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MMPA debated in Senate Committee

Amendments to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in the form of three bills were debated today in the Senate Government Reform Committee.

SB 276, filed by Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, would require a plaintiff to have acted as a reasonable consumer, that the alleged unlawful act caused the person to enter into the transaction that resulted in damage, and the plaintiff must provide sufficiently definitive and objective evidence to allow the loss to be calculated with a reasonable degree of certainty. A court may dismiss a claim where the claim fails to show a likelihood that the alleged unlawful act would mislead a reasonable consumer.

Damages shall be measured by the person’s out-of-pocket loss, as defined in the act. In addition to current damages, a court may provide injunctive relief as necessary to protect the party from the unlawful acts. No action may be brought under this act to recover damages for personal injury or death.

Another bill, SB 62, filed by Senator Eric Burlison, would allow only actual damages in class action MMPA lawsuits. The bill would eliminate punitive damages from such suits. Punitive damages would continue to be allowed in individual lawsuits but not in class action lawsuits.

Finally, the Committee heard SB 150, Senator Andrew Koenig, a bill that would give businesses certainty by aligning Missouri’s law with Federal Trade Commission provisions.

Associated Industries of Missouri supported all three bills. The Committee took no action on the bills.

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