Missouri Premise Liability Cases Against Government Entities - i.e. Park, Zoo, Injuries at Public School, etc...

Under Missouri tort law, government entities have sovereign immunity from lawsuits except for certain exceptions and the MO personal injury damages are capped per Missouri statute.

In order to sue a government entity in Missouri for injury or death in premise cases, the personal injury attorney, on behalf of the injured victim, must prove the dangerous condition exception to sovereign immunity. The Missouri personal injury lawsuit must plead and prove:

  1. that a dangerous condition existed on public property;
  2. the injury was a direct result of the dangerous condition;
  3. the dangerous condition created a foreseeable risk of harm;
  4. a public employee negligently created the condition or the public entity knew or should have known of the condition.

See State ex rel. Missouri Highway and Transp. Com’n v. Dierker, 961 SW 2d 58 (MO Banc 1998)

On top of the above conditions, public entities also benefit from a damages cap of $300,000 per Missouri Statute 537.610 – Torts and Actions for Damages.

Unlike the overreaching tort reform reform damage caps for health care providers, this cap is adjustable for inflation – Missouri Department of Insurance Sovereign Immunity Caps Inflation Table. Meaning that $300,000 cap is adjusted because, as we all know, $300k today is not the same as 300K 10 years from now.

As a St. Louis injury attorney, I have successfully handled several Missouri personal injury claims and lawsuits involving the sovereign immunity issues. For example these issues must be addressed if you are suing MO-DOT, a school, museum, park, the zoo, or any other government owed facility.