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Clearest Expression of the New Co-Employee Rule For Cases from 2005-2012 in Missouri: Fowler v. Phillips

Trial court reversed and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the recent 2016 Missouri Supreme Court decisions Peters v. Wady Indus.,Inc. and Parr v. Breeden.

Court Summary:

The court holds that, if the plaintiff alleges that a co-employee violated workplace safety rules, the co-employee can be liable for negligence.  That's a pretty easy claim to plead. John Fowler and Mary Fowler (collectively, Appellants) appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Amy Phillips (Phillips) in Appellants’ personal injury case, in which they asserted injuries stemming from Phillips’ negligence and reckless conduct as a co-employee.


Division Three Holds:

The trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Phillips, because Phillips owed Fowler an independent duty of care, separate from their employer’s nondelegable duty to provide a safe workplace. See Peters v. Wady Indus., Inc., --- S.W.3d ---, 2016 WL 3180586 (Mo. banc June 7, 2016); Parr v. Breeden, --- S.W.3d ---, 2016 WL 3180249 (Mo. banc June 7, 2016).


Download Fowler v. Phillips

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About this Author

Laura A. Bentele, Litigation Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale, Law firm

Laura Bentele is an associate attorney in the Litigation group practicing in the areas of complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense. To achieve optimal outcomes, Laura anticipates clients’ strategic and practical business considerations. Committed to effective case management, she is versed in all phases of discovery, trial preparation and negotiation of settlements with opposing counsel. Laura strives to maintain open avenues of communication to ensure that clients receive representation that meets their business needs.