Conner v. Crawford County, 11061

Decision Date09 October 1979
Docket NumberNo. 11061,11061
Citation588 S.W.2d 532
PartiesLawrence F. CONNER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CRAWFORD COUNTY, Defendant-Respondent.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Michael J. Pitzer, Moser, Marsalek, Carpenter, Cleary, Jaeckel, Keaney & Brown, St. Louis, for plaintiff-appellant.

Eugene B. Overhoff, Cuba, for defendant-respondent.

BILLINGS, Presiding Judge.

Plaintiff Lawrence F. Conner's petition for damages for defendant Crawford County's alleged negligent maintenance of a county road in 1975 was dismissed by the trial court because of defendant's sovereign immunity from tort liability. We affirm.

Plaintiff filed suit in 1975 and defendant filed its motion to dismiss, contending plaintiff's petition failed to state a cause of action because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Thereafter, and while the motion to dismiss was pending, our Supreme Court decided Jones v. State Highway Commission 557 S.W.2d 225 (Mo. banc 1977), and three companion cases 1 and ruled the doctrine of sovereign immunity was abolished Prospectively, except as to the four cases decided that day, "as to all claims arising on or after August 15, 1978".

Defendant's motion to dismiss was ruled in early 1978 after plaintiff unsuccessfully argued that Jones should be applied retroactively and a failure to do so would deny him equal protection of the law and deny him due process under the Missouri Constitution and the United States Constitution. Plaintiff sought review of the trial court's ruling by our Supreme Court by taking his appeal there but that Court, by order transferred the appeal here "in which jurisdiction is vested."

Here, plaintiff urges this Court to apply Jones retroactively and says that a failure to do so will result in denying him his constitutional rights. He argues that the tortious conduct in Jones occurred in 1972 and by our Supreme Court's abrogation of sovereign immunity as to Jones and the three plaintiffs in the companion cases, the Court bestowed substantive rights on Jones and the other three plaintiffs and to withhold the same substantive right from him results in "a clear unequal application of the law and a denial of the right of due process and equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Constitution."

We are bound by the decisions of our Supreme Court and it is our duty to follow and apply its decisions. The alleged negligence for which plaintiff sought recovery against Crawford County occurred in 1975....

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3 cases
  • Bartley v. Special School Dist. of St. Louis County
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 26, 1983
    ...that § 537.600 is exclusive. State ex rel. Eli Lilli & Co. v. Gaertner, 619 S.W.2d 761, 763 (Mo.App.1981) (n. 4); Conner v. Crawford County, 588 S.W.2d 532, 533 (Mo.App.1979) (n. 1); Bailey v. City of St. Louis, 578 S.W.2d 279, 282 (Mo.App.1979) (n. 2); Strong v. Curators of the University ......
  • State ex rel. Shannon County v. Chilton
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 22, 1981
    ...counties were immune from tort liability. Mattingly v. St. Louis County, 569 S.W.2d 251, 252 (Mo.App.1978). See also Conner v. Crawford County, 588 S.W.2d 532 (Mo.App.1979). No challenge was made here to the validity of this It was not disputed that employees of the county operated the grad......
  • McConnell v. St. Louis County
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • June 14, 1983
    ...We specifically so held as to St. Louis County in Coleman v. McNary, 549 S.W.2d 568 (Mo.App.1977). See also, Connor v. Crawford County, 588 S.W.2d 532 (Mo.App.1979). Pre-Jones, school districts were treated as political subdivisions for immunity purposes. Rennie v. Belleview School District......

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