Missouri Supreme Court rejects request from Weber to hear Oakville couple’s suit

Fred Weber Inc. has lost a bid to take an Oakville couple’s lawsuit against the company to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The state high court on May 25 denied Weber’s request to transfer Tom and Barbara Diehl’s suit from the Missouri Court of Appeals.

The Diehls filed a four-count lawsuit against Weber in July 2005 after the appellate court dismissed the company’s $5 million lawsuit against Tom Diehl that March, and after the state Supreme Court refused to hear the company’s case three months later.

Weber sued Diehl in February 2004 for his alleged involvement with fliers that labeled the company “trash terrorists.”

Diehl and hundreds of Oakville residents had opposed Weber’s efforts to construct a trash-transfer station on Baumgartner Road near the company’s south quarry.

The appellate court eventually ruled that the phrase “trash terrorists” was not defamatory, and after Weber’s litigation was dismissed in 2005, the Diehls sued back.

They alleged malicious prosecution, in-tentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process and prima facie tort.

But the St. Louis City Circuit Court eventually granted summary judgment against Tom Diehl for his malicious prosecution and abuse of process claims, as well as Barbara Diehl’s prima facie tort claim.

The court also dismissed the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

But in an opinion handed down Jan. 26, a panel of appellate judges reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Weber on Tom Diehl’s claims of malicious prosecution and abuse of process, and on Barbara Diehl’s claim of prima facie tort.