JEFFERSON CITY – Legal reform advocates in Missouri are optimistic they'll make further gains in the next legislative session - with caps on punitive damages,asbestos bankruptcy trust transparency and other reforms.
Brad Jones, Missouri state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said its coalition will be advocating for tightening restrictions on product liability claims.
“We've got small business owners that, just because they sold a product that was perfectly safe 10-15 years ago ... I really don’t see why they can be sued for whatever reason later on down the road just because they sold it,” Jones said. “The same thing can be said for small manufacturers.”
According to Jones, the NFIB would like to see some sort of time limit or statute of limitation on when a consumer can sue a small business over the sale of product.
In January, Senate Bill 100 was introduced to the Missouri General Assembly, which “provides that a person who is injured by a product has 15 years after the sale or lease of the product to bring a suit for damages.” The bill is still pending and is sponsored by Sen. Jeanie Riddle (R-District 10).
The NFIB will also be supporting a cap on punitive damages.
“We’ve supported caps on punitives in the past and we will be supporting that bill,” Jones said. “The coalition will be getting together pretty soon to go over some of the priority bills and things that we will be putting in next year.”