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This appeared on September 3, 2019, on the Missouri Supreme Court’s list of “Writs and Other Original Proceedings”:

SC98009         State ex rel. Monsanto Company, Relator, vs. The Honorable Michael K. Mullen, Respondent.

Petition for writ of prohibition sustained.  Preliminary writ ordered to issue returnable to Court en banc within fifteen days.

(Emphasis original)

We understand, from inside sources, that this notation means that Monsanto has won its mandamus appeal from an order by St. Louis City Judge Mullen’s allowing a consolidated multi-plaintiff trial based on the now-discredited (see State ex rel. Johnson & Johnson v. Burlison, 567 S.W.3d 168 (Mo. 2019)) venue theory that the presence of any plaintiff residing in the city of St. Louis allows a trial there that includes multiple plaintiffs who do not live in St. Louis.  Given the notorious predilection that St. Louis City judges have shown towards such consolidated trials, this ruling could well impact a number of other cases and appeals.

There’s apparently no opinion yet, but this occurrence bears watching.


The day after Monsanto secured this preliminary writ, plaintiffs confessed error on the transfer motion and successfully moved to dismiss the writ in the Supreme Court as moot.  Monsanto thus wins its case, but no precedent will be made.  You can stop watching now.