained an action had death not ensued. The mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the death may be considered by the trier of the facts, but damages for grief and bereavement by reason of the death shall not be recoverable.

537.010. Action for damages to property to survive regardless of death of either party

Actions for wrongs done to property or interests therein may be brought against the wrongdoer by the person whose property or interest therein is injured. If the person whose property or interest therein is injured is dead, the action survives and may be brought against the wrongdoer by the person appointed as fiduciary for the estate of the deceased person. If the wrongdoer is dead, the action also survives and may be brought and maintained in the manner set forth in section 537.021. Such actions shall be brought and maintained in the same manner and with like effect in all respects as actions founded upon contracts.

537.020. Action for personal injury or death to survive regardless of death of either party

1. Causes of action for personal injuries, other than those resulting in death, whether such injuries be to the health or to the person of the injured party, shall not abate by reason of his death, nor by reason of the death of the person against whom such cause of action shall have accrued; but in case of the death of either or both such parties, such cause of action shall survive to the personal representative of such injured party, and against the person, receiver or corporation liable for such injuries and his legal representatives, and the liability and the measure of damages shall be the same as if such death or deaths had not occurred. Causes of action for death shall not abate by reason of the death of any party to any such cause of action, but shall survive to the personal representative of such party bringing such cause of action and against the person, receiver or corporation liable for such death and his or its legal representatives.

2. The right of action for death or the right of action for personal injury that does not result in the death shall be sufficient to authorize and to require the appointment of a personal representative by the probate division of the circuit court upon the written application therefor by one or more of the beneficiaries of the deceased. The existence of the right of action for death or personal injury that does not result in death shall be sufficient to authorize and to require the appointment of a personal representative for the person liable for such death or injury by the court having probate jurisdiction upon his death upon the written application of any person interested in such right of action for death or injury.

537.030. Section 537.010 not to extend to what action

Sections 537.010 and 537.020 shall not extend to actions for slander, libel, assault and battery or false imprisonment.

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