Top AIM tort reform priority to be heard in one of the first hearings of the 2022 session
January 7, 2022 - The 2022 Missouri Legislative Session only started Wednesday, but one of the top legislative priorities of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday.
The bill, SB 631, sponsored by Senator Dan Hegeman, would reduce the length of time to file a personal injury lawsuit from five years to two years.
Missouri's currently ranks third from last in the length of time allowed to plaintiffs to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Only Maine and North Dakota have longer statutes of limitation at 6 years each. Forty-four states have statutes of limitation of three years or less.
"The business community thanks Sen. Hegeman for filing the bill and Sen. Luetkemeyer for hearing this bill in the first hearing held on bills in the 2022 Legislative Session," said McCarty. "We look forward to finally passing this bill this year," he said.
Last year, a similar bill was the subject of an all night filibuster. Ultimately, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and senators working on their behalf, made it clear there would be no deal to advance the statute of limitations bill this session, much to the disappointment of business advocates and the Sen. Hegeman, who sponsored the bill last year too. Associated Industries of Missouri was extremely disappointed in the outcome last year.
"As is true much too often in the legislative process, the business community is once again forced to face the political reality that the plaintiffs' attorneys are very active in their financial support of senators of both parties in Missouri, and the result is the debacle we witnessed last night and this morning," Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri said at the time. "We thank Sen. Hegeman for his courageous attempt to change the system, but in the end, the firm grip of MATA paralyzes the political process as plaintiffs' attorneys regularly reinvest a small portion of their multi-million-dollar awards in political contributions to help them and their allies in the Missouri Senate stop reasonable tort reform measures like this bill," he said.
McCarty is hopeful the early hearing of the bill will signal a different outcome this year.
The hearing is currently scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Lounge.