Jackson, Lyons & Adams: Missouri’s ‘Total Recovery’ Requirement Can Pose Issues for Retailers

Shook Partners Brian Jackson and John Lyons, along with Associate Henry Adams, have co-authored a commentary piece in Missouri Lawyers Weekly titled "Missouri's innocent seller statute: total recovery requirement."

In the piece, they discuss Missouri's Innocent Seller Statute, which allows retailers to obtain early dismissal from lawsuits in which they are named solely because they sold the product that a plaintiff alleges caused injury. The law allows retailers to seek dismissal provided they meet two requirements: they are an "innocent seller" named only for their "status as a seller in the stream of commerce" and that there is another defendant properly before the court from whom the plaintiff may receive total recovery.

The co-authors highlight recent cases discussing the latter requirement, noting that obtaining dismissal requires actual evidence of the remaining party's solvency demonstrating the plaintiff can obtain "total recovery" for the amount they request and might reasonably obtain.

"Retailers named as defendants in Missouri cases should therefore reach out to co-defendant manufacturers and distributors at the early stages of litigation if they are contemplating using Missouri’s Innocent Seller Statute as a basis for dismissal," they recommend. "A good working relationship between the defendants is necessary to ensure that the proper evidence accompanies a request for dismissal and minimize the possibility that a court denies dismissal for failing to meet the statute’s 'total recovery' requirement."

Read the full Missouri Lawyers Weekly article (PDF) >>