McKean v. St. Louis County

Decision Date10 December 1996
Docket NumberNo. 69607,69607
Citation936 S.W.2d 184
PartiesTerry McKEAN, Plaintiff/Respondent, v. ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Defendant/Appellant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

John A. Ross & Suzanne D. Nelson, Clayton, for Defendant/Appellant.

Mary P. Schroeder, Bruntrager & Billings, P.C., St. Louis, for Plaintiff/Respondent.

CRANDALL, Judge.

Defendant, St. Louis County, appeals from the trial court's order enforcing a settlement agreement between it and plaintiff, Terry McKean. We dismiss the appeal.

Plaintiff brought an action for unlawful employment practices. In his amended petition, he denominated defendants as St. Louis County and the St. Louis County Department of Police, Bureau of Security Services (Police Department). He alleged that when he was hired in 1973 he advised the Police Department that he was epileptic; but in February 1988 the Police Department placed him on involuntary leave due to his handicap and in March 1989 terminated his employment. He sought money damages from defendants.

On March 1, 1995, plaintiff signed a "SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, RELEASE & WAIVER OF RIGHTS" in which he agreed to dismiss his action with prejudice. In return, plaintiff received cash payments from St. Louis County and was re-employed by St. Louis County in a full-time position for which he was qualified. Paragraph VIII specified that the settlement agreement was "the entire agreement between ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI AND TERRY McKEAN." The release discharged St. Louis County and its agents, employees, and other persons in their official and individual capacities from liability. On February 1, 1995, the trial court entered the following order: "Upon request of parties cause passed for settlement."

In August 1995, plaintiff filed a "MOTION TO COMPEL SETTLEMENT," in which he sought to have his vacation time accrue from March 1, 1995, the date he accepted employment, and not June 1, 1995, the date he commenced employment. He also requested reasonable attorney's fees incurred to enforce the settlement agreement. In his motion, he listed the defendant as the St. Louis County Department of Police. St. Louis County filed a memorandum in opposition to plaintiff's motion, alleging that plaintiff's interpretation of the settlement agreement differed from its own. St. Louis County further alleged that declaratory judgment was the appropriate action to enforce the settlement agreement; and that because the Police Department was not a party to the agreement, the agreement could not be enforced against it. St. Louis County specifically took issue with Paragraph IV of the settlement agreement, which read in pertinent part:

Upon [PLAINTIFF'S] acceptance of a position, his previous 15 years and 9 months of credited service shall be bridged for purposes of calculation of retirement and other benefits incident to employment with ST. LOUIS COUNTY just as though the time between April 1988 and the date of re-employment had not occurred....

The trial court entered what it styled a "JUDGMENT" and listed St. Louis County as the defendant. The court recited that it believed it could "give a clear meaning" to the paragraph of the settlement agreement in dispute and rejected the proposition that a declaratory judgment was the proper action to enforce the agreement. The court noted the case was "still alive." The court then found that plaintiff was entitled to benefits from March 1, 1995, the date he accepted employment; and so ordered. The court sustained plaintiff's motion to compel settlement.

Before considering St. Louis County's...

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25 cases
  • Klaus v. Shelby
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • November 9, 1999
    ...no appealable final judgment exists. The appellate court has jurisdiction only over final judgments. McKean v. St. Louis County, 936 S.W.2d 184, 185 (Mo. App. E.D. 1996); Section 512.020, RSMo 1994. Rule 75.01 provides that "[t]he trial court retains control over judgments during the thirty......
  • Donnelly v. Donnelly, 70516
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 29, 1997
    ...only when it disposes of all the issues for all parties in the case and leaves nothing for future determination, McKean v. St. Louis County, 936 S.W.2d 184 (Mo.App.1996)[1-4], or where the trial court certifies the judgment final for purposes of appeal pursuant to Rule 74.01(b). However, in......
  • Warren v. Mercantile Bank of St. Louis, N.A., 73739
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 22, 1998
    ...address appellate jurisdiction sua sponte. Pizzo v. Pizzo, 365 Mo. 1224, 295 S.W.2d 377, 379 (Mo. banc 1956); McKean v. St. Louis County, 936 S.W.2d 184, 185 (Mo.App. E.D.1996). Appellate courts only have jurisdiction over final judgments. Taylor v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 641 S.W.2d 108, 110 (......
  • In RE: Lee v. Cook, 23343
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 27, 2001
    ...of all the issues for all the parties in the case and leaves nothing for future determination.'" Id.(quoting McKean v. St. Louis County, 936 S.W.2d 184, 185-86 (Mo.App. 1996)). In the instant case the trial court did not resolve all issues before it. There is no final judgment. The appeal i......
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