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Legal Memorandum: Time Limit for Filing a Legal Malpractice Action

Issue: Under Missouri law, how much time does the plaintiff have after discovery of the injury to file a legal malpractice action?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Legal malpractice action; Statute of limitations
Jurisdiction: Missouri
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Sec. 516.100, Rev. Stat. Mo (1994)
Date: 11/01/2000

Under Missouri law, a cause of action does not accrue until the fact of damage is capable of ascertainment.  See Sec. 516.100, Rev. Stat. Mo (1994).  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. banc 1997).  Once that triggering event occurs, the statute starts running and the plaintiff has five years under the statute of limitations within which to file the action. 

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