Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Wrongful-Death Suit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful-death suit brought against Shook client Philip Morris USA, clarifying that Missouri law does not permit such a claim when the decedent previously recovered for the same allegedly tortious conduct during his lifetime. In so doing, the court re-articulated the state’s longstanding “one-recovery rule” and rejected the argument that recent amendments to the wrongful-death statutes redefined the rule’s scope. Shook served as lead trial counsel and appellate counsel for Philip Morris USA. Thompson v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 760 F.3d 913 (8th Cir. 2014).