Strong v. Curators of University of Missouri

Decision Date05 December 1978
Docket NumberNo. 39744,39744
Citation575 S.W.2d 812
PartiesSherman L. STRONG and Betty J. Strong, Appellants, v. The CURATORS OF the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI et al., Respondents. . Louis District, Division Three
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

M. Barry Forman, Forriss D. Elliott & Assoc., Inc., St. Louis, for appellants.

Kortenhof & Ely, Joseph M. Kortenhof, St. Louis, for respondents.

GUNN, Judge.

On June 14, 1976, decedent, a 6 year old boy, drowned in a swimming pool owned and operated by the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Decedent's parents, as plaintiffs, brought suit in negligence against defendant Curators of the University of Missouri. 1 The Curators filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs' petition based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The trial court sustained the Curators' motion and dismissed plaintiffs' petition as to them. We affirm.

Todd v. Curators of University of Missouri, 347 Mo. 460, 147 S.W.2d 1063 (1941), surrounds the defendant Curators with the protective aegus of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Jones v. State Highway Commission, 557 S.W.2d 225 (Mo. banc 1977), abrogated the doctrine prospectively from August 15, 1978 except for Jones and those certain cases considering the issue decided on the same date as Jones. 2 Inasmuch as plaintiffs' claim arose on June 14, 1976, the defendant Curators are protected from the claim by reason of the doctrine and Jones.

Plaintiffs have raised the point that inasmuch as the University of Missouri has insurance coverage, there is no need to apply the doctrine's repealer prospectively; that by the fact that the Curators have provided insurance coverage, they have, in effect, waived the doctrine to the extent of the coverage. In support of their position, plaintiffs refer specifically to the following language in Jones:

"In order that an orderly transition be made, that adequate financial planning take place, that governmental units have time to adjust their practices and that the legislature be afforded an opportunity to consider the subject in general, the doctrine is abrogated prospectively as to all claims arising on or after August 15, 1978 . . .." Jones v. State Highway Commission, id. at 231.

Plaintiffs argue that the purpose of the prospective application of the doctrine's abrogation has already been met as the Curators have insurance. Consequently, so plaintiffs claim, no added time is necessary for an orderly transition of financial planning, as this has already been accomplished through the insurance coverage. But Jones is not so conditioned as to make its prospective application inapplicable to those blanketed by the doctrine who incidentally carry insurance. No distinction is made in Jones as to those agencies with or without insurance. The language in Jones is explicit that the doctrine of sovereign immunity is to be effective...

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6 cases
  • Sherman v. Curators of University of Missouri
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • 22 Marzo 1994
    ...1192, 1195 (E.D.Mo.1987); Krasney v. Curators of Univ. of Missouri, 765 S.W.2d 646, 649 (Mo.Ct.App.1989); Strong v. Curators of Univ. of Missouri, 575 S.W.2d 812 (Mo.Ct.App.1978). Stare decisis, according to the Curators, requires that we affirm the dismissal While the Curators assert corre......
  • Bartley v. Special School Dist. of St. Louis County
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • 26 Abril 1983
    ...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 of Missouri, 575 S.W.2d 812, 813 (Mo.App.1979) (n. 3).3 See Strong v. Curators of the University of Missouri, 575 S.W.2d at 813 (n. 3), stating "Section......
  • Hoferek v. University of Missouri
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Missouri
    • 15 Febrero 1985
    ...funding, the Curators of the University of Missouri presumptively represent the State of Missouri. Strong v. Curators of the University of Missouri, 575 S.W.2d 812 (Mo.App.1978). The Curators, as representatives of the State, are entitled to the immunity from suit in federal court afforded ......
  • Hemphill v. Moore
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • 24 Junio 1987
    ...the Curators of the University of Missouri presumptively represent the State of Missouri." Id. (Citing Strong v. Curators of the University of Missouri, 575 S.W.2d 812 (Mo.Ct.App.1978)). In addition, the court held that the state's statutory grant to the Curators of power to sue and be sued......
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