Riley v. Headland, No. SD 29716 (Mo. App. 4/14/2010), No. SD 29716.

CourtMissouri Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtDavid C. Dally
PartiesAUTUMN RILEY, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. GUY HEADLAND, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. SD 29716.
Decision Date14 April 2010

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AUTUMN RILEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
GUY HEADLAND, Defendant-Appellant.
No. SD 29716.
Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Division One.
Filed April 14, 2010.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Greene County, Honorable Calvin Holden, Circuit Judge.


H. Edward Ryals, John M. Vaught, Attorney for Appellant.

Benjamin a. Stringer, Steven J. Blair, Attorney for Respondent.

DAVID C. DALLY, Special Judge.

Guy Headland (Defendant) appeals the trial court's judgment that awarded future medical and future non-economic damages, claiming that the trial court failed to apply the correct legal standard for awarding such damages. We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

This cause arose out of a motor vehicle collision in the City of Springfield between Autumn Riley (Plaintiff) and Defendant. Defendant had spent several Plaintiff's vehicle. Prior to trial, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary

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Judgment on the issue of liability. Defendant did not file a response and the trial court entered judgment sustaining Plaintiff's summary judgment motion.

A bench trial was held on the issue of damages only and the trial court entered written Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Judgment. The court awarded Plaintiff $900,000.00 in damages resulting from the collision. The trial court found that Plaintiff sustained, and is reasonably certain to sustain in the future, the following damages:

 Past Medical $ 27,824.31
                 Future Medical $ 146,496.53
                 Past non-economic $ 100,000.00
                 Future non-economic $ 625,679.16
                 Total $ 900,000.00

Defendant timely appealed the award of future damages.


Defendant's sole point on appeal states, "The trial court committed reversible error in awarding damages for the future consequences of [Plaintiff's] injuries where it failed to apply the correct legal standard for awarding such damages." We note that Defendant's Point Relied On is deficient for failing to comply with Rule 84.04(d) in a number of ways. Rule 84.04(d) states:

(1) Where the appellate court reviews the decision of a trial court, each point shall:

(A) identify the trial court ruling or action that the appellant challenges;

(B) state concisely the legal reasons for the appellant's claim of reversible error; and

(C) explain in summary fashion why, in the context of the case, those legal reasons support the claim of reversible error.

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The point shall be in substantially the following form: "The trial court erred in [identify the challenged ruling or action] because [state the legal reasons for the claim of reversible error], in that [explain why the legal reasons, in the context of the case, support the claim of reversible error]."

Defendant's point relied on is deficient in that it does not state the legal reasons for his claim of reversible error and why, in the context of the case, such legal reasons support his claim of reversible error. Defendant's point claims the trial court failed to apply the "correct legal standard" without describing the erroneous legal standard that was applied or the "correct legal standard" that should have been applied. We are not being overly technical. It is important that the rule be followed so we "do not become advocates by speculating on facts and on arguments that have not been made." Arch Ins. Co. v. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co., 294 S.W.3d 520, 522 (Mo.App. 2009) (quoting Bridges v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 146 S.W.3d 456, 458 (Mo.App. 2004)). A deficient point relied on forces us "to search the argument portion of the brief or the record itself to determine and clarify the appellant's assertions, thereby wasting judicial resources, and, worse yet, creating the danger that the appellate court will interpret the appellant's contention differently than the appellant intended or his opponent understood." Moran v. Mason, 236 S.W.3d 137, 141 (Mo.App. 2007) (quoting Franklin v. Ventura, 32 S.W.3d 801, 803 (Mo.App. 2000))...

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