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Personal Injury Law: Missouri Accident Lawyer Blog
Parents Intervene in Busch Wrongful Death Lawsuit
By Ryan Bradley, Esq.
The parents of Adrienne Martin, the woman who died from an overdose in the home of August Busch IV, were allowed to intervene as plaintiffs in the ensuing Missouri wrongful death lawsuit. The Missouri Court of Appeals in the Eastern District allowed the parents to intervene as plaintiffs in the Missouri wrongful death suit filed by their grandson, the son of the deceased.
The intervention was allowed on appeal. The parent?s petition to intervene was originally rejected by a trial court in Cape Girardeau. The appeals court ruled that the parents could argue for a portion of the $1.5 million settlement that was already agreed to by the parties. The settlement was delayed by the court while the parents appealed to intervene as plaintiffs.
Intervention is the legal process by which a third party may join into an ongoing lawsuit. Legal intervention in Missouri courts is governed by Missouri Rule of Procedure 52.12. Missouri Rule 52.12 is very similar to Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs intervention in federal courts. Under Rule 52.12, two types of intervention exist in Missouri courts ? intervention of right and permissive intervention.
Intervention of right is granted to a potential intervener when: (1) a statute grants the intervener an unconditional right to intervene under the circumstance; or (2) the lawsuit concerns a transaction or property that the intervener has an interest in, and the intervener?s interest may be impeded by the disposition of the lawsuit.
Permissive intervention exists is granted to a potential intervener when: (1) a statute grants the intervener a conditional right to intervene; or (2) the intervener?s claim has common questions of law or fact as the main lawsuit. Permissive intervention also exists for government agencies under particular circumstances.
Intervening as a plaintiff in a Missouri wrongful death lawsuit may be difficult for the parents of an adult accident victim. If the accident victim had a spouse or children, the spouse and children are considered Class 1 representatives. Other family members ? brothers and sisters, the parents of an adult accident victim, etc. ? are typically barred from filing a wrongful death lawsuit if there are any Class 1 representatives to act as plaintiffs. The trial court may have ruled that Adrienne Martin?s parents could not intervene as plaintiffs in the Busch wrongful death suit because the original plaintiff, Adrienne Martin?s son, was a Class 1 representative.
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