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Who can sue for wrongful death in Missouri?

If you recently lost a loved one due to the careless or reckless behavior of another party, you may wish to pursue compensation and justice on your loved one's behalf. Fortunately, Missouri law allows you to do so via a wrongful death cause of action. However, it is important to note that not just anyone may file a wrongful death claim in Missouri. FindLaw details who may file a claim for the death of a person that results from any conduct, act, occurrence, circumstance or transaction of a negligent party.

According to FindLaw, you can find the relevant statutory information under Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVI. Statutory Actions and Torts ยง537.080. Per this statute, the surviving spouse or children or any surviving lineal descendants of deceased children may pursue a wrongful death claim. The relationship between parents and children may be legitimate or illegitimate, natural or adoptive.

If there are no survivors that meet any of the above standards, then any surviving sibling, or their descendants, may be able to file a suit. However, the claimant must be able to establish rights to damages set forth in 537.090.  

If there are no survivors that meet neither the first nor second definition, a plaintiff ad litem may bring a wrongful death claim. The court will appoint a suitable and competent plaintiff ad litem. Typically, the courts will take into consideration the requests of other persons entitled to a share in the proceeds of a survivorship action.

The content of this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as legal advice.  

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