Legal Memorandum: Time Limit for Filing a Legal Action

Issue: Under Missouri law, SEQ CHAPTER h r 1how much time does a plaintiff have after discovery of injury to file a legal action?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: File a legal action; Statute of limitations; Ascertained an injury
Jurisdiction: Missouri
Cited Cases: 941 S.W.2d 493; 984 S.W.2d 501
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2000

Under Missouri law, a cause of action does not accrue until the fact of damage is capable of ascertainment.  Business Men’s Assurance Co. of Am. v. Graham, 984 S.W.2d 501, 507 (Mo. 1999).  Thus, the date of injury is either the date the plaintiff ascertains an injury or the date the plaintiff should have ascertained an injury.  Klemme v. Best, 941 S.W.2d 493, 497 (Mo. 1997).  Once that triggering event occurs, the statute starts running, and the plaintiff has five years within which to file the action.  Graham, 984 S.W.2d at 107-08 (affirming finding that the cause of action was not barred by the statute of limitations because it was filed within five years of when the damages was capable of ascertainment).


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