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State ex rel. Helms v. Honorable Joseph Alfred Rathert

Court: Supreme Court of Missouri

Docket: SC98711

Opinion Date: June 15, 2021

Judge: Paul C. Wilson

Areas of Law: Personal Injury

The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition it issued ordering the circuit court to take no other action in this wrongful death action other than to dismiss Sergeant Dirk Helms and Chief Joe Edwards of the De Soto Police Department, holding that the doctrine of official immunity prohibited Missouri courts from holding Helms and Edwards personally liable for any negligence.

Plaintiff’s daughter was a passenger in a vehicle who died during an automobile accident in the course of a police pursuant by Officer David Karssinger. Helms and Edwards filed separate motions to dismiss the claims against them, alleging that the claims were barred by official immunity and the public duty doctrine. After the circuit court overruled the motions Helms and Edwards sought this writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the requested relief, holding that Helms and Edwards may have been negligent in failing to fulfill discretionary duties with due regard for the public safety and in such a way as to protect Plaintiff’s daughter, but they were protected from liability by the doctrine of official immunity.

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law, personal injury, and auto car accident lawyers. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

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