Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment in MO

Issue: Under Missouri law, what is the standard for summary judgment in a suit involving interpretation of an insurance policy?

Area of Law: Insurance Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Interpretation of an insurance policy; No genuine issue of material fact
Jurisdiction: Missouri
Cited Cases: 932 F.2d 717; 853 S.W.2d 300; 957 F.2d 605
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56
Date: 01/01/2000

Summary judgment is appropriate if the record when viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows that there is no genuine issue of material fact ad that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Hill v. St. Louis Univ., 123 F.3d 1114, 1118-19 (8th Cir. 1997); United States ex re. Glass v. Medtronic, Inc. 957 F.2d 605, 607 (8th Cir. 1992).  The construction and interpretation of insurance policies is a matter of law. First Southern Ins. Co. v. Jim Lynch Enter., Inc., 932 F.2d 717, 719 (8th Cir. 1991).  If an insurance policy is unambiguous it is to be enforced according to its terms.  American States Ins. Co. v. Broeckelman, 957 S.W.2d 461, 465 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997).  A term that is not defined in an insurance policy is to be given its ordinary meaning.  Peters v. Employer’s Mut. Cas. Co., 853 S.W.2d 300, 303 (Mo. 1993) (en banc). 


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