Tort reform bills clear Senate Committee
FEBRUARY 12, 2020 - Three tort reform bills were voted out of the Senate Government Reform Committee yesterday. The Committee is chaired by Sen. Ed Emery. All three bills are supported by Associated Industries of Missouri.
BILLS APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE FEBRUARY 11
SB 555, sponsored by Sen. Jeanie Riddle, would establish a statute of repose in Missouri. Missouri is one of a few states without a statute of repose in tort cases that would limit frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers for manufacturing defects in products that have outlived their useful life.
SB 726, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, would address situations where plaintiff's attorneys work in cooperation with a defendant against the defendant's insurance company. While we thought we had fixed this in previous sessions, clever attorneys have found a way to block the insurers from participating in the lawsuits as provided in the law by claiming they do not have the ability to actively participate and by taking the dispute to arbitration.
SB 727, also sponsored by Sen. Luetkemeyer, makes changes to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) in an effort to reduce frivolous lawsuits.
Next step for these bills is consideration by the full Sentate.