The Missouri Supreme Court entered a decision on a procedural issue. The trial court had dismissed the University of Missouri as a defendant on the basis of sovereign immunity. That decision was appealed to the Western District Court of Appeals. Rather than reach the merits, the Western District, applying a recent Supreme Court decision, determined that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Essentially, the Western District decided that the issue of whether or not the University was a proper party could not be decided until the entire case was resolved.
The Biojoint plaintiffs appealed that decision to the Missouri Supreme Court. The Court issued it’s opinion holding that jurisdiction was proper. It confirmed long held law that when one party to a lawsuit is dismissed in a final ruling that resolves all claims agains that party, the decision can be appealed while the rest of the case continues, rather than waiting until the conclusion of the case.