JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that unless the state was the main place of business for companies filing a lawsuit, Missouri courts do not have jurisdiction over their tort complaints.

The decision has been welcomed by a legal watchdog group Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch.

“There is a correlation between jobs and the economy and lawsuit abuse," Travis Akin of the Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch group told the St. Louis Record. "The states that have made an effort, that have tried to reform their courts they are doing better than the states that have not."

Akin said the decision was a win for Missouri.

“It is really a win for everybody because you look at states that have legislated some of these common sense reforms places like Texas, places like Indiana, Wisconsin their economies have turned around dramatically," he said. "They are adding jobs and opportunities all of the time. The state of Missouri is taking the issue of lawsuit abuse seriously both at court level and most certainly at the legislative level where there are many tort reform bills that are making their way through the legislative process."

Akin said that his own state of Illinois had also made the list of judicial hellholes by the American Tort Reform Association in its annual report.

“In part because of large awards in the talcum powder lawsuits, multi-million dollar verdicts going on there in those cases,” he said.

He said part of the decision on what makes a judicial hellhole was lawsuit tourism.

“Less than 10 percent of the asbestos cases filed in Madison County, for instance, have anything to do with the state of Illinois, let alone Madison County," he said. "We see lawsuits coming from all parts of the country in these troublesome jurisdictions.”

Akin said the Missouri Supreme Court decision was one of common sense.

“That merely having a presence, merely doing business in the state of Missouri you shouldn’t be held liable or to the same kind of standard that would happen if where your corporate headquarters are located," he said.

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