AIM president testifies on tort reform bills
February 4, 2020 - AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty testified on three bills today in the Senate Government Reform Committee hearing, chaired by Sen. Ed Emery.
McCarty testified in favor of all three bills.
SB 555, sponsored by Sen. Jeanie Riddle, would establish a 15 year statute of repose in Missouri. Statutes of repose prevent plaintiffs from filing actions alleging manufacturing defects beyond a certain time period since the item was purchased. McCarty testified most states have a 10 or 12 year limit, but concessions have been made over the last 8 years to improve the bill and 15 years is better than no statute of repose at all.
SB 726, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, would attempt to stop a practice used by plaintiffs' attorneys that work with defendants against the defendant's insurance company. McCarty testified AIM had supported legislation in previous sessions to address the situation, but clever attorneys found a way around the language by taking disputes to arbitration and saying the language did not allow insurance companies to materially participate in such proceedings. The language in a committee substitute of SB 726 has been carefully crafted to ensure insureds are protected and rogue insurance companies are held accountable while fixing these loopholes.
McCarty also testified in support of SB 727, also sponsored by Sen. Luetkemeyer, that would tighten Missouri's merchandising practices act.
The Committee took no action on any of the bills in today's hearing.