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1. Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, if two or more persons are entitled to sue for and recover damages as herein allowed, then any one or more of them may compromise or settle the claim for damages with approval of any circuit court, or may maintain such suit and recover such damages without joinder therein by any other person, provided that the claimant or petitioner shall satisfy the court that he has diligently attempted to notify all parties having a cause of action under section 537.080. Any settlement or recovery by suit shall be for the use and benefit of those who sue or join, or who are entitled to sue or join, and of whom the court has actual written notice.
2. When any settlement is made, or recovery had, by any plaintiff ad litem, the persons entitled to share in the proceeds thereof shall be determined according to the laws of descent, and any settlement or recovery by such plaintiff ad litem shall likewise be distributed according to the laws of descent unless special circumstances indicate that such a distribution would be inequitable, in which case the court shall apportion the settlement or recovery in proportion to the losses suffered by each person or party entitled to share in the proceeds and, provided, that any person entitled to share in the proceeds shall have the right to intervene at any time before any judgment is entered or settlement approved under this section.
3. In any action for damages under section 537.080, the trier of the facts shall state the total damages found, or upon the approval of any settlement for which a petition or application for such approval has been filed, the court shall state the total settlement approved. The court shall then enter a judgment as to such damages, apportioning them among those persons entitled thereto in proportion to the losses suffered by each as determined by the court.
4. The court shall order the claimant:
(1) To collect and receipt for the payment of the judgment;
(2) To deduct and pay the expenses of recovery and collection of the judgment and the attorneys' fees as contracted, or if there is no contract, or if the party sharing in the proceeds has no attorney representing him before the rendition of any judgment or settlement, then the court may award the attorney who represents the original plaintiff such fee for his services, from such persons sharing in the proceeds, as the court deems fair and equitable under the circumstances;
(3) To acknowledge satisfaction in whole or in part for the judgment and costs;
(4) To distribute the net proceeds as ordered by the court; and
(5) To report and account therefor to the court. In its discretion the court may require the claimant to give bond for the collection and distribution.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVI. Statutory Actions and Torts § 537.095. Joinder of parties not required, when, effect on recovery--plaintiff ad litem, recovery, distribution - last updated January 01, 2018 | https://codes.findlaw.com/mo/title-xxxvi-statutory-actions-and-torts/mo-rev-st-537-095.html
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